WINTOUR WATCH: Perhaps it was only a matter of time, so to speak. After books, films and countless paparazzi shots, Anna Wintour, product progenitor, could be nigh — the ever-punctual Vogue editor in chief appears to be the inspiration behind a fine watch line. Invitations to view the curious new “Wintour” brand of watches at the JCK jewelry trade show starting Friday recently went out to editors and retailers. While Wintour herself has no affiliation with Wintour the brand, mum’s the word on whether it actually references her. Maybe the hands are sunglass stems? The face is a bob? The numerals are Roman Vs? “You will understand when you see it,” said a representative for the brand. “We will not preview it to anyone.” As for Wintour’s timely reaction, a Vogue spokesman said simply, “Anna is looking forward to seeing the watches.” Tick tock. — Sophia Chabbott
REVOLVING DOORS: Reader’s Digest vice president and publisher Jeff Wellington has left the magazine after seven months in the position. He joined the title in October, reporting to group publisher Eva Dillon, from The Parenting Group, where he was president and group publisher. The home of Parenting and BabyTalk, among others, was owned by Time Inc. during his tenure, but was acquired by Bonnier Group last year. “Jeff is one of the greatest guys in the business, but it wasn’t the right fit for either of us,” said Dillon. Wellington’s last day was Thursday. Dillon will assume his responsibilities until a new publisher is named.
This story first appeared in the May 29, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Reader’s Digest has undergone a major transition under new owners Ripplewood Holdings and president and chief executive officer Mary Berner. The magazine in November brought in former More editor in chief Peggy Northrop as its new top editor, who then redesigned the title (the June issue was the first fully overseen by Northrop). Advertising, however, remains a challenge: Through June, ad pages for the magazine have fallen 14 percent to 476. Dillon said the decline is “100 percent due” to a falloff in pharmaceutical advertising, which makes up about 40 percent of the magazine’s ad mix. Dillon noted that ad categories outside of pharmaceutical are up 8 percent. — Stephanie D. Smith
DO THEY SAY TOMATO OR TOMAHTO?: With a launch looming in September, WSJ., the Wall Street Journal’s glossy magazine, is staffing up, and with one exception, it’s looking beyond the Journal. Editor Tina Gaudoin, who previously edited The Times of London’s quarterly Luxx supplement, has hired two people from her Rolodex known for their work in British glossies: Jeffrey Podolsky, most recently New York editor of Tatler and a regular contributor to Luxx, has been named editor at large, and Sasha Wilkins, formerly based in London and now a New York-based writer for British Harper’s Bazaar and Elle, among others, has been named executive style editor.
Also at WSJ., Kate Auletta (daughter of The New Yorker’s media writer Ken) has been named assistant features editor; she joins fellow House & Garden refugee Lucy Gilmour, now photo director of WSJ. It will presumably fall to newly minted features editor Janelle Carrigan to explain Journal culture to the newcomers (that is, whatever remains under the leadership of News Corp.-appointed Robert Thomson, now managing editor of The Journal). She was most recently the travel editor of the Weekend Journal and the managing editor of the Weekend Journal Asia, based in Hong Kong. — Irin Carmon
BACK TO WHERE WE CAME: Speaking of Luxx, the search is still on for a replacement for Tina Gaudoin there after Mark Holgate decided not to take the job. On May 13, The Guardian in London reported that Holgate would leave his post as senior fashion writer for Vogue in the U.S. to be the editor of Luxx and style director of the London Times magazine. But according to a Vogue spokesman, Holgate will not be joining Luxx and will remain at Vogue in his old post. “He was speaking to the Times closely about the position, but in the end he chose to stay at Vogue and in New York,” the spokesman said. Calls to Holgate were not returned as of press time. Before Vogue, Holgate was fashion director of New York magazine for four years and was fashion features editor at British Vogue. — S.D.S.