TIME TO GO: Time Inc. next week is expected to say goodbye to up to 20 staffers at each of its titles across editorial, production and business functions, sources said. Though the number of jobs to be eliminated is not yet final, one insider commented, “No one there is safe.” As if losing one’s job isn’t hard enough, sources also said the once-cushy severance packages are expected to be less generous than in previous years.
Time, Fortune, Real Simple, Life and Money were among the titles hit during last winter’s round of job cuts. Layoffs this month are expected across a wide swath of titles, from Sports Illustrated to even the golden child of the company, People.
People staffers for the most part dodged the bullet in the last two rounds of job cuts, but as consultant firm McKinsey & Co. has critiqued each magazine to find better operational efficiencies, sources said Time Inc. may finally do away with People’s siloed system of editing, writing and reporting. “They’re trying to unravel that,” said one source close to the company. And when they do, “you end up with a bunch of attrition.” Last month, People changed some of its editing processes so that some stories would be reported, written and fact-checked by the same person.
Entertainment Weekly, which also escaped relatively unscathed during last year’s layoffs, is expected to lose staffers, as are Fortune and Time. McKinsey, incidentally, is expected to continue working with Time Inc. for an unspecified time period. A spokeswoman for Time Inc. declined comment Thursday.
— Stephanie D. Smith
MODEL WRITER: Though she’s not planning to jump into the ranks of models-turned-actresses, Christy Turlington Burns is trying her luck in Tinseltown — but behind the scenes, rather than in front. Along with husband Ed, the supermodel-turned-philanthropist/entrepreneur/mother of two is penning a pilot for a one-hour fashion-related drama for Dreamworks Television, which is scheduled for a spring showing on Fox. “The characters are all amalgamations of people I have known in the industry,” says Turlington Burns, “but we’re setting it as young people just starting out, so hopefully there’ll be a big arc if it all goes well.” Steven Spielberg is producing, with Ed Burns slated to direct. His wife is content to stay on the other side of the camera. “If it was the right context, I might make a cameo, but in the pilot, there’s no role for me,” she said. But she has considered tapping into the connections she made as one of the fashion world’s most famous faces. “The fashion business usually comes across as so trite, but it’s not,” said Turlington Burns. “I’m hoping that people will like it enough so that I can get cameos from people I know in the industry to give it that feeling of realism.”
— Jenny B. Fine
CASE CLOSED?: A Paris court’s decision in the case filed by Karl Lagerfeld against journalist Alicia Drake is expected to be handed down Monday. According to reports, Lagerfeld has charged Drake with invasion of privacy, thanks to her book “The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris,” which focuses on the rivalry between Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent and their intertwined loves and muses over the decade. It is understood Lagerfeld is seeking damages amounting to 35,000 euros, or $45,175 at current exchange rates.
— Jennifer Weil
WHO’S THE JUDGE?: For those wondering what the editor in chief turnover at Seventeen means for the magazine’s partnership with America’s Next Top Model — which made bygone editor Atoosa Rubenstein guest judge and put the winning model on the cover of the February issue — well, the show will go on. Though new editor in chief Ann Shoket did not become America’s next top teen magazine editor in time for shooting, a spokeswoman for Seventeen said Carissa Rosenberg, Seventeen’s entertainment director, would appear in her place for the coming cycle of the popular show. Rubenstein originally hired Rosenberg, a former publicist, at CosmoGirl and then brought her to Seventeen when Rubenstein took the reins. No word on whether Rosenberg’s judging will include the same helpful plugs for the magazine that her former boss offered up: “Brooke is like a Seventeen reader. There’s something so sweet about her. You just want to put her on a cupcake,” and “I want to stick up for Megg. I liked her. I felt like she was the kind of girl who would sell copies of Seventeen.”
— Irin Carmon
TOWER OF POWER: Having a sexy headquarters can boost a company’s image — just ask Google, whose Mountain View, Calif., campus helped the Web star land on Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” list this year. Could Hearst Magazines be in for the honor next year? President Cathie Black said the brand new Hearst Tower has reduced employee turnover. “Our turnover has dropped in three months,” she said at a Magazine Publishers of America breakfast on Thursday. A spokeswoman for the company confirmed turnover has decreased by nearly double digits since staffers moved into the lush building, complete with a waterfall and airy cafeteria in its 10-story atrium, which some observers say has stolen the thunder from rival Condé Nast’s Frank Gehry-designed cafeteria, making it look like a crowded bodega. Staffers also hear the company may soon host mixers on Fridays with wine served in the Hearst Café. The buzz about the perks has Eliot Kaplan, Hearst’s editorial talent director, a bit crazed. He said he’s seen an uptick in the number of people coming in for interviews, some simply to check out the building. During interviews in his office, Kaplan said, many people get distracted by the Hudson River views, so he’s started to face them away from the windows.
STUDIO 4 (TIMES SQUARE): Though most industry insiders know of Vera Wang‘s figure-skating past, few have seen her in action on the ice. Style.com’s Style Studio captured the designer in skates in a two-minute clip featuring her ice-skating with her daughters at Chelsea Piers. Wang gracefully twirls on the ice while coaching her daughters through several turns and spins. “Figure skating gave me that love of beauty, that love of line and that love of telling a story,” she says in the video. “I encouraged my daughters to do it while they were very young, and I felt that it would give them confidence not only in their own bodies, but in themselves. So I wanted them to share my love of skating, which was the speed, the costumes and the music.”
Style.com has created about 20 clips of custom footage since September, introducing about one a week. The site’s editor in chief, Dirk Standen, expects that to ramp up to two per week this year, including clips featuring Pat McGrath prepping for fashion week and a look at sketches from designer Gilles Deacon.
STILL IN THE MAIL: It will take more than two tractor trailors colliding to prevent W subscribers from receiving their magazines on time. As reported Thursday, a truck carrying 25,000 copies of W’s February issue collided with another truck Wednesday morning in Cincinnati. The accident resulted in 3,000 Ws spilling out onto Interstate 71. But a magazine spokeswoman said all 3,000 magazines — which were on their way to subscribers in Northern California — will be replaced and in mailboxes at the regularly scheduled date.
— Amy Wicks