NEW YORK -- Will Dana, the managing editor of Rolling Stone, is leaving the publication in August, four months after the magazine retracted a bogus story about a gang rape at the University of Virginia, a spokeswoman confirmed.
Dana, who spent nearly two decades at the magazine, oversaw the newsroom during its biggest journalistic breakdown in nearly a half-century of publishing.
Several news outlets and bloggers quickly poked serious holes in Rolling Stone's "A Rape on Campus,"published in late November. Dana went silent for months before Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, which the magazine commissioned to investigate the story, concluded in April that it was a "journalistic failure that could have been avoided."
The New York Times first reported the news of Dana's departure Wednesday night, just hours after three members of Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity at the center of the purported gang rape, sued the magazine and the article's author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely. They're not the only ones seeking retribution in respone to the discredited story. Nicole Eramo, a UVA associate dean of students, filed a defamation suit against Rolling Stone in May.
Many in journalism circles were shocked that Dana, his deputy editor Sean Woods, and Erdely were not fired or suspended in the wake of Columbia's findings. Dana suggested at the time that publicly releasing the detailed examination was punishment enough.
Jann Wenner, the magazine's founder and publisher, wouldn't specify to the Times on Wednesday night why Dana was leaving. Through a spokesperson, he told the paper "many factors go into a decision like this.”
Dana didn't immediately respond to The Huffington Post.