ELLE NO, WE WON’T GO!: If there’s anyone out there still interested in the Nina Garcia saga in the slightest — OK, can she just decide already? — here’s a minor update: Reports circulated late last week that Garcia may be headed to Marie Claire once her contributing editorship gig expires at Elle (that is, if she ever signs the deal). The stint at Elle would guarantee Garcia could appear on season five of “Project Runway,” the last in which Elle is involved. Marie Claire has been campaigning actively to be the magazine for season six when the show switches to Lifetime from Bravo, so it naturally was assumed that having Garcia on board as fashion director would seal the deal.
Not so fast. A spokesman for The Weinstein Co., which produces the show, said the reports were inaccurate. Contract negotiations between “Project Runway” and its primary judges — Michael Kors and Garcia — are still continuing, and according to sources close to the show, negotiations for sponsorships and magazine partners for season six have yet to begin. Garcia is also still negotiating the terms — or the severing — of her relationship with Hachette Filipacchi Media, Elle’s parent company.
This story first appeared in the May 13, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Since “Project Runway” debuted in 2005, Elle has seen an uptick in both ad pages and circulation, in part helped by the buzz from the reality show. Any magazine that partners with “Project Runway” is likely to garner the same attention. Marie Claire has seen its newsstand decline since Joanna Coles took over in 2006 (its six-month single copy average fell to 341,000 issues in the period ending December 2007 from nearly 400,000 in the same period in 2006). Even In Style, which is gearing up for an extensive redesign in August as its newsstand has shrunk, could be a likely candidate and is said to have shown interest in partnering with the show.
Meanwhile, Elle creative director Joe Zee and fashion news director Anne Slowey will be busy promoting “Fashionistas” at CW’s television upfronts in New York today, a sure sign of support for the reality show. Zee and Slowey will accompany other network casts from “Gossip Girls,” “One Tree Hill” and “America’s Next Top Model.”
— Stephanie D. Smith
CHANGING HEADS: Norman Pearlstine is once again a chief of words. The former Time Inc. editor in chief is leaving his post at the Carlyle Group to join Bloomberg Media as chief content officer. The company revealed Pearlstine’s hire on Monday morning, stating he will work with Bloomberg News editor in chief and founder Matthew Winkler “to seek growth opportunities for its television, radio, magazine and online products, and to make the most of the existing Bloomberg News operations.” The two will report to Bloomberg LP president Dan Doctoroff, who said Winkler and Pearlstine will be “one of the most powerful teams in journalism.”
Pearlstine may have missed his days in the newsroom after spending two years at Carlyle, where he was a senior adviser for telecom and media. He spent 11 years as Time Inc.’s editor in chief before joining Carlyle, founded Smart Money and worked at The Wall Street Journal for 23 years (Pearlstine and Winkler first worked together at the Journal).
Though Pearlstine’s former job was to search for new deals in the media realm for Carlyle, his new gig might involve less of that, instead focusing on its own varied offerings to boost the financial news outlet’s strength against the Journal. The financial paper has undergone a major transformation under new owner Rupert Murdoch to broaden its scope beyond headline business news, launching new sections and products to include more lifestyle, politics and business of culture.
BACK TO BAZAAR: Sarah Bailey, a former deputy editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar in the U.S., has been named deputy editor of the magazine’s U.K. edition. Her position is effective June 9. Bailey replaces Harriet Green, who left Bazaar for the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper. Bailey, who is British, relocated from New York back to London last year. Before joining Harper’s Bazaar U.S. as deputy editor in chief in 2004, Bailey was editor of British Elle for two years, and prior to that was the launch editor of Ellegirl U.K.
— Nina Jones
SWAPPING CHAIRS: Nancy Berger Cardone wasted no time in bringing in her team from Allure with her to her new digs at Gourmet. Cardone was named vice president and publisher last week, succeeding Tom Hartman, who moved to the Condé Nast Media Group. Cardone swapped out three executives at Gourmet with three from the beauty title. First, associate publisher of advertising Diane DePaul will replace Blaire Schlumbom, Gourmet’s associate publisher, advertising. Susan Bornstein, associate publisher of marketing and creative services, will replace Gourmet’s Lauren Jay, and Allure director of finance and business operations Kathy Reiss will replace Susan Reinhardt as financial director. Though the former Gourmet employees are out of jobs at the food magazine, Condé Nast is working to place them in other positions at the company.
