What does a managing editor do?– The Issuu Breakdown

By IssuuJanuary 15, 2020Last updated on January 16, 2020Editorial

What does a managing editor do?

Whether you self-publish, or have dreams of working for a large magazine or newspaper, you should know the jobs necessary in producing a publication. The managing editor is like a stage manager. Managing Editor of the “Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism,” Joy Richmond, explains it this way. The stage manager upholds the director’s vision every performance–just like a managing editor makes sure the editor-in-chief’s decisions are realized in each issue [1].

General description

Managing editors report only to the editor-in-chief. So, they run day-to-day operations answering questions from writers and reviewers alike. They hire and oversee associate and assistant editors. Sometimes they might write an editorial or a column, but for the most part they work on the macro side.

a man writing on a book

They suggest content ideas, assign articles, handle in office questions, and keep everyone on schedule. In addition to proofreading, looking over spreads and layouts they make final approvals for distribution. Administrative duties are also important, such performance reviews and hiring [2].

Related: What is an editorial assistant?–The Issuu Guide

Daily activities

A day’s work as a managing editor is long and challenging. Depending on how fast each issue must be produced, weekly, monthly, quarterly etc., the deadlines are different. Therefore, news sources have faster turnarounds and deadlines than a lifestyle magazine for example. So, a day might start with answering emails and evaluating new story leads. Followed by assigning new articles and deadlines. Expect questions coming at you at all times of day. Half of your day will likely be proofreading. Additionally, you will be in charge of tasks like determining and ranking what content goes where, approving layouts, and asking: are things are progressing appropriately? Also, on special days, you might attend an event representing your news source and your editor-in-chief.

Smaller publications may not have a managing editor! So this role is merged with editor-and-chief. Or, maybe you’re starting your own publication from scratch. The above will all be responsibilities you must manage.


Be attentive. This role requires not only that you notice, but also act on problems. You also must have superior communication. People from many different departments and/or industries will need your attention all day.

For smaller teams, the tasks of managing editor feel daunting on top of everything else that must be done. Issuu can help! With collaborate you can work together with your team on your publication, even while apart. This feature helps designate and streamline tasks for managerial editing like ad placement, article assignment, and more. Or, if you do not have the resources for a designer and the time spilling over the details of a page layout take advantage of Issuu’s free magazine templates! Lastly, our digital publishing suite plays nice with all other tools independent and self publishers use like Adobe InDesign, Dropbox, and Google Docs. Thus making your publishing dreams all the more closer.

Learn how Issuu can empower your publication with our suite of integrated publishing tools today!


Managing editor is to editor…



Difference between managing editor and editor-in-chief