John Atkinson steps down as Editor of Stereophile April 1

The email came as no great surprise, but even though I was aware that John Atkinson was making preparations to leave the bridge as captain of Stereophile, seeing it in black and white on my laptop screen this morning gave me a bit of a jolt.

Atkinson is a legend in the industry for good reason, having helmed one of the greatest and longest-lasting hifi publications this small planet has known with intelligence, humour and grace for more than three decades and helped countless thousands of audiophile hobbyists navigate the sometimes murky waters along the way.

Taking over the reins as editor from Atkinson (who will become Technical Editor) will be contributor Jim Austin whose outstanding work over the last 15 years at Stereophile speaks for itself.

I wish both men the best of luck as they move into these new respective roles and look forward to continue to work with them both.

Stereophile announcement

Today, Stereophile announces its first major Editorial changes in decades, with an expansion of the Editorial team and a change in leadership.

Since 1986, through many generations of corporate ownership, John Atkinson has been the Editor and bedrock of the magazine. After nearly 331/3 years, JA has decided to relinquish daily responsibility for producing the magazine and as of April 1 will take on a new (and newly established) position: Technical Editor. Stepping into his shoes as Editor will be long-time Stereophile contributor Jim Austin. Deputy Editor Art Dudley will continue to do what he does best (and what he prefers to do): writing columns and reviews and editing the prose of Stereophile's other contributors, while managing an expanded suite of responsibilities.

Richard Lehnert, who began his association with Stereophile in 1984 as our long-time Copy Editor and was the magazine's Music Editor 1987–1996, has also chosen this time to retire from the magazine that bears the stamp of his influence; Lehnert will be replaced by a new copyeditor, Linda Felaco.

These changes will be effective as of the July issue of Stereophile.

"I'm deeply honored to become only the third Editor in Stereophile's distinguished history," says Austin, who has been writing for Stereophile for some 15 years. "It's a major responsibility to follow in the footsteps of audio legends like J. Gordon Holt and John Atkinson, and to hold the reins of the world's most important high-end audio magazine. It's an opportunity I relish, though. It's hard to even imagine a job I'd enjoy more.”

Read the full announcement HERE.

Anton's picture

Caught in the act!

I honestly can't think of anyone who seems to have more fully loved and embraced his work than JA.

My first thought, upon hearing the news, was that JA might finally get a chance to relax and simply enjoy an audio show!

volvic's picture

Good for JA, well earned! Congrats to Jim Austin and good stuff on this site Rafe, keep it coming.

Everclear's picture

Is John A sayin' ............

"Do you want me to play my Rap & Hip-Hop playlist?" :-) ............

ksamynathan's picture

Better be John, we will miss you.

Reed's picture

There only a handful of people that cross paths with you in this world that gain your respect and add to what you are as a person. John is one of those people. I had the joy of talking with a John at RMAF, and it was like talking to a friend. That pretty much sums it up.