CHANGES AT TIME: “On Sept. 11, we valued heroism because it was everywhere. The fire fighters kept climbing the stairs of the tallest buildings in town, even as the steel moaned and the cracks spread in zippers through the walls, to get to the people trapped in the sky.”

Nancy Gibbs wrote that in 2001 in Time magazine’s special issue on the attacks on the World Trade Center. Her exhaustive, nearly 10,000-word, report was one of the most lauded pieces of journalism to come out of the period, and helped Time win a National Magazine Award for best single-issue the following year. Gibbs, a veteran of the magazine since the late Eighties, is now poised to succeed Richard Stengel as managing editor, according to multiple sources familiar with the magazine’s plans. Though a formal announcement has not been made, she would become the first woman to hold the post in 90 years. Her boss, Martha Nelson, is the first woman to be Time Inc.’s editor in chief. Gibbs, who co-authored the best-seller “The Presidents Club” last year, was named Stengel’s deputy in 2011.

Stengel is planning to move on to the State Department to be under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, according to the Web sites Politico and Capital New York, which broke the news Thursday afternoon in a joint report. That position has in the past been filled by journalists, including Tara Soneshine, a former broadcast journalist at ABC News. Stengel became Time’s managing editor in 2006, and though he renewed his contract last year, he has been looking for some time to depart Time Inc., a company that has undergone tremendous upheaval during his tenure, including four different chief executives and an interim management committee. Next year, Time Warner will spin it off as a publicly-traded company. Stengel previously left the company in 2004 to become president of the National Constitution Center, but returned two years later. In 2012, Time won magazine of the year from the American Society of Magazine Editors. Time Inc. declined comment.

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