Radhika Jones, 44, has been chosen to be the chief editor of Vanity Fair, the world’s celebrity driven magazine announced here on November 13th. Jones will take over as editor-in-chief of the celebrity-driven magazine that takes a splashy view of America and the world.
Jones garnered high praise from the likes of Anna Wintour, the editor in chief of Vogue and artistic director of Conde Nast which owns Vanity Fair. She becomes only the second woman to helm the magazine, and follows in the giant footsteps of the British media icon Tina Brown, who launched the new incarnation of the magazine as its editor in chief from 1984-1992. Jones succeeds current editor Graydon Carter, who has been there since 1992, and is known for raising the celebrity-driven bar of the magazine, which also however, carries serious political and economic pieces.
“In Radhika, we are so proud to have a fearless and brilliant editor whose intelligence and curiosity will define the future of Vanity Fair in the years to come,” Wintour said in a statement about Jones who lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and son. “I’m honored and excited to succeed Graydon Carter as editor in chief of @VanityFair,” Jones tweeted Nov. 13.
The New York Times, where Jones has been the editorial director of the books department for the past year, broke the story about her appointment. The Times called Jones a “surprise choice” to lead Vanity Fair.
In an interview with Vanity Fair the day the announcement was made Nov. 13, Jones talked about her inspirations and hinted at where she may take the magazine. But not much about her parents, one of whom happens to be Indian, her mother, and Robert L. Jones, her father, a well-known singer and guitarist from the 1950s and ’60s, according to his biography on a folk music website.
Jones will lead Vanity Fair through its 24th annual Oscar Party in March, the fifth annual New Establishment Summit, the brand’s 105th anniversary and the continued digital expansion of The Hive, the title’s newest brand launch.
Jones, who takes over officially Dec. 11, previously held senior editorial roles at The New York Times, Time and The Paris Review. She joins Vanity Fair from the Times, where since November 2016 she was Editorial Director, Books, overseeing daily and Sunday reviews and expanding the desk’s digital coverage at the intersection of books, news and ideas. At Time, Jones led all arts and entertainment coverage for the brand.
“Radhika is an exceptionally talented editor who has the experience and insight to drive the cultural conversation—balancing distinctive journalism with culture and humor,” Bob Sauerberg, president and CEO of Condé Nast is quoted saying in the press release. “Her experience covering news and entertainment has given her a thorough understanding of the importance of chronicling and celebrating the moments that matter. With her expansive worldview, I know she will guide Vanity Fair’s history of provocative and enduring storytelling well into its future.”
Prior to The New York Times, Jones spent eight years at Time rapidly rising through the ranks to become deputy managing editor in 2013. Prior to joining Time in 2008, Jones was the managing editor of The Paris Review, managing editor at Grand Street, an editor at Artforum, and the arts editor of The Moscow Times, where she began her career.
Jones has a B.A. from Harvard University and holds a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia, where she has also taught courses in writing and literature. Born in New York City, she grew up in Cincinnati and Connecticut. “There is nothing else out there quite like Vanity Fair,” Jones is quoted saying.