Esquire’s top editor said Thursday he is stepping down just three years after assuming the post.
Jay Fielden, who was hired as the men’s magazine’s editor-in-chief in 2016, made the announcement in an Instagram post, saying the decision came “after a lot of long and careful thinking.”
“There is no greater joy—or honor—than the camaraderie of a close and deeply talented staff, and the thing I will miss most (in addition to the great muse that is Esquire itself) is the conversation and debate, the collaboration, the shared life of revisions and deadlines and filling the monthly void. Simply put—their daily company,” Fielden said. “I have, however, felt the lure of new possibilities—all the more so now, as the means of production for a new media venture is basically my laptop (which also has the first few chapters of a book on it).”
There is no immediate word on Fielden’s successor.
In a statement, Hearst Magazines, Esquire’s parent company, called Fielden “an incredibly talented editor and writer.”
“We thank him for his leadership and contributions to Hearst Magazines over the years and wish him the best with his future plans,” the company said.
The statement also said that Fielden would continue to contribute to both Esquire and Town & Country, where he was hired as editor-in-chief in 2011 and where he remained as editorial director after heading to Esquire.
The shakeup comes brings yet more change to Hearst Magazines, which also owns Car and Driver, Cosmopolitan and ELLE. (Hearst also has a broadcasting and newspaper division, among others.)
Hearst Magazine named Troy Young as its president and publisher last summer. Young joined the company in 2013, initially serving as president of digital media.
Fielden, 49, replaced David Granger, who had a long and storied run as Esquire’s top editor that spanned nearly two decades.
In his Instagram announcement on Thursday, Fielden included a photo of himself clad in sunglasses and a light jacket, folded magazine in his pocket, two bags in each hand. He was shown exiting Hearst Tower in midtown Manhattan.
“For me, the time has simply come to press on in a new direction, perhaps more than one, before I get struck by male pattern baldness. When I settle for certain on what’s next, you will be among the first to know,” he said. “Until then, I hope to practice my piano, play a little more tennis than usual, and make my kids breakfast while my wife gets to sleep late. I might even get to take all these bags on a long summer trip … or two.”