Will New EIC Joanna Coles Change Cosmopolitan?


Joanna Coles, the current editor of Marie Claire (and regular “Project Runway All Stars” judge), will replace Kate White as the editor of Cosmopolitan, America’s most popular women’s magazine and bible for fun fearless women who aren’t afraid of psychotic sex tips.

Ever since Helen Gurley Brown died last month, the magazine’s evolution from an often servicey, literary publication to an over-the-top regurgitated list of ways to please your man has been a topic of much discussion. The New York Times said White, who is retiring, worked hard to modernize Cosmo during her tenure; will Coles be able to keep sales up while also bringing some of her more sophisticated and serious sensibility to the magazine? Will she even want to?

Regardless of whether you can stomach Cosmo’s “put a doughnut on his dick!!” zest for life, the magazine has unarguably been killing it while other print publications have faltered during the past few years of industry instability; its circulation has been rising steadily (it has 3,017,834 subscribers to Glamour‘s 2.37 million) and the magazine says it receives 8.5 million unique visitors to its website every month and has 1.8 million likes on Facebook. It’s important to Hearst that Cosmo continues to shine, and it makes sense that they picked Coles for the job, whose successful digital experiments with Marie Claire caught the company’s president’s attention.

But Coles is a former reporter for prestigious publications like The Guardian and New York, not an expert on the best types of chocolate to lick off nipples. Will she attempt to make Cosmo more substantial? She didn’t say in her Times interview, during which she mostly just expressed excitement about talking frankly about 20 and 30-something issues with sex and careers. “The 20s and 30s are incredibly exciting and full of potential, but also a little overwhelming,” Coles said. “The things that keep women awake now are the same things that kept women awake 30 years ago.”

Coles also said it was important to her that Cosmo readers feel good about themselves while flipping through the magazine’s pages — and that she had a lot of catching up to do regarding Cosmo’s raunchy lingo. “There are 365 sex positions of the day here and one of them is called the linguine,” she noted. We liked Marie Claire under her reign and are excited to see what kinds of changes she makes at her shiny but (in our opinion) stale new gig.

New Editor at Cosmopolitan: Joanna Coles Replaces Kate White [NYT]

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