Marvin Stone, editor of U.S. News & World Report, is in line to become deputy director of the U.S. Information Agency, administration sources said yesterday.
Stone, who announced Monday that he is leaving the magazine, would be nominated as the No. 2 official at USIA, under Director Charles Z. Wick, the sources said.
The job has been vacant since May when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee rejected the nomination of acting deputy director Leslie Lenkowsky because of his testimony about a "blacklist" of liberals from USIA's overseas speaking program. Lenkowsky now works for the American Enterprise Institute.
The USIA announced last spring that Office of Personnel Management official George Nesterczuk would succeed Lenkowsky, but Nesterczuk's name was not submitted to the Senate. Nesterczuk managed Republican Lawrence J. Hogan's 1982 campaign against Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.) of the Foreign Relations Committee. Stone's assistant at U.S. News, Marybel Patrick, said that Stone "has talked to Mr. Wick, and any further comment will have to come from USIA." White House and USIA officials had no comment.
Stone, 60, said Monday that "it's time I had a change" after 25 years at U.S. News. Stone's announcement came three months after the magazine was bought by Boston real estate magnate Mortimer B. Zuckerman, a transaction that netted Stone about $4 million.
Stone, a longtime friend of Wick who wrote a conservative column for the magazine, is said to be highly regarded by the White House. But a USIA official disputed speculation that Stone is being groomed for the director's post, saying that Wick plans to remain on the job.