In a dramatic changing of the guard, Radhika Jones, the editorial director of the books department at The New York Times and a former top editor at Time magazine, is expected to be named the next editor of Vanity Fair, according to two people with knowledge of the decision.
Condé Nast, which publishes Vanity Fair, plans to make the announcement as soon as Monday.
Ms. Jones, 44, will succeed the 68-year-old Graydon Carter, who said in September that he was stepping down from the glossy general-interest magazine after a 25-year run at its helm.
More from The New York Times:
Russia Warns of Crackdown on U.S. Media, Including CNN
The Wing, a Chic Women’s Club, Is Going Wide
I Won the Lottery and I Need Help. No, Really!
A spokeswoman for Condé Nast declined to comment. The Times also declined to comment.
In anointing Ms. Jones, who holds degrees from Harvard College and Columbia University, Vanity Fair has placed its future in the hands of a woman — the first since Tina Brown served as the magazine’s editor from 1984 until 1992 — who has cultivated the kind of sophistication and prestige that Condé Nast has long valued.
Mr. Carter’s announcement two months ago set off a race to inherit his throne and ignited speculation across the media industry. In a magazine business that has lost much of its luster in recent year, Vanity Fair has largely retained its glow, and its editorship remains one of the most coveted in the business.
Robert Sauerberg, the chief executive of Condé Nast, and Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue and Condé Nast’s artistic director, oversaw the search. David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, also played a significant role in selecting Mr. Carter’s successor. Mr. Carter was not involved in the decision-making process.
With the selection of Ms. Jones, Condé Nast has made clear that it still respects print, even as it looks to a digital future less tied to its magazines. Before joining the books desk at The Times last year, Ms. Jones was deputy managing editor at Time magazine, where she oversaw the Time 100 issue. At the Paris Review, the literary magazine known for its Writers at Work interviews, she was a managing editor. She has also worked at Grand Street, Artforum and The Moscow Times.
Her deep familiarity with celebrity, journalism, art and publishing were probably big draws for Condé Nast, whose editors are often expected to mingle among influential people in the disparate spheres covered by their publications.
While at Vanity Fair, Mr. Carter became a celebrity in his own right, wielding his influence beyond the world of print magazines. A party host, restaurateur and film producer, he became a known figure in Washington, New York and Hollywood. Under his leadership, Vanity Fair’s annual post-Oscar party became a big, glittering affair attended by almost everyone who won a statuette. It also served as a major advertisement for the brand.
But the state of the magazine industry has changed dramatically since Mr. Carter became Vanity Fair’s editor in the summer of 1992, and its financial challenges have not spared Condé Nast. The company, which expects to bring in $ 100 million less in revenue this year than it did in 2016, has slashed the budgets at its titles and is in the middle of laying off 80 employees. Earlier this month, it said it was reducing the print frequency of titles like GQ and Glamour and shutting the print edition of Teen Vogue completely.
Whereas magazine editors of yore could swan about the city in Town Cars and take long martini lunches, they must now devise ways for magazines to survive in a fraught climate. Instead of devoting much of their working hours to holding the hands of temperamental writers or overseeing the designs of print pages, they now help organize gatherings and coordinate video production.
In this time of industry-wide belt-tighting, the curtains seem to be drawing on the age of the celebrity editor, who commanded seven-figure salaries and generous expense accounts.
Other top candidates for the job included Janice Min, who breathed life into Us Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter; Anne Fulenwider, the editor in chief of Marie Claire; Andrew Ross Sorkin, a columnist and editor at The Times, and the founder of its DealBook franchise; and Mike Hogan, the digital director of Vanity Fair.
(Disclosure: Andrew Ross Sorkin is an anchor on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”)
Let’s block ads! (Why?)
Top News & Analysis