OUT OF THE FRYING PAN…?: Hearst Magazines chairman Cathie Black’s move from the charmed life on the 43rd floor of the Hearst Building to the gritty life of the public sector as chancellor of New York City schools gives at least one person an immediate boost: David Carey, the man who succeeded Black last July as president of the magazine division. Although Carey’s appointment was a clear signal that Black’s days at Hearst were entering their countdown, it was expected the duo would work together in a transition for at least a year and that she would serve as an adviser in his early days in a job she held for 15 years. Her sudden departure cuts a layer of bureaucracy and allows Carey to make his imprint on the magazine division that much faster. He continues to report to Hearst Corp. chief executive Frank Bennack, who said in a memo to staffers Tuesday that Carey is “up to the task.”
Yet Bennack admitted in the memo that he was surprised Black was leaving the company so soon. “Cathie’s handling of the transition with David, which admittedly, we expected to take place over a longer period of time, has been exemplary and he is ready to lead,” he wrote, going on to express admiration for Black’s “willingness to climb into the trenches.” She is expected to start her new job by the end of the year.
This story first appeared in the November 10, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Black said at a press conference on Tuesday that “the change and the opportunity to make a difference is what compelled me to want this position.”
She may lack education experience, but she has qualities that could help: She has experience overseeing a magazine division that put out monthlies with relatively smaller staffs than competitors’ and tight budgets; she was also known for successfully managing a difficult-to-navigate board of directors at Hearst.
Black got a quick taste of how dramatically life will change at City Hall on Tuesday when she was asked where she sent her kids to school (boarding school in Connecticut) and about her experience with unions (“limited exposure”). Mayor Michael Bloomberg was asked why he didn’t hire someone with an education background, and why he announced her appointment without a public search. The press corps, from the get-go, seems to be licking its chops.
Meanwhile, in the media/school chancellor revolving door, outgoing schools head Joel Klein is going to News Corp. to become an executive vice president and will join the board of directors. He will report directly to Rupert Murdoch and will work on business initiatives related to education. — John Koblin
NOUVEAU RICHE: Bernard Arnault’s pockets keep getting deeper. As part of a cover profile in its latest issue, Forbes values the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman and chief executive officer’s net worth at $39 billion, a 41.8 percent boost from the last time the magazine estimated his fortune…in March. The piece, written by Susan Adams and Hannah Elliott, pegs the latest figure to a 60 percent surge in LVMH’s stock in the last year. Elsewhere in the issue, Arnault makes an appearance, at No. 43, on the magazine’s list of “The Most Powerful People on Earth.” Though Arnault is the most fashion-centric name on the list, he shares space with a few other power brokers with toeholds in the industry. Wal-Mart ceo Mike Duke clocks in at No. 25 and Mexican billionaire, and Saks investor, Carlos Slim Helú ranks at No. 21. — Matthew Lynch
SHE’S GOT THE LOOK: Since leaving New York magazine last summer, Harriet Mays Powell has worked on a multimedia project, TheLookNow.com, which she just launched (and which has no relation to New York’s former fashion supplement Look). The site features three sections: “The Trend” has Mays Powell’s runway picks from the current and upcoming seasons, replete with notes in her own handwriting, as well as a “3’s a Trend” page with editorial picks of items in stores, to be updated twice a week. “The Talk” has video conversations between the editor in chief and Christopher Bailey, Alber Elbaz, Michael Kors and Mandy Coon, with additional videos planned twice a month. Finally, “The Story” is an artful fashion video directed by a rotating group of up-and-coming talent and updated monthly. Susan Kilkenny serves as publisher. The site will stream ads between trend pages, and Mays Powell also plans to launch a sponsored luncheon series featuring her in conversation with designers.
With the barrage of fashion and beauty bloggers, Mays Powell said it was time for experts to add a curated, editorial point of view to the Web. “I don’t have a print addendum to my site, so I can take this medium and have fun with it,” she said. “I can play with video and art direction, and use it for what it is. That’s very liberating.” — Marc Karimzadeh