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Anna Wintour — whose tenure at Condé Nast has gotten bumpy in the past year over the magazine empire’s mishandling of race relations — just got a promotion to chief content officer.
The appointment, which was part of new moves unveiled Tuesday by Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch, suggests that Wintour, who has edited the US edition of Vogue for 32 years, has once again survived another round of intense criticism and seemingly emerged stronger than ever.
Amid the Black Lives Matter movement, many publishers including Condé Nast have been called out for a lack of diversity. In June, Wintour herself acknowledged she had made “mistakes” by not doing enough to elevate black voices on her staff. She likewise admitted she had published images and stories that now are viewed as racially and culturally “hurtful or intolerant.”
“I take full responsibility for those mistakes,” Wintour said in a June 4 email to staff.
When former Pandora executive Lynch was made CEO of a new Condé Nast that combined the company’s domestic and international wing, Wintour at the time was only made an “adviser” to the newly expanded roster. That sparked rumors that the 71-year-old editor, was also the artistic director of the domestic Condé Nast overseeing the appointment of top editors, was nevertheless nearing the end of her run.
The appointment Tuesday suggests that even in a down year, Wintour has unrivaled clout in the fashion world.
Condé Nast has also appointed global editorial directors of AD, Condé Nast Traveler and GQ, with the remaining global brands to follow in early 2021. Amy Astley will be the global editorial director of AD; Divia Thani will be the global editorial director of Condé Nast Traveler — which already combined its US and British editions into one magazine — and Will Welch will be the global editorial director of GQ.
For Vogue, Edward Enninful will be European editorial director for the markets owned and operated by Condé Nast, which include the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.
The company also said Simone Marchetti has been promoted to European editorial director of Vanity Fair, including the editions in France, Italy and Spain. Radhika Jones, who has been on the hot seat since she replaced Graydon Carter at the end of 2017, will continue to oversee Vanity Fair’s US and UK editions.
The changes come at the close of a brutal year in the media world due to COVID-19 and the curtailment of advertising, particularly in print, where Condé Nast still derives the bulk of its revenue.
The pandemic dashed any hope for a revival. In April, the company cut pay and furloughed staffers. In mid-May, the worsening ad crisis forced layoffs of about 100 people. The company is expected to record its third consecutive year of losses in 2020 and the turnaround is now said to be several years away.
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