DIS-SUEDE-ED: Told that their magazine would be shutting down after only three issues, staffers at Suede reacted in the time-honored fashion: They got drunk. After getting the bad news late Wednesday, a sizeable contingent of the 46-person staff repaired to the nearby Manhattan Chili Co. for one last round of expense-account margaritas. The following morning, they returned to the office to pack up boxes, nurse hangovers and meet with people from Human Resources.
Nobody at the magazine was more upset than Suzanne Boyd, Suede’s editor in chief. Though she had been under pressure from above to inject more service into the magazine, Boyd had been told Suede was funded for at least three years, according to a source. She was even on the verge of hiring a new fashion editor when she learned of the shutdown, only an hour before breaking the news to her staff.
Despite initial reports that Boyd would stay on at Essence or Time Inc., a Suede spokesperson said Thursday she had not decided on her next move. Her staffers don’t expect their grander-than-life ex-boss to stick around, though. “She’ll probably go hang out in the Dominican for a month,” said one. — Jeff Bercovici
BEST WISHES: It won’t be much longer before Dave Zinczenko is ready to name an editor in chief for Best Life, whether he likes it or not. Zinczenko, who is editor in chief of Men’s Health, has been meeting with candidates to take over the year-old spin-off, and is expected to announce a hire within days. According to a Rodale source, Zinczenko, who also oversees Best Life as editorial director, would be happy to leave executive editor Jeff Csatari in charge, but Rodale president Steven Murphy wants the title to have its own Zinczenko-like leader — a stylish figure who will get his name in the papers and impress advertisers at parties. “The person’s going to be a real spokesman for the magazine,” said the source. “Steve Murphy likes brand managers.”
Whether the new editor reports to Zinczenko, Murphy or someone else will depend on who gets hired. Among those who have been approached about the job are GQ deputy editor Michael Hainey, former Men’s Journal editor Mark Bryant, former Premiere editor in chief Michael Solomon and This Old House editor Scott Omelianuk. Will Dana, Rolling Stone’s deputy managing editor, and Sean Elder, a freelance writer and husband of More editor in chief Peggy Northrop, also got calls from James & Co., the agency in charge of the search. A well-placed source said Hainey has met twice about the job, making him the possible front-runner. Bryant, who now works at HarperCollins, is also believed to be high on Rodale’s wish list. Zinczenko declined to comment on any of the candidates, saying only, “We’re looking to add talent at all levels, and we’ve definitely gotten interest from some of the most highly regarded professionals in the business.” — J.B.
This story first appeared in the February 25, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
FAMILIAR FACES: Giant, the new young men’s entertainment magazine, is turning into a class reunion for Dennis Publishing refugees. The latest to join the party is Michael Provus, who recently quit his job as publisher of Stuff to join Giant in the same position. Giant editor in chief Mark Remy also held the same job at Stuff, while founder and president Jamie Hooper was group publisher of Stuff, then Maxim, during his long tenure at Dennis. For all that, Hooper insists Giant, which has yet to feature a female on its cover, is not a lad magazine. “If we wanted to do what we were doing before, we would’ve stayed,” he said. Stuff, which was down 24 percent in newsstand sales in the second half of 2004, has yet to name a replacement for Provus. — J.B.
POKING FUN AT PREMIERE: For the first time since its 1994 parody of Entertainment Weekly, the Harvard Lampoon is spoofing a national magazine. This time, EW’s direct competitor Premiere is in the crosshairs.
Peter Herbst, Premiere’s editor in chief, who was in L.A. for the magazine’s first-ever Oscar party, said, “I went to Boston University and my wife went Harvard, so I’ve been envying Harvard for many, many years.”
Lampoon president Simon Rich — son of Frank Rich, a columnist at The New York Times — said in a statement on Thursday, “Premiere is getting a bit too full of itself these days and it’s time to take them down a peg or two.”
Herbst responded, “I spoke to Simon and one other fellow and encouraged them to take their best shot.”
The Lampoon’s parody of Premiere will be on newsstands for 60 days beginning on May 31 and — just like Premiere — will have a cover price of $3.99. — Sara James
OSCAR ONLINE: Tickets to Vanity Fair’s post-Oscar party at Morton’s are as hard to come by as ever, but now the uninvited will be able to torture themselves with the magazine’s Web cast of party arrivals at vanityfair.com. (Like WWD, Vanity Fair and vanityfair.com are part of Advance Publications Inc.) “It will be very vérité,” David Friend, editor of creative development at Vanity Fair, said of the arrivals’ Web cast, which begins at 8:30 pm PST on Sunday. “We wanted you to feel like a voyeur — you’re overhearing what people hear, but more importantly, you’re seeing what they’re wearing….The jewelry is going to be rushing right past you.” Cameras will not be broadcasting from inside of Morton’s.
Next up on the magazine’s Web site: Outtakes and b-roll footage from the April cover shoot of nine models, including Carmen Kass, Natalia Vodianova and Karolina Kurkova. — S.J.