Unexpectedly vacated twice in less than three years, the editor-in-chief position at Chatelaine has been filled once again. Deputy editor Maryam Sanati, 38, will step into the top editorial position at Canada’s largest magazine, Rogers Media announced today. ““I think this is the best for job for a woman journalist—not just in Canada, but anywhere,” Sanati said in an interview with Masthead.
Maryam Sanati is Chatelaine's new editor-in-chief.
Sanati replaces Sara Angel, who left the mag last July after less than 14 months on the job.
Unlike Angel, who had little magazine experience prior to the Chatelaine gig, Sanati is a 15-year journalism veteran. The Iranian-born Sanati, who immigrated to Canada from England at 11, began her career as an intern at Toronto Life, where she worked for five years before taking an executive editor position at the now-defunct Shift. As deputy editor of Report on Business magazine, she was involved in two redesigns and later took the deputy editor post at the Globe and Mail’s Review section. She arrived at Chatelaine in August 2006.
Sanati has spent much of that time working under Lise Ravary, editorial director of women’s magazines at Rogers. Ravary is a “great mentor,” Sanati says, adding: “Lise designed this house and I’m making it a home.”
Ravary won’t be disappearing from the Chatelaine picture anytime soon. Sanati is due to give birth to her first child in June and plans on taking a maternity leave, though she hasn't decided whether she’ll take the whole year she’s entitled to or return to work in January 2009. During Sanati’s leave, Ravary will fill in as top editor.
That’s something Ravary’s been doing a lot of ever since editor Kim Pittaway’s sudden resignation in August 2005, citing editorial interference from publisher Kerry Mitchell. Is Sanati concerned about this? “As a veteran journalist, there’s been no issue at all. In fact, sometimes I wonder what people are talking and speculating about out there. It has not been my experience for one second,” the University of Toronto English literature graduate says.
No word yet on a replacement deputy editor.
Sanati is currently overseeing the final stages of the long-delayed Chatelaine redesign, which will be unveiled with the May 2008 issue. The magazine will also celebrate its 80th birthday during the first week of April at an “exclusive, invitation-only gala at The Windsor Arms in Toronto.”