>> Carol Smith, Elle's senior vice president and chief brand officer, is leaving Hachette Filipacchi after eight years with the company to join Conde Nast, where she will act as vice president and publishing director of two non-fashion brands: Bon Appetit and Gourmet (the latter which folded as a magazine last October).
Smith, who leaves Elle at the end of the month, will report to Tom Florio, Vogue's senior vice president and publishing director, causing speculation that Smith is auditioning for the Vogue publisher position while Florio prepares himself for a move up within the company.
“Carol Smith will oversee business developments for the brands that will include TV, books, and online opportunities,” said a Conde Nast corporate spokeswoman.
Condé plans to start the initiative with the April issue of GQ, which will be available on newsstands in mid-March. It may even beat the iPad to shelves!
For $50, Gourmet enthusiasts can get a five-issue collection of the glossy's grilling, travel, Thanksgiving, holiday cookie, or restaurant guide issues, respectively. A special issue collection and a set of five magazines from Gourmet's final year in print is also offered. The idea is great, but $10 an issue? Considering some of the same magazines are going for $5 or less on eBay, this doesn't seem like such a great price. Would you buy Gourmet online?
I'm stoked about this because it paves the way for other magazines to follow, so I can catch up on my magazine reading from anywhere. But what about you — would you read magazines on the iPhone?
According to UK Vogue, the site is "created to unite glamorous girls with fashion-conscious GQ-reading boys to create matches made in style heaven." Doing a little browsing myself, I've come across a photographer seeking a muse, a woman in Russia who loves to travel, and a down-to-earth investment banker looking for a woman who is fun to be around.
Since ad revenue is declining quickly for the company, a dating site might be a business model made in style heaven — if it takes off, of course. Would you use it, or do you think it might attract singles that aren't quite your type?
According to publisher Condé Nast, which staunchly defended its position, star editor Ruth Reichl will likely part ways with the publishing house, although this has not been confirmed. She, too, admitted her surprise, tweeting, "Thank you all so much for this outpouring of support. We're all stunned, sad . . . Hard to believe it's over."
Hard to believe indeed. From food personalities to subscribers, everyone has shown an overwhelming amount of regret. I'll miss the pages of exquisite photography and timeless travel pieces, and Party doesn't know how she'll live without the recipes. What will you miss about Gourmet?
The speculation didn't prepare me for the shellshock of Gourmet's demise. After all, the magazine, which has been published since December 1940, is an institution. I would have thought they could cut issues to six a year, or even quarterly, before shutting down such a venerable publication. It's wishful thinking, but a part of me hopes this is just some sort of sick publicity stunt. Are you as stunned as I am?
Matthew Williamson will not show in New York this Spring 2010, but in London for its 25th anniversary.
Christian Lacroix wrote a letter to the firm's 125 employees, saying that he will give "200 percent" to keep the couture house alive.
New York's cover story this week is entitled "Si Newhouse's Dream Factory" and discusses the fate of Condé Nast.
>> INSIDER WIRE —More rumors have hit that Anna Wintour is looking for a place in the Obama administration — possibly as ambassador to Britain — but a rep denies them, and we can likely chalk it up to the fact that she has contract negotiations coming up. But it sounds like the Anna situation isn't the only thing Si Newhouse is about to have on his plate: New York's Monday cover story — online Sunday night at 10 pm — is titled "Si Newhouse's Dream Factory" and the teaser reads: "Conde Nast's own stars compare their glossy empire to the MGM of Old Hollywood, but no one would wish it the same fate. What happens to a magazine empire built on glossy fantasies when harsher realities intrude?" [Page Six, FWD]