Ms Brown will become editor of the New Yorker in October, with the task of bringing 'new blood' to a publication which, for all its lofty reputation and its marketing slogan - 'the best magazine in the world, probably the best magazine there ever was' - is suffering from a stagnation in editorial content and advertising revenues. In the past eight years, Ms Brown, who became editor of Tatler in 1979 at the age of 25, has transformed Vanity Fair into one of the few up-market and widely read general interest magazines in the US. Over the period its circulation quadrupled to almost 800,000.
Her challenge is to bring this dynamism to the staid New Yorker, but without sacrificing its own peculiar dignity and character. Changes would be 'thoughtful and considered', Ms Brown, who was born in Britain, said yesterday: 'It's not going to become a reproduction or a clone of Vanity Fair, the New Yorker is the greatest intellectual and literary magazine in the US.'