Didn't We Almost Have It All: Jane Pratt Steps Down

Relish this moment, for it may be one of the few displays of genuine emotion you will ever see on Gawker: We are very sad — nay, heartbroken — to learn that Jane Pratt, the one-woman roadshow behind Jane magazine and the founder of the truly fantastic Sassy, is stepping down from her editorial throne. Say what you will about the magazine's mixed messages (in her most recent letter from the editor, Pratt herself acknowledged that some skanky cover girl choices were a matter of making money), but Jane was the one women's magazine that didn't consistently inspire self-loathing. In fact, we always felt a hell of a lot better about ourselves after reading. And sure, whoever replaces Pratt (uh, we're available!) will no doubt carry her torch of awesomeness, but, well, it just won't be the same.

Oh, do you not believe our sincerity? Well, here's a tidbit: When Sassy was reincarnated in its later years as a glossy piece of poo in the likeness of Teen, one half of us went so far as to email the magazine and complain endlessly. When one of the mag's writers wrote back (Margie, as we recall, who had been cast aside during the magazine's "makeover") to laugh and share in our anger, we died of the sort of happiness that only a 15-year-old girl in Chuck Taylors and her father's flannel shirt can know.

After the jump, the full memo announcing Pratt's "wanderlust." Now, if you'll excuse us, we need some time alone.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JANE PRATT PLANS TO STEP DOWN FROM JANE MAGAZINE
Successor Will Be Named Shortly

New York, July 25, 2005 Jane Pratt, founder and editor-in-chief of Jane magazine who launched the magazine with Fairchild Publications in 1997, today said that she will be stepping down, effective September 30th, 2005. The announcement was made jointly today by Mary G. Berner, president and CEO of Fairchild and Patrick McCarthy, chairman and editorial director. Her successor will be named shortly.

Ms. Pratt says, The years I ve spent editing Jane have been nothing less than thrilling but I have wanderlust to do new things and I will reveal the specifics as soon as I can. Jane has become well-established to millions of young women who are so connected to the magazine s pop-culture sensibility and unapologetic voice that goes way beyond me as an individual. Now, when someone says that is so Jane, you instantly identify with a specific sense of humor, intelligence, voice and attitude. We've all discussed this possibility internally for a while and feel it is the perfect time to make this change since the magazine is on solid footing. (Jane's newsstand sales are up 15.6% for January through June of 2005 vs. 2004, according to publisher's estimates. Year to date through September, advertising pages are flat vs. the same period last year, up .8%, 571.96 vs. 576.65.)

Ms. Pratt, 42, created the lifestyle magazine for young women, ages 18 to 34, in September 1997 with a circulation rate base of 400,000. Since that time, the magazine, published ten times a year, has grown to a circulation rate base of 700,000.

Mr. McCarthy says, Jane created a magazine that speaks to women in their twenties as a peer voice with an empowering mission and tone that has become a distinct brand. We are delighted that Jane will be an advisor in the search for her successor.

Ms. Berner says, Jane Pratt has created a magazine that is a phenomenon for young women that goes well beyond borders. For women, the twentysomething years are a crucial life stage, and Jane is the magazine that captures that zeitgeist. We will be looking for a successor to Jane that will carry on the voice of the magazine and take it to the next level.

Ms. Pratt was named Editor of the Year by Adweek in 2002. She has hosted two TV talk shows on Fox and The Jane Pratt Show on Lifetime. She is the author of two books, For Real: The Uncensored Truth About America's Teenagers, (Hyperion, 1995) and Beyond Beauty: Girls Speak out on Looks, Style and Stereotypes, (Callaway/Clarkson Potter). In l988, Ms. Pratt became the youngest editor-in-chief of a magazine at the age of 24 as the founder of the celebrated teen title Sassy.

Fairchild Publications, a unit of Advance Publications, Inc., is the world s leading publisher of fashion and retail publications, with 21 titles in six divisions: WWDMedia Worldwide, consumer, business-to-business, Internet, conferences, and books. The company s titles are: Women s Wear Daily (WWD), WWDScoop, WWDBeauty Biz, Children s Business, DNR, Footwear News, Home Furnishings News (HFN), InFurniture, and Supermarket News in the business-to-business division and W, Jane, Details, Vitals Man, Vitals Woman, Brides, Modern Bride, Elegant Bride, Modern Bride Connection, Your Prom, and W Jewelry in the consumer division. Cookie, a luxury lifestyle magazine for parents, will launch in November.