More Cuts May Hit Conde Nast

Another round of high-level cuts and consolidation may be coming to Condé Nast, as top brass at the high-end publisher is rumored to be considering swinging the axe again.

That’s according to Women’s Wear Daily (which used to be a corporate sibling of the CN mags, when both were owned by Advance Publications), citing unnamed sources within the company.

Like most big magazine publishers, CN is negotiating the difficult transition from print to digital media.

WWD notes that the high-pressure period readying the all-important September fashion issues, with “all hands on deck,” has passed. That presents an opportunity for execs to trim the workforce on CN’s publishing side without undue disruption to publishing schedules, and enough time to reorganize going into the holiday season.

One of the main changes under consideration would be a big shakeup entailing grouping the company’s publications by category or shedding around half of the current team of 13 publishers. Both moves would help reduce costs at CN.

This transition would mirror similar reorganizations at other big publishers, including Time Inc., which recently introduced new business and editorial structures for its brands.

On the business side, that included getting ride of the title of publisher and introducing a new sales structure with executives overseeing groups organized around advertising categories, brands or digital sales, with each group assigned a general manager, eliminating group president roles.

Not long afterwards, Time Inc. president and COO for sales and marketing Mark Ellis told MediaPost’s Supply-Side Insider why the company ditched the “publisher” role: “As part of this reorganization, we were looking at the title of publisher, which everyone thought was fairly antiquated, because it denoted a print-centric company.  We’re moving to being a digital-first company, and we wanted the titles and sales structure to reflect that.”

WWD notes that the timing for any cuts at Condé Nast is up in the air, as rumors about previous cost-cutting measures – for example, the decision to close Details – circulated for years before actually coming to pass. Conversely, CN is under even more pressure than usual because of a global downturn affecting luxury retailers, which have pulled back on print advertising.

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