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Magazine executive to replace Schools chancellor

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City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein resigned Tuesday after eight years of leading the 1.1 million children in the city school system and he will be replaced by Hearst Magazines Chairwoman Cathie Black.

Klein said during a Tuesday news conference with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Black that he will join News Corp. as the company’s executive vice president and will report to News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch. He will join News Corp.’s board of directors.

News Corp. owns the TimesLedger Newspapers.

 “I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg for giving me the best job of my life and for being there every step of the way in the effort to improve education for our students,” Klein said. “Public schools in New York City changed my own life and it has been a rare privilege to serve the kids and families of this city during the past eight years.”

Klein grew up in public housing in Astoria and attended Queens schools, including Bryant High School on 31st Avenue.

“Joel Klein’s extraordinary service to the 1.1 million children and young adults who attend our public schools has secured him a place as a landmark, transformational civic leader in our city’s long history,” Bloomberg said. “But for some time now, I’ve known that he was ready to move on. I asked Joel to stay until we could identify a successor, someone with the ability and experience to build on his success and help take our schools to the next level.”

Black, who Bloomberg called “brilliant, innovative and driven,” is the chairwoman of Hearst Magazines and the former publisher of USA Today. Often referred to as the first lady of magazines, Black oversaw more than 2,000 employees producing 14 magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Marie Claire and Harper’s Bazaar. Black began her career in advertising sales with Ms. Magazine and became the first female publisher of a weekly magazine, New York, in 1979.

“Our schools are vastly better than they were just eight years ago when the mayor took office and Chancellor Klein joined his administra­tion,” Black said. “Their passion for improving the educational opportunities of our students has lifted the bar higher than anyone could ever have imagined, and my main goal will be to build on the work that has been accomplished during the Bloomberg administration and Chancellor Klein’s tenure.”

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

Updated 6:21 pm, October 10, 2011
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