High-end magazine publisher Condé Nast is preparing to launch a major reorganization of the company, according to a report from Women’s Wear Daily, citing unnamed sources at Conde, which used to be a corporate sibling of WWD publisher Fairchild Fashion.
WWD also pointed to the publisher’s recent hiring of strategic advisory firm MediaLink, headed by veteran media exec Wenda Harris Millard. It helps revamp media firms to adapt to the digital age, in addition to serving as a matchmaker for old and new media firms.
According to the unnamed sources, a sweeping shakeup could hit CN as early as October, but the extent and timing has yet to be decided. The restructuring could come later.
MediaLink has already worked with CN on events including the Cannes Lion and CES, but never on anything as big as the current overhaul is expected to be.
While the precise shape of the reforms remains unknown, many media watchers speculate that CN may be eliminating the role of publisher at some or all of its magazines. That means consolidating top leadership in order to enable more cross-brand sales spanning the company’s various properties. Sales could possibly organized around advertising categories, rather than individual titles.
As MediaPost'scolumns editor Phyllis Fine recently noted in a commentary, the axe has been swinging on the editorial side at CN, as well.
If CN scraps the publisher title, it will be in good company; several of its peers have already taken the plunge. Earlier this month, CN rival Hearst eliminated the traditional position at Elle Décor in addition to several other magazines, joining Veranda and House Beautiful, which both scrapped the publisher spot several years ago.
And this summer, Time Inc. eliminated the role from its corporate organization as part of a broader consolidation of its sales and marketing teams. Time Inc.’s new sales structure has executives overseeing groups organized around advertising categories, brands or digital sales.