CROSS PROMOTION: Following “America’s Next Top Model” and Bravo’s “Make Me a Supermodel,” yet another reality show will launch with a handful of ambitious beauties, celebrity judges and the enticing prize of a photo shoot for a major magazine. But this show won’t be targeted toward reality programming’s core audience of 18- to 34-year-olds. TV Land on June 4 will debut “She’s Got the Look,” a search for the next top model over 35. Women will compete in the usual runway walk offs and photo shoot challenges for a modeling contract with Wilhelmina Models and a shoot for Self. Former Self cover model Kim Alexis will host the show, and Beverly Johnson, stylist Robert Verdi and Wilhelmina president Sean Patterson will serve as judges. Self’s editors will appear in several episodes to dispense health and fitness tips, and editor in chief Lucy Danziger will appear in the final episode to help pick the winner.
The show is part of TV Land’s push for more original programming to cater to the over 40 set. The network also produced “High School Reunion,” which centered around a group of graduates from a 1987 high school class, and is shooting a pilot for a “Bachelor”-style dating show featuring older women and younger men. For Self, which has a median age of 36, the show’s feel-good premise aligned with its brand mission, according to Danziger: “It wasn’t about a makeover or losing weight, it was about becoming who you could be and reaching your fullest potential as a woman.” Participation in the show also reaps financial benefits — Self sold two joint sponsorships for the program, to Aveeno and Jenny Craig. The title is no stranger to television; it had previously produced a show with VH1 around their “Rock Bodies” franchise but will not repeat that program this year.
STYLE SPY: Nine percent of viewers watch TV online, according to Convergence Consulting Group. But how about a print magazine that’s a TV show on the Internet? That would describe VogueTV, which last week unveiled a new name, more programming and strange new forms of distribution. So if, for example, you want to check out Sarah Jessica Parker and Chris Noth joking around on the set during Vogue’s June cover shoot, you’ll find it at its own site at Vogue.tv and in the company of network TV programs at video sites Hulu, Tidal TV and Veoh. Alternatively, you can add it to your MySpace page or Web site, as some retailers are doing, or watch it on your cell phone via JuiceCaster. The mostly advertorial series — formerly ShopVogueTV — has attracted 784,480 viewers since it debuted in November last year. And, of course, Vogue and its retail partners, such as Neiman Marcus, which sponsored the video of the Parker shoot, can track how many times a video has been viewed and the online purchases it inspired, which TV can’t do. “We’re already the market leader in the print world, and we think we can be the market leader in the branded entertainment world,” said Vogue publisher Tom Florio.
— Cate T. Corcoran
HE DIDN’T LAY AN EGG: If the future of magazines is uncertain, at least Maxim executive editor Dan Bova has the movies. “Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead,” cowritten by Bova, wouldn’t seem to have mass appeal, but in a deft torturing of the numbers, a spokesman for the film pointed out that “over the weekend the film made $10,700 on one screen [at Village East Cinema], giving it the highest per screen average in NYC (highest in the nation was ‘Iron Man’ with $12,400).” The New York Times was enthusiastic about the movie: “Within the context of its genre — the satirical sexploitation zombie chicken gross-out musical extravaganza — it is just about as perfect as a film predicated on the joys of projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea can be,” and New York magazine made it a critic’s pick. “Poultrygeist” will soon screen in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, said Bova, who was briefly editor in chief of now-defunct brother magazine Stuff. Has Alpha Media head Kent Brownridge seen the film? “I may have sent him a screener but I’m not sure if he’s gotten around to watching it yet,” said Bova diplomatically.
— Irin Carmon
MONEY SHOTS: Time Inc. is still trimming head count at some of its titles, this time Fortune. Managing editor Andy Serwer sent a memo to staffers Monday morning asking for volunteers among its senior writers, writers and writer/reporters to take severance packages. Sources close to the magazine said that up to 15 people could be eliminated, but a specific number was not confirmed by the magazine’s spokeswoman. Employees have until May 27 to decide whether to take a buyout. Time Inc. is also said to be trimming staff at the Fortune Group’s business library, which could eliminate up to five jobs.