Why did Fabien Baron and Karl Templer exit Interview? According to several sources close to the magazine, Baron, who owns his own agency, Baron & Baron, simply spent too little time in the office and too much money on shoots.

“Fabien is a busy man. We haven’t seen him a lot up here,” said co-editorial director Glenn O’Brien, who arrived at Interview at the same time as Baron. “He’s got a lot of employees, a lot of accounts, and he needed to put in more time at Baron & Baron, I’m assuming. We have to have our needs met here.”

Moreover, said one insider, “he comes with a big price tag.” That’s something Interview owner Brant Publications’ top brass knew when they brought him in a year ago as co-editorial director, of course. But as the economy tanked and advertising evaporated across print, Interview’s bottom line was not as large as had been expected to cushion those big expenditures — particularly Baron’s pricy fashion spreads. In 2008, ad pages at the title fell 27 percent, to 656.

When Baron was pushed out, Templer — whom Baron brought to Brant a year ago — chose to leave with him, according to sources. M/M Paris, the French art direction and graphic design firm, will take over the creative direction of the magazine beginning with the April issue.

Nevertheless, O’Brien remained diplomatic about the departures. “Fabien and Karl contributed a tremendous amount to Interview. It’s a new magazine in part because of their efforts,” he said of the duo. “[Fabien and I] have been friends for 22 years,” he added.

But c’mon, were there fisticuffs, or at least screaming, when Baron left? “In any creative enterprise, there’s always screaming,” O’Brien said.

As for Baron’s reaction? When reached by telephone to comment on his departure, he hung up.


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