Condé Nast Digital Replaces CondéNet

Sarah Chubb of Conde NastSay goodbye to CondéNet and its scattered approach to managing Condé Nast's various Web properties. Under pressure to create greater efficiencies of scale, the media company has replaced it with a single division.

Christened Condé Nast Digital, the consolidated unit will be led by CondéNet's existing President Sarah Chubb, who will continue to report to Condé Nast President and CEO Charles Townsend.

"This is a growth-based consolidation, not a cost-cutting consolidation," said Townsend.

As such, this move does not mean additional layoffs at Condé Nast's Web properties, many of which were affected by a broad round of layoffs back in November.

The alignment of assets comes just over two years after Condé Nast seized operations and maintenance of its individual magazine sites--including Glamour, Vanity Fair and Portfolio--from CondéNet. Along with broad ad sales assistance, CondéNet had since overseen portals like Concierge and Epicurious, along with Wired Digital.

Now, a single unit responsible for Condé Nast's nearly 30 magazine Web properties is expected to lure a greater share of ad dollars with the promise of greater reach.

"Advertisers are looking for substantial scale, ease of buying, and the ability to measure user engagement," said Chubb.

This is a strategy that more and more media companies are embracing. Just last week, Meredith Corp. said it would now sell its Web sites as a single network. The new Meredith Women's Network encompasses Better Homes and Gardens, Parents and Fitness, along with its forthcoming Mixing Bowl social network, and the online communities of Real Girls Media Network.

Other sites now within the Condé Nast Digital unit include NutritionData, HotelChatter, Jaunted, Style, Men.Style, Ars Technica, and Webmonkey, along with individual magazine branded Web sites, and Brides.com. WWD.com, meanwhile, will remain part of the Fairchild Fashion Group, the company's B2B unit.

Why the purging of the CondéNet name? For lack of a better term--synergy, according to a Condé Nast spokeswomen. "We think there is dollar upside for both print and digital, and the name emphasizes our belief in full integration," she said.

Tags: magazines, online
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