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2012 August 28

BREAKING! Sally Singer Out at T

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(NEW YORK) Who said August was a slow news month? Today, New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson has confirmed that T editor Sally Singer is leaving the magazine at the end of the week. "I'm sorry to announce that Sally Singer will be leaving T magazine and The Times at the end of this month," she wrote in a memo to staff. "Sally's contributions are clear to anyone who's read the magazine during her tenure. Gorgeous visuals, interesting stories and enterprising features — both in print and online — have been hallmarks of her stewardship. We wish her every success."

Singer joined T: The New York Times Style magazine in July 2010, succeding Stefano Tonchi, who left to helm Condé Nast's W. Tonchi, who was known for his refined visual sense as well as his considerable advertising prowess, is largely credited with creating a sizable revenue stream for the Times during a financially embattled period in its history. In 2007, during his leadership, T brought in over 1,600 ad pages and $45 million in revenue.

Singer, who came to the Times following an 11-year stint at Vogue, where she most recently served as fashion news and features editor, remade the magazine in a more literary, less overtly commerical point of view. Her covers, frequently shot in an hors-fashion context by Cass Bird and Terry Richardson, may well have proved more popular with intelligentsia, but less so with advertisers—or so conventional industry wisdom goes. T closed 2011 with 1,087 pages, which reportedly landed Singer in the hot seat with Abramson earlier this year, and the advertising exodus continued in 2012. As of May 20, revenues were down an additional 4%. It has been another tough year for the Times, which just reported a net loss of $88.1 million due to a write-down in value of its asset as well as ad revenue declines.

Singer's successor has not yet been named, but it's safe to say that very interesting conversations are happening in Hugo Lindgren's office this afternoon. The popular editor of The New York Times Magazine has recently dipped his toe into fashion, with a Cathy Horyn-penned think piece on Stella McCartney covering the February 22 issue. Given the myriad challenges luring advertisers to fashion glossies in 2012's ultra-competitive environment—to say nothing of the expense associated with producing them—could Abramson simply decide to streamline her bottom line and merge fashion coverage into Lindgren's glossy? Things to discuss!

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