NEW YORK — In an announcement that created no surprise, Conde Nast Publications said Tuesday that Ronald Galotti will return to the company as vice president and publisher of GQ.
He succeeds Tom Florio, who, as reported, became vice president and publisher of Vogue. The announcement confirms the story in WWD Monday.
Galotti left Conde Nast in 1998 to become president of Talk Media Inc., which folded Talk magazine last month. Before that, he was publisher of Vogue, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Conde Nast Traveler and Mademoiselle.
While the industry has been speculating for weeks that Galotti would soon be circling back to his former company, he told WWD it doesn’t feel like he’s returning to Conde Nast since he never worked at the new headquarters at 4 Times Square. Galotti did, however, serve on the committee in charge of the move.
As for taking over GQ, the leader in ad pages in the men’s category, Galotti said, “The men’s area is a category I never worked at in the past, although I did men’s business at Vanity Fair and Talk. Nothing’s more exciting than having new people [to meet] and a new business to run,” he said.
Galotti, who begins Feb. 18, said he doesn’t plan any changes in the staff. “All of my experience in the past has either been startups or magazines with major needs in positioning or changes. I started Conde Nast Traveler, took over Vanity Fair when it was in the toilet, and Vogue was down in paging when S.I. (Newhouse, chairman of Conde Nast) put me in Vogue. It’s the first time I’m stepping into a fully staffed and totally buttoned-up and unbelievably good group of people.”
Asked how he feels about taking over GQ when magazines like Maxim are breathing down his back, he replied, “What’s Maxim?”
Seriously, he said, “I do not even have a real understanding yet, it’s just as a consumer. But they’re not even in the same zone. It’s not what GQ’s all about.”
In other publishing news, Terry McDonell, editor in chief of US Weekly, has been named managing editor of Sports Illustrated, succeeding Bill Colson, who will step down after six years as SI’s top editor at the conclusion of the Winter Olympics.