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Rash of Editorial Departures

Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 2:48 PM

In the news: Several prominent editors are leaving their magazine posts this month.

Earlier this month, several top editors at major magazine publishers announced their departures. According to Folio:, Time magazine editor Nancy Gibbs (the first woman to serve in the role), Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, and Robbie Myers of Elle all are leaving their posts. CNN also reports that Cindi Leive, editor-in-chief of Glamour, is also leaving. Read more about their departures here and here.

Why so many high-profile exits? Most of the above editors cited personal reasons for leaving, but other editors are speculating nonetheless. It's been a tumultuous decade in publishing for many magazine brands, with perpetual layoff cycles, ever-shrinking budgets, and general upheaval in the industry. "To be clear," writes CNN's Brian Stelter, "the [departing] editors haven't specifically cited cost-cutting in their announcements.... But it's hard not to see something deeper in the various decisions -- a conclusion that there are even more hard times ahead for publishers." Read more here and here.

Also Notable

The Future of Magazines

The aforementioned departures raise a lot of questions about the overall state of the industry. In a September 23 NYTimes.com piece ("The Not-So-Glossy Future of Magazines"), Sydney Ember and Michael M. Grynbaum discuss the recently announced exit of Robbie Myers from Elle in the larger context of the current magazine landscape. About the state of things in the larger industry, they write, "As publishers grasp for new revenue streams, a 'try-anything' approach has taken hold.... Increasingly, the longtime core of the business -- the print product -- is an afterthought, overshadowed by investments in live events, podcasts, video, and partnerships with outside brands." Read more here.

The Next Generation of (Digitally Savvy) Editors

With subscription rates flattening and newsstand sales declining, the high-profile editorial departures this month may speak to a core truth about the future of content production. "The Publishing Industry Knows 'Winter Is Coming,'" reads part of a September 15 AdWeek.com headline. In the article, Sami Main writes, "As The New York Times noted in the announcement of [Cindi] Leive's news, many of these core editors rose to prominence during an age before the notion of personal brands. Magazines were reporting the news and interest pieces, not making a name for themselves across many social media platforms. Neither were their editors." Digitally savvy editors, she argues, are the next generation. Read more here.

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