“Ten years ago when I started in the industry, it was all about print,” Eva Chen, who is Teen Vogue‘s Beauty and Health Director/Special Projects Director (and boasts 30,000+ followers on Twitter), told me. “Now when I’m thinking about a story I’m thinking about it across all different platforms…How it will look online, what extra scenes can we use, how will this translate to a tweet, how will this work on tumblr, can we do a google hangout. To be an editor these days you’re thinking about things on five different platforms.”
Susan Cernek, Glamour‘s Fashion Development Director, agrees. “Previously, an editor’s role, responsibilities and purview were fairly specific and focused: You were responsible for a certain market or a certain beat and you worked on certain FOB [front of book] pages,” she said. “Now, editors still have those core responsibilities, but the role also means bringing that insight and expertise to other areas of the brand, whether that be another section of the book, the brand’s Tumblr or a completely new product.”
In short, editors have to wear a lot of hats these days–and their jobs encompass far more than just, you know, editing. And considering more and more magazines are moving away from purely publishing pursuits, partnering on TV shows or launching e-commerce sites and product lines, an editor’s job is likely to get all the more complicated. Many editor-hopefuls may not have exactly pictured themselves sifting through product prototypes, or running an e-commerce site, or writing ad copy, but more and more, those responsibilities are becoming huge parts of the job. Chen, for instance, tells me that a good portion of her day is spent working on Teen Vogue‘s bedding line. “The editors, even [EIC] Amy [Astley], are so involved in the designing of every single item,” she said.