Conde Nast‘s food group is experiencing a little bit of a human resources extravaganza. In a really interesting dance between the fashion and food publishing worlds, Carol Smith (who left Elle to direct the group in April), has been let go. Meanwhile GQ style editor Adam Rappaport will replace Barbara Fairchild as editor-in-chief of Bon Appetit.
When Smith was hired earlier this year, people questioned whether a fashion person would be able to do anything beneficial for a catalog of food-focused titles. At the time she famously asked “What’s the difference between food and fashion?” and answered “Not much.” To be fair, we’re not sure six months was quite as long as she needed to really prove her worth, but Smith said in a statement that she and the company didn’t see eye-to-eye on what she was supposed to be doing.
“The opportunity turned out not to be what either Condé Nast or I expected,” she said.
Rappaport, meanwhile, will probably have a little more success moving from fashion to food. Before he came to GQ in 2000, he spent three years editing the food section of Time Out New York and wrote for the James Beard Foundation. A formal announcement about his new job is expected Monday.
Our only concern is where Rappaport’s new home will end up without the kind of marketing power Smith can wield, or whether or not she’ll even be replaced. After all, the job was created exclusively for her. But Smith is talented enough that she’ll have little to no trouble finding a new job, and we expect Rappaport will bring the same kind of easy sophistication to Bon Appetit that he serves up every month in GQ.