After three years at the helm of Hearst's teen (tween?) title and 13 years spent inside Hearst's hallways, we're told Atoosa Rubenstein is leaving the House of Seventeen. Yep, the Today show fixture, the MySpace maven, the Big Momma (we'll stop now) is walking out the door. We hear that she's staying on through the end of the year, but already put Hearst chief Cathie Black on notice that she's done editing the title.
Which leaves so many questions: Where is she headed? What will happen to the CosmoGIRL staffers that came with her? Will the lip gloss recommendations change?
Not entirely sure, who knows, and god, we hope not! From what we understand, Atoosa is branching out of the staid world of print and embarking on something multimedia, though that's the same excuse Lloyd Grove gave while TMZ.com was turning him down. (And, just like Lloyd appears to own LloydGrove.com, Atoosa looks to be in control of Atoosa.com. AtoosaRubenstein.com, meanwhile, remains in Hearst's hands.)
Atoosa's contract expired in August, we're told, and she's been a free agent ever since. And that hasn't sat well with Cathie Black, whose Hearst house has been left in disarray ever since the 'Toos announced her impending exit — and refused Black's pleas to stay.
Thus far, Black hasn't yet found a successor to Rubenstein, though one insider's instinct suggests Jane's Brandon Holley (if only so Hearst can say they traded one EIC for another), or perhaps Seventeen's own Gina Kelly, the fashion director whose career began at the magazine.
And while Atoosa and Cathie are said to be parting ways on good terms, one insider wanted to make sure we didn't over look last month's spat of nasty Page Six items aimed at the 'Toos. Plants from the Hearst queen's executive suite?
On a related note, we're told Seventeen.com editor Sara Lieberman (a Gear refugee) split – on good terms – for the New York Post last week. And those rumors going around about Marie Claire editor Joanna Coles being the Hearstie making the surprise exit? False, we're told.
Meanwhile, one insider told us Atoosa had already told several of her staff members in recent weeks that she'd be leaving at the end of this month; that theory has been shot down by multiple tattlers — and, if it's true Atoosa hasn't told her underlings, the entire Seventeen team will be waking up to this news of their leader's departure. Now make like a MSNBC staffer and start printing those resumes.
Sara Lieberman did leave for the Post because she wanted to get back into print journalism. She was working on the online end of things at Seventeen.
I work for the mag and cannot wait to see what people will be saying tomorrow. It's going to be chaos.
GOOD EFFING RIDDANCE!!!! and I really hope the door smacks her square in her manipulative, fame-hungry lying ass on the way out!
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