JANE FINDS ITS NAME: Brandon Holley, editor in chief of Ellegirl, is expected to be named the new editor of Jane magazine, according to sources at Hachette Filipacchi, Ellegirl’s parent company. An announcement from Fairchild, parent of Jane as well as WWD, is anticipated this week.
Jane Pratt, who founded the magazine named after her, said she would be stepping down after eight years at the helm on July 25. Pratt told WWD, “It just felt like the right time to make a change.” She will retain a founding editor title on the masthead.
In the two weeks since, Fairchild has been looking for a high-profile editor to continue to grow Jane’s circulation and jump-start its flat advertising business, according to various sources close to the search. Jane was up 15.6 percent on the newsstand for the first half of 2005, to 153,893 copies, but only after reducing its cover price from $3.50 to $1.99. Ad pages rose 0.8 percent through the September issue this year to 577 pages.
Holley, meanwhile, has had consistently good numbers as editor of Ellegirl, which increased its frequency in 2005 from seven to 10, and jumped 23.3 percent on the newsstand in the first half to 159,960 copies. Overall, through June, Ellegirl’s circulation was up 1.4 percent to 513,689. The magazine was also up 33.5 percent in ad pages through September, to 548 pages.
Other people approached about the job during the search for Pratt’s replacement: Atoosa Rubenstein, editor in chief of Seventeen; Gigi Guerra, formerly a Jane senior editor and currently editor at large at Lucky, and Sarah Gray Miller, the founding editor of Budget Living who recently left that magazine and is currently working on the second prototype of Look for Entertainment Weekly.
— Sara James
THE REAL ATOOSA: No one medium could hope to contain the personality of someone like Atoosa Rubenstein. The Seventeen editor in chief recently concluded five weeks of taping for her new MTV reality series, “Miss Seventeen,” which airs starting in October. On the show, a number of teenage girls — why, 17 of them, in fact — will compete for a chance to intern at the magazine and appear on its cover, while inhabiting a loft filled with Seventeen-branded clothes and furnishings. Rubenstein will be responsible for deciding who to eliminate from the competition, but she won’t be dispensing caustic put-downs, à la Simon Cowell, or a catchphrase, à la Donald Trump and Tommy Hilfiger. “How many reality shows have you seen that have their versions of ‘You’re fired’?” she said Friday. “That’s not me. My schtick has never been about being mean.”
No, her schtick is about being genuine, if that’s not too much of a contradiction in terms. Thus, Rubenstein claims she required no media training or other coaching before stepping in front of the cameras. “I feel like anybody watching the show who knows me will think, ‘Yeah, that’s really her,'” she said. “At the end of the day — this sounds like an editor’s letter, but it’s true — I feel good about who I am. I don’t ever feel the need to feel self-conscious.”
That’s lucky, because otherwise having to watch herself on DVD day after day could have been painful. Every morning during taping, a production assistant from the show would deliver the previous day’s dailies to her apartment building, early enough so that she could view them before going to the gym. Her doorman, she said, didn’t know what was going on, only that a young man was routinely dropping off packages for her at 4 a.m. “I think he thought I was having a bit more fun than I was really having,” she said.
— Jeff Bercovici
AVEDON’S WOMEN: The new Richard Avedon Foundation will announce its first project today, a book called “Woman in the Mirror,” which is a collection of the late photographer’s portraits of women including Marilyn Monroe, model Suzy Parker and subjects he shot for his “In the American West” series. Abrams will publish the book in November.
The Avedon Foundation, based in Manhattan at the Museum of Modern Art’s offices, is also collaborating on several upcoming exhibitions of the photographer’s work. The Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Tex., responsible for commissioning “In the American West,” will host a reprise of the show in September, which will then travel to San Francisco and Tucson. Also in the planning stages are a retrospective at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Norway that will be continuing on to Paris, London and the U.S.; an exhibit called “Portraits of Power” at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and gallery shows in New York and San Francisco.
ROSS REPORT: Former Harper’s Bazaar market director Amanda Ross doesn’t seem to be experiencing any culture shock after relocating to the West Coast. “It’s actually only been two weeks, but I’m adjusting very well, I think,” she said Friday. “Driving’s fine. I miss New York, but I’m very happy working on new projects.”
Ross, who earlier this summer announced she was moving to Los Angeles to get married, is busy with more than just wedding plans. She’s signed on as marketing director of the Grand Classics film series, which was started by Katrina Pavlos and Vanessa Wingate shortly after 9/11 to raise money for film preservation. Ross will also be co-chair of their “Grand Classics Films With Style,” a series that pairs fashion editors and designers such as Hamish Bowles and Michael Kors or Sally Singer and Marc Jacobs to screen films that have had an impact on fashion. “A lot of fashion designers’ collections are designed with films in mind,” explained Pavlos. Among the movies they have already screened: “Shampoo,” “The Women” and “The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant.”
In addition to helping Pavlos and Wingate expand their presence in L.A., London, Milan and Paris, Ross will be a contributing editor to C magazine, the regional lifestyle title based on the West Coast that is launching in September. And she plans to continue freelancing for other magazines and consult on various projects.