It’s the end of an era—or perhaps, the beginning of one. Following the path of fellow Condé Nast publication Teen Vogue, Glamour will be the next imprint to go exclusively digital, with the New York Times reporting on Tuesday that the 79-year-old publication’s January 2019 issue will be its last in print.
Condé Nast has steadily been reducing its print output after losing a reported $120 million dollars last year, purportedly putting Brides, Golf Digest, and W magazine on the market for sale. It also cut back on Glamour’s frequency this November. But Samantha Barry, the magazine’s editor-in-chief since January 2018, refutes rumors that the change is corporately-fueled, telling the Times:
“This is my plan, because it makes sense. [Digital is] where the audiences are, and it’s where our growth is. That monthly schedule, for a Glamour audience, doesn’t make sense anymore.”
The numbers support Barry’s statement. Since she left a post as executive producer for social and emerging media at CNN Worldwide to replace longtime Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive, the publication’s viewers and subscribers have substantially increased, something the Times credits to Barry’s digital journalistic savvy. As she told the Times in an interview soon after her hiring, “Glamour is a brand—it’s not just a magazine.”
The anticipation that the brand would soon be moving away from print was already in the air at that point, with Condé Nast already shifting its energy to developing digital-only platforms. Upon Barry’s appointment, American Vogue editor-in-chief and Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour told the Times the new hire was “fearless like so many leaders of the moment. ... We recognized at once that Sam would be the perfect editor for a new more ambitious era of Glamour’s future. We cannot wait to see her vision unfold.”
As that vision comes to fruition, Wintour said in a statement to the Times that Barry is “a change-maker.”
“I am thrilled with her plan for Glamour’s future,” she said. “She’ll be reaching the title’s loyal readers on the digital and social platforms they use most.”
The transition to digital may not be absolute; Barry told the Times special print issues of Glamour may still appear, like the magazine’s recent annual Women of the Year awards issue.