MYSTERY GIRL: Why has Cosmogirl’s executive editor, Ann Shoket, been meeting on the sly with Hearst higher-ups, including editorial talent director Eliot Kaplan and president Cathleen Black? That’s what people on the teen title’s staff would like to know. As usual, in the absence of any firm answers, they’re speculating like mad.
One scenario, of Shoket taking over for editor in chief Susan Schulz, seems unlikely: Although the title’s newsstand sales average is down somewhat from last year, Cosmogirl is still the top seller in the category, and Schulz has a year left on her contract. The contract of Seventeen editor in chief Atoosa Rubenstein, on the other hand, is up for renewal this summer — but most insiders expect her to stay on.
Less likely than Shoket taking over an existing title, in the opinion of sources, is her being tapped to develop a new one, possibly one with a strong online component. Shoket’s past jobs include running Cosmogirl’s Internet site, and she has a deep background in Web development. And Hearst, which formed a new digital media unit in March, has been pouring resources into the Web lately, placing particular emphasis on its teen titles. (On a related note, Rubenstein recently said her editor’s letters would henceforth appear only on her MySpace Web page, and not in Seventeen.)
A Hearst spokeswoman did not offer much to quell the rumors. “It’s typical for Hearst executives to meet with bright talent within the company and Ann definitely fits that bill,” she said. “However, the nature of those meetings is confidential.”
— Jeff Bercovici
CROSSING ONLINE: Two more Webheads have establishment jobs thanks to Condé Nast’s increasing fascination with the Internet. The company, which also owns WWD, committed earlier this year to devote more resources to online development and to hire designated Web editors at each of its glossy titles.
Vanity Fair and The New Yorker are the latest to staff up. Vanity Fair has hired Andrew Hearst, the blogger behind Panopticist.com. (David Friend, editor of creative development, will continue to oversee the magazine’s online push.) And Blake Eskin will return to The New Yorker on June 19. (He was previously a fact checker there and more recently was the founder of Nextbook.org, a nonprofit online Jewish culture magazine; Eskin will work alongside The New Yorker’s existing Web manager, Matt Dellinger.)
Elsewhere, Peter Feld, formerly director of custom research for Condé Nast, started as Web editor of Cookie this week.
— Sara James
SPINNING HIS WHEELS: Did Andy Pemberton get stuck in the revolving door? WWD reported Thursday that Pemberton, editor in chief of Spin since February, was expected to depart the title shortly, and by Thursday evening two media news Web sites were claiming his exit was a fait accompli after Pemberton sent an e-mail to Spin staffers letting them know where he could be reached. But Pemberton, reached on his cell, said there had been no change in his status. “I certainly haven’t left Spin,” he said, claiming the e-mail was merely intended to let underlings know he’d be spending today at the beach. OK, then — did he expect he’d still be at the magazine next week? “All I can say is as of now I’m still at Spin.”
ADIEU TO THE POST: The New York Post’s features department will soon be short two bodies. Sunday deputy features editor Laura Vogel has decided to go back to freelancing for monthly magazines. (She’s written and done editing stints for Vogue, Elle and In Style, among other titles.) And entertainment reporter Farrah Weinstein just accepted a job as a pop culture writer at MTV, where, among other things, she will be working on fashion projects.