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Jay McInerney to Pen Wine Column for Town & Country

His first column will appear in the magazine’s June/July issue, which will hit newsstands on May 20.

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MCINERNEY’S WINE & DINE GIG: Town & Country magazine has added a well-known contributor to its ranks: Jay McInerney.

He will pen a monthly column primarily on wine, a subject he has covered for The Wall Street Journal since 2010. His first Town & Country column will appear in the magazine’s June/July issue, which will hit newsstands on May 20.

McInerney told WWD that he decided to leave the Journal because he’d have “more freedom” at Town & Country, where he can write longer features on wine and also touch on travel, food and culture.

“I think I’m going to have a little more freedom to focus more on the food or travel piece of it,” he said, adding that his Town & Country contract is open-ended right now. “I’ll sit down with Jay [Fielden, the title’s editor in chief] in the next few days over dinner. I think our story conferences will be a lot more fun than the average conference room meetings.”

While McInerney won’t be writing about wine for any other publication, he will continue to write for other titles on a variety of subjects, in addition to fine-tuning his next novel, which is slated to be published in fall 2015.

Although he doesn’t yet have specifics on his first assignment, McInerney said he hopes to write about the Burgundy region in France and the California winemakers who are reinventing U.S.-produced Burgundy wines.

Fielden said McInerney’s appointment is the first of several he hopes to make, adding that now that the magazine has shown improvement, he’s had more “leeway” to make hires.

In 2013, the Hearst-owned title saw its total paid and verified circulation rise 1.1 percent to 461,075 over 2012, as newsstand sales increased 3.7 percent to 37,554, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.

“When I inherited the book a few years ago, it had moldered a bit,” Fielden admitted. “Now we’re building a sparkling team. I have a few spots that need to be filled. I’m looking to bring in new staff and contributors.”

Recently, the magazine has brought on Nicoletta Santoro as creative director at large and contributors such as photographer Bruce Weber and journalist Michael Wolff.