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Wired Executive Editor Joe Brown is going to run Popular Science

He’s the magazine’s fourth editor in chief in four years.

Christie Hemm Klok for Popular Science
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Popular Science has had three editors in four years. Now it has a fourth: Joe Brown, who is joining the magazine from Wired, where he ran that title’s website.

Brown started his tech journalism career at PopSci, where he was an assistant editor in 2002. Since then, his resume includes two stops at Wired and one at Gizmodo, where he ran Gawker Media’s tech site.

This move may be less obvious on paper. That’s because PopSci, owned by Bonnier Corp., is not killing it, as evidenced by the frequent masthead turnover.

That’s the appeal, Brown says: He wants to take the publication, which is close to 150 years old, and turn it around.

“That team has had so many foster parents at this point. And I'm not a fool about what I'm walking into,” Brown said via IM. “But that is part of why I'm walking into it. I asked a lot of candid questions during the interview process, and I wouldn't be taking the job if I hadn't gotten some really impressive answers. ... This is the kind of situation where you, as an editor and a person driven by creativity, can really make a mark.”

Brown, who has been living in San Francisco, will be moving to New York for the new job.

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