After rumors swirled last month that Vogue editor Anna Wintour was to be ousted by her French counterpart, Carine Roitfeld, The New York Times is asking, “What’s Wrong with Vogue?” Its answer? “For all the fantasy in Vogue, especially the fairy-tale kind…the magazine is actually quite serious. There are things to read, long pieces…Unlike many of her rivals, Ms. Wintour…has largely resisted the pressure to break down content to lists and small bites.” But there is too much of the same old, same old. “There are too many stories about socialites—or, at any rate, too few such stories that sufficiently demonstrate why we should care about these creatures. What once felt like a jolly skip through Bergdorf now feels like an intravenous feed. To read Vogue in recent years is to wonder about the peculiar fascination for the ‘villa in Tuscany’ story. Ditto staff-member accounts of spa treatments and haircuts. It’s embarrassing to see how Vogue deals with the recession. For the December issue, it sent a writer off to discover the ‘charms’ of Wal-Mart and Target.” But “the locus of Ms. Wintour’s harshest critics,” writes Cathy Horyn, is that “many people have all but abandoned traditional media for Web sites and blogs,” and Vogue has failed to keep up.
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