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Maxim dismissed its former editor-in-chief Kate Lanphear just two weeks ago and has already moved to replace her with former GQ Style Guy Glenn O'Brien. Technically, Maxim has brought O'Brien aboard as its editor-at-large, but that seems to be merely semantics as he explains it. When asked why his job title isn't EIC, O'Brien tells WWD: "I can't take that kind of pressure."
Hopefully, O'Brien's tenure will last longer that Lanphear, who stayed with the publication for just a little over a year. During her time at the helm, Maxim's circulation dropped from 131,099 in February of this year to 95,471 in June/July. O'Brien sees the positive side of dwindling sales. "I don't think there's a gun to my head in terms of getting results." As for what the magazine will look like under O'Brien, it sounds like he could take the baton from Lanphear, who was trying to elevate the publication from its lad mag reputation. "Men's magazines are more juvenile now," O'Brien says. "Some friends of mine brought up my name to Sardar. We saw eye to eye on things. I see a gap in the men's market."
O'Brien had his own very public breakup with GQ just earlier this year when he relinquished of his long-standing writing duties as the outlet's Style Guy and was replaced by Mark Anthony Green. His new position at Maxim will certainly give O'Brien freedom to institute a vision he claims GQ had gotten away from. "What GQ is now is not what I signed up for," he said when he left. "It used to be smart and stylish. Now they're struggling."