Graydon Carter, the iconic editor of Vanity Fair for the past 25 years, plans to step down from his role leading the magazine in December, reports The New York Times.
Vanity Fair, a monthly publication, still breaks news and drives the public conversation in an age of digital-first media. Carter, 68, says that he wants to leave while the magazine is “on top,” according to the Times.
So what’s next for the media mogul? He rented a house in the Provence region of France and plans to say there for six months. He says that he has a rough idea about the next chapter after that half-year vacation, but he is not yet ready to announce it.
His vacated editorial position—one of the most high-profile, coveted jobs in the New York media world—is sure to be a cause of rampant speculation and jockeying. The Times reports that Adam Moss of New York Magazine and Janice Min of The Hollywood Reporter are both potential candidates.
Carter, born into the middle-class suburbs of Ottawa, Canada, worked as a railway lineman and cemetery digger, before turning to journalism. He got a job at Time in the late 1970s and then moved through a few media organizations, including a notable run at the short-lived Spy magazine, before landing at Vanity Fair in 1992.
He nurtured writing about the grandeur and grittiness of Hollywood, but also published scores of investigative pieces, including the major, 2005 scoop unmasking the identity of Mark Felt, the famed Watergate leaker known as ‘Deep Throat.’ He also pioneered one of the most exclusive soirées in Hollywood, the Vanity Fair Oscar party.
Carter admits to the Times that he thought about leaving Vanity Fair earlier, but after Trump was elected, he decided to stay on a bit longer. Carter and Trump have a notorious, long-running feud—Carter helped coin the now-infamous “short-fingered vulgarian” description of Trump and Trump has tweeted about Carter 42 times, all negative.
Carter said he has accepted it will be difficult to leave the magazine and, as a result, he said that he started seeing a psychiatrist for the first time. “At Spy, we would tack on the epithet ‘survivor’ to somebody, as if it was a negative term,” he told the Times. “And you realized, after awhile, it’s actually a positive term. Just surviving in life, in this life, is difficult enough.”
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