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Lawrence J. Burke, owner of Outside magazine, announced today that Hal Espen, editor of Outside, will leave the magazine in early February. Espen, 50, has been the editor for the past seven years and has been with the award-winning Santa Fe, N.M.-based magazine for a total of nine years.
â€œI count Hal Espen as a true friend, one who has successfully guided Outside magazine,â€ said Burke. â€œHe has added significantly to the historical legacy of Outside’s impeccable journalistic standards and reputation. I am tremendously proud of Hal’s many accomplishments during his nine years at Outside magazine. Outside is all about entertainment and authenticity, fun and inspiration – and Hal has ensured that the magazine has kept its ambition and edge razor-sharp. Hal remains a strong friend and supporter of Outside.â€
“Outside has been a thrilling and wonderful ride,â€ said Espen. â€œThis is one of the great jobs in magazine publishing. I’m immensely proud of everything Outside has achieved, especially its energy and innovation, all while maintaining its distinguished literary heritage.â€
A search for Espen’s successor is currently in progress. Outside, which was launched in 1977, has had only three editors in the past 27 years. â€œThis speaks volumes about the consistency and continuity of our editorial culture and editorial leadership,â€ added Burke.
Espen, a former senior editor at The New Yorker, joined Outside’s staff as features editor in 1996. At the time, the magazine was in the midst of winning an unprecedented three consecutive National Magazine Awards for General Excellence. He succeeded Mark Bryant as editor in February 1999. Espen’s editorial team won Adweek’s Creative Team of the Year award in 2003. During Espen’s tenure, Outside has been a National Magazine Award finalist in six separate categories, including profiles, feature writing, essays, leisure interests, and photo essays. In 2003, Outside won the National Magazine Award for Personal Service. Over the same period, more than 25 Outside feature stories have appeared in Houghton Mifflin’s annual Best American Travel Writing, Best American Sports Writing, and Best American Science and Nature Writing anthologies. At The New Yorker, Espen also edited the articles that won the National Magazine Award for Criticism in 1996.