What Will W Be Like Under Tonchi’s Reign?

Earlier this week, we reported that Stefano Tonchi would be replacing Patrick McCarthy as Editor In Chief of W Magazine. Now the inevitable questions arise: what will W look like with Tonchi as Editor In Chief?

Tonchi told the New York Times after the announcement that his plans at the magazine were still quite open, but that he hoped “to just make it more of a general-interest style magazine, and less of a fashion-obsessed publication.”

Hm…

Earlier today, Daily Finance responded to Tonchi’s desire to make the magazine “less of a fashion-obsessed publication,” by questioning what Sports Illustrated would look like if it became “less of a sports-obsessed publication.” What would Allure look like if it just decided to stop doing beauty articles, or if Newsweek stopped reporting…well, news. Answer? They’d lose their following.

While W may speak to a very specific audience (that offers the magazine a mere circulation of 450,000) who are interested in a very specific type of fashion – -W readers would likely rather an article about Ann Demeulemeester or Vivienne Westwood than Juicy Couture or James Perse — it is also that specific audience that will be buying the magazine. Would we be as excited to get W if the format changed and it looked like a copy of Cosmo with an uber-airbrushed blonde popstar on the cover? No. We wouldn’t.

A Conde Nast spokesperson told Daily Finance that the format change of reducing the page size was not on the table. We hope that’s true. W is one of the final magazines out there that does something different. It looks different, the pages feel different, they cover more high fashion news, and the photoshoots are racier. Make W less fashion-obsessed? You might as well fold the publication and give Tonchi a brand new one.

Tonchi has the difficult task of taking over a magazine that, according to the New York Times, had a 50% decline of their ad pages.

What Tonchi needs to do is put his Fashion Thinking Cap on — may we recommend some sort of vintage fedora? — and do everything in his power not to turn W into a more fashionable US Weekly.

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