Sources told WWD that design director David Curcurito is the latest top-level editor to leave the magazine. Curcurito spent 11 years at the men’s title. He confirmed his exit, but declined to further comment. He hinted via social media that he would leave in the coming months.
Via Instagram, he posted a photo of Esquire’s latest cover of Viggo Mortensen, which is also Fielden’s first issue as editor in chief, and said: “1 of 4 covers before I split and knock some other things on their a–.”
Esquire confirmed Curcurito’s departure, adding that he will leave the company in August to work with his wife at their new company called “Works Well With Others Design Group.”
“We wholeheartedly wish Curcurito all the best with his new venture,” a spokesman from Esquire said. “We will announce a replacement soon.”
Other senior staff who have left the magazine include deputy editor Peter Griffin and senior editor Ross McCammon, both of whom are said to have been let go, as well as senior editor Richard Dorment and senior fashion editor Wendell Brown. Dorment left Esquire for Condé Nast’s Wired, and Brown departed for a creative director job at The Daily Beast. McCammon told WWD that he’s heading to GQ in the coming weeks.
The semantics related to the departures in the halls of Esquire are touchy, to say the least, and left intentionally blurry. Insiders cautioned that some of the editors were not exactly laid off, but instead offered severance packages as incentive to leave.
Sources with knowledge of the situation explained that Fielden is making significant changes to the masthead, and that more departures are expected soon. Although a changing of the guard is underway, Fielden is said to still be searching for new blood to replace many of those who have left.
Esquire did not comment on severance packages, layoffs or impending changes.
But Fielden also has bolstered the title, a spokesman said, offering that former Harper’s editor Christopher Cox, who was dismissed by the magazine’s president and publisher in February, is joining Esquire in a freelance capacity.
Fielden, who succeeded David Granger after nearly two decades at the helm, also made his first big hire in April when he tapped ex-GQ editor at large Michael Hainey as executive director of editorial, a new role.