>> There's no question about it: Magazines are hurting in these economic times. The first, unofficial magazine circulation numbers are out for the first half of the year, and Anna Wintour could be in trouble.
Vogue and Teen Vogue (which is Anna's pet project) are both losing circulation by double-digit percentages (15.1% and 15.7%, respectively), beat only by Oprah's magazine O at 16.4%. Amy Gross, O's former editor-in-chief, supposedly voluntarily stepped down from her position in April, but these numbers suggest that perhaps the move was less than voluntary.
So is Anna Wintour's job on the line? The previous editor, Grace Mirabella, was ousted unexpectedly — the magazine was in good form at the time — at 58 after seventeen years in the saddle. And before Grace, Diana Vreeland was at the helm for eight years, replaced at 68. Anna, at 58, just passed the twenty-year milestone as Vogue's editor-in-chief, causing many to speculate that she's in the sweet spot for dismissal.
A recent New York Times profile of Conde Nast chairman Si Newhouse referred to Vogue as one of the "jewels in the Newhouse crown," and also mentioned that Si dislikes confrontation so much, a number of dismissed editors have said their first indication of trouble came when they were fired, which explains Grace Mirabella's abrupt discharge.
Vogue is one of Conde Nast's most profitable magazines, and Si is known for his "willingness to absorb years of losses on magazines he considers promising," sometimes choosing personal interest over the financial numbers, but will this apply to Vogue? It will, for sure, be interesting to see.