September continues to be the month where top magazine editors are ending their long runs at some of the biggest magazines on the planet. The latest to hop on the resignation trend is long time Glamour magazine editor in chief Cindi Leive who is the 3rd top editor to announce her resignation from a Conde Nast title this month.
In a memo to her team this morning obtained by WWD Ms. Leive said:
“I’m writing to share some bittersweet news: I’ve made the decision to leave Glamour by the end of this year. You all know better than anyone how much I have loved my time here—but after 16 years, I feel the moment is right to pass this baton over to the next person ready to run this particular race….As for what’s next for me: I’ve loved being in conversation with women over the last decade, and I’m excited to go deep into projects that stand to improve women’s lives. This is an electric moment for women and activism, and I plan to be part of that.”
The resignations this month alone is unprecedented. It all started off with the resignation of Keija Minor at Conde Nast’s Brides. Then after that Graydon Carter who lead Vanity Fair magazine for two decades announced his resignation. Then over at Hearst Robbie Myers stepped down at ELLE after 17 yrs. Then at Time Inc, Nancy Gibbs the editor in chief of that company’s flagship, Time magazine called it quits and now Cindi Leive the third from Conde Nast. Its as if it was planned for all these editors to resign all around the same time.
Hearst effortlessly projects an image of stability and health as far as the company which it still does. But its no secret that the company has been tightening the purse strings over the past few years. Over at Conde Nast, things look a bit messy and unstable due to constant restructuring and streamlining under Chief Business Officer Jim Norton who seems to be running the show. At Time Inc? well Time Inc is an open book, literally because its a publicly traded company. Since opting not to sell itself, the company has been putting magazines and entire divisions on the block in an effort to save $400 million in costs. The company put Coastal Living, Sunset and Golf magazines up for sale and a majority stake in Essence is also up for sale. In addition, Time Inc is trying to unload its Florida based fulfillment operations. During the summer it sold its live events business INVNT back to its founders. The magazine industry is scrambling to slow the bleeding from a huge wound inflicted by the rapid rise of digital. Some of have been making progress but most of them like Time Inc still make most of their money from print. As they continue to pivot to a digital first strategy, they are looking to bring in digital first editors and at a discount.
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