The Media Carousel

It’s only been two weeks since the last Media Carousel, but there has been a lot of action in the media jobs market.

First up, there are more changes at news web site Vox.com, which is part of Vox Media. After cofounder Matthew Yglesias revealed his departure last week to set up a newsletter on Substack, editor at large and cofounder Ezra Klein and editor in chief Lauren Williams are following him out of the virtual door.

Klein will leave in a few weeks to begin a new role at The New York Times’ Opinion section, he confirmed on Twitter. There he will pen a column on policy and the policymaking process, as well as host an interview podcast. Williams will exit the company in 2021 to launch a nonprofit and the search is already under way for her successor, publisher Melissa Bell said in a memo to Vox staffers.

There have also been a number of staff changes at New York Magazine, acquired by Vox Media last year. Sukjong Hong has been tapped to take on the editor role at Curbed, which just relaunched as part of New York Magazine. She previously worked as managing editor of The Architect’s Newspaper. Crystal Martin, previously a contributing editor to The Times, has been hired by the Strategist as a senior editor, while Nick Summers will join New York as a features editor from The Times’ Sunday Business section. Elsewhere, Madeline Leung Coleman, most recently an editor at The Nation and and Topic; Melvin Backman, previously a fact checker at The New Yorker, and Emily Heller, a staff writer at Polygon, are joining Vulture as senior editor of culture pages, special projects editor and recommendations editor, respectively. 

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As for The New York Times, in addition to Klein, some other new hires have been made recently. Jacqueline M. Welch has been appointed executive vice president and chief human resources officer, reporting directly to president and chief executive officer Meredith Kopit Levien. Previously, she was senior vice president, chief human resources officer and chief diversity officer at Freddie Mac. Nikita Richardson and Tanya Sichynsky are joining Food and NYT Cooking as senior staff editors. Most recently, Richardson was a staff writer at New York Magazine and Sichynsky was newsletter editor at The Washington Post. And Ismail Muhammad has been named story editor at The New York Times Magazine. Currently, he’s the reviews editor for The Believer. In the other direction, Caitlin Dickerson is departing The Times to join The Atlantic as staff writer, focusing on immigration and the American experience.

Next up, changes at Hearst Magazines. On the executive floor — well, virtually anyway — Debi Chirichella, who was appointed interim president of Hearst Magazines following the ousting of Troy Young, has been given the job permanently. Chirichella stepped into the role on an interim basis in July, immediately after Young’s exit amid accusations of inappropriate comments and behavior toward coworkers, as first reported by The New York Times. Before becoming interim president, Chirichella was executive vice president and chief financial officer at Hearst, which publishes Elle, Esquire, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan, among others, and before that she worked at Condé Nast.

At Hearst’s Harper’s Bazaar, editor in chief Samira Nasr has tapped Nikki Ogunnaike to take on the digital director role at the glossy fashion publication. She succeeds Joyann King, who departed this summer to work at Elle Decor and Town & Country. Ogunnaike joins from Condé Nast-owned GQ, where she was deputy fashion director for the past year.

But it’s not all hiring news. As Hearst Magazines prepares to reduce the frequency of O, The Oprah Magazine from 12 issues to four next year, it is implementing layoffs. According to a WARN notice filed with the New York State Labor Department, 59 staffers will be laid off, starting in February. It did not give further details of who will be affected, but the layoffs are thought to impact mainly the print side.

There have also been some movements at rival Condé Nast. As first reported by WWD, Angelica Cheung, the founding editor of Vogue China, is departing after 16 years at the publication. A successor is yet to be named. At British Vogue, Julia Sarr-Jamois, previously fashion editor at large, and Poppy Kain, previously senior fashion editor, have been promoted to fashion directors, where they will oversee fashion shoots across print and digital. And former American Vogue creative digital director Sally Singer, who departed in December 2019, has landed as at Amazon Fashion as its first head of fashion direction. 

Elsewhere at Condé, Jeffrey Toobin was fired after he exposed himself to his coworkers at The New Yorker during a Zoom meeting. In a memo to staff, Condé chief people officer Stan Duncan said: “I want to assure everyone that we take workplace matters seriously. We are committed to fostering an environment where everyone feels respected and upholds our standards of conduct.”

At Meredith Corp., the publisher of People and InStyle, shareholders elected Tom Harty chairman, in addition to his role as president and ceo. He succeeds Stephen M. Lacy, who is retiring from Meredith’s board after 16 years as a director.

Finally, Playboy Enterprises Inc., which recently revealed it would return to the public markets via a merger with Mountain Crest Acquisition Corp., has made two hires — AJ Saltzman, vice president of digital product, and Tittu Nellimoottil, senior vice president of data, to beef up the company’s digital commerce platform. Prior to joining Playboy, Saltzman was senior director of digital product management at GOAT, while Nellimoottil was the director of data science at FabFitFun. 

For more, see:

NBCU Expands ‘Today’ Show’s Steals & Deals Franchise Into Peacock Holiday Shopping Special

Nikki Ogunnaike Is Harper’s Bazaar’s New Digital Director

Hearst Lays Off 59 Staffers at O, The Oprah Magazine

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