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WHO'S THE MOST powerful figure in Seattle journalism?

The mantle seems to be up for grabs again with the announcement last week that Michael Kinsley has relinquished the editorship of Slate, the online magazine launched behind Microsoft money in 1996. Despite a slow start and clumsy attempts at developing a model for paid subscriptions, the magazine is now—according to Jupiter Media Metrix figures— a destination for nearly 3 million readers a month. Much of the credit for the growth has been attributed to the efforts and celebrity of its ubiquitous editor. Slate writer Jacob Weisberg (who, incidentally, is a top candidate for the post) effused in Harold Kurtz' Washington Post media column, "Kinsley may be the great editor of his generation."

Though Slate has yet to turn a profit, its place in the Seattle area seems to be assured for at least a while longer. In an interview with CNET's Stefanie Olsen, Kinsley was quick to point out that "Bill G. is pleased with Slate—proud of it as an owner, likes it as a reader."

Paul Fontana

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