The new editor-in-chief of Flying magazine says he hopes to "surprise and delight" readers with a fresh approach to style and content. Michael Maya Charles, a former AVweb columnist and airline pilot, was named to the post on the world's largest print aviation magazine Tuesday, replacing longtime editor-in-chief J. Mac McClellan. Maya Charles told AVweb he hopes to broaden the appeal of the magazine, which began publication in the 1920s. It was purchased by Bonnier Corp. in 2009 and Maya Charles says his philosophy about the "reader experience" and appearance of the magazine meshes with the new owners. "They pay a lot of attention to the visual," Maya Charles said. "The editorial product needs a little freshening. We're going to give it an infusion of that new energy." Maya Charles also said there will be more emphasis on the digital aspects of the publication. Meanwhile, McClellan told AVweb he had fundamental differences of opinion with Bonnier management on running the magazine and he was dismissed.
"They let me go but it was essentially mutual," McClellan said. "It was a bit of a surprise as always but not really." McClellan said the new owners required a long-range editorial plan that he said he believes is unworkable in covering a dynamic industry like aviation. "We all know aviation is different," he said. "If you want to be reasonably current you have to be nimble." It didn't take McClellan long to find other work, at least for the short term. He'll be covering industry news for EAA's show daily at AirVenture Oshkosh. He hasn't made any long-term decisions but he said he hopes to find a job in the aviation media or communications field.