SunHee Grinnell is out at Vanity Fair after close to 30 years at the magazine.
She started at the title in 1991, when Tina Brown was at the helm, and stayed on throughout the tenure of her successor Graydon Carter, who left last fall and, according to The New York Post, took the internationally known “Best Dressed” list with him. Grinnell became beauty director in 2008 and remained in the role ever since, working to expand Vanity Fair’s beauty coverage in print and online and contributing regular articles. But it turns out the transition of Vanity Fair taking place under Radhika Jones, who took over in January after a stint at The New York Times and longer periods in editor roles at Time and The Paris Review, was one that Grinnell could not weather.
A spokeswoman for Vanity Fair confirmed that Grinnell was no longer with the magazine, but declined to comment further. Grinnell could not be immediately reached for comment. She seems to be the magazine’s sole voice on beauty, making it likely she will be replaced in some capacity since the industry is a key source of advertising revenue.
But Grinnell is only the latest in a string of changes to the VF masthead, which seems to have gotten smaller month by month. Naturally, Jones was tasked with cutting costs and editorial veterans tend to cost much more than new hires. Jessica Diehl, Vanity Fair’s creative director of fashion and style who had been on staff for 12 years, left the title earlier this year, as did fashion director Michael Carl, who’d been with the magazine since 2011.
Other cuts include the photography research department, which held two senior staffers, and in another blow to the fashion section, Ryan Young was cut from his fashion editor position. Writer Bob Colacello, a special correspondent since 1993, is also off the masthead, as is author Michael Lewis, a contributing editor who’s worked with the magazine for a decade.
Although there have been some hires, including Samira Nasir as executive fashion director and two new executive editors in Eric Bates and Daniel Kile, the cuts at Vanity Fair have certainly outweighed the additions. All the while, parent Condé Nast is moving toward a winding up of its two-year internal reorganization, which could see the closure of additional print magazines like W and rumors continue unabated that Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour is on the way out — although Condé strenuously denies them.
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