It’s About to Get Even Uglier at Condé Nast

September 23, 2009 • Fashion


Just as fashion editors are in the throws of the European Spring '10 fashion shows comes news from Crain's NY that a bloodbath is about to ensue at Condé Nast. In well reported efforts to slash costs at its magazines (Condé Nast has been undergoing a review of its operations since July by consulting titan McKinsey & Co.) editors and publishers are preparing their 2010 budgets following meetings with Chief Operating Officer John Bellando.

The actual cost-cutting (or blood-letting) could begin as early as mid to late October. The budget meetings are aimed at reducing budgets at each of the company's titles by an average of 25%, sources say. The editors and publishers, who will be in charge of cutting from their respective departments, will have a few weeks to submit their budgets for approval. Staff and spending cuts could soon follow.

Titles that have been hit particularly hard by the recession include Gourmet, whose ad pages have fallen 43% through October; W, which is down 46%; and men's fashion magazine Details, which is down 36%.

Insiders also say that the company is used to excess an has never been run as a lean operation. Yet, they expect the kinds of cuts to differ according to the title. Some might focus on reducing headcount, while others might not have to.

Morale has also taken a hit as staffers wait to learn about their fates. “It's like, instead of ripping off the band-aid all at once and getting it over with, they're ripping it off very slowly,” said an insider. Ouch, that's gotta hurt.

Source: Crain's NY

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