Chatelaine names Maryam Sanati editor in chief

Toronto editor Maryam Sanati has been named editor in chief of Chatelaine, Canada's long-running women's magazine.

Toronto editor Maryam Sanati has been named editor in chief of Chatelaine, Canada's long-running women's magazine.

Maryam Sanati, Chatelaine's new editor in chief, recounted her family's emigration from Iran for a feature in the long-running Canadian women's magazine. ((Chatelaine))

"To me this is one of the best jobs in publishing, in media, anywhere in the world," she said in an interview with CBC News.

"I've had the great fortune of immersing myself in the archives and I've seen the history of Chatelaine. The magazine has managed to be the most relevant magazine to Canadian women for 80 years."

Her job is to continue focusing on the issues and interests that most engage women, Sanati said.

"We're at a unique time in history right now when women are leading very rich lives. At the same time women are challenged, especially time challenged. They have heavy responsibilities — they're still responsible for most of the child rearing and taking care of elderly parents."

Sanati, 38, lives in Toronto with her husband and is expecting her first child in June.

For more than 18 months, Sanati worked as the magazine's deputy editor and her appointment comes just ahead of the title's 80th anniversary celebrations this spring.

The Iranian-born Sanati, who emigrated with her family in the late 1970s, has previously held editorial posts at:

  • Lifestyle magazine Toronto Life.
  • Defunct technology and culture title Shift.
  • Report on Business Magazine.

She also served as an editor for the Globe and Mail newspaper.

Becomes 3rd editor in recent years

Sanati is Chatelaine's third editor in chief since Rona Maynard retired in 2004, after helming the Rogers-owned title for a decade.

Maynard was followed by journalist Kim Pittaway, who left just 15 months later, citing a "fundamental disagreement" with Kerry Mitchell, Chatelaine's publisher and vice-president of Rogers Consumer Publishing.

Pittaway's replacement, Sara Angel, spent 14 months in the position before leaving due to "personal reasons."

Despite the rapid series of changes, Sanati describes the editorial team as "joyful and creative."

Chatelaine is unveiling a redesign with its May issue, due out in late April. Editorial director Lise Ravary is the architect of this design, Sanati said.

"She's designed the house. I'm going to make it a home," she said.

Chatelaine will continue with a mix of stories about health, fashion, food and social issues and the writing will address the challenges women face, including an upcoming issue focused on daycare across Canada, she said.

"Women respond to stories on a personal level. The personal element is important to them," Sanati said.