US Graydon Carter to End 25-Year Run as Vanity Fair’s Editor

20:12  07 september  2017
20:12  07 september  2017 Source:   The New York Times

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Graydon Carter , the editor of Vanity Fair , plans to step down from the magazine in December after a 25 - year tenure, leaving the role that established him as a ringmaster of the glittery spheres of Hollywood, Washington and Manhattan media.

Graydon Carter , the editor of Vanity Fair , is stepping down from the magazine in December after 25 years of service, according to the New York Times. “I want to leave while the magazine is on top,” Carter , 68, told the Times on Wednesday.

Graydon Carter has been editor of Vanity Fair for 25 years.© Emily Berl for The New York Times Graydon Carter has been editor of Vanity Fair for 25 years.

Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair, plans to step down from the magazine in December after a 25-year tenure, leaving the role that established him as a ringmaster of the glittery spheres of Hollywood, Washington and Manhattan media.

Mr. Carter’s influence and stature in the magazine and entertainment world is so great that to call his exit a changing of the guard seems insufficient: This is more of a regal passage. One of the few remaining celebrity editors, Mr. Carter — famous for his double-breasted suits, white flowing hair and a seven-figure salary — is a party host, literary patron, film producer and restaurateur who presides over a monthly publication that can still break news in a round-the-clock media age.

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This is a great story from Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter on Donald Trump. Carter used to edit the satirical magazine Spy, which took shots at the now-Republican presidential front- runner . Carter called Trump a "short-fingered vulgarian" in Spy to rile up Trump 25 years ago.

Graydon Carter has announced that he plans to step down from his role as the editor of Vanity Fair in December, ending his 25 - year run at the helm of the magazine. Carter , now 68, told The New York Times that he wants to “leave while the magazine is on top.”

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“I want to leave while the magazine is on top,” Mr. Carter, 68, said in an interview on Wednesday at the kitchen table of his West Village townhouse. “I want to leave while it’s in vibrant shape, both in the digital realm and the print realm. And I wanted to have a third act — and I thought, time is precious.”

For now, he said, his post-Vanity Fair plans involve a six-month “garden leave” (his phrase; Mr. Carter is fond of Britishisms) and a rented home in Provence. He has “the rough architecture” of a future project in mind, perhaps involving new forms of storytelling, but he demurred on the details. “I’m not a big announcer,” Mr. Carter said, tortoiseshell glasses in hand. “Best to fail quietly at the beginning of something rather than make grand pronouncements.”

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Graydon Carter Remembers Christopher Hitchens Vanity Fair . Steel Traps and Short Fingers Vanity Fair - In his November editor’ s letter Graydon Carter reveals the presidential candidate’ s thin skinned response to a favorite 25 year old epithet.

With the 2016 election decided, and the Trump administration looming, Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter considers what the American future holds.

His departure is likely to spark a steeplechase of sorts in elite circles of journalism. The editorship of Vanity Fair is among the industry’s most coveted positions — Mr. Carter’s predecessor was Tina Brown, who went on to run The New Yorker — and speculation about Mr. Carter’s heir has long simmered. Adam Moss of New York magazine and Janice Min of The Hollywood Reporter are often mentioned as contenders.

Mr. Carter said he had an idea for who might succeed him — he would not name names — and that he would offer suggestions to his superiors at Vanity Fair’s publisher, Condé Nast; he informed his staff of his departure on Thursday. “I want to make it really easy for the next person,” he said. “I care about this magazine. I don’t want it to go anywhere other than up.”

With its fixation on celebrities, moguls, and faded aristocrats — even dead ones, like Jacqueline Onassis and Grace Kelly — Vanity Fair was an expression of Mr. Carter’s highly particular interests: the golden age of Hollywood; the rituals of WASPdom; the European jet set; Anglophilia.

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For the last 25 years , Donald Trump has been sending pictures of his hands to Graydon Carter to prove his fingers are properly proportioned, the Vanity Fair editor has revealed.

Editor ’ s Letter. Back in August, the publisher had run a story claiming that, in a previous incarnation, Melania Trump had worked as a paid escort. Graydon Carter : Welcome to TrumpistanVanity Fair . How Jared and Ivanka Lost WashingtonVanity Fair . Inside the Trump Marriage: Melania’ s BurdenVanity Fair .

From a spacious corner office, amid cigarette smoke and midcentury furniture, Mr. Carter nurtured the musings of Christopher Hitchens, the true-crime yarns of Dominick Dunne, the portraiture of Annie Leibovitz, and the wit of Fran Lebowitz and James Wolcott, to name a few of the artists and writers in the Vanity Fair stable.

He broke news, too, publishing scores of investigative pieces and, in 2005, landed the ultimate journalism scoop, unmasking the identity of the famed Watergate leaker Deep Throat. Even Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein had to play catch-up.

One Carter innovation, the Vanity Fair Oscar party, remains the entertainment world’s most exclusive soiree, attracting a sea of boldface names to an Old Hollywood-style bacchanalia. Even drab Washington fell under his sway: his annual bash after the White House Correspondents’ Dinner became the capital’s hottest ticket.

In his townhouse on Wednesday, however, Mr. Carter, his signature swoop of hair intact, opted for self-effacement. “I’m very uncomfortable talking about myself like this,” he said at one point. Asked if he would still attend the magazine’s Oscar party, Mr. Carter shook his head. “You don’t really need me there,” he said. “I’m like a glorified maître d’.”

