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 Alexa.com 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!