Lindsay Peoples Wagner has been named editor in chief of the now online-only fashion and culture vertical for younger readers. She comes from The Cut, the fashion vertical of New York Magazine, where she was a fashion market editor for more than three years. She takes up the editor title at Teen Vogue in a week. Moving from market editor to editor in chief is a major leap for Peoples Wagner, not only on the masthead, but in the level of operational involvement she will have. She will be overseeing all of the outlet’s content as well as its biannual summit event, and top editors generally are also responsible for things like budgets and advertising and marketing plans, among other things.
Wagner is coming in to replace Phillip Picardi, who held the title of chief content officer at Teen Vogue after the departure of Elaine Welteroth, who was editor in chief. At the time, Condé said it was not going to have anyone in the title and Picardi was the top of the masthead. Welteroth’s lead role in turning Teen Vogue into an outlet for the young and “woke” during her two years at the top seems to have been somewhat overshadowed by Picardi, who worked under her and continued to evolve the brand’s blended coverage of youth culture, politics, and fashion.
But maybe titles are important. Not only did Peoples Wagner apparently negotiate the title of editor in chief for herself, but Picardi is leaving Condé at the end of November to take up the mantle of editor in chief of Out magazine. Known to be an internal favorite at Condé, his decision to leave was surprising.
Picardi also launched and oversaw the digital vertical Them, but Peoples Wagner’s title apparently does not include management of it. Condé chief executive Bob Sauerberg made no mention of Them it in an internal memo to staff regarding Wagner’s appointment, but its thought that a separate announcement regarding that is imminent. Sauerberg did note that Peoples Wagner actually started out in magazine publishing as an intern at Teen Vogue and then working as a fashion assistant. She also worked briefly at the now defunct Style.com, which Condé sold last year to Farfetch for an undisclosed sum.
Anna Wintour, Condé’s artistic director and editor of Vogue, said Peoples Wagner is “a gifted talent who can equally inspire and challenge her audiences.”
“She brings a sophistication and fresh perspective to the cultural moments and social themes that activate our Teen Vogue readers and we are very excited to have her back at Condé Nast,” Wintour added in a statement.
“I’m so excited to come full circle and be back at a time when there is nothing more powerful or important than a young person who is passionate about change,” Peoples Wagner said. “I’m looking forward to our coverage whether it be on fashion, politics, celebrities or beauty — being both necessary and dynamic to cultural conversations.”
This is just the latest change within Condé and much more is expected. Over just the past couple of months, longtime editor in chief of GQ Jim Nelson was replaced by the younger, and presumably less costly, Will Welch; Pitchfork’s founding editor Ryan Schreiber was replaced by Puja Patel; chief digital officer Fred Santarpia has left, after a few members of his team did the same; and the U.S. and U.K. versions of Condé Nast Traveller are being consolidated, which appears to be just the beginning of a strategy of operational consolidation between the domestic and international arms of the publisher. Oh, and there is continued talk of Glamour being the next magazine to go all-digital, or at least drastically reduce its print product, next year, and the magazines Brides, Golf and W are all still up for sale.
For More, See: