On Thursday, Jay Fielden announced that he will be stepping down as Esquire's editor-in-chief. He joined Hearst's leading men's publication three-and-a-half years ago, as well as serving as the editorial director of Town & Country since 2011, a role that he will also be departing. Before Esquire, Fielden worked at the now-defunct Men's Vogue, Vogue and The New Yorker.
"As a magazine editor and writer, I've long revered the magical intersection of words and images as they come together on the page and online," says Fielden in an Instagram post on his personal account. "I have, however, felt the lure of new possibilities—all the more so now, as the means of production for a new media venture is basically my laptop (which also has the first few chapters of a book on it)." His final publication is the June 2019 issue, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Quentin Tarantino on the cover.
Fielden's exit is the latest in a string of magazine veteran resignations within the media industry, including Cindi Lieve of Glamour, Graydon Carter of Vanity Fair, Robbie Meyers of Elle, as well as a slew of longtime Vogue editors.
"When I settle for certain on what's next, you will be among the first to know," continues Fielden on Instagram. According to WWD, Hearst is looking to find a replacement for the top role at Esquire.
UPDATED, Mon. June 10, 10:30 a.m.: On Monday, Hearst announced that Michael Sebastian will assume the position of editor-in-chief of Esquire, replacing Fielden. Sebastian has been with Hearst Magazines since 2015 — running the publishing company's digital newsroom — and joined the men's publication as its digital director in 2017. His new role will include overseeing Esquire's print and digital content, strategy and operations.
"Over the past two years, Michael and his impressive team have tripled Esquire's site traffic and significantly expanded the brand's digital footprint," says Hearst Magazines President Nick Young in an official statement. "His strong leadership, entrepreneurial spirit and innovative approach to creating content will now benefit all of Esquire's platforms, serving the brand’s audience and advertisers in an even more ambitious way."
In addition to Sebastian's major promotion, Nick Sullivan, Esquire's fashion director since 2004, will take on the publication's newly created role of creative director, also effective immediately.