Radhika Jones, the effectively regarded New York Times books editor, was simply appointed as editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair; she is its first girl editor since Tina Brown and, extra considerably, the primary Indian-American girl to helm a serious shiny in America, ever.
Jones is an thrilling successor to the tony, elbow-rubbing Graydon Carter, who in his tenure elevated the journal to a sure celebrity-bible standing however was additionally infamous for its ghostly white Hollywood Issues. In latest years, as its web site has grown and improved, its usually stuffy in-book content material has felt staler and staler; a operating joke amongst avid readers (me) is that not a problem was printed with out digging up some piece or one other regarding the trivia of the Kennedys.
Because so lots of Vanity Fair’s print staffers have held their posts for therefore lengthy, there appears to be “panic” amongst them, a minimum of based on a Daily Beast piece entitled “‘Panic’ as Radhika Jones, Vanity Fair’s New Editor, Takes the Helm.” The Daily Beast particulars the temper amongst present VF staffers who, based on a “well connected editor,” “know that they’ve been on the gravy train for a long time. Clearly she’s going to have to go through the contributors and weed them out.” (I do know the place she ought to begin.)
That quote refers each to the onslaught of cuts being made at Condé Nast that has to date included layoffs and the shuttering of Teen Vogue’s print version, and in addition, presumably, the approaching finish of the flowery existence of longtime staffers. Some of the sources within the piece are as cutthroat as you’d count on in any good media story, however that takes on an added ominousness and condescension whenever you consider Jones’s gender, race, and relative youth—she’s 44, in comparison with Carter, who’s 68. For occasion:
And if the gossip-driven Condé Nast company tradition stays true to type, Jones is “going to be up towards numerous hostile editors and writers who’re going to speak to you, [New York Post media columnist] Keith Kelly, and whoever else is on the market on-line—which shall be designed to undermine her.”
“If you fail everybody will know it,” a special editor instructed The Daily Beast. “It’s not like you’re failing at some obscure web site in Seattle. This is like the Yankees.”
It’s all a little bit of sniping paying homage to early oughties media gossip, with the added uncertainty of the 2017 media panorama—significantly at Condé Nast, whose prime editors and staffers have loved a vastly larger degree of bourgeois job accoutrements than anybody else in media. “The days of the celebrity editor,” bleated Keith Kelly within the Post, “are over.”
Further: Jones is rumored to be incomes simply one-quarter of Carter’s former wage, and on that wage she is tasked with revamping and revivifying a marquee title in a quickly shifting media panorama. Also from the Daily Beast:
Jones, in the meantime, is being employed at a considerably decrease wage than her predecessor; her rumored beginning wage of $500,000-$600,000 a 12 months pales by comparability to Carter’s reported $2 million deal.
“It’s a bit of a glbad cliff,” mentioned a distinguished editor. “Women always get hauled in to do the jobs that feel undoable.”
Could there be greater than belt-tightening behind this disparity? You’ve in all probability memorized the gender pay hole stats by this level: in 2016, white ladies earned 80 % of each greenback a white man makes; black ladies earned 65 % of that; Latinas earned simply 58 %. In this case, Jones will, presumably, be anticipated to instantly do extra, and with much less funds, on 25 % the wage of the white man who got here earlier than her.
It’s true that Jones is untested heading up a shiny similar to Vanity Fair, and Carter was its editor for 25 years—a very long time to get numerous fancy raises—and Condé’s budgets are being slashed in each route. But nonetheless, it’s bittersweet, if not stunning, that the thrilling arrival of a comparatively younger girl of shade helming one of many nation’s most storied magazines is met with a rumored quarter of her predecessor’s revenue, and with such obvious skepticism out the gate.