After rumors at the end of the year pinning the sale of Lagardère’s American magazine titles to Bauer Media, the publishers of Life & Style, Daily Front Row is reporting (via Bloomberg) that the the French publishing house plans on teaming up with Hearst instead. After all, rumors of a Hearst partnership have been circulating for almost a year, and we’ve heard that the rumor was pretty much confirmed to Lagardère’s US staffers in December.
Of course, this doesn’t indicate that it’s definitely going to happen–talks could break down–but it probably will. So what does this mean for Elle staffers?
Business-side employees will report to higher-ups at Hearst, but Lagardère wishes to maintain editorial control of Elle, meaning it will operate separately from the rest of Hearst’s fashion/women’s titles (Bazaar, Marie Claire, Cosmo). That’s good news for the glossy’s editors, who are used to maintaining a level of autonomy from their sister titles. (Would you ever put Elle and Women’s Day into the same category? Definitely not, but anyone could see that Bazaar and Marie Claire are published by the same company.)
However, we’re not convinced that autonomy will remain intact forever. As Hearst’s suits attempt to sell Elle under its women’s/fashion portfolio, they will begin to demand certain things from the editors. And if those things chip away from Elle‘s core brand in any capacity, we could see a mass editorial exodus.