We reported yesterday on Yahoo! Shine editor Brandon Holley leaving the company to head back to her old stomping ground at Conde Nast, where she was the editor-in-chief of Jane magazine until it folded in 2007. She now takes the reigns of Lucky, whose longtime founding editor, Kim France, who appears to have been let go. (Though the official line is that Conde and France “came to this decision together.”
As we noted earlier, the move makes sense for Conde, which is ramping up its digital efforts with new websites, mobile apps and a business model that’s moving away from the company’s long-standing reliance on advertising revenue.
Holley clearly has sharpened her digital chops over the past few years. She grew Shine’s traffic to more than 25 million monthly uniques, according to comScore.
Yahoo declined to comment. But we emailed Holley to ask her about how she would bring those skills to her new role at Lucky as part of Conde’s larger digital expansion, and also to talk about how she’s gone from old media to new media to old media once again.
We didn’t hear back. But The Observer’s Zeke Turner did. Here’s what Holley had to say:
“I feel like I went to school for three years and now I can bring that back,” Ms. Holley said. She compared Yahoo to MIT. “You have all these crazy, brainy geeks.”
She said she is excited to bring her freshly minted web degree to Lucky.
“Lucky is an amazing magazine and perfect for what women are doing online,” she said. “If you look at what women are doing a lot, what they’re doing is looking at clothes and shopping and beauty.”
We suggested that Ms. Holley is the first editor-in-chief at the Condé Nast with extensive web experience — a new breed. She agreed.
Conde Nast editorial director Tom Wallce spoke highly of her, telling The Observer:
Brandon also knows, because of her Shine experience, as much as anybody knows about building a success on the web … Our hope here is that the combination of her experiences will make her ideal for helping, enriching and strengthening the Lucky brand across many platforms.
Meanwhile, in a New York Times piece yesterday, Wallace also praised France, who “invented Lucky magazine in 2000,” and who had previously worked at Sassy, New York and Spin, among other glossy publications:
She worked ingeniously over 10 years, in good times and bad, to nurture a magazine and a Web site. Condé Nast owes her dearly, and we wish her the best.
A Conde rep stopped just short of saying France was fired, but it seems like the company felt she didn’t have what it takes to steer the magazine out of the recession and into the digital world.
The Times points out:
As the recession deepened and shopping became less of a sport than a guilty pleasure, Lucky suffered a significant loss in advertising pages. While the weak recovery has brought other magazines part of the way back, Lucky has continued to languish.
In the most recent statistics from the Publishers Information Bureau, advertising pages in Lucky were down 7.3 per cent from April to June, compared with the same months in 2009; many other magazines directed at female readers recovered.
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