Vanity Fair editor with roots in India

Vanity Fair, which describes itself as "a magazine of popular culture, fashion and current affairs published by Condé Nast in the United States", found itself making international headlines on Sunday for two reasons.

By Amit Roy in London
  • Published 13.11.17
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Radhika Jones

London: Vanity Fair, which describes itself as "a magazine of popular culture, fashion and current affairs published by Condé Nast in the United States", found itself making international headlines on Sunday for two reasons.

Speculation about who would succeed the glossy magazine's present editor, 68-year-old Graydon Carter, was ended on Sunday when The New York Times confirmed that journalist Radhika Jones, 44, an editor in its own books department, was set to take over.

Second, its former editor, Tina Brown, 63, has called movie mogul Harvey Weinstein "vile", in her just-published The Vanity Fair Diaries (1983-92), giving the low down on American high society.

"In a dramatic changing of the guard, Radhika Jones, the editorial director of the books department at The New York Times and a former top editor at Time magazine, is expected to be named the next editor of Vanity Fair, according to two people with knowledge of the decision," the paper reported.

Management at Condé Nast and at The New York Times would not comment but the paper said: "In anointing Ms Jones, who holds degrees from Harvard College and Columbia University, Vanity Fair has placed its future in the hands of a woman - the first since Tina Brown served as the magazine's editor from 1984 until 1992 - who has cultivated the kind of sophistication and prestige that Condé Nast has long valued."

"Her deep familiarity with celebrity, journalism, art and publishing were probably big draws for Condé Nast, whose editors are often expected to mingle among influential people in the disparate spheres covered by their publications," the paper added.

In London, reporting the elevation of the journalist who has Indian roots, the Guardian said: "Jones's appointment was first reported by her current employer, citing two people with knowledge of the decision. Condé Nast did not confirm the report but sources told the Guardian the (New York) Times was correct."

Meanwhile, Tina Brown, who is married to Sir Harold Evans, 89, one-time legendary editor of The Sunday Times, has written about the stressful period when she left editing The New Yorker to set up a new publishing venture, Talk, in partnership with Weinstein, then boss of Miramax. It lost $50m and proved a flop.

He made no sexual advances "but I did experience him as a vile bully. He was a total bully. I had PTSD after working for him... profanity, shouting, lying, aggressing.... After I left Talk I felt very, very traumatised by him," said Tina.