Magazines: Foster Parent for the Digest

The Reader's Digest has always been DeWitt and Lila Wallace's only baby—and in 42 years, the Digest has grown into the biggest monthly magazine in the world, with 25 million circulation. For all of those 42 years, the Wallaces maintained total, if benevolent control over the entire operation. And although for the past few years nearly everyone in the Digest's red brick colonial building in Chappaqua, N.Y., 30 miles north of Manhattan, knew that Wally and Lila had picked their successor, everyone also wondered whether the succes sion would ever take place.

Last week, without prior announcement to the staff,...

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