NOT SO SIMPLE: In a surprising move, Time Inc. today will announce that Carrie Tuhy, the managing editor of Real Simple, is being moved off the magazine. Final negotiations with the magazine’s next managing editor are under way, with several sources saying that her replacement is expected to be Kristin van Ogtrop, Cindi Leive’s number two at Glamour.
Tuhy is expected to become the editorial director of Real Simple and work on other development projects for the company. The announcement that Tuhy would be resigning as the magazine’s managing editor was made informally to members of the staff on Thursday afternoon, a Time Inc. source said. No one could be reached at press time at Glamour regarding the news of Van Ogtrop’s possible move.
The switch, characterized by several sources as the company’s decision, was particularly unexpected since Real Simple has been arguably the most successful Time Inc. launch since In Style debuted in 1994. But in private, the situation at the magazine was more troubled. Tuhy, according to several sources at Time Inc., had a tense relationship with Isolde Motley, the group’s corporate editor who is responsible for many of its women’s titles.
“Isolde is a smart woman,” said one source. “She had helped launch Martha Stewart Living and she had worked on This Old House. But her approach and Carrie’s could not have been more different. Isolde was all about service and Carrie was all about service with a soul, which was one of her phrases. They were both valid, but Isolde tipped in one direction and Carrie tipped in the other. And that was where the tension seemed to be.”
Tuhy may also have been emboldened, the source said, by the independence of Martha Nelson, who has had the clout to work free of Motley.
Launched in the spring of 2000, Real Simple had a rocky few months under editor Susan Wyland (a Martha Stewart alum), who was quickly given the hook. But after Tuhy took over, the magazine skyrocketed. In 2002, it finished the year with 879 pages of advertising, up 67.8 percent from the year before. Circulation rose to over 1.1 million, with newsstand sales jumping 20.3 percent to 335,000.
With its blend of service journalism tailored to the home, the magazine resonated with women who wanted simplicity and aesthetics. And amazingly, the magazine seemed not only impervious, but in fact, able to capitalize off the increasingly dour zeitgeist and consumers’ cocooning at home. It also provided advertisers with an alternative to Martha Stewart Living following Stewart’s legal troubles.
A BAZAAR EXIT: On Tuesday, WWD reported that Harper’s Bazaar fashion director Mary Alice Stephenson might be headed for television with a show for the magazine. While the editor is headed in that direction, it turns out her plans don’t involve a synergistic enterprise with the magazine after all. On Thursday afternoon, Hearst officials admitted that Stephenson is leaving the magazine on June 1.
In a statement, Bazaar editor in chief Glenda Bailey, for whom Stephenson also worked at Marie Claire, said, “Mary Alice has been an important member of my fashion team for several years. She has worked extremely hard and I wish her the very best.”
In private, though, the situation was described by insiders as less rosy than Bailey acknowledged. While the two women had a long and close relationship, Stephenson was said to have grown increasingly unhappy with the work environment at Bazaar in recent months and found TV an attractive alternative.
Stephenson is the second high-level exit at the magazine in recent weeks, following the resignation of publisher Cynthia Lewis, who left Bazaar to work on a shopping magazine the company is developing. She was replaced by Valerie Salembier, who moved over from Esquire.
A spokeswoman said that Bazaar expects to name a new fashion director shortly.
CLICK: The country may be at war and consumer confidence may be down, but designers are banking on the tried and true as they book campaigns for fall. For the most part, collaborations between designers and photographers will keep the same players. Gucci is being shot by Mario Testino; Prada and Valentino are being shot by Steven Meisel; Donna Karan by Mikael Jansson; Dior by Nick Knight; and Missoni by Mert Alas and Marcus Pigott. The duo are also expected to photograph the Louis Vuitton campaign, though it has not been booked yet. Mario Sorrenti is expected to shoot the Calvin Klein campaign with model Natalia Vodianova for the second season in a row. Carmen Kass, meanwhile, has reportedly been booked for the Chanel campaign being shot by Karl Lagerfeld.