MOVING OUT?: In what would be a blow for the Hearst Corp., several industry sources said Thursday that its chief photographer, Patrick Demarchelier, is in serious negotiations with Condé Nast about coming over to the company, where he previously worked for many years. If the deal were to happen, Demarchelier would work largely at Vanity Fair, but also several other publications that could include Vogue and Glamour, sources said.
Demarchelier is not likely to land at Condé Nast for several months, though, since his contract with Hearst still has 11 months to run. “Patrick is on contract with Hearst until April 2004,” a Hearst spokeswoman said. She declined to comment further on the matter.
Demarchelier regularly shoots the covers for Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan, and his work has been synonymous with Harper’s Bazaar. If he departs, it would be the latest in a string of recent high-level departures from the magazine. His contract with Hearst earns him several million dollars a year, sources said.
A spokeswoman for Condé Nast declined comment. His agent said that she deals only with his booking schedule, not his contractual negotiations, and therefore also had no comment.
Condé Nast publications is a unit of Advance Publications, which also owns WWD. — Jacob Bernstein
STUFF’S ENDEAVORS: What will television think of the lad extraordinaire Greg Gutfeld? The Stuff editor in chief is handing over his post to Maxim executive editor Mike Hammer so he can get his feet wet in the TV world. Gutfeld’s just-created title is director of brand development, which means he’ll be making frequent trips to Los Angeles to meet with the magazine’s new agent at Endeavor.
Stuff is already producing a TV special set in Vegas for TNN “about gambling and women and fun,” said Gutfeld. After that, he plans to dabble in radio (“I hear, anyway, that it’s fairly lucrative,” he said) and has been unsuccessfully pitching Dennis Publishing president Stephen Colvin to do an Iraqi version of the magazine (or so he says).
The new job will also hopefully keep him out of trouble. Gutfeld has mercilessly and personally attacked rival editors in cartoons appearing in Stuff and there were persistent rumors last summer that he would be fired.
“I never heard those,” he said. “It depends on who you talked to, I guess. I think those said more about the magazine business than me. Here’s an industry where everybody is so thin-skinned that somebody making jokes about them horrifies them. And all you’re doing is pointing out the obvious.” — Greg Lindsay
TIME BET(T)S ON KATE: Time Magazine, which began a biannual fashion outsert called “Style and Design” this March, bumped editor Belinda Luscombe out on Thursday and replaced her with former Harper’s Bazaar editor Kate Betts.
“I love news,” Betts said of her reasons for wanting to take the job. “My favorite thing is taking fashion news and putting it into a cultural perspective. That’s what I’ve always done, sometimes it’s worked and sometimes it hasn’t and I’m really excited about working with Jim Kelly,” she said of Time’s managing editor.
Asked what her new ideas might be for the magazine, she said jokingly, “I’m not going to tell you that. I have dozens. All those things I haven’t been able to do in the last year and a half.”
In her new role, Betts also will write for Time Magazine on a regular basis, and she will continue her “development project” for the company.
Luscombe is taking another title at parent magazine Time. The appointment will not decisively pull Betts away from The New York Times, where she has been contributing to the Sunday Styles, but time commitments might make her contributions more infrequent, she said. — J.B.
BLOOMING: As magazines get more like catalogs, it makes sense that retailers are abandoning generic catalogs in favor of magazines. According to documents obtained by WWD, Bloomingdale’s will launch “B,” an “editorially driven fashion and lifestyle magazine” in October. And though the magazine will be sent first to customers in the store’s database, like many retailers do, the plans for it are surprisingly ambitious.
Being developed by custom publisher John Brown, the magazine will get off the ground as a quarterly, as opposed to the generic twice-a-year schedule most retailers employ for their magalogs. The first issue will have a print run of 300,000 and the company is also planning to roll it out on newsstands for a price later on.
In addition to apparel and beauty products, the magazine will feature an arts section in the front of the book that will include book reviews and author interviews.
Its editor now is George Epaminondas, a freelance journalist who has written for Time Magazine and The Sydney Morning Herald.
The news of a Bloomingdale’s magazine was first reported in a profile on John Brown that appeared in Ad Age in March, though details on it were scarce. A spokeswoman for Bloomingdale’s declined to comment on the development of the magazine. — J.B.
WISH YOU WERE HERE: Flash, Gruner + Jahr’s prototype for twentysomething women, is farther away than ever, and for now all would-be subscribers have is a postcard. Women who signed up for a free issue months ago received a consolatory postcard in the mail this week instead which read: “Dear Flash friend, thank you so much for your response to Flash Magazine. I am sorry to report at this time we are not certain we will publish Flash. If we do publish, we will contact you to confirm your interest.”
But that doesn’t mean the magazine is dead, insisted Fitness editor Emily Listfield, who is overseeing the project. “If it does launch, it will be in the spring [of 2004], not this fall. It is still very much alive, however.” — G.L.
BODY DOUBLE: As one of the few editors who’s at a seemingly happy ship., Cosmo’s Kate White has time to write novels instead of inspiring them. Her second book, “A Body To Die For,” hits Barnes & Noble on June 3 and, as it turns out, she’s already neck deep into writing her third, due next year, entitled “Here Comes The Corpse.”
White’s first novel, “If Looks Could Kill,” married the frothiness of the chick lit genre to the plotting of a mystery novel and begat a bestseller, with 150,000 copies sold in hardcover to date and 400,000 paperback copies flooding out this month.
“A Body To Die For” brings back her protagonist, a true-crime nonfiction writer named Bailey Weggins, who is relaxing at a spa after the events of the first book when — surprise — guests start turning up dead.
Her first book had the benefit of a benediction from Kelly Ripa, and White may need help again since a multicity media tour is a bit out of the question given her commitment to moving 2 million copies of Cosmo off the newsstand every month. Nevertheless, she’s already signed up for a fourth book in the series, and “Warner [Books] has told me they hope it goes beyond four,” White said. — G.L.
ROCKETING V: Stephen Gan’s “V Men” isn’t so far off after all. Three weeks after discussing the idea with WWD, it seems Gan has found an editor. According to sources, the magazine will be helmed by Philip Utz, the 27-year-old, Paris-based contributor to Numero and the former European fashion correspondent for Talk Magazine. — J.B.