Inside the $2 billion Condé Nast empire, speculation is rampant over which other magazines may go the way of Portfolio. Vanity Fair, for instance, is down 37% in ad pages,
fueled in part by a dizzying 52% drop in ad pages in the May issue, per Media Industry Newsletter. Vogue through May is down 31%, while Glamour is off nearly 22%. Ironically,
Vogue and Glamour battled it out to become Condé Nast's most profitable magazine earlier this decade.
"Conde Nast is operating the way General Motors did a few years ago," says a former executive. "They are bloated and out of touch with today's market." With the pain likely to continue, titles on the endangered species list include Architectural Digest, down 49%; Allure, down 34%; and Wired, down almost 50%.
Forbes estimates that the Newhouse family fortune, headed by Condé Nast Chairman Si Newhouse and his brother Donald, has plummeted to $4 billion from $8 billion over the past year. The family's assets are controlled through Advance Publications, which also owns about a dozen daily newspapers that are "all wheezing," with many of their big retail advertisers disappearing entirely as a result of the recession.