Condé Nast Fired Ex-Elle Publisher Carol Smith


Tom Florio brought Carol Smith over to Condé Nast from Elle after he was promoted from Vogue publisher to overseeing Vogue titles along with food magazines like Gourmet. Smith was supposed to, in her new position, "build a significant food group," and get the magazines sweet television deals. But Florio left Condé Nast this summer before starting this month at IMG as "Senior Adviser for Fashion to the Office of the Chairman," whatever that means. Anyway, Condé just fired Smith yesterday. She said in a statement circulated by Condé Nast, "The opportunity turned out not to be what either Condé Nast or I expected."

Sources tell WWD that Smith "might have been too vocal about how unhappy she was," and that Condé is "a hard company to come into at the top, especially when you step into a job that didn’t exist before." For example, Smith wasn't involved in the launch of a Gourmet app, and she reportedly wasn't involved in discussions about who would succeed Bon Appétit's departing editor Barbara Fairchild, with whom she supposedly didn't get along well. And yet, despite her firing, Smith will host Fairchild's farewell party next week at the Lambs Club. Condé may be at a greater loss without Smith than they realize, because the woman seems like a pretty perceptive individual. She really might have been onto something when she said, "You know, what’s the difference between food and fashion? Not much."