>> Stefano Tonchi Makes First Hire at W —It was rumored that Stefano Tonchi may be taking W the In Style route — he himself suggested that the magazine will be "less . . . fashion-obsessed" — and now, he's made his first hire, notably outside the fashion realm. Tonchi confirmed that Lawrence Karol, who most recently served as Gourmet managing editor, will top the W masthead as executive managing editor. [FWD]
>> Stefano Tonchi, who officially starts as W editor on April 12, was scheduled to go on trial yesterday in Beverly Hills for a DUI, Gawker reports. Last January, Beverly Hills police stopped Tonchi for a "routine traffic violation"; when Tonchi refused a breathalyzer test at the scene, he was arrested when he failed a battery of field sobriety tests.
Police filed a single misdemeanor DUI charge against Tonchi last February, and he was arraigned last March, but trial was delayed for over a year while the defense filed several motions to suppress evidence. Tonchi's attorney confirmed to Gawker that a plea was worked out shortly before trial was to begin yesterday morning — the DUI charge was dropped and Tonchi was allowed to plead to only the initial traffic violation, failure to stop at a limit line. Tonchi himself did not appear in court.
Confirmed: Longtime Creative Director Dennis Freedman Leaving W; Camilla Nickerson Likely Switching to Vogue
>> Just a week after Stefano Tonchi was confirmed as the new editor-in-chief of W, comes the announcement that, as expected, longtime creative director Dennis Freedman is leaving the magazine.
Freedman, who has been at W for almost twenty years, confirmed the news to WWD: “I have had the most extraordinary experience working with some of the most talented and brilliant photographers, artists and editors in the world, and these collaborations have brought me unbelievable joy and satisfaction. For me, this has been one of the greatest opportunities I could ever hope for.”
>> When Stefano Tonchi was announced as W's new editor-in-chief yesterday, he said he only began talking with Conde Nast about the position last week. But WWD reports that Tonchi had been looking to leave T for more than a year, and was lobbying hard for a senior position at Conde Nast as well as looking at the possibility of a high-level position at Hearst or Time Inc.
Big changes for W under Tonchi are expected, and although he emphasized that the transition will be smooth — “Nothing is going to be traumatic. I don’t think there is any rush to make a revolution. It’s an evolution, it’s not a revolution” — those at the top of the W masthead — creative director Dennis Freedman, deputy editor Julie Belcove, and fashion director Alex White — are said to be in vulnerable positions.
>> Tonchi: New W to Be More Accessible; Suggested T Editor Possibilities?— W's new editor Stefano Tonchi acknowledged earlier today that he aims to make the magazine more accessible, “probably to just make it more of a general-interest style magazine, and less of a fashion-obsessed publication.” Even before Tonchi was confirmed today, rumors were circling this weekend that W will be moving further away from its current "high art/high fashion/high society/token celebrity" cachet, as The Imagist puts it, and "swerving closer to the In Style magazine model. Or in other words, 'In Style Deluxe.'" Meanwhile, suggestions are already being made for T's currently empty editor-in-chief position: The Imagist suggests T features director Horacia Silva, while The Daily is leaning toward former Elle creative director Gilles Bensimon, former Interview editor Ingrid Sischy, Interview's editorial director Fabien Baron, Elle's fashion news director Anne Slowey, or T's fashion director Anne Christensen. [TI, FWD]
>> After almost a week of guessing, Stefano Tonchi was named the new editor-in-chief of W, succeeding Patrick McCarthy, this morning, Fashion Week Daily reports. The T and W staffs have both been notified of the move. No one has been named yet as Tonchi's replacement at T, and no word on what effect the move will have on W's current staff — it's been rumored that some of the executive staff may leave.
Tonchi's new position at W is effective April 12, and he will report to Conde Nast editorial director Thomas J. Wallace. “Stefano Tonchi is an extraordinarily versatile editor whose expertise in the world of art, fashion, design, and entertainment will help W realize its full potential in both print and digital formats,” said Wallace. “We welcome him back to Condé Nast.”
Following much speculation surrounding the newly open editor job at W magazine, the New York Times media industry blog, Media Decoder, announced:
"Stefano Tonchi, the editor of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, has been appointed editor of W, the fashion magazine published by Condé Nast. The news is expected to be announced at a staff meeting for T employees at 11:30 this morning."
>> While the new W editor-in-chief could be announced as early as today and Stefano Tonchi seems to be the man for the job, the New York Post reports that former W fashion director (and current Elle creative director) Joe Zee is "in a neck and neck race" with Tonchi. Meanwhile, Fashion Week Daily has a full list of potentials for the job — Tonchi, Zee, Carine Roitfeld, Kate Betts, Katie Grand.
But what about the rest of the W staff? The Daily reports that the departure of W editor and editorial director Patrick McCarthy came as a shock, and so far, there has not been a formal staff meeting about all the changes. The Daily's sources are convinced that creative director Dennis Freedman, design director Edward Leida, and fashion director Alex White will all leave the magazine — and possibly deputy editor Julie Belcove, who is said to be "a wreck," as well.
Meanwhile, The Daily is surmising that W senior contributing fashion editor could stay on as fashion director, and Tonchi's close friend Anne Slowey, Elle's fashion news director, is a top contender for executive editor at W (or perhaps Tonchi's position at T).
>> Stefano Tonchi seems to have emerged as the frontrunner for the W editor-in-chief position — one "highly placed source" at The New York Times confirmed to WWD that Tonchi had been speaking with Conde Nast, but had not made a decision regarding the W job as of Friday. Over at Conde Nast, several sources told WWD that Tonchi had already signed a deal, but the official word from a Conde spokeswoman is that a decision had not yet been made, although there “will be an announcement possibly early next [this] week.”
Meanwhile, over the weekend, Bryanboy noticed that Andre Leon Talley was moved from editor-at-large to contributing editor on the April 2010 Vogue masthead. The move could have to do with his new position as America's Next Top Model judge, and Fashionista noted that during New York Fashion Week, ALT kept a distance "from the rest of the Vogue team–we didn’t spot him with the rest of the editorial staff even once, and on the last day of the week he attended one Ralph Lauren show while the rest of the Vogue-ettes attended another . . . His pages, however, three on general goings on about town or it-girls of the moment, remain the same." Racked cites sources saying that Grace Coddington and Hamish Bowles, too, may be "experiencing changes" in upcoming months.
UPDATE: A Vogue spokesman notes of the change: "There’s no more to the story than a title change," adding, "That’s just because he wanted to do more freelance projects . . . He’ll be just as big a presence at Vogue." Talley's column and blog are expected to remain intact. [The Cut]
>> All those rumors last year of T editor Stefano Tonchi jumping ship to Conde Nast were apparently not for naught: just a day after it was announced that longtime W editor Patrick McCarthy would be stepping down, Fashion Week Daily reports that an announcement of Tonchi as W's new editor-in-chief is expected imminently.
As launch editor of T, Tonchi has propelled the magazine "into the ad-rev stratosphere," as The Daily puts it; he was previously fashion creative director at Esquire.
WWD, meanwhile, says it also expects a new editor-in-chief to be named quickly, and cites Tonchi, Carine Roitfeld, Katie Grand, New York's Adam Moss, and former Men's Vogue editor Jay Fielden as frontrunners, although none would comment.