First Pizza, Now ‘Pitchfests’: Has Jane‘s Well Run Dry?


Jane editor-in-chief Brandon Holley at an office party last August

Though we’ve seen enough bizarre reader outreach to ensure we’ll never need seconds on skepticism again, we were charmed on learning a while back that a fresh initiative under Jane editor-in-chief Brandon Holley was regular dinner parties, welcoming readers to Jane‘s offices, and urging them to share feedback and suggestions for story ideas while enjoying a slice with Holley herself.

But now, color us a bit concerned: Enter the ‘pitchfest’, a weekly block of time when readers are invited to visit Jane‘s message boards to submit ideas for stories they’d like to see in the magazine. In its first 1.5 hours of existence, Holley, managing editor Brekke Fletcher, senior editor Sara Lyle, fashion news editor Kelley Culp, and too many junior staffers to name have all logged on to field readers’ story ideas. This begs a few questions:

  • 1. Does Jane generate any article ideas on its own anymore?

  • 2. Is it really advisable for a glossy women’s magazine to make itself so — shudder — accessible? It can’t really be easing the awkwardness between holier-than-thou Condé titles and those red-headed stepchildren, the Fairchild books.
  • 3. By aggressively ramping up its online offerings, could Jane — which has fallen 41 percent in ad pages under Holley — be girding itself for a meeting with the online-only reaper that’s dropped by both Teen People and Elle Girl in recent months?