Cost-Cut­ting Ex­er­cise

WWD Digital Daily - - The Reviews -

It may be awhile be­fore things set­tle down at Condé Nast.

Even be­fore the new global chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer is found, ed­i­tors at all Condé ti­tles, re­gard­less of per­for­mance, have been tasked with iden­ti­fy­ing where and how cuts to their bud­gets can be made, from pro­duc­tion ex­penses to pos­si­ble staff re­duc­tions,

WWD has learned.

While pre­lim­i­nary yearly bud­get­ing is a part of any me­dia oper­a­tion and Condé is near­ing the start of a new fis­cal year come Fe­bru­ary, do­ing so with an eye on how to make cuts is some­thing of a new stan­dard for the pub­lisher. And it’s said that even ti­tles thought to be do­ing rel­a­tively well fi­nan­cially — like Vogue, Wired and the New Yorker — are un­der the same man­date to find what and who can be done with­out and how that would trans­late to re­al­ity. In­ter­na­tional ti­tles, par­tic­u­larly those in Europe, are said to have the or­ders, too.

En­act­ing any ma­jor changes are said to await a de­ci­sion by the in­com­ing ceo, who will re­place Bob Sauer­berg and also take over in­ter­na­tional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties from Condé scion Jonathan Ne­w­house, who will move to the role of chair­man. Nev­er­the­less, there is a sense that the com­pany seems ea­ger to get the ball rolling, or at least have it ready to roll, so the in­evitable cuts from fully com­bin­ing do­mes­tic and over­seas op­er­a­tions can be swift un­der new lead­er­ship.

A Condé spokesman de­clined to com­ment.

What­ever next year brings, it is a time of uncer­tainty at the pub­lisher. After decades at the top of the mag­a­zine in­dus­try, bol­stered by a strat­egy of charg­ing the most for ads and spend­ing the most on tal­ent, the last decade has seen Condé fal­ter in the face of dig­i­tal up­heaval.

Some staffers seem ap­a­thetic to the pos­si­bil­ity that even more jobs will be cut or they will be es­sen­tially forced to take on a free­lance con­tract, as has been done with many big ed­i­to­rial names over the last year. Those that made it through the waves of cuts in re­cent years openly won­der what ti­tle will be next to fold print — Al­lure? Bon Ap­petit? Only a hand­ful re­main — but seem un­fazed by what that could mean for their jobs. — KALI HAYS Nineties, the se­ries will zoom into the in­ner work­ings of a Bri­tish monthly ti­tle, dubbed Gold Dust Na­tion, and ex­plore the lives of the stylists, jour­nal­ists and de­sign­ers as­so­ci­ated with the ti­tle in a pre-dig­i­tal world.

Through the prism of the mag­a­zine, the se­ries will also aim to ex­plore key events of the decade from Thatcher’s reign, to the emer­gence of a postre­ces­sion new world or­der and new fem­i­nism.

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity to bring to life the re­al­i­ties of the world of fash­ion pub­lish­ing in a se­ries that will have to­tal au­then­tic­ity. We will be able to show­case the real is­sues and real sto­ries that oc­cur when you com­bine huge cre­ativ­ity with hu­man emo­tions and dilem­mas set in a back­drop of the chang­ing times of re­cent his­tory,” said Shul­man, who an­nounced that she was leav­ing Bri­tish Vogue last year and was suc­ceeded by Ed­ward En­nin­ful.

Gol­far said the show would draw on their shared ex­pe­ri­ence to show­case how peo­ple find their place “in this world of per­ceived glam­our.”

“It’s a show about love and loy­alty, treach­ery and cre­ativ­ity, beauty and body im­age. Can these co­ex­ist when there is so much at stake in the highly charged world of fash­ion mag­a­zines? Be­tween us, Alexan­dra and I have seen it all. From the board­room to the bed­room, there is never a dull mo­ment in the world of fash­ion,” Gol­far added.

— NATALIE THEODOSI

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