Media: A charmer shows his claws

The Tatler debacle has revealed a tough side to Nicholas Coleridge.

NICHOLAS COLERIDGE, MD of Conde Nast, this week stirred up the braying classes by sacking Jane Procter, editor of Tatler, the glossy society magazine.

Her leadership had driven away so many staff that Coleridge, whose style is far from confrontational, finally showed her the door last week, after a walkout by staff members with close links to the Newhouse family (owners of Conde Nast).

Harriet Mays Powell, the fashion director, Mary Eustace, senior fashion editor and other staff who walked out have all now returned, Coleridge says. "I'm a realist," he explains of Ms Procter's sacking. "I would have preferred the situation with Jane not to have come to this, but it did."

Coleridge heads the UK division of Conde Nast Publications, which also gives us Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair and Conde Nast Traveller. Somehow he has time to write successful thrillers, tour the cocktail party circuit, appear on TV shows and spend time with his wife and children.

The magazines, he says, are "like your own children" - and he should know, having eight of the former and four of the latter.

These have been bumpy months for this 42-year-old product of Eton and Cambridge, and veteran of Harpers & Queen, among others.

Though the British Conde Nast stable as a whole is healthy, with annual profits, insiders say, of around pounds 14m, some titles are facing tricky times. GQ has a new editor, Dylan Jones, who is charged with taking it upmarket after James Brown's eventful stint at the helm. And GQ Active, after disappointing monthly figures, has gone quarterly.

The Tatler imbroglio is the latest test of what most who know him say is one of Coleridge's greatest assets: the ability to make inspirational appointments. "We're looking at a whole host of candidates right now but I think it would be impolitic of me to tell you who they were," he says.

Changes at Tatler are inevitable after Procter's departure, but Coleridge says he isn't looking for fundamental changes in the product, which saw circulation climb from 30,000 to 90,000 during her tenure. "It's important to have a bit of a buzz about it. The aim with Tatler is to keep it profitable and make it admired, and Jane Procter did that."

Coleridge could have been born in Vogue House. His father was a director of Lloyd's of London and his Notting Hill house looks like a shoot for World of Interiors. He met Georgia Metcalfe when she was doing work experience on Tatler and, on finding out that she'd left after two days, tracked her down to India. They married in 1989 and now have three sons and a daughter.

He is genuinely admired and liked by his staff, who seem to have nothing negative to say about him. "He's an immensely hard worker, incredibly persuasive; and his motivation is people. He really does love what he's doing," says the editor of one Conde Nast publication.

"It sounds a sycophantic thing to say, but he's incredibly supportive," says Dylan Jones. One former CN editor says Coleridge gets directly involved in editing only "when things are going really badly".

Even Angus MacKinnon, who was sacked as editor of GQ in 1997 to make way for James Brown, has only praise for him. "He was always accessible and never imposed himself on the titles. We just had a genuine difference of opinion, but even after he fired me, which he was very uncomfortable doing, he sent me a long handwritten note thanking me for not being difficult about it."

"He's genuinely enthusiastic about life, but I suspect that underneath he may be something of a cold fish," says one magazine insider.

The only sign of potential trouble lies above Coleridge. Though he insists he has an "excellent" relationship with Jonathan Newhouse, cousin of Conde Nast's chairman Si, and head of the group's international division, a senior CN executive says: "The problem is, Nicholas is smarter than Jonathan, and Jonathan just isn't a confident, sociable, brilliant creature. You can't help but wonder what will happen in five years' time."

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders