Esquire Magazine Top Executive Staff Gone

There is chaos at Esquire, as the entire top of the masthead has either resigned or been let go following the resignation of Editor-in-Chief Jay Fielden last week.

Bruce Handy, features editor, who one source said was the choice of Hearst Chief Content Officer Kate Lewis to be interim editor after Fielden’s resignation on May 30, instead turned it down and resigned when Fielden told staffers he planned to leave.

Keith J. Kelly, of the New York Post, continues:

Michael Hainey, the No. 2 as executive director of editorial, was in Cannes the day Fielden resigned. Earlier this year, he had turned down the Gawker reboot job that eventually went to Dan Peres. As soon as Hainey returned from France, he resigned.

A least six full-time staffers and many of the regular freelance writers were told their days were over this week. Among that tier of departures: Raul Aguila, design director; Emily Poenisch, entertainment features director; Matthew Marden, style director; Ryan Lizza, chief political correspondent; Bob Mankoff, cartoon and humor editor; Ash Carter, senior editor; and contract writer Maximillian Potter; as well as writers at large Alex French and Stephen Rodrick.


I had high hopes for the revival of the Esquire cartoon tradition when Bob Mankoff was hired in 2017 as Humor and Cartoon Editor. The statement from Hearst Corp. at that time was,

“Mankoff will be responsible
for ‘reviving the decades-long tradition of cartoons
in Esquire, which numbers more than 13,000 cartoons
and dates back to the 1930s when they were published
regularly until the early 1970s.”


In two years that never happened.