JFK Jr.'s magazine salutes its fallen leader
Filapacchi says sticking with George
By Phil Hirschkorn/CNN
August 26, 1999
Web posted at: 3:41 p.m. EDT (1941 GMT)
NEW YORK -- Staffers from John F. Kennedy Jr.'s political monthly magazine George praised Kennedy as an involved editor in the new September issue, the last magazine Kennedy edited before his death.
"John had a hand in every aspect of creating and producing George -- the big picture and the daily details," reads a "letter for the editor" in the magazine's new issue.
Kennedy, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the four-year-old publication, died in a place crash last month with his wife and sister-in-law.
"As we were completing work on this issue, we learned John wouldn't be coming to the office anymore," the letter states. It is signed by "the staff of George" and appears where Kennedy's own "letter from the editor" would normally appear.
"We've left this issue of George as it was before John's death because it was the last one he edited," the letter says.
The issue goes on sale August 31. The cover is graced by actor Rob Lowe, who stars in a new political drama called "The West Wing," debuting this fall on ABC. The issue also includes a profile of presidential candidate Elizabeth Dole and an annual feature on "The 20 most fascinating women in politics."
The magazine also includes and interview with Attorney General Janet Reno.
Kennedy was supposed to do the interview himself, said publicist Lisa Dallos, but after his death, Executive Editor Rich Blow filled in for him.
The "letter for the editor" praises Kennedy as someone who assigned stories "long before they were elsewhere in the news," who was an insightful reader of manuscripts, and who brought a "fresh eye" to designers and photographers.
"He edited George because the magazine manifested certain beliefs he wanted to promote: That there are good men and women in politics whose work is made harder because our political era fluctuates between scandal and alienation. That for all its imperfections, politics is a noble profession," the letter reads.
George's October edition will largely be a commemorative issue in honor of Kennedy. The November issue will include an interview with first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"The greatest tribute that we can pay John is to continue putting out the finest magazine we can. We think he'd want it that way," the letter concludes.
With an average circulation of 400,000 George is the most widely read political magazine in the United States.
Part of the Hachette-Filapacchi magazine group, George has yet to turn a profit. But the company discounts speculation that the magazine's financial backing is in jeopardy.
"We're very committed to going forward with the magazine, and we're in conversations with the Kennedy family," said Hachette spokesman Keith Estabrook.
"Nothing's been finalized," he said.