Huey’s Softer Side

Conventional wisdom paints soon-to-be Time Inc. honcho John Huey as one tough son-of-a-gun. Today’s CBS Marketwatch profile of Norm Pearlstine’s successor shows a softer side of the once supposedly despotic editor-in-chief of Time Inc.’s flagship business book Fortune magazine.

I recently had a chance to hear Huey speak at a Center for Communication roast of his boss, Time-Warner CEO Dick Parsons. I found him very approachable, and not without his trademark dry wit, e.g., “Yet Huey called Parsons’ Republican cred impeccable. ‘Who else would watch ‘All the President’s Men,’ pour himself a glass of fine wine and root for the guys in the Nixon administration? … Well, I guess Rupert Murdoch would.'”

Why the profile of Mr. Huey now? His annointment was announced nearly a month ago. I guess it comes with the PR run-up to the hand-over, and the lingering fact that the harsh perception of him actually jibes with the reality.