Samantha Barry, the new Glamour editor in chief who took over from Cindi Leive in January, is finally getting around to putting her stamp on the publication with three new hires who, like their new boss are strong on news and digital background.
The pressure is on Barry to help rejuvenate the title, which at one time was the most profitable in the glitzy Conde Nast empire owned by the Newhouse family, but which has felt the pressure as advertisers, particularly in the beauty category, have upped their spending on digital and downgraded spending in print.
Glamour, sources say, has seen a double-digit decline in ad pages in recent years as young women have increasingly turned to mobile devices for news and information.
The trio of new hires unveiled Friday includes Christina Coleman, a former senior news and culture editor for Essence.com and earlier managing editor of NewsOne who will be news & culture editor at Glamour; Celeste Katz, a former reporter at Newsweek who has been tapped as senior political reporter; and Mattie Kahn from Elle.com, where she was a staff editor leading the site’s coverage of news and politics and will now be a senior editor.
Barry had downsized the staff by about 10 people in February as some of Leive’s old hands were cleared from the roster. Only about half of the bodies are expected to be replaced as the company tries to right-size its publications to reflect the lesser role that print revenue is playing in the media mix.
Barry is a veteran of CNN and the BBC who had no magazine background before she became the surprise choice to succeed Leive, and her new hires seem to reflect her news-driven agenda.
Coleman is taking the most senior role. According to a memo sent by Barry to staffers Friday, Coleman “will play a vital role as the director of news and culture helping to reshape our #Think vertical across print and digital.”
Katz had spent 15 years at the Daily News before landing at Newsweek, which is now mainly a digital operation with a small print edition. She was infamously fired by the owners of the Newsweek Media Group earlier this year as she worked on stories about ties between Newsweek ownership and a fundamentalist Christian college, Olivet University, after the Manhattan District Attorney’s office had raided Newsweek offices earlier this year and carted away computer servers as part of a probe over that connection. Katz was fired for writing about the ongoing investigation, and her axing triggered weeks of staff unrest.
Barry said in an internal memo announcing the move that Katz “will play a big part in telling the story of the midterm elections and the road to 2020.”
Kahn also has a heavy digital news background where she founded the “Why I ran” series at Elle.com and won a Newswomen Club of New York Front Page award for coverage of the Flint, Mich., water crisis. Earlier she worked at Buzzfeed and Refinery 29, a fast-growing digital rival to Conde Nast.
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