Tag Archives: Conde Nast

New York Observer: Ruth Reichl on Gourmet’s closure – ‘Our circulation had never been better’

Some chilling observations on the idea that good content will out in the current industry downturn from (now former) Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl, after publisher Conde Nast announced the magazine’s closure.

“It was a magazine that depended on luxury advertising, unlike many of the epicureans. Most of our competition gets a lot of different kinds of advertising. Our main categories were travel, automotive, financial, jewellery – that all went away (…) I guess at a certain point the company decided that advertising wasn’t coming back. I wasn’t privy to those discussions,” Reichl told the Observer.

She goes on (suggesting perhaps too much distance between the magazine’s editorial and commercial teams?):

“I did know that this was bad, but on the other hand our circulation had never been better. The editorial product was a big hit with the readers, and I did not anticipate this.”

Full story at this link…

Martin Cloake: Conde Nast mag closures and ‘unreasonable optimism’

Reflecting on news earlier this week that publisher Conde Nast will close several magazine titles, including that of luxury food mag Gourmet, Martin Cloake asks whether those commentators now predicting the death of magazines are overstating the case.

“Among my favourite comments are ‘how is a cooking