Taking part in last Friday’s Festival of (Jackie) Frank was the person who succeeded her as the editor of marie claire magazine – Nicky Briger.
After a video of Briger’s speech found its way to Mediaweek, we are able to present a (slightly edited) version of her memorable insights gleaned from years of working alongside Jackie Frank.
Ten Magazine Commandments (you need to adhere to if you want to work with Jackie Frank)
1. Thou shalt not mistake your new boss for a homeless person.
This related to my first interview with Jackie where she was sitting in an empty office with no shoes, no makeup, crazy hair. I thought I should call security ’cos a homeless woman had killed Jackie and taken over her office!
2. Thou shalt not say no to being humiliated in the pages of marie claire!
The staff quickly became Jackie’s lackeys.
Look what she made us do (in the name of journalism):
• Scour Sydney’s nudist beaches to find men who’d be happy for us to photograph their penises.
• Go to orgasm school and appear sweaty in lycra in the pages of the magazine.
3. Thou shalt NEVER get between Jackie and a camera.
Or you’ll be mowed down. When Sunrise, Daily Edition, Today Tonight and The Morning Show weren’t enough, she masterminded her OWN show, à la Oprah, called Under The Covers, which was a Frank-a-thon on steroids. She loves the camera!
4. Thou shalt NEVER get between Jackie and a famous person.
If there’s a celebrity in the room, Jackie would’ve befriended them and taken several photos for her social media feed – all within 10 minutes.
5. Thou shalt never leave food on one’s desk.
She is the food forager. Anything edible will disappear by the bottom feeder that is Frank.
6. Thou shalt not do a subtle cover.
You can do any masthead colour you want – as long as it’s fluoro! It’s got to be orange, green, yellow or pink ’cos, in the words of Ms Frank, “subtle doesn’t sell”.
7. Thou shalt never take on Jackie when she’s passionate about something.
Jackie took on the Christian right to campaign for same-sex marriage, she took on the PM John Howard over paid maternity leave and she took on Malcolm Turnbull over refugees. No-one stands in her way when she believes in a cause.
8. Thou shalt never be single in her presence.
Jackie is the eternal match-maker. If she has a friend or family member with a single son, she’ll set you up on a date with them! It’s a marie claire initiation.
9. Thou shalt not organise a meeting on a Jewish holiday.
We call Jackie “the convenient Jew”. She’ll take all the Jewish holidays, but when it comes to ham and bacon, all religious bets are off!
10. Thou shalt shield one’s eyes when she’s changing clothes.
You can’t unsee the stuff we’ve seen. Jackie has no shame when it comes to getting changed in her office for all the world to see!
But, above all, she’s been an amazing mentor, loyal friend and hilariously offbeat boss. We’ll miss the freaky, Frank-i-fied fun.
Photo: Jackie Frank and Nicky Briger celebrating 20 years of marie claire in 2015