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Can a woman named Brandon be the new Jane?
Brandon Holley, the founding editor of 31/2-year-old teen magazine Elle Girl, has been tapped to succeed Jane Pratt as the editor in chief of Jane, the Fairchild title aimed at twentysomething women.
Holley, a Conde Nast veteran, was a protégé of Art Cooper at GQ before getting tapped as the chief editor for Elle Girl at Hachette Filipacchi.
Her first task may be to quell restless advertisers as well as staffers now that the magazine's titular and actual leader is departing. Because Pratt's departure was a closely guarded secret until the announcement two weeks ago, Fairchild chairman and editorial director Patrick McCarthy was not able to divulge the job that he was seeking to fill when he first met with Holley.
"Patrick sounded me out before the announcement was made, but he was only able to tell me that they were working on an exciting new project," said Holley.
Fashion advertisers such as Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs are already said to be getting skittish on a Jane without Jane the person, and that can't be good news for a magazine that has been flat this year - with ad pages up less than one percent to 399.86 pages through July.
A Fairchild spokeswoman said one reason is that the mag this year had to forego liquor and tobacco ads because it was found that a large segment of its audience falls below the legal age for consuming the products.
Circulation was on the rise earlier this year, but that was helped by a drastic newsstand price cut.
Holley said she has no marching orders and expects to keep the Jane spirit alive.
"I think the vibe of both magazines is very similar," she said.
Pratt is said to be heading to a new career with Sirius Satellite Radio, but neither she nor Sirius are divulging any details. Howard Stern, who is also heading to Sirius, said on air that Pratt was going to be getting a 24-hour channel.
Pratt could not be reached for comment, but friends say she is anxious to move on to her next career.
Holley said she expected to get right to work. "Starting next week, I'll be in and out," she said. "Jane will work on October while I work on November," she said.
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