‘Where was the moment … where Michelle Wolf went after Sarah Sanders’ looks?’ Barry told Moneyish. ‘I can’t find it. Can you?’
As politicos and media types howled over comedian Michelle Wolf’s bawdy, cutting White House Correspondents’ Dinner monologue, Glamour’s newly minted editor-in-chief was more focused on the reaction.
“Of all the comedians they’ve had over the many years of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, there’s been very few female comedians. And the fact that the White House Correspondents’ Association came out and apologized for one of them? It really didn’t sit well with me,” Samantha Barry, 36, told Moneyish, referring to WHCA president Margaret Talev’s statement condemning Wolf’s pointed criticisms of President Trump, his aides and the media as “not in the spirit” of the organization’s mission.
Barry also took issue with some journalists’ charges that Wolf had gone after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ appearance. (Wolf likened Sanders to Aunt Lydia from “The Handmaid’s Tale,” adding the aide “burns facts” and “uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye.”) “I watched the video and I went over the transcript a couple of times, and I kept asking, ‘Where was the moment … where Michelle Wolf went after Sarah Sanders’ looks?’” Barry said. “I can’t find it. Can you?”
The digital-first CNN alum, who replaced longtime editor Cindi Leive at the legacy Condé Nast brand in January and made her glossy debut with May’s “Money Issue,” is learning to balance immediate news items of interest — among Monday’s were Wolf and a New York Times story about Nike — with the months-down-the-line publishing schedule of a print magazine.
Barry says the Money Issue — which featured actress Melissa McCarthy on the cover, a logo revamp and stories on salary whisper networks, women in cryptocurrency, the gig economy and “money secrets” from 1,000 women — drew an outpouring from women applauding the mag’s candor and honesty around money topics. “I’m so proud of it,” Barry said. “There’s a huge appetite about young women and money in general, but there’s not a lot of people making that content.”
As for why it’s important for women to know how much other men and women make, Barry said, “knowledge is power.” “I’ve managed men and women, and it’s often the men that advocate way more for themselves in the negotiations, and women will often take the first offer that they get,” she said. “I know that this is not new information for people — but I really thought for Glamour, we have not only the opportunity, but honestly, the responsibility to be talking about money and women more openly.”
The money talk doesn’t end with May’s issue, Barry said; rather, it’ll be a “recurring content topic” featured throughout the year, particularly with the reaction to features like “Money Tours,” a trip through someone’s spending and saving, and a “Cost-Per-Wear Calculator” to help guide apparel purchases. “We’ve gotten such a positive reaction to it,” Barry said, “and a hunger for more from our audience.” (“May’s issue of @glamourmag is all about the money ladies! Pages of articles on investing, emergency funds, salary negotiation, wedding costs, the gig economy… women are becoming much more financially educated, I’m so here for it,” tweeted @ashleyemrson, for example.)
Barry, with her mag’s print circulation of 2.3 million, is also acutely aware of its influence and reach. Actor-activist turned New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, for example, granted her first in-person interview to the outlet after announcing her run — a piece incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo later dismissed, claiming he didn’t usually read Glamour. (Barry, in response, publicly signed the governor up for a subscription.)
Also read: 10 women who changed the face of 2017
“(Nixon) did it because she wants to talk to women, and where do you go when you want to talk to women? You go to one of the biggest women’s titles in the U.S.,” Barry said. “I think there’s so much conversation around and about women at the moment, and it is, for any political candidate … important that they’re looking to the places that engage with young women, because they’re such a powerful force.” The tendency toward dismissing women’s media outlets, she added, is “like a blind spot.”
The recently installed editrix says her overarching goal is to make Glamour “the most accessible, authentic and relevant women’s title in America.” But she’s also looking to help her staff, particularly the younger members, self-advocate and “shout about their own successes,” she said.
“That’s one of the things that I’m trying to do here at Glamour, is make up a group of destination reporters and writers,” she said. “Whether it’s pushing my staff into doing Instagram stories for the main account or really putting them out there, I think one of the best things I can do as an editor-in-chief is help the people underneath me grow.”
© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved