Radhika Jones gets nod to take Vanity Fair forward

Radhika Jones accepted the position of editor-in-chief at Vanity Fair, succeeding Graydon Carter, who is stepping down after 25 years at the helm.
Radhika Jones accepted the position of editor-in-chief at Vanity Fair, succeeding Graydon Carter, who is stepping down after 25 years at the helm.PHOTO: NYTIMES

NEW YORK - Ms Radhika Jones grew up around music. Her father was a prominent figure in the Massachusetts folk scene of the late 1950s and early 1960s. When he decided he wanted to travel less, she sold T-shirts and worked at the box office in the many events, including the Newport Jazz and Folk festivals, he helped produce.

"One thing I really learnt from my father," she said in an interview on Sunday, "was the kind of excitement and rush of discovering new talent and keeping an open mind to new voices and bringing artists together."

That love of discovery will come into play for Ms Jones, editorial director of the books department at The New York Times and a former top editor at Time magazine, now that she has accepted one of the most high-profile jobs in media: editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair.

Conde Nast, the company that owns Vanity Fair, made the formal announcement on Monday. Ms Jones, 44, will succeed Mr Graydon Carter, 68, who said in September that he would step down after a 25-year run at the helm.

Her appointment takes effect on Dec 11. It is a remarkable transfer of power at a magazine long defined by Mr Carter's sensibility - a stew of Anglophilia, liberal politics, old-style Hollywood glamour and a sense of mischief. Unlike Mr Carter, Ms Jones is hardly the gallivanting celebrity editor many media observers assumed would end up as his successor.

Whip-smart and unassuming, she seems suited to a new era - of transformation but also of restraint - at Vanity Fair and Conde Nast.

"In Radhika, we are so proud to have a fearless and brilliant editor whose intelligence and curiosity will define the future of Vanity Fair in the years to come," Ms Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue and Conde Nast's artistic director, said in a statement.