New Elle editor exorcises demons

Justine Cullen and Lara Bingle attend the Hello Elle Australia show after party during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in April.

Justine Cullen and Lara Bingle attend the Hello Elle Australia show after party during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in April. Photo: Caroline McCredie

There is no doubt about it, the place has a chequered history. But malevolent spirits?

Bauer's newest glossy, Elle magazine, has made the offices of the now-defunct Madison magazine its new home.

Leaving nothing to chance, Elle editor-in-chief Justine Cullen has, according to Bauer insiders, taken an unorthodox approach to moving into her new HQ by calling in the spiritual heavies.

The former Shop Til You Drop editor is believed to have appropriated a shaman's skills to cleanse the space, setting the title up for as zen-like a journey as possible.

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Silly rumours or not, it's not hard to understand why the ousted Madison girls are said to be a little put out by the voodoo approach to their old digs. And, we hope we're wrong, but we can't help thinking it'll take more than spiritual healing to overcome the doldrums in the world of glossy magazine sales.

Nevertheless, Cullen may well be on to something.

Former Madison editor Lizzie Renkert has revealed all in a post-Bauer debrief, describing life as editor as ''cut-throat and stressful'' with ''constant budget cuts, never enough staff, pressure from management to do more with fewer and fewer resources''.

In the NewsCorp Australia piece, she said that she ''naively believed hard work and always doing the right thing by the company would prevail'', but was cruelly proved wrong when Madison was ignominiously closed down in April.

Elle's first edition is due out in September and its website goes live in August.