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BAKER EXITS TRAVELER: Last week, Condé Nast Traveler threw a star-studded party at Alice Tully Hall for its October issue, which celebrated a number of high-profile do-gooders and dignitaries. Editor in chief Klara Glowczewska beamed, with good reason — Susan Sarandon was in attendance, so was Christy Turlington and Richard Branson. It was also the magazine’s 25th anniversary.
But one key figure was missing — James Ireland Baker, still listed as executive editor in the October issue, was nowhere to be found.
This story first appeared in the September 26, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Baker, it turns out, had quietly resigned at the end of August from a position he’d held for more than two years.
Executive editor is a prominent position at Traveler, one that Glowczewska herself occupied until 2005, when Condé Nast editorial director Tom Wallace selected her to succeed him at the title. Glowczewska and Baker had seemingly enjoyed a warm working relationship. Baker, who’d joined in 2010 from Time Inc., was all smiles at a party Glowczewska threw in July at her Upper West Side apartment for his novel “The Empty Glass,” about Marilyn Monroe. The book had even been the peg for a short piece in Traveler’s August issue.
There was speculation that Baker’s exit was tied to a shake-up at the top of Traveler’s masthead, a rumor that has followed the magazine over several years. Glowczewska has been editor in chief for seven.
This year, Traveler has also seen some downturn — ad pages declined 4 percent through October, according to Media Industry Newsletter. Newsstand sales for the first half of the year are off by two percent, though Traveler is largely supported by subscriptions, according to ABC’s Rapid Report.
But a spokeswoman denied staff changes are imminent. Glowczewska said Tuesday Baker left to pursue his second novel.
“Jim left to devote more time to his writing. He just published a great first novel and is hard on work on a second one,” she said. “I’m very happy for him.” She is looking at candidates to replace him as executive editor, though he will continue as a contributor.
Baker has also been writing for his old employer — in August he wrote a story on Monroe for People. He did not reply to requests for comment.