OFF THE AIR: If Vogue is planning an awards ceremony this year, it won’t be with VH1. After eight years of airing the show, the venture has been tabled. “The awards show as you’ve seen it will not appear again,” said a VH1 source, though the network has been talking with Vogue about other possibilities for programming.
This story first appeared in the May 6, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
VH1 began the awards ceremony in 1995 and, when Vogue got involved, it became one of the magazine’s most expensive and highly touted branding exercises. But the run was not always smooth. While the show generated enormous publicity for the fashion industry, it was never a ratings bonanza and critics said frequently that the show lacked spontaneity.
VH1 declined comment. A spokesperson for Vogue would say only: “We’re looking at a few options, the concept is evolving, and when we’re ready to announce something, we will.”
Still, it was not all bad news for Vogue this week. All those Shape and Age issues must be paying off — Vogue will raise its rate base for the first time since 1989 starting with the August issue. It’s barely a bump — just 50,000 copies to 1.15 million. That’s still well below the magazine’s surging 1,257,787 average circulation in the second half of 2002 (according to ABC), and doesn’t reflect Vogue’s increasing newsstand friendliness with its special themes and packages. But publisher Tom Florio said there haven’t been any conversations yet about future increases. This bump will translate to a $2,000 rise in the magazine’s open page rate, which doesn’t sound like much until one visualizes the spine of a September issue. Vanity Fair last month announced a rate base increase of 50,000 to 1.05 million copies. — Jacob Bernstein and Greg Lindsay
PRIMEDIA’S PURGE: Elizabeth Crow won’t be the last Tom Rogers favorite to pack her belongings in a cardboard box. Primedia executive vice president Linda Platzner will leave the company at the conclusion of Seventeen’s sale to Hearst Magazines, the company confirmed Monday. Several sources close to the company said interim ceo Charles McCurdy informed other Primedia executives Friday he would be pushing Platzner out; a company spokesman said her position had been eliminated in the aftermath of the sale.
Platzner was president of Seventeen until April and was far from being voted Miss Popular in the teen publishing sector. Then-ceo Tom Rogers moved her from Seventeen and gave her publishing oversight of New York and the company’s automotive titles just weeks before his own ouster. “It was clear what Rogers was doing in anticipation of [Seventeen’s] sale,” said a source. “He was securing her a job.” But it wasn’t that secure after all. — G.L.
I SPY: Spy-o-philes took a deep breath last week when Kurt Andersen told a Minnesota magazine that he and co-founder Graydon Carter were considering “some kind of retrospective something” for their late, beloved icon of snarkiness. They shouldn’t hold it, though. At Vanity Fair’s kickoff party for the Tribeca Film Festival Thursday, Carter brushed off any dreams of a show at the Whitney (or Michael’s). “It’d just be a staff thing,” a party they might throw a few years from now, Carter said, before greeting guests David Bowie and Iman. Andersen, who arrived later with his wife, Anne Kreamer, just rolled his eyes.
On Monday, he wrote in an e-mail, “Graydon and I have just been talking about some fun way to remind ourselves how splendid and young we once were. And the 20th Spy anniversary will be in 2006.” But you might want to get in nice with your local Spy alum now. —?G.L.