THE TIMES OF TINA: Tina Brown has found her post-Talk gig, and contrary to popular wisdom (aka the cottage industry of media reporters speculating about her next move) she won’t be producing or starring in a talk show, or going into Hollywood. Instead, she’ll be penning a weekly column for The Times of London about life in America. And though her latest perch might not be quite as influential as editing Vanity Fair, Talk and The New Yorker, she still inked a lucrative six-figure deal with the paper. Anyway, Brown bashing is so last season. Particularly, since anyone who’s anyone will inevitably take a look at it.
Loughlin to tv guide: After getting bumped out of his job as the President and CEO of Primedia’s consumer media and magazine group, John Loughlin is resurfacing as the president of the TV Guide publishing group. He joins the company at a time when the flagship title has been struggling to maintain readers.
VISION OF NOTHINGNESS: “Visionaire 38,” tantalizingly entitled “Love” and produced in collaboration with Tiffany’s, hits upscale bookstores this week. Basically, if you’re familiar with “Visionaire 22,” which contained a piece of the Versace dress Madonna wore to the “Evita” premiere, or “Visionaire 18,” which came in a custom Louis Vuitton satchel — well, “Visionaire 38” doesn’t measure up to either one of those. Basically, the new Visionaire is an old hardcover novel; interspersed throughout its pages are random ephemera, including a feather provided by Philip Treacy, crushed flowers from Kylie Minogue, photos of Amber Valletta, a Destiny’s Child fan letter, and the pièce de résistance — an Elsa Peretti heart.
“Visionaire’s editors approached us and said ‘Tiffany is the love icon’ — so what was there left to say but ‘I do?’” is how a Tiffany’s spokeswoman described the collaboration. Tiffany’s participation in what could hyperbolically be called the “creative side” of the new Visionaire was limited to the packaging — and, of course, the Peretti heart. “We’re also going to be having a party to celebrate the new Visionaire, in Paris during fashion week,” said the Tiffany spokeswoman, though the details haven’t been worked out. Tiffany added that financing “Visionaire 38” was also a “collaborative process” between Tiffany and Visionaire but would not provide further details. The normally publicity-hungry Visionaire did not respond to repeated WWD inquiries regarding the new issue.
GQ’S BIRTHDAY BASH: It was a paparazzi scene Wednesday night outside upscale bowling alley Bowlmor Lanes in Manhattan, as GQ commandeered the space for its lavish 45th anniversary party. The bash attracted a slew of celebrities including Tom Brokaw, Tina Brown, Deborah Norville, Maureen Dowd, Heidi Klum, Bill O’Reilly, Chris Noth, Ice-T, Denis Leary, Debbie Harry, and Molly Ringwald — who, in never-say-die “Brat Pack” fashion, snubbed the press. Serena Williams showed up, fresh from enjoying her sister’s victory at the U.S. Open, while singer Samantha Cole and boxer Evander Holyfield were up close and personal with each other for much of the evening. Meanwhile, in a nod to its past — and in tandem with present advertiser Bloomingdale’s — the GQ party featured “reading boy”: a raffish semi-literate young man encased in a glass box. Mayor Michael Bloomberg went so far as to officially proclaim Sept. 4 “GQ’s 45th Anniversary Day.” But amidst the jubilation came persistent reminders of current challenges. “This is kind of tame,” said one frat-boy bystander star-gazing outside the velvet ropes. “A Maxim party would have gotten shut down by now.”
JALOUSE NEWS: The fact that Laurent Jalou, president of magazine firm Editions Jalou, nixed plans to remarry this month may be the gossip du jour in Paris publishing circles. Meanwhile, another partnership is blossoming. Jalou plans to relaunch his U.S. edition of Jalouse with a new partner, Empire Media, which will own 70 percent of the venture. Empire NY, a business monthly, is its flagship title. Jalouse first launched its U.S. edition in February 2001, but folded it within a year, blaming a steep drop in advertising post-Sept. 11. The new monthly edition, with planned distribution of 100,000, will include fashion editorial produced in Paris, with the rest generated by a yet-to-be-formed team based in New York. Jalou said the magazine should launch within the next six months. “The deal is signed, but we still have a few details to work out — like naming an editor in chief,” he said.
ROLLING STONE’S NEW VIBE: When Patti O’Brien, the well-liked fashion director of Rolling Stone, resigned last month, it was presumed that new editor Ed Needham’s idea of style was gadgets and bikini-clad girls. But Needham has hired Angela Arambulo, who was the fashion director of the far more fashion-forward Vibe magazine until March, when she left to freelance.
Reached by phone, Arumbulo said, “Aesthetically, I want to use street culture and music references to keep the fashion accessible to readers, while at the same time providing them with looks to aspire to. I want to put high end and sportswear together and provide them with something edgy and sophisticated.”
DOWN UNDER BLUES: Condé Nast Publications has hit a mid-life crisis in Australia. Forty-three years after launching Australia’s first high-fashion?magazine — Vogue Australia — its Australian subsidiary said Monday that effective Oct. 1, Condé Nast would be pulling out of the market and licensing its six Australian titles to Sydney-based FPC Living, a subsidiary of the Independent Print Media Group (IPMG). FPC Living publishes food and home titles such as Australian Good Taste, Australian Interiors and Australian Country Style. The industry is rife with speculation that in spite of improved circulation and advertising revenues, Condé Nast has been losing $2.7 million (U.S.) a year in this market.
WSJ’S EXPANDED FASHION BEAT: Sally Beatty, a nine-year Wall Street Journal veteran who has covered cable TV and advertising, is taking on the fashion and cosmetics beat. She joins senior fashion writer Teri Agins, who continues to cover fashion and retail. “It’s part of our move to beef up our fashion coverage,” said Nik Deogun, WSJ’s marketing and media editor, to whom Beatty and Agins report.
MOVES AT IN STYLE: Remy Kothe and Kym Blanchard have been named associate publishers, marketing at In Style. They will job-share the post and begin later this month. They succeed Stephen Jacoby, who has decided to leave the magazine. “I was there for five months and it really wasn’t the right fit,” said Jacoby, who previously spent 15 years at Condé Nast, rising to vice president, marketing and database. Jacoby said he’s in conversations with several companies.
Most recently, Kothe was marketing director at In Style, and Blanchard was associate publisher of marketing for Essence.