Sunday, May 26, 2024

Vanity Fair, With No Hollywood Covers This Year, Loses a Main Entertainment Writer


Vanity Fair has lost one of its main entertainment writers in Joanna Robinson. She announced on Twitter today that she was leaving of her own accord, which surprised most of her colleagues including film critic Richard Lawson. Robinson has done so much heavy lifting for VF she can write her own ticket anywhere, I think.

Vanity Fair still makes the most of its Hollywood issue and Oscar party. But in reality they have no connection any more to the world of current movies. This year, aside from the Hollywood cover, none of the covers have had anything do with contemporary releases.

The current cover subject is Regina King, whose directorial debut, “One Night in Miami,” was part of last year’s crop of films. King won an Oscar the year before that. Last month, Sean Puffy Combs was on the cover, a star from the 90s who divulged nothing in his interview.

So if I were Joanna Robinson, I’d be leaving, too. Other covers this year have included Stephen Colbert, Dua Lipa, Anya Taylor Joy (from TV, as of now), and Billie Eilish. The magazine that prides itself on their Oscar party and celebrity events is almost completely disconnected from the reality of the movie business.

Robinson wrote: “Today is my last day at VANITY FAIR after seven years on the job. I feel incredibly grateful to leave under my own steam and on very good terms with the VF people I love and admire…As heartbroken as I am to go I am also incredibly excited to share what’s next and I promise I will when I can. I’m thrilled to be able to keep podcasting and writing and sharing all the things I Iove with you. You can’t take a picture of this, though, it’s already gone.”

The result is that VF’s circulation has dropped precipitously not just on the newsstand but digitally as well. Their rank on has fallen to below 1,900 of all websites. That’s a hit of 1,000 points over the last year. It’s not for lack of good writing, there’s plenty of that.But whatever their mission and audience were, it’s been long ago abandoned.

PS The funny part of this is that when I wrote back to her on Twitter that she was leaving the Titanic, she blocked me on Twitter. No good turn goes unpunished!



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.

Read more

In Other News