NEW YORK — Ending weeks of speculation, Conde Nast Publications has changed publishers at Vanity Fair.
Kathy Neisloss Leventhal will be replaced by Mitchell Fox, publisher of Details. Leventhal will become Conde Nast’s corporate director of special projects next week. Succeeding Fox at Details is Michael Perlis, effective Aug. 1. Perlis had been president of Playboy Enterprises Publishing Group.
In April, Steven T. Florio vehemently denied that a change in VF publishers was imminent. Reached on Wednesday, Florio said, “I wasn’t really firm on making the change until 6:30 last night. The catalyst that put all of this in motion was my conversation with Michael Perlis. I offered him a job and he accepted it. I’m trying to start a custom publishing division and asked, ‘Who has had successful experience doing launches?’ and decided on Kathy.”
Florio stressed that Leventhal’s appointment was “a real job,” and said she’ll be working on various launches, including “a sports project.” Leventhal assumed the VF post in May 1993, following the abrupt dismissal of Ronald A. Galotti. Earlier, she had a successful run as founding publisher of Allure.
Vanity Fair has been fighting an uphill battle in ad pages for the past year and a half. Ad pages were off 20 percent in 1993, and declined 21.2 percent in the first half of 1994. Newsstand sales, meanwhile, have been on the upswing and, according to a publisher’s estimate, are expected to be up 13 percent in the first half.
Fox had been the publisher of Details since 1989.