A few weeks ago, I wrote a cheeky piece about Conde Nast instituting a MASSIVE cost-cutting measure — the cancelation of staff newspaper subscriptions (note sarcasm here). I found it completely ironic that Conde had just hired Mckinsey to come in and evaluate their business and this was the first cost-cutting measure that came about — and was leaked to the press. Well, today the shit hit the fan at Conde HQ.
The headlines over the the past few weeks speculated on whether or not the publishing giant was going to shut down any publications after announcing 25% cuts across-the-board. Well, today it was announced that Gourmet, Modern Bride, Elegant Bride and Cookie were not going to be seeing the light of a printing press again. The bridal pubs, I get. Who really does it better than Brides mag anyhow? Cookie, I also somewhat anticipated, because it never really found its place in the overly-crowded parenting category. But, Gourmet? Now that one threw me for a loop.
For those who are curious — I’ve got friends in high places. Well, at least I’ve got a friend who was kind enough to send me the internal memo that Chucky boy had to send out to inform internal staff of the bad news. Gotta love his efforts in putting in the positive spin….
From: Townsend, Chuck
Sent: Monday, October 05, 2009 10:17 AM Eastern Standard Time
To: Conde Nast Publications-All
Subject: Announcing Changes within Condé Nast
We have now completed an extensive review of our business – an important undertaking given the dramatic changes in the U.S. economy. The review has led us to a number of decisions designed to navigate the company through the economic downturn and to position us to take advantage of coming opportunities.
Condé Nast’s success comes from the ability of our publications to attract readers with a wide range of interests, as well as advertisers who value them. But in this economic climate it is important to narrow our focus to titles with the greatest prospects for long-term growth.
As a result of our review, Brides will increase its frequency to monthly to solidify its position as the most important brand in the bridal category, and Modern Bride and Elegant Bride will close.
Gourmet magazine will cease monthly publication, but we will remain committed to the brand, retaining Gourmet’s book publishing and television programming, and Gourmet recipes on Epicurious.com. We will concentrate our publishing activities in the epicurean category on Bon Appétit.
Finally, Cookie magazine will be discontinued, and resources that had been dedicated to its publishing will be invested elsewhere.
The editorial and business staffs of Modern Bride, Elegant Bride, Gourmet, and Cookie all have earned their magazines large and devoted followings. We have been proud to publish these titles, and we are grateful to the staffs for their hard work and dedication.
These changes, combined with cost and workforce reductions now underway throughout the company, will speed the recovery of our current businesses and enable us to pursue new ventures. In the coming weeks, we hope to announce initiatives to develop digital versions of our brands that will make use of new devices and distribution channels.
Condé Nast is now in its 100th year of creating the most respected and iconic brands in the publishing world. These changes will ensure that our unique publishing company will continue in its preeminent position for many years to come.