Graydon Carter Leaving Vanity Fair at the End of 2017
Carter has edited the magazine for 25 years.
All good things must come to an end, and so it was announced Thursday afternoon that after 25 years of editing Vanity Fair magazine, Graydon Carter will be leaving his position at the end of the year.
"I've loved every moment of my time here, and I've pretty much accomplished everything I've ever wanted to do," Carter said in a statement. "I'm now eager to try out this 'third act' thing that my contemporaries have been telling me about, and I figure I'd better get a jump on it."
Carter will help plan the 2018 edition of the magazine's Hollywood Issue before departing. Carter's future has been a topic of open discussion for several years now. Vanity Fair publisher Conde Nast, like competitor Time Inc., has been struggling with advertising declines and has been feeling out a digital-focused future.
Conde Nast has gone through several rounds of restructuring, and another one is reportedly on the way. But, Carter's Vanity Fair and David Remnick's The New Yorker, two of the company's most high-profile and money-generating magazines, have been largely left alone.
Carter, in the announcement, said his magazine has been "tremendously profitable," a rarity these days in the industry.
The announcement did not discuss any plans for the succession process, and a magazine spokeswoman said nothing has been announced.
The New York Times, which was given the news in advance, wrote that Carter "has 'the rough architecture' of a future project in mind, perhaps involving new forms of storytelling, but he demurred on the details."
While the man is a legend in New York media circles, Carter's profile was raised even further during the 2016 presidential election. He's long been a critic of President Donald Trump, and his Spy magazine frequently poked fun at the former real estate developer.
And, in turn, Trump has delighted in criticizing Carter and his magazine on Twitter. "Wow, Vanity Fair was totally shut out at the National Magazine Awards - it got NOTHING," he tweeted in May 2014. "Graydon Carter is a loser with bad food restaurants!" On the same day, he added, for good measure: "Does @VanityFair realize that the purpose of a magazine is to sell issues? Circulation at record low. Spy Mag also failed under Graydon."