When Eva Chen was announced as the new Editor-in-Chief of Lucky magazine, my heart skipped a beat. Like many, I incessantly followed Eva’s updates on every medium imaginable: Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, vimeo, and more. I tore out her articles and saved them for reference. And I smiled when she was featured as an expert in, well, anything covering the media or beauty industry.
Am I interested to see where Lucky goes from here? You bet. Am I hoping it thrives? Definitely. Am I one of the few left of my generation that loves print? I think so.
But the one thing that continues to baffle me is the focus on Eva as a “digital native,” or the first EIC of “our generation.” True enough, Eva’s attention to social media is inspiring. She’s incredibly gifted at showing a glimpse into the industry, with behind-the-scenes snapshots and nuggets of information. She knows how to connect with users and be candid about her brand experiences, without disparaging any reputation. She’s witty and smart.
But like all current EIC’s of large magazines, her start (and a sizable amount of her focus) has been on a print magazine. She has never held a true, strictly digital position on a masthead. And while she has tons of digital experience, especially thanks to her “special projects” position at Teen Vogue, those have been (from what I can tell) a melding of print and digital components. All which will serve well as Lucky’s EIC, but again, do not completely speak to the first EIC of “our generation.”
Our generation is digital. Our generation is mobile. Our generation is clicking on an article via social, or devouring the latest story on their tablet.
Which leaves me to wonder: Will a digital editor ever make that leap to becoming the head of a brand; of a magazine? And would they want to?
Most digital editors go on to lead brand initiatives solely on the digital side. They become “Directors of Digital” or “Editorial Director of Digital” or something akin. And then… they might leave. Often to head to brands not tied to a print product, but rather, commerce. And that can give them a big increase in their paychecks.
But as EICs increasingly become the “face” of a brand – making TV appearances, schmoozing and getting the name of their brand out there – rather than acting as an “editor” in the traditional sense of the word, it would be an interesting turn to see a digital editor make the leap from a digital director to EIC. For who’s to say that a digital editor wouldn’t know the brand in a more holistic way than say, a print editor?
I’m excited to see what Eva does with Lucky. And I’m even more excited to see her continue to connect with fans on social. But I’m definitely interested to see if (and when) a digital editor gets to jump to the top of the masthead of a magazine that has both a digital and print component – a true EIC of “our generation.”
Would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below!