Over nearly the last decade there have been at least six publicly held companies’ CEOs that have been let go from their posts. This list includes Borders, Orbitz and the world’s biggest producer of meat, Tyson Foods. The importance of these departures was speculated upon for maybe a couple days with the assets or liabilities of the replacements debated as well, with the impact on the price of shares calibrating.
Of course all this pales in significant fashion to Anna Wintour and Vogue Magazine.
This past November, the infamous Page Six, from the New York Post, according to sources, reported that Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, might soon be departing. This initiated an avalanche of reports that still reverberate more than three months later. The New York Times threw their hat in the ring by saying that Vogue had become “stale and predictable” during Anna Wintour’s 20-year Vogue career. Even internationally, news outlets and magazines from the UK to Thailand picked up on this as well. There were even rumors whether substantiated or not, that she was to become the ambassador to France.
The rumor has definitely not gone away but was given some legs because Vogue’s most recent issues have been the thinnest in recent memory. In fact, the January issue has at least 44% less ad pages than January 2016, as articulated by Media Industry Newsletter. Those who’ve not been in Wintour’s corner will confess that she has an impressive aptitude for advertising. Many are now asking if she’s still all that she can be, and is she even willing to stay the course at Vogue?
However, in recent times the scaling back of advertising to save expenditures is not an uncommon phenomenon. The mass media owner of Vogue, Conde Nast, has exhibited a poker face as to Wintour’s employment status. Even though Nast and Wintour have flatly denied any departure plans, the stories still ring in all circles. There has been scuttlebutt about who would replace Wintour, with names such as Carine Roitfeld from French Vogue being the odds on favorite, and Amy Astley from Teen Vogue, as a darkhorse. There has even been this nugget thrown out: all these rumors are just negotiating ploys between Nast and Wintour.
The uniqueness of magazine editorship cannot be understated as it is set apart from mostly every other profession because the major players are almost all women. It is the sole industry, outside modeling, where women have higher profiles and more influence than their male counterparts. Wintour is certainly larger than her position of being the most prominent editor of her day. She’s even in a movie that recently opened at the Sundance Film Festival, The September Issue. The film gives a behind-the-scenes of Vogue’s fall issue which is by far its biggest.
One thing is for sure, there will be new faces at the helm at Tyson Foods as well as Yahoo!, but the jury is out on the flux at Vogue. With all this going on two questions take center stage: Will Vogue continue its impressive run under a new steward, and what will become of Anna if and when she leaves? Only time will tell, but we’ll all be watching.