Teen Vogue taps new top editor after Alexi McCammond blowback

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Less than a month after its last editor-in-chief pick resigned over a series of controversial tweets, Teen Vogue has tapped Versha Sharma from NowThis News to be its new top editor.

Sharma has worked at NowThis since 2014, including most recently as managing editor of the self-described progressive social media-focused news organization. In addition to overseeing daily news, video and social platforms, she directed US election coverage over four election cycles, according to Conde Nast.

Although the digital Teen Vogue was conceived as a fashion magazine for teenagers, it increasingly veered into highly charged political coverage over the past four years and that bent is likely to continue. Sharma’s appointment takes effect on May 24, 2021.

“Versha is a natural leader with a global perspective and deep understanding of local trends and issues — from politics and activism to culture and fashion — and their importance to our audience,” said Anna Wintour, global editorial director of Vogue and chief content officer of Condé Nast. “She is a masterful storyteller who can move from platform to platform with ease, and I am excited by her optimistic and expansive vision for Teen Vogue.”  

Of course, Wintour was equally enthusiastic about Axios political reporter Alexi McCammond when she was first picked to run Teen Vogue on March 5. McCammond resigned before she even started the new job following 13 days of intensifying furor over 10-year-old anti-Asian and homophobic tweets, triggering a staff revolt and widespread public backlash.

Prior to her appointment blowing up amid rising anti-Asian sentiment generally, McCammond had been considered a rising star journalist for her political coverage and trending social media feuds with everyone from Donald Trump to NBA legend Charles Barkley.

But even before her uncomfortable social media comments resurfaced, her appointment had been raising eyebrows due to her age, 27, and lack of management experience.

Initially Wintour and CEO Roger Lynch hoped to ride out the controversy by acknowledging that they were aware of the controversial tweets, for which McCammond has previously apologized.

She apologized once again in a futile bid to calm the waters before officially withdrawing from the post on March 18 — reopening a vacancy that was created in January when Lindsey Peoples Wagner jumped to the fashion vertical The Cut at New York magazine.

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