Alain Lemarchand, longtime exec at Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., has resigned as CEO of the company. He’ll be replaced by Steve Parr on October 1.
However, Lemarchand isn’t leaving the French media firm altogether. WWD reports that he’ll take on a senior roll within Lagardere Active. Hachette is part of Lagardère Active (which is in turn a subsidiary of French conglomerate Lagardère), which means this might be some sort of promotion.
It’s also a slight indication that Elle magazine is finally, actually going to be sold.
For years, rumors have circulated that US Elle will be acquired by a larger, American-based publishing house. With Lemarchand, an Elle devotee, out of the way, it may be easier to go through with the transaction.
The two most recent names to pop up as possible buyers were Time Inc. and Hearst. To me, Time Inc. is the better fit. (And I’m not even considering the fact that the magazine already plans to move into the Time Inc. building. The house is lacking a true fashion book–InStyle is more of a celebrity shopping tome–and Elle‘s focus on pop culture fits in nicely. Yet Elle would also be a big win for Hearst, given Harper Bazaar‘s limited readership (they’re still trying to bill it as a “luxury” glossy). However, it could mean some trouble for Marie Claire, which has ramped up its fashion coverage significantly over the last two years. Right now, Marie Claire is gunning for Elle‘s readers.
Regardless, it’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out. Because things like this don’t “just happen.”
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