(FORTUNE Magazine) – There's a new name at the top of this issue's masthead: Norman Pearlstine has succeeded Jason McManus as editor-in-chief of Time Warner, with overall editorial responsibility for the largest magazine publisher in the world. Pearlstine thus becomes the fifth editor-in-chief in our 72-year history, in a line that began with Henry R. Luce.

McManus, 60, has retired after a 37-year career that began with an internship at Sports Illustrated and a stint in Time's London bureau while he was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford. After serving as Time's Common Market bureau chief, he was a senior editor in the Sixties and Seventies, skillfully steering the magazine's coverage of two of the biggest stories of our era, Vietnam and Watergate. He became its managing editor in 1985 and editor-in-chief of Time Inc. in 1987.

In the past seven years McManus has taken the magazines through a period of transformation as swift and sweeping as any in the company's history, and he's done it with grace and wisdom, with equanimity and common sense. The biggest challenge was Time Inc.'s acquisition in 1989 of Warner Communications to form Time Warner. McManus helped bring together the cultures of two creative enterprises while preserving the editorial independence that has allowed our publications to enjoy the trust of 100 million readers worldwide. McManus's tenure has seen the startup of several new magazines in the U.S., including Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated for Kids, and In Style-plus Who, an offshoot of People published in Australia. He has also spurred the magazines' entry into multimedia with a news-on-demand service, an online presence that began with Time and now extends to Fortune on CompuServe.

Pearlstine, 51, is the first editor-in-chief to be appointed from outside Time Inc. He brings a rich background that is both journalistic and entrepreneurial. During eight years as managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, he chronicled the successes and excesses of the Eighties, his paper winning four Pulitzer Prizes in the process. In addition, he helped launch editions in Europe and Asia, as well as a new magazine, SmartMoney.

Pearlstine possesses all the strengths that will be required as he takes the baton from McManus-a mastery of reporting, writing, and editing; a fundamental grasp of technology and its implications; and a proven commitment to editorial independence and excellence. Under his direction, Fortune will aim to serve you better than ever.