The former magazine editor returns from exile.
Thu Mar 29 2007
Illustration: Rob Kelly
After a year-plus hiatus, Jane Pratt is back. Don't head to your newsstand looking for the latest glossy from the founding editor of Sassy and Jane magazines (well, not yet anyway). Instead, tune in to Sirius to catch her new show called—what else?—Jane Radio. The weekly live talk show is being billed as "a public therapy session for the host and the listeners," which is both compelling and frightening. Jane-ophiles will relish the chance to hear—not read—her dishy, cool, BFF voice as the 44-year-old gabs about relationships, interviews famous and not-so-famous guests, and stages interventions with compulsive listeners. Those into more-passive enjoyment can tuck into two new Jane-themed books due out next month: Falling Out of Fashion, a little too-true-to-life novel by her former assistant Karen Yampolsky; and How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time, by Kara Jesella and Marisa Meltzer. Jane-tastic.
You left Jane in 2005 in a bit of a media frenzy. Radar reported you'll spill the beans about your departure on your first radio show. True?
Yeah. I haven't really thought about what I'll say; it's not planned. Which means I'll blurt out a lot more than I should. That's generally the case.
Will it be in line with what your ex-assistant wrote in her "novel"?
No. I haven't read the whole thing, but Karen had all of the information. She saw every e-mail coming and going, overheard most of the in-person conversations. I'm sure there are a lot of treats in there. And all sorts of fabricated stuff from her perspective, not mine.
Why haven't you read it?
There's speculation that I wrote the book myself—it's completely untrue. Once I start the radio show, I'll be asked about it. I want to be able to be really clear about the fact that I did not write it, and one way to do that is not to read it. That way I won't worry about slipping up.
Is this your first radio stint?
Yes, but I've been on a bunch as a guest. I talk a lot, and I talk long. I tell stories I assume people are interested in. They really may not be! Radio is comfortable for me. I feel like I'm talking to my friends on the phone for a couple of hours while I should be working.
Do you like the headphones?
I fiddle with them. I have a paranoia of people talking about me behind my back. I feel the producer might be behind me whispering about me and I can't hear.
Perfect fodder for your "Jane Needs Help" segment, where you'll invite listeners to help you.
Are you a big radio fan?
I always did Howard [Stern] before he moved over to Sirius. I hear whatever the taxi drivers are listening to. I'm not a subway girl. I made up some excuse 15 years ago when there was a subway rapist. I'm still using that guy as an excuse not to take the subway.
What's your perfect New York day?
Taking my daughter—she turned four recently—to the playground, and going by a newsstand and her bookstore on Carmine Street on the way. Then we get some really good food at a little takeout place and bring it home.
I have lived in the West Village since moving here from Oberlin [College]. A bunch of us had an illegal sublet in Westbeth, a crazy one-bedroom loft with five of us in there.
That is so Jane. Do you miss print?
No, but I can't talk about it.
Because you're starting a new magazine with Gwen Stefani?
I'm not allowed to say! You can speculate if you want. I feel like I am working in print now.
Do people still think you're at Jane?
That's the weirdest thing! Yeah. I constantly have girls saying to me, "Oh, you're Jane from Jane." It's funny. My name is still on the masthead as founding editor.
Do you ever read it these days?
I pick it up. There hasn't been any issue that I haven't at least looked at. When I wasn't at Sassy anymore, that was really clear-cut. I didn't read it: I didn't want to support it in any way. This is more confusing. I want Jane to do well. It has my name on it.
Jane Radio airs Fridays at 6pm on Sirius Satellite Radio, ch 102.