Masthead Matters: Mastheads are a window into the way a publication operates and Vogue is no exception.
As if another sign that print is succumbing to digital were necessary, the fashion glossy for the first time has fully integrated its web and print staff under one single masthead, indicating that there is major crossover now between the content on the Web and the content that shows up in its monthly magazine.
Until July, there had been a clear delineation between staff that worked on vogue.com and it was the biggest section of the masthead. Now, many of those employees have been worked into the previously print-only sections, like “beauty” and “features.” Others have found themselves under entirely new sections, including “video” and “fashion news,” or under the section for “digital/operations,” which is mainly development and backend-focused employees.
Other Condé Nast titles like Vanity Fair, Glamour and W have already integrated their mastheads under new editors (and under a new era of budget-tightening at the publisher) but Vogue was one, if not the last, holdout.
The integration also shows some significant changes to the magazine’s staff. At the end of May, Vogue said it had cut about eight employees, but between the June and September issues, there are actually 16 fewer employees in total (accounting for 24 staffers that either were cut or left since June and eight hires or internal moves), or twice as many as initially claimed. Again, mastheads have been slowly shrinking elsewhere at Condé over the last few years, but Vogue is significant because it had long seemed impervious to cuts.
Asked about the implications of the integration and the changes to staff, including placement and title changes, a Condé spokeswoman declined comment.
A majority of the recent cuts at Vogue were to the dot-com section, where at least 10 staffers, including a few in editorial and a few on the Web development side, are no longer with the title. Other changes are in the creative section — several visuals staffers are gone, as is Raul Martinez, formerly Vogue’s head creative director — and something of a catchall section that includes special events, editorial development and communications employees, of which at least five have been cut.
It seems those with a creative director title are prone to getting bounced around, too. Grace Coddington, at Vogue for over three decades, has officially been moved to “contributor” after being “creative director at large” since 2016.
Although this seems as good a signal as any that Coddington’s days with Vogue are limited, she’s said to be staying on and continuing to regularly produce photo shoots through 2019. Although now, with her new title, she’s sitting at the very bottom of the masthead with the likes of Lauren Santo Domingo, Plum Sykes and André Leon Talley, who all make only the rare appearance in Vogue’s pages, online or off. Cameron Bird, formerly West Coast special projects editor, has also been moved to contributor status, as has Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis, formerly the magazine’s style editor at large.
Last, but maybe not least, David Sebbah, listed as Vogue’s creative director and the second name on the masthead before the web integration under Anna Wintour, has been moved a whole five sections down under the “creative” section. While his title is still the same, which he also holds at Architectural Digest, mastheads, like New York itself, tend to be all about real estate.
For More, See: