L.A. FASHION: Its hometown may claim the largest apparel industry and retail market in the nation, not to mention the birthplace of celebrity style mania, but the Los Angeles Times’ commitment to fashion coverage has for decades been a struggle between a few maverick editors and an ever-changing editorial leadership too clueless to care. That may be changing. On Friday, fashion editor Booth Moore — the sole person from the paper to travel and review the New York and European collections since fall 2002, as well as cover the local scene — was promoted to fashion critic, the first time the title has been given in the newspaper’s 123-year history. An internal memo recognized that Moore “single-handedly assumed the work of what used to be a department of three,” in reference to the relocation of senior fashion writer Valli Herman to the food section and the departure of fashion writer Michael Quintanilla from the paper in the last 18 months.
Moore arrived at the Times in 1996 from the Washington Post, where she assisted Metro columnist Bob Levey. At the Times, she covered pop culture and fashion, as well as penning the gossip column “SoCal Confidential,” dropped after two years when she began covering fashion full time in 2001. Whether Moore will lend her authority to the Los Angeles Times Magazine isn’t known. The beleaguered publication recently lost its senior style editor in charge of fashion, Heather John, to Bon Appetit, where she will edit the wine and spirits coverage. — Rose Apodaca Jones
SELF PROMOTION: Condé Nast’s new home furnishings magazine doesn’t yet have a name, but it does have a publisher. Beth Fuchs Brenner, who has been publisher of Self since 1994, will move over to work on the launch, which will take place some time in 2005, Condé Nast said Monday. “There’ve been a lot of things that have come up over the years, but this is the first one I’ve really gotten excited about,” said Brenner. She joins editor in chief Deborah Needleman, who was previously editor at large at House & Garden. To fill Brenner’s slot, the company tapped Kimberly Anderson Kelleher, publisher of Golf for Women since 2002, while former Glamour associate publisher Lee Slattery moves into Kelleher’s slot at Golf for Women. Slattery resigned from Glamour last month after publisher Suzanne Grimes was replaced by William Wackerman, previously publisher of Details (which, like WWD and Condé Nast, is part of Advance Magazines). Self, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in September, is down 16.7 percent in ad pages through the May issue, with 388.7, according to Media Industry Newsletter. — Jeff Bercovici
GROWING JUNGLE: Despite a last-minute scare from Time Warner, Jungle Media Group came out on top in the bidding for Savoy and Savoy Professional, two of the four magazines published by bankrupt Vanguarde Media. Jungle’s bid of $375,000 in cash, plus the assumption of up to $516,000 in subscription liabilities, was the top offer in Monday’s auction. Time Warner, which expressed interest in buying Savoy, would have had to double Jungle’s offer. Instead, it sat out the auction. Joseph Samet, an attorney for Vanguarde, said the deal is expected to close within 30 days. Jungle Media co-founder Jon Housman said he hopes to have both magazines publishing again by the end of the year, possibly with some of the old staff back in place. “There are certainly some fantastic people from Vanguarde we would love to work with,” he said. Vanguarde remains in discussions with several unnamed parties to sell its remaining assets, Honey and Heart & Soul magazines, said Samet. Jungle Media publishes Jungle, a lifestyle magazine aimed at business school students and graduates, and Jungle Law, for law students and young lawyers. — J.B.