Vanity Fair’s Radhika Jones Announces Slew of Staffing Changes

Radhika Jones - Getty - H 2020
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The editor-in-chief revealed promotions, appointments and additions to the magazine's staff, adding notable names like Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jesmyn Ward and Franklin Leonard to the masthead.

Calling it a bit of "good news this morning," Vanity Fair boss Radhika Jones informed staff via email Thursday of a slew of staffing changes at the Condé Nast title.

The appointments range from new hires and promotions to the addition to a number of high profile writers and cultural figures to the Vanity Fair masthead as contributing editors. Her email, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, included the below staffing news.

Jessica Pressler joins as a special correspondent to cover the intersection of money and culture. Pressler previously served as a contributing editor at New York for more than a decade, and her article "The Hustlers at Scores" was nominated for a National Magazine Award and served as the inspiration for the movie Hustlers starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. Pressler, who has also written for GQ, Elle and Esquire, also penned the viral article about imprisoned grifter Anna Sorokin whose life story is being adapted for Netflix by Shonda Rhimes.

Nicole Chapoteau has been promoted to fashion director. Chapoteau joined VF in 2019 as market director, and during her tenure has styled Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Patricia Arquette, Jonathan Majors, Charlotte Lawrence, Sarah Cooper and others. Her resume includes stints at Allure, Elle, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, The Cut, Out, Ebony and others.

Matt Lynch has been upped to executive editor. Lynch "has been an exceptional leader of for the past five years," Jones said in her email. She cited his role in launching website verticals, building a team and traffic while helping manage the transition to a paywall site. In his new role, Lynch will be charged with overseeing the Vanities vertical, coediting the VF Weekly newsletter, and expanding print duties. Jones said in her email that the shift will help an overhaul of integrating print and digital operations to a single team.

Keziah Weir has been promoted to senior editor. Weir helped re-envision the front of the magazine, "infusing it with a literary sensibility while elevating every aspect of culture coverage there," Jones said. She penned a profile of Miuccia Prada as well as the first story Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale have done as a couple.

Abigail Tracy has been promoted to national political reporter. Tracy, who has been seen on MSNBC and CNN, covers core beats for the Hive including Congress, Democratic politics, the State and Defense departments, and has interviewed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nancy Pelosi.

Alyssa Karas has been upped to associate director, audience development on the digital leadership team. Karas spearheaded the development and launch of the Vanity Fair Archive and is credited with working on the Emmy and Oscar ballots, New Establishment and Oscar Party executions, and event issues like the Star Wars special editions.

Other appointments: senior designer Ashley Smestad, associate visuals editor Allison Schaller, art assistant Justine Goode, and visuals assistant Madison Reid became full-time staffers on the creative team.

Joining the masthead as contributing editors are author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Water Dancer, The Atlantic), author and journalist Katherine Eban (Bottle of Lies), writer May Jeong (The New Yorker, Wired, Politico and The New York Times), author and journalist Kiese Makeba Laymon, (Long Division, Esquire, New York Times and Granta), The Black List founder Franklin Leonard, journalist Maureen O’Connor (New York, Gawker), writer Jen Palmieri (She Proclaims, Dear Madam President), veteran entertainment journalist Mo Ryan (New York Times, EW, Vulture, TV Guide), political writer Chris Smith, and novelist and National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward (Sing, Unburied, Salvage the Bones; and The Fire This Time).