A NEW MOTHER SHIP: This week, Hearst Magazines president David Carey and editorial director Ellen Levine welcomed the Elle, Elle Decor and Woman’s Day staffers to an orientation session at the Hearst Tower. Carey introduced Levine as the “birthing mother of O magazine,” according to one source present. She followed that up with a joke about stretch marks. There was a certain amount of awkwardness in the introduction. Over the next few hours, a human resources representative from Hearst walked the group through a company benefits packet. The Elle staff learned about all the perks of working in the Hearst Tower: day care, the cafeteria where they serve grass-fed beef raised on the Hearst ranch in California, an in-house gym where someone washes your sports bras and a nurse’s office. “Hachette Filipacchi Media does not have a nurse’s office, if you know what I mean,” said one source who attended the session. “It feels like that Google feeling — being lighted up into the mother ship and welcomed and being clothed and fed,” said another source. That same day, Hearst ran an ad in The New York Times, WWD and other papers featuring the covers from the company’s magazines, including Elle front and center. Glenda Bailey's American edition of Harper's Bazaar was grossly distorted.
On Tuesday night, Carey and Levine welcomed the Elle staff and their fellow Hachette refugees back to the Hearst Tower for cocktails and hor d’oeuvres on the 44th floor. Some staffers were impressed with the amount of face time they were getting with Carey. “They’re incredibly excited to have us — crazy excited,” said one Elle source. “It’s as if they’re saying we’re the prized new possession without really saying it.”
— ZEKE TURNER