Mr. Cooper, 65, has been the editor of the men's title for 19 years and was inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors Hall of Fame this year.
He has also made the news recently with a spirited correspondence between himself and Dennis Publishing CEO Felix Dennis. Responding to a satirical article about GQ in Mr. Dennis' Stuff magazine, Mr. Cooper criticized that magazine's editor, Greg Gutfeld.
'Ignorance in action'
"Dear Felix the Poet," the handwritten letter read, referring to Mr. Dennis' hobby of writing poetry. "I know that very little embarrasses you, pal, but your boy Greg Gutfeld is the boorish personification of Nietzsche's observation that 'there is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action.' If you want the right stuff, you ought to get a new editor. I have some names for you."
The letter was reprinted in its entirety in Stuff's March newsletter sent out to media journalists.
GQ's ad pages
Mr. Cooper is not likely to offer his own name for a job at Stuff. He has been steadfast in resisting the sexy and racy tabloid formula delivered by new men's titles such as Stuff, its highly successful sibling publication Maxim, and Emap USA's FHM. Some say GQ has suffered as a result. According to Publishers Information Bureau, in 2001 GQ had 1,747 ad pages, down 13% from 2000; last year the count remained static at 1,750 ad pages. In January, GQ's page count stood at 41, up 17% from the same time last year.
Last month, Mr. Cooper told the New York Post that he expected to stay at the magazine for several years.
The Post suggested that two potential successors to Mr. Cooper were Dylan Jones, editor of British GQ, and David Zinczenko, the editor in chief of Rodale's Men's Health.