Conde Nast Closes Several Publications

Posted on October 11, 2009

Conde Nast LogoThe big news in the magazine industry this week was Conde Nast's decision to shutter several publications. The publications being closed include Gourmet, Cookie, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride. 180 people at Conde Nast will lose jobs as a result of the titles closing.

The L.A. Times describes a sudden switch at glossy magazines form generous expense accounts to cutbacks and firings.

Generous expense accounts were de rigueur at glossy fashion and lifestyle magazines. Some top editors and publishers enjoyed clothing allowances and mortgage assistance. Even lowly assistants flitted about in chauffeur-driven town cars.

But that culture has been turned on its head as the magazine business reels from the battered economy, the drop in advertising revenue and restraints on expenses.

Conde Nast's unexpected closure Monday of venerable Gourmet and three other magazines underscored the swift and brutal fall of what had been one of the city's most elite and free-spending industries.

There have been reports that consulting firm McKinsey & Co. put Conde Nast publications through a brutal review. Even with the cuts and closed publications, Conde Nast may still have job cuts and other cost cutting in its future. Slate compares Conde Nast to General Motors. The Guardian says Conde Nast is slated to lose $1 billion in revenue this year. A publisher can't endure that kind of advertising setback without drastic cuts.

Meanwhile, Conde Nast is launching a dating site targeted at fashionistas. This does not seem like the type of project that will boost the company's revenues by much.

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