Women's Wear Daily's Memo Pad — one of the city's leading media-gossip columns — is sometimes derided as the Conde Nast School Paper, a comment on the (probably unavoidable) prevalence of news about its corporate owner, which just happens to be one of the biggest mag companies. Sometimes, though, you can learn the most interesting things from an in-house rag.
Consider, for example, the case of Jane Pratt, the founding Jane editor who left her mag back in the fall. Pratt "today said that she will be stepping down, effective September 30th, 2005," the Fairchild press release announced back on July 25. It was just that she had a "wanderlust to do new things," Pratt told Mediaweek that day. "I have an eight-year itch. I did Sassy for eight years before I left so I seem to have this need to move on and try to reach women in other ways." In the Post the next day, the bosses made it clear: The departure "was totally her decision," Fairchild editorial director Patrick McCarthy told Keith Kelly.
Which made it quite interesting to see how WWD today described what Jane's been up to since leaving her mag:
In the eight months since Pratt was forced out of her namesake magazine after endless antics, she has been reported to be working on two projects: a satellite radio program for Sirius and a magazine concept she pitched to Time Inc.
Forced out after endless antics? Oh, WWD, do tell more. Or are we going to have to wait for you to pass us a note in study hall?
UPDATE: WWD's Jeff "Big Guy" Bercovici emails to point out that his column has always been skeptical about the reasons for Pratt's departure. True enough; his first report noted that "the decision was not entirely hers." But it didn't mention the f-word — "forced out" — or any antics.