Last last month, Esquire EIC Jay Fielden stepped down from his position after three years at the helm. Since then, the entirety of the top of the masthead has departed in one form or another, reports the New York Post.
According to the report, features editor Bruce Handy resigned when Fielden announced his plans to step down. He was reportedly Hearst Chief Content Officer Kate Lewis’s choice to become interim editor following Fielden’s departure.
Executive director of editorial Michael Hainey has also resigned, and editorial director Helene Rubinstein is reported to be leaving the title as well.
In addition to the resignation, the Post reports at least six full-time staffers and many regular freelancers have been let go. Those include design director Raul Aguila, entertainment features director Emily Poenisch, style director Matthew Marden and senior editor Ash Carter.
Following Troy Young’s appointment as magazines president at Hearst, it became clear that a digital tide was turning at the company. In October of last year, Redbook’s print edition was shuttered, while many editor positions were reshuffled to encompass both print and digital.
Young wrote at the time: “Our teams are embracing cross-platform brand alignment, which will foster even greater idea sharing, more ambitious content creation and the development of strategic business initiatives, all of which benefit our audience, both consumer and commercial."
Since then, Esquire’s print edition has been reduced to eight issues from monthly. The Post speculates that the current round of staff cuts could signal a further drop in frequency for the title. However, a source told the Post editorial veterans were frustrated that they were being kept separate from the digital property.