NOT LETTING HER SAY NO: Will she or won’t she? Deborah Needleman has been offered the editor in chief role at T: The New York Times Style Magazine twice now, according to sources, but it’s unclear whether she will take it.
On Wednesday, Needleman told WWD, “That is just not true!” when asked whether she had accepted the job. A spokeswoman at the Times followed with a similar comment: “We have nothing to announce and can’t comment on the rumor.” If she does make the move, Needleman would succeed Sally Singer, who left the Times at the end of August.
Needleman joined The Wall Street Journal in June 2010. At the time, she was tapped to create the Off Duty weekend section. One month later, she became editor of WSJ., the glossy magazine that will increase its frequency to 11 times a year in 2013 and 12 issues in 2014. The magazine launched in 2008 with only four issues.
The frequency increase has been in the works for a while, but the timing of the announcement was noteworthy, considering the speculation over Needleman’s future. In the past, Needleman has said she’d be happy to publish more issues of WSJ., if she had the staff to accomodate the increase in frequency. Reached by phone Wednesday, Anthony Cenname, publisher of WSJ., called Needleman a “phenomenal talent,” declining to comment on the speculation that she soon might take that talent to T.
Cenname did report on the advertising side of the business, which continues to grow. Through September, the magazine is up 10 percent in advertising and 45 percent in fashion advertising. New advertisers in the September issue include Reed Krakoff, Valentino, Carolina Herrera and Longchamp. The men’s style issue, out Oct. 29, is the title’s largest to date, up 11 percent over the prior year.