Cityfile today publishes a long post saying, essentially, that the ongoing rumor war between Anna Wintour and Conde Nast is the product of both sides using the media during tough contract negotiations. Let's look back:
These "Anna Wintour is leaving" rumors seem to pop up on a regular basis. They're quite standard contract negotiation tools. This, for example, from a 1999 Daily News story:
While Hurricane Floyd raged outside the Times Square headquarters of magazine empire Conde Nast yesterday, an even bigger storm appeared to be brewing inside.
One source said "it's all over the building" that Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour will soon leave her powerful perch to become head of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
One executive said Wintour's departure is expected "within the next six months."
The most recent rumor concerto built gradually:
- November 18: Hey, look at the bad year Vogue has had. Is Anna Wintour ready to retire?
- November 20: Rumor: Anna Wintour for some sort of Obama ambassadorship!
- November 21: Anna Wintour really doesn't want to talk about it.
- December 2: Ooooh, Conde Nast insiders at the Waverly Inn are all whispering about how Conde wants to replace Anna with her French counterpart, Carine Roitfeld. Oooooh.
- December 2: Si Newhouse says that is bullshit.
- December 5: Anna sez, I'm not leaving!
- December 15: Leaky, leaky. Team Wintour leaks Page Six details of just how incredibly fabulous she really is. Priceless.
- January 8: Oh hey the ambassador thing for Anna is still totally a go!
- January 15: Did Anna tell a film guy she thinks about leaving Vogue? Maybe, maybe not!
- January 22: 60 Minutes working on a piece about Wintour. All part of her devious plan!
- Januaray 23: Cityfile says all these rumors are just being dropped by Wintour and Conde Nast to try to bolster their respective bargaining positions, for Wintour's next contract. This is the thing most likely to be true.