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Kate Reardon is making a comeback at Tatler — this time as editor in chief — succeeding Catherine Ostler, who has stepped down after two years at the helm, Condé Nast U.K.’s managing director, Nicholas Coleridge, said Monday.
For the past 11 years, Reardon had been a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, and had also produced editorial supplements on jewelry and couture for the magazine’s British edition. Reardon, who will join the magazine on Jan. 10, is also the founder of Toptips.com, a Web site where women share advice about everything from personal relationships and money management to cooking and gardening.
So what made her renounce the footloose life of a freelance writer and entrepreneur for the confines of London’s Vogue House? “It was a wonderful, wonderful life — and from now on, somebody will always know where I am. I’m superexcited, and it’s nice to be back where I started when I was 21, and to be working with such a wonderful team,” Reardon said, but declined to comment on her plans for the society and fashion title.
Reardon was fashion editor — and later fashion director — of Tatler in the Nineties, before moving over to Vanity Fair, where she worked on news and features from her London base. A person familiar with Reardon’s working style said: “She understands Tatler, and it will likely become a more glamorous, more humorous title.”
In a separate statement on Monday, Coleridge praised Ostler’s work and said she would continue to write for Condé Nast titles. “Over the past two years, she has produced a widely admired and successful magazine,” he said. “The editions she has put together have been everything I hoped they might be when I appointed her. The 300th-anniversary edition, the biggest in the magazine’s history, epitomized her wit and creative flair.”
Ostler said in the statement it was “time to move on,” and to find the next big challenge. “I am very proud of the magazine that I leave behind,” she said. “Tatler at its best is a full blast of glamour and excitement. It’s a privilege to have been captain of the rocket.”
Although Ostler’s relationship with Tatler’s staff is said to have been fractious from the start, there is no doubt she rejuvenated the title. She gave it a brainy dimension, hiring the historian Andrew Roberts to write a regular column, and commissioning work from authors including Alain de Botton and British newspaper columnists Quentin Letts and Sebastian Shakespeare.
She bagged Charlene Wittstock — Prince Albert of Monaco’s fiancée — as her December cover girl and generally gave the title a newsier, more international focus with features on Nicolas Sarkozy’s ex-wife Cécilia Attias, India’s fabulously wealthy Mittal family, and the younger generation of Kennedys.
Ostler kept Tatler’s year-on-year circulation steady in her first six months at the title, and boosted it 1.6 percent in the January to June, 2010, period, the most recent ABC figures on record. Actively purchased copies during that period rose by 3 percent. The title’s latest circulation figure is 86,448.