MYERS GETS TOP ELLE POST
Byline: Lisa Lockwood
NEW YORK — Roberta Myers, the last editor in chief of Mirabella, has been named editor in chief of Elle, the flagship title of Hachette Filipacchi Magazines.
Myers had been editor in chief of Mirabella from 1997 until last month, when Hachette announced it was folding the beleaguered title.
Myers, 40, succeeds Elaina Richardson, who last month announced her plans to become president of Yaddo Inc., the artists’ community in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Myers had worked at Elle from 1995 to 1997 as senior articles editor. Earlier she was a senior editor at InStyle and spent six years at Seventeen. She assumes her new post on June 5.
“I worked at Elle for two years. I know the magazine very well, and it’s a great and talented staff,” said Myers, who’s not planning any personnel purges. “People leave through attrition, but I have absolutely no plan to tear up the staff.”
Jack Kliger, president and chief executive officer of Hachette, told WWD, “I spoke to quite a few people, both inside and outside the company, and Jean-Louis [Ginibre] and I decided she had the best combination of experience and familiarity with the product. And she and Gilles [Bensimon, publication director] could work great as a team. She is a great editor and has a great instinct for what stylish women are interested in.”
Under Richardson, Elle was known for its feature stories.
“It’s a great magazine and it succeeds on all levels,” added Myers. “My mission is to keep evolving the magazine. I want to keep a lively mix of writing and timely exploration of all things important. It’s got a young, dynamic reader.
“The thing about a magazine is that the impact is in the mix. The fact that we come out every month, it has to be ‘of the moment.’ Otherwise, you’re doing a book.”
Comparing her role at Elle with that at Mirabella, she said, “The Mirabella reader was a little bit older. It will be a little less contemplative than Mirabella. There’s a speed to Elle, and I hope Mirabella wasn’t lackluster in its pacing, but it had a point of view on health and relationships, and the fashion and style were a little different.”
Myers, who is expecting a baby in August, and Bensimon will report to Francois Vincens, director of international editions of Hachette Filipacchi Medias Group and associate editorial director of Elle U.S. Vincens reports to Ginibre, senior executive vice president and editorial director of Hachette Filipacchi Magazines. Previously, Bensimon and Richardson reported directly to Ginibre.
Asked about the new layer of management, Kliger said, “Francois has been with the company for at least 15 years and is the international editorial director of Elle. For the past year, he has been working with Gilles and Robbie [Myers] on Elle and Mirabella. He has a deep familiarity with Elle and a terrific rapport with Gilles and Robbie.
“This is also the right time for Francois to take a greater role at Elle. Francois’s extensive knowledge and experience with Elle will enable this editorial team to tap into the resources of all 32 international editions, bringing a heightened international voice to Elle U.S.”
Asked what Myers’s mandate would be, Kliger said, “We don’t think anything is broken. We want this to be a more perfect product.” For the first six months of the year, Elle’s ad pages rose 4.7 percent to 1,041, according to Media Industry Newsletter. Kliger said revenues were up as well.
He said Myers was not planning to make many wholesale changes at Elle and didn’t think she’d dramatically change the staff or direction.
“Her first job is to get to know the staff that’s there. It’s not a fix-it situation. Nobody has positioned it that way. Nobody asked Elaina to leave and go discover the next Gertrude Stein.”