Joyce Chang Is Editor-in-Chief in ‘Self’ Shakeup

By Steve Cohn

On April 3, Condé Nast CEO Chuck Townsend and president Bob Sauerberg, Jr., announced the hire of Cosmopolitan executive editor Joyce Chang as Self editor-in-chief, effective May 1.

This ended the 13-year run of Lucy Danziger, who personified the fitness, health and lifestyle monthly with Workouts in the Park, the Self Challenge (a fitness regimen each winter and spring) and, in October 2006, picturing her mammogram in the magazine’s Women’s Cancer Handbook.

Also leaving after four years is VP and publisher Laura McEwen, with Gannett VP of national sales Mary Murcko succeeding. The tangible reasons are Self‘s 2014-versus-2013 advertising pages being -18.54% through April following year-end 2013’s -5.47% (per min‘s boxscores). And its 183,559 and 143,253 single-copy sales in first- and second-half 2013 were -16.0% and -10.5%, respectively (per the Alliance for Audited Media "Snapshot").

The intangible reason was the photograph in the April 2014 Self mocking the tutus worn by runners Monika Allen and a friend during the 2013 Los Angeles Marathon. That Allen is being treated for brain cancer was not known by Danziger and her staff. Although Danziger apologized and made a donation to Allen’s favorite charity, the outcry on social media could produce an advertiser backlash.

(The sad irony is that Self and Danziger are among the leaders in the fight against all forms of women’s cancer.)

Chang was the top lieutenant to editor-in-chief Joanna Coles at Cosmo (since Sept. 2012) and before that at Marie Claire. Earlier stops were as People StyleWatch deputy editor, People senior writer and Lucky fashion news editor. The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism alumna began her career in 1999 as an assistant to Allure founding editor-in-chief Linda Wells.

Chang is the third recruit by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour in her one-year capacity as CN artistic director.  Preceding were Eva Chen (Lucky) and Pilar Guzmán (Condé Nast Traveler).