Dinner, (Dis)Course and Butterscotch Pudding: The Women’s Magazine Dinner

Janice Min, Glamour's , Real Simple's , Blueprint's Sarah Humphreys, and CosmoGirl's Susan Schulz

Nina Garcia, Elle‘s fashion director and Project Runway judge, with Laurel Touby

What’s the No. 1 rule of being an editor-in-chief? Order the butterscotch pudding, at least according to the five panelists at mediabistro.com’s Dinner & Dis(course) dinner last night held at the Four Seasons restaurant. Us Weekly‘s Janice Min, Glamour‘s Cindi Leive, Real Simple‘s Kristin Van Ogtrop, Blueprint‘s Sarah Humphreys, and CosmoGirl‘s Susan Schulz opined on the state of the industry and what no one told them about being an EIC in a discussion moderated by former editor-in-chief of McCall’s Magazine, famously turned over to Rosie O’Donnell, Sally Koslow.

The editors lamented about not being part of the team now that they are numero uno on the masthead. “Your staff is talking about you,” Humphreys said, while Min told a story about being unaware of an Us Weekly staff Facebook group and wondered aloud whether her underlings would be upset if she joined.

After the jump, more wisdom and tips from the impressive group.

The editors offered their best tips to help manage the job. “Be decisive,” the Glamour editrix said. “Often, the perfect choice for your staff is a choice.” Humphreys wished she had an “inner business dictionary” for all the words the ad sales people use that she doesn’t understand. Schulz agreed, saying she urges all her interns to take business and marketing classes. “You get the job [as editor-in-chief] and you know a third to a fourth of your job,” she said. “I was the least prepared for this job [of all my previous positions].” Min urged editors to listen to their publishers on sales calls, as they help bring the magazine’s brand and goals into focus.

The Web and its impact on magazines was a hot topic. “When I want something done, I figure out a way to get a video because then the digital people will pay for it,” Schulz said. The four other editors agreed that the Internet is becoming an increasingly important part of their job.

The editors offered hope of landing on top of the masthead. “I’ve never had a plan,” Van Ogtrop said. “I don’t believe in having a plan.” Min categorized her career path as “stumbling along” and encouraged would-be EICs to “Find jobs you like. Find jobs with people you like. It’s rarely about the money.”

Dinner guests listen to the panel with rapt attention

From left: Kristin Van Ogtrop, Cindi Leive, Sally Koslow, Laurel Touby, Susan Schulz, Sarah Humphreys, Janice Min

Photos by Joey Silva


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