The CrackBerry Chronicles
With Elaine Santore
July 13, 2007
The Death of Jane
The folding of Jane magazine on July 10 marked the end
of a decade of regime changes and reinvention. When the magazine
launched in 1997, editor in chief Jane Pratt was at the helm,
fresh off the close of the alt-teen magazine, Sassy. Jane
offered a snarky, feminist alternative to competitors like Vogue,
Elle and Cosmopolitan.
The last cover of Jane, with actress Zooey Deschanel
By 2005, Jane's audience grew out of the publication's
first incarnation and Pratt stepped down. Jane's parent
company, Condé Nast Publications, replaced Pratt with Brandon
Holley, formerly of the defunct ElleGirl. Many believed
Pratt was forced out, and that Holley was hired to court more
Jane 2.0 proved to be successful, if not controversial.
Many readers cancelled their subscriptions because the new voice
lacked Pratt's trademark wit. The new readers fit a particular
niche of women in their 20s and 30s, who appreciated Jane's
unconventional blend of fashion, beauty, and relationship advice,
with a monthly section for essays on cultural issues.
Despite the more optimistic, upbeat, and irreverent tone, advertisers
abandoned the magazine. Jane continued to be popular with
its readers who defended the publication against complaints the
magazine had become consumerist and shallow.
Jane's demise came as a surprise to its publisher, Carlos
Lamadrid, who was hired with Holley in 2005. According to the
New York Times, the 60 staffers at Jane will be interviewing
for other positions at Condé Nast, but Lamadrid and Holley
will not be staying with the company. The ambitious new website,
janemag.com, was also discontinued.
So, what does the death of Jane say about the women's
magazine market as a whole? Several high-profile glossies have
folded in the past decade, including former Vogue editor Grace
Mirabella's Mirabella (1989-2000), and Tina Brown's Talk
Although Jane re-launched its website to compete in the
burgeoning online market, the popularity of its blogs and advice
columns weren't enough to keep the magazine afloat.
Personally, I loved Jane for its trashiness, accessibility,
and reliably lowbrow celebrity interviews. Though I admire Vogue's
Anna Wintour as an arbiter of taste, some of us girls just don't
"I don't believe in political parties. I just believe
in having parties."
A couple weeks ago, one of my beloved East Coast readers complained
about the CrackBerry Chronicles' recent scarcity of party coverage.
I reassured her that election season was coming up and that there
would be more exciting events for me to write about, aside from
boring government meetings. Let's hope these party pics suffice.
Last night, Luke Thomas and I attended an invite only GenArt
event at 111 Minna. The event showcased the work of artist Jason
Mecier, famous for his series of celebrity portraits titled
During the party, reps from Rimmel London were doing complimentary
Before the makeover
Elaine was specifically instructed NOT to eat these evil things.
Hey, at least we still have the Oakland Raiders.
Comedienne and gay icon, Kathy
Parker Posey, aka the
look Elaine rips off every day.
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
The artist, Jason Mecier.
God loves a tryer, part 2
Weeks after the Progressive Convention, District 6 Supervisor
Chris Daly is still on the lookout for a progressive candidate
to challenge Mayor Gavin Newsom.
His latest endorsement? Me.
"Think about it. How many women of color are running in
the race?" Daly asked.
Yes, I suppose I do have that going for me. I would definitely
be a lock for the Filipino vote, if any of my 30 some odd relatives
actually lived outside of Daly City. And I'm certainly not the
candidate in the race.
District 6 Supervisor Chris
Daly tosses the mayoral candidate hot potato
to Elaine during Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.
Chris Daly to Jake McGoldrick: Seriously, Jake, if Mirkarimi doesn't
we should draft Elaine. Too bad we can't recycle those blogswarm
Sorry, Chris, but on my list of dream jobs (#1 being a reporter
for US Weekly, #2 being First Lady of Nebraska), Mayor of San
Francisco falls somewhere in between Diana Ross' personal assistant
and Ann Getty's makeup artist.
Fog City Journal plans to write an editorial entitled, "Anybody
wanna run for mayor? Anybody?"
Do you love it?
For those of you who missed my appearance on SF/Unscripted, the
video is now
Next up for CrackBerry: Fox News.
CrackBerry Blind Item
Which Newsom lapdog called the mayor a "sulker?"