Monday, October 23, 2017

For Magazine Lovers

Unless you have been enjoying magazines your whole life (especially the fashion glossies), this blog may leave you feeling "meh". You get a pass; I understand. Everyone else please ponder this: Why are so many top magazine editors suddenly leaving their posts?

In a very short space of time, Cindi Leive (Glamour), Robbie Myers (Elle), Nancy Gibbs (Time), Graydon Carter (Vanity Fair) and Alexandra Shulman (British Vogue) have given up the reigns for no reasons we've been told.

Aside from Graydon, a bigger than life character, I knew little about them except what they revealed through their stewardships. Nina Garcia, the new editor of Elle, is a familiar name. She's been a judge on Project Runway since its inception and is the author of 4 fashion books, all of which I've enjoyed reading. 

Nina, back at Elle, this time in charge

In my 38-year career in magazines, only two editors (and this is THE editor— the one in-chief) have left. One joined her new, recently retired husband back in his home state. The other left one magazine to join a rival; her replacement was an internal promotion and all was right with the world.

I can only imagine how these sudden departures can shake up staff, as well as loyal readers. New editors bring new views and positions. "Glamour" became more issue-oriented when Kathleen Casey Johnson moved to Ohio and Ruth Whitney took over. I suspect Nina Garcia will gift Elle with her fashion vision. There are mumblings that the Glamour and Elle shakeups are related to our age of Instagram, et al.

Are our attention spans too short to take in more than What to Wear or Who Wore it Best? Do we not have enough time to read about goals and challenges and what concerns our lives in the 21st century?

There will always be a place for magazines and the advertisers who support them. My eyes have gotten very good at glazing over the ads that intrude on my digital media. They are harder to ignore on the printed page and can even (yes) add to the enjoyment of what I'm reading. At the very least, as an old magazine hound, I know their purpose, and I'm okay with it.

Magazines can't exist without editors, and good magazines need good editors. As in any position of authority and power, the editor needs a clear vision and the skills to bring the team together. I wish the departed and the newbies good luck in their next ventures.

Anna probably doesn't have to worry...

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