Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Shock and Awe at Vanity Fair as 15 Top Staffers Get the Axe After Years of Loyal Service


Vanity Fair or unfair? You decide. The popular Conde Nast monthly just laid off 15 top staffers all with tenure after decades of loyal service.

Gone are publicity director Beth Kseniak, top celebrity cover booker and editor Jane Sarkin, and top editor Chris Garrett, among others.

This signals a major change by new editor Radhika Jones, who took over from Graydon Carter after 25 years, last December. In addition to downsizing and moving more toward digital, Jones also obviously wants her own people.

That’s always a shame, because the existing staff made a huge hit of Vanity Fair. They knew what they were doing. All the laid off employees will do just fine but it with great sadness that we say adieu to friends.

Some problems that will be discussed in post-layoff Monday morning quarterbacking: the calamity of the Hollywood Issue cover, on newsstands now. James Franco was digitally brushed from the cover after accusations of sexual misconduct. In the brushing, Oprah Winfrey scored a third hand, and Reese Witherspoon got an extra leg. But I doubt any of that led to these layoffs. It’s just the changing of the guard.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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