WHO’S MANNING THE CLOSET?: The turmoil at elle.com continues, with three more people departing the Web site: senior editor Tracey Lomrantz and Rachael Nichol, associate beauty and fashion editor are leaving, and senior designer Alexandra Gershman will leave at the end of the summer. The latest exits follow the departures of editor in chief Kevin Pollock and fashion director Joe Berean early last month. The digital business of elle.com parent Hachette Filipacchi Media is undergoing a complete overhaul under Web boss Todd Anderman, who joined the company in January from Maxim. His strategy for overhauling Hachette’s sites is said to be ruffling the feathers of longtime staffers. Sources inside Hachette say plans for elle.com include less original content and video, more content aggregation and user-generated fare, and plowing more resources into sales and marketing efforts for digital.
But there appears to be an “in” door as well as an “out” one at elle.com: A Hachette spokeswoman confirmed that Anna Pezik, current executive editor of Brides.com, will become elle.com’s executive editor on July 16, and two other dot-com staffers will be promoted to Pezik’s team.
This story first appeared in the July 7, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Meanwhile, one former Elle magazine staffer has Web plans of her own. Lilah Schechner, the title’s former West Coast editor, has left to become editor of HauteLook Magazine. HauteLook is an online-only title and will feature contributors including fashion buyer John Eshaya and vintage store owner Christos Garkinos. The e-magazine will include designer interviews, streaming video and commentary from celebrity wardrobe stylists such as Cristina Ehrlich and Estee Stanley.
Incidentally, all the employee shuffling couldn’t come at a more apropos time — new Hachette U.S. chief executive officer Alain Lemarchand, who takes over for current ceo Jack Kliger in September, visited the New York offices late last week to meet with key management.
— Stephanie D. Smith and Amy Wicks
GOSSIP GIRL: For nearly a year, Bauer Publishing’s In Touch and Life & Style both shared one editor in chief, Richard Spencer, and editors Dan Wakeford and Michelle Lee. But as of today, Life & Style is getting its own editor in chief. Donna Armstrong, most recently editor of New Woman in Australia, will take over Life & Style. Armstrong was also an editor and writer for several U.K. magazines, including young women’s titles More, Bliss and J17. Spencer, meanwhile, will continue as editor in chief of In Touch and will stay on as editorial director of Life & Style. Wakeford and Lee will return to working on In Touch exclusively. Both magazines have seen some newsstand softness, as have others in the celebrity category, after raising cover prices last fall. This year, single-copy sales for Life & Style have averaged around 550,000 through April (versus an average of 744,294 for the first half of last year), while In Touch has averaged around 950,000 through April (compared with an average of 1.2 million in the first half of last year), according to figures from Audit Bureau of Circulations.
CIRCLING BACK: Marie Jacoupy, formerly head of international press for the Longchamp accessories firm, will rejoin the Chloé fashion house as its communications director, WWD has learned. Starting in mid-July, Jacoupy is to replace Laurence Stuchlik, who took up the position of Burberry France’s public relations manager on Friday. The news marks a full circle for Jacoupy, who built her career in Chloé’s press department over 13 years, from 1993 to 2006, including four years as its chief. Jacoupy joined Longchamp in March 2007 after working for one year as Yves Saint Laurent’s head of international press. “I’m delighted to be returning to a house that’s so close to my heart and to be back with Ralph [Toledano, Chloé’s chairman and chief executive officer] and Hannah [MacGibbon, the house’s newly appointed creative director],” said Jacoupy. “It’s a heart that has [gained] no wrinkles.”
— Katya Foreman