Two of the country’s highest-profile magazine-media companies, Hearst and Conde Nast, announced this week that they’re suspending operations in Russia in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In a memo on Tuesday to the company’s global staff, Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch announced the suspension. “We continue to be shocked and horrified by the senseless violence and tragic humanitarian crisis in Ukraine,” Lynch wrote. “It is paramount that we are able to produce our content without risk to our staff’s security and safety. Recently, the Russian government passed new censorship laws that now make it impossible for us to do so. To that end, we have decided to suspend all of our publishing operations with Condé Nast Russia at this time.”
Lynch said the company’s previously announcedhumanitarian support for the people of Ukraine will proceed.
Condé Nast, publisher of gold-standard brands like Vogue, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Wired, Architectural Digest and more, was joined by another storied magazine company, Hearst Magazines, on Wednesday.
In a memo to the staff obtained by WWD, Hearst Magazines president Debi Chirichella said it notified its two Russian publishing partners, Shkulev Media and Fashion Press, that it is terminating its involvement in the ventures and turning its equity over to them. In the case of Fashion Press, Hearst is terminating its licensing agreements as well, WWD reported.
Hearst Magazines published Elle Russia through the partnership with Shkulev Media. In the deal with Fashion Press it published Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan and Men’s Health in Russia.
“While we firmly believe our brands play a critical role in engaging and informing audiences on a range of subjects, including current events, the escalation of the humanitarian crisis and our deep concern about the broader impact it could have has forced us to reassess our role — and our responsibility — as a global business,” Chirichella said in the memo, per WWD.
The two magazine companies join a growing number of media companies and those across many global economic sectors that have announced suspension of operations in Russia. Reuters reported on Wednesday that Warner Media has paused all new business in Russia, and earlier this month, three British television companies, BBC, ITV and All3Media, announced they would stop business with Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, according to The Hollywood Reporter.