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Change is in the air. Pick any section of any sector of, well, anything, and you’re bound to notice that the storied way of doing things is yesterday’s news. The economy? Hello, federal government. Media? Direct your attention to the blogosphere, if you will. Sports? Welcome to prime time, Arizona Cardinals. It’s as Marcus Aurelius believed in that everything existing “is already disintegrating and changing.” True enough, but those who successfully grasp that concept, I believe, will be able to make the inevitable evolutionary course of action change in their favor.

American Way is no different. This magazine is changing, too, and not on a whim. A few months ago, we conducted a readers’ survey to find out what you like about us and to query what we should change. I have taken all your input into consideration, which is why this issue is, and subsequent issues to follow will be, tailor-made for you.

I am happy to unveil the first of those changes right here, right now.

This new calendar year will bring a number of new writers to the pages of American Way, beginning with new feature writer Courtney Hazlett. Courtney has written for everyone and their grandmother, and she’s most well known these days as the “Scoop” columnist on MSNBC.com. If you stay up on the goings-on in Hollywood, Courtney may be your first connection to celebrity news. And I think she did a phenomenal job for us right out of the gates with “Falling in Love Again” about Dustin Hoffman (click here).

Jim Shahin, who’s been with American Way for 18 years, is moving on to greener pastures. He isn’t easy to replace, but we’ve tried our best nonetheless. Our back page will now feature three of the nation’s best writers, who will revolve every issue.

Eric Celeste is our leadoff man. I’ve known Eric for a decade. He’s worked for a diverse array of publications, including the alternative Dallas Observer newspaper, and was the editor of Southwest Airlines’ Spirit magazine. Eight times a year, he’ll travel around the globe and in his witty way; give us some tales from the road. In this issue, Eric finally takes a dip in the Pacific Ocean.

On deck is Cathy Booth Thomas. A 22-year veteran of Time magazine, Cathy has covered everything from Hollywood to high tech. She served as bureau chief for Time in Rome, Miami, and Los Angeles before arriving back in her hometown of Dallas in 2000. Cathy has sat with the most influential people in the world. She interviewed Fidel Castro four times, traveled with the pope, and covered the exodus of refugees from Iraq during the first Gulf War. Her last major assignment for Time was covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She brings her worldly insight exclusively to you.

And batting cleanup is the most chiseled writer I’ve ever read. Carlton Stowers is a literary institution. Among the more than two dozen books he’s authored are To the Last Breath and Careless Whispers, both winners of the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award as the best fact crime book of the year. Five of his works have been optioned by motion-picture/TV-production companies. His column, “Americana by Carlton Stowers,” will take you to little-known places around the United States.

We at American Way are excited about what the future holds. As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. E-mail me at adam.pitluk@aapubs.com and let me know if we’re moving in the right direction. Until then, let us entertain you.

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Adam Pitluk
Editor