Paris Review managing editor Brigid Hughes has been named to the top editorial position, ending a debate that sources say went on for several months and went to the heart of the magazine's mission.

Hughes, who served for six years under the late George Plimpton, was hired as executive editor after an internal discussion that reportedly had some members of the board favoring an outside candidate, National Magazine Award winner John Jeremiah Sullivan. The writer and former editor is known for his nonfiction, and the board considered him as part of a larger reevaluation of whether the magazine, in an effort to boost readership, should begin focusing on areas beyond breaking out short-story writers and novelists.

In the end, the magazine's board apparently decided against an overhaul and voted unanimously for Hughes. The position of editor-in-chief has been vacant since Plimpton died in September. Funding complicated the situation; Plimpton did not take a salary and staff jobs are not known for their high compensation.