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That' s according to a remarkable revelation from editor Graydon Carter in his letter for November' s edition of Vanity Fair . In it, he reveals that Mr Trump took a particular dislike to being described as a "short-fingered vulgarian" in a Spy magazine article by Carter more than 25 years ago.

If Anna Wintour – editor -in-chief of US Vogue, star of The September Issue – is the most famous magazine editor in the world, Graydon Carter – editor of Vanity Fair , celebrity restaurateur, reluctant man about town – runs a very close second.

He said that he had considered leaving Vanity Fair earlier this year, when his contract was nearly expired, but that the election of President Trump, a longtime nemesis, had spurred him to stay. Plus, in July, he hit the 25-year mark at the magazine, which he said “had a tidy aspect to it.”

“Editors, you know, we don’t really do anything,” Mr. Carter added. “To the owner, you’re sort of like a patch of mold on the kitchen ceiling. You’re not quite sure about it, but as long as it doesn’t start dripping, you can just let it be.”

Mr. Carter is leaving as Condé Nast, like all magazine publishers, grapples with the erosion of print advertising and pressure from online competitors. The company has invested heavily in digital initiatives, while also cutting staff and restructuring to share resources across its many titles. More changes are looming, WWD reported this week.

“The romance of the magazine business will continue, but it will be harder to maintain,” Mr. Carter said. He praised the efforts of Vanity Fair’s digital team and Condé Nast’s chief executive, Robert A. Sauerberg Jr., adding: “The next generation is much more entrepreneurial, because they have to be. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.”

Life has been a heady journey for Mr. Carter, a middle-class product of the Ottawa suburbs, who as a youth worked stints as a railway lineman and cemetery digger. He talked his way into a job at Time in the late 1970s before cofounding, in 1986, Spy magazine, whose cheeky skewering of the Manhattan power elite would influence a generation of journalists and writers.

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Just ask Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter . Graydon Carter , no talent, will be out,” Trump tweeted. However, Vanity Fair ’ s faith in Carter has — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2016. The 67- year -old Carter was born in Toronto co-founded The Canadian Review in 1973.

In his Editor ’ s Letter from the March Hollywood Issue, Graydon Carter addresses long- running rumors that Vanity Fair has been working on an “epic takedown” of Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

Spy took special glee in attacking Mr. Trump, who Mr. Carter memorably deemed a “short-fingered vulgarian.” Among the magazine’s pranks was to mail checks of smaller and smaller quantities to celebrities and wait to see who was avaricious enough to cash them; Mr. Trump redeemed a check for 13 cents.

Mr. Carter later ran The New York Observer before moving, in 1992, to Vanity Fair, which venerated some of the same celebrities he lambasted in Spy. Some grudges healed easier than others. No matter: Mr. Carter was soon a Manhattan institution himself, branching out into restaurants, films and Broadway, where he produced a show about the late talent agent Sue Mengers.

He lives with his third wife, Anna Scott Carter, down the street from his first restaurant, the Waverly Inn. Their kitchen is adorned with a stuffed perch fish from the 19th century (an idea Mr. Carter said he borrowed from the Earl of Snowdon, ex-husband of Princess Margaret), a “Resist” poster and a “Dump Trump” illustration by their 8-year-old daughter.

Mr. Carter was asked if exiting the magazine might leave him antsy. “People think I’m really antic,” he said. “I don’t think you have any idea how idle I could get. I love tinkering around with my cars, going out in my canoe, fishing and reading. I could do that for five months and not bat an eye.”

Still, he added, “I’m completely prepared that it won’t be easy.” He will continue to write; already, he plans to pitch a story during his stay in France to the editor of The New Yorker, David Remnick.

“He’ll probably say no,” Mr. Carter said. “‘How do you spell your name again, Graydon?’”

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Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter has spent more than 30 years observing Donald Trump’ s orange-tinted antics. With a month left to go before the election, he reports on some memorable lessons learned along the way.

Carter has edited the magazine for 25 years . All good things must come to an end , and so it was announced Thursday afternoon that after 25 years of editing Vanity Fair magazine, Graydon Carter will be leaving his position at the end of the year.

Mr. Carter recently started seeing a psychiatrist for the first time, prompted by the changes in the country and his own life. “At Spy, we would tack on the epithet ‘survivor’ to somebody, as if it was a negative term,” he said. “And you realized, after awhile, it’s actually a positive term. Just surviving in life, in this life, is difficult enough.”

In the pages of his magazine and the clubby dining rooms of his restaurants, Mr. Carter created a version of the fantasy Manhattan that intoxicated him as a child: ice-cold martinis, bon vivant writers, gimlet-eyed gossip in the manner of one of his favorite films, “Sweet Smell of Success.”

That world is fading. “I’m by nature a very wistful person,’’ Mr. Carter said. “And I miss the black-and-whiteness of the 20th century.”

As for Mr. Trump, the president has frequently taunted Mr. Carter on Twitter. Now that Mr. Carter is stepping down, does he expect a gloating tweet from the Oval Office?

“He’s tweeted about me 42 times, all in the negative,” Mr. Carter said. “So I blew up all the tweets and I framed them all. They’re all on a wall — this is the only wall Trump’s built — outside my office. There’s a space left for one more tweet to complete the bottom line. So if he does, I’m just going to call our framer, and say we need one more.”

“It should be a little bright spot in his administration,” Mr. Carter added, puckishly. “And if he’s smart, he won’t say anything.”

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