Longtime Vogue editor just got a promotion of sorts. On Wednesday, Condé Nast is expect to announce Anna Wintour's new role as artistic director of the entire company. This is a new role created specifically for Wintour and will mean that the legendary fashion journalist will soon have a hand in the editorial direction of all of Condé Nast's publications, from Architecture Digest to Vanity Fair. She'll be taking over some of the duties of S.I. Newhouse, Jr. who's taking a step back from the publishing company to help run the family business from a corporate level. Wintour will remain editor-in-chief of Vogue, a position she's held for 25 years now, and described the new position as "almost like being a one-person consulting firm" to The New York Times who broke the news. The Times also reports that Condé Nast's offering Wintour more responsibility, more seniority and, presumably, more money was an effort to keep her from leaving the company.
It's hard not to view this promotion as a consolation prize for Wintour. Just a few months ago, the media was buzzing with rumors that Wintour was in line to be appointed the next United States ambassador to the United Kingdom or possibly France. She'd done her job fundraising for Obama during the election, sources said she wanted the job (badly) and the celebrity appeal made for a fun story. Alas, Anna did not get her embassy job leaving her back in boring old New York, where people can't stop making movies about her life, because it's so interesting. So she'll soon start poking her head in on other editors, wearing her signature cold Wintour stare. Believe it or not, these editors welcome the input. "I don't expect Anna to be picking the cartoons or directing our war coverage," New Yorker editor David Remnick told The Times. "But I have asked her advice numerous times and always been grateful for it. She's a great editor. Period."