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>> Speculation: Vogue Publisher Tom Florio Hired Rival Elle Publisher Carol Smith to Protect His Interests —There was speculation yesterday about why longtime Elle SVP Carol Smith was hired at Conde Nast by Vogue SVP and publishing director Tom Florio, but now, it turns out there may be further ulterior motives. Elle finished last year with more advertising pages than Vogue (2,082 to 1,988) — although WWD notes the numbers may have come at the expense of revenue — and insiders report that Florio was heard saying, "The best offense is a good defense,” regarding hiring one of his biggest rivals, personally and with regards to Vogue. Meanwhile, Joe Zee Tweeted of the news of Smith's move: "I was told 2010 is the year of change. Change at ELLE today and I am heartbroken about it." [WWD, @mrjoezee]

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