Jones' bland message, writtten in corporate editor-speak, hinted at changes to come. Her predecessor, Graydon Carter, planned most of the articles for the edition.
The former New York Times book editor, a surprise choice to replace Carter, took pains to praise him and his predecessor, Tina Brown. Jones promised to continue the magazine's mission set by Brown to cover low and high culture.
On Sunday, Brown will preside over her first Vanity Fair Oscars party, a tradition begun by Brown and intensified by Carter.
While Jones in one of her first acts laid off 20 top editors, including Brown lieutenant Jane Sarkin, her photo accompanying the editor's letter gave a link to the past. (Photo shown above.) It was taken by Annie Leibovitz, whose cover shots for Brown and Carter set Vanity Fair's glamorous tone. Leibovitz, also known for her relationship with Susan Sontag, played a similar role in defining Rolling Stone's personna.
Vanity Fair's arty cover photo of Jennifer Lawrence, her face half-shrouded by ethereal light, gave Jones her first major crisis. The cover was a near copy of a Lawrence portrait published earlier by the Hollywood Reporter. A furious Jones reportedly changed the font of the cover's typeface at the last minute to make it appear less like the Reporter's cover.
Brown recently published her diaries from her days remaking Vanity Fair in the 1980s and '90s. Jones is a literary sort; we can look forward to reading her diaries one day.