Now that the L.A. Times has folded its real Sunday magazine and laid off more than a hundred editorial staffers, the new upscale magazine being launched outside the newsroom's influence is still proceeding apace. Remember, it was hatched without the knowledge of Times Editor Russ Stanton and will report to the president of the Times, not to anyone with editorial responsibility. The new magazine edited by Annie Gilbar got some ink on the Women's Wear Daily website and is still controversial:
The editorial team so far includes familiar names in the glossy magazine world, among others: Celebrity stylist Lori Goldstein began as fashion director on July 1 (though she is not working in the office full-time), and several former House & Garden staffers are either on staff or contributing part-time, including former Testy Tastemaker columnist Mayer Rus, contributing food editor Lora Zarubin and contributing senior editor Paul Fortune, according to several sources. The launch date is September.
The caliber of the hires so far indicates a bid for legitimacy in the luxury space, and presumably the investment that goes along with it. But the magazine will compete for ad pages with a similar, long-planned effort the Wall Street Journal is launching at the same time (also with ex-House & Garden staff), and The New York Times' T magazines, the latter of which have already brought in significant revenue in a grim newspaper landscape. It also comes at a time when even the most established glossies are twisting arms to meet their numbers.
The spokeswoman initially claimed to be unaware of the hires; several switchboard operators at the Times said there was no Annie Gilbar working there, and late last week, staffers were instructed in a sternly worded memo not to speak with the press pending an announcement.
The New York Times also had reported that Stanton requested that the name of the magazine be changed from The Los Angeles Times Magazine, arguing that it would "lend the newsroom's credibility to a product it did not control." Sources at the magazine said the name is still being determined, but at least one staffer is using The Los Angeles Times Magazine in an e-mail signature.
The Times' ad side already had Distinction as a title and didn't know what to do with it. The new magazine, whatever it's to be called, is working out of the space once occupied by Recycler Classifieds, says WWD's Irin Carmon. Via Romenesko