As Lucky's ad pages fall, editor is axed

The Editor of Lucky Magazine Is Replaced

By David Carr & Jeremy W Peters/NYT

Kim France, the editor who invented Lucky magazine in 2000 along with James Truman, the Conde Nast editorial director at the time, has been replaced
at the magazine. She will be succeeded by Brandon Holley, who previously worked at Condé Nast editing Jane magazine until it closed in 2007. Since then, Ms. Holley has been working as editor in chief of Shine, Yahoo's site for women.
Lucky, when it was first published in December 2000, was considered a major innovation by some and an abomination by others. Although women's magazines had always served as a nexus of aspiration and commerce, Lucky baldly celebrated shopping as a kind of sport.
It was, in retrospect, ahead of its time, a print rendering of a shopping portal on the Web. It was well received by both the news media and advertisers, in part because it was a well executed magazine that did not take itself too seriously and in part because Ms. France had significant magazine credentials. She had worked at Sassy, Elle, New York, 7 Days and Spin.
But as the recession deepened and shopping became less of a sport than a guilty pleasure, Lucky suffered a significant loss in advertising pages. While the weak recovery has brought other magazines part of the way back, Lucky has continued to languish.
In the most recent statistics from the Publishers Information Bureau, advertising pages in Lucky were down 7.3 percent from April to June, compared with the same months in 2009; many other magazines directed at female readers recovered.
A Condé Nast spokeswoman, Maurie Perl, said the decision to replace Ms. France hinged on taking advantage of an opportunity to hire Ms. Holley. When asked if Ms. France had been fired, Ms. Perl said, "We decided to make a change in editors."
The appointment of Ms. Holley, who has extensive digital credentials, signals a level of seriousness about the Web components of Lucky's business, but it could also foretell a time when Lucky — as a brand — might exist only in digital form.
Condé Nast has shown little sentimentality about preserving underperfoming magazines; it closed four publications last year. And executives there might have decided that Lucky needed a fresh editorial approach.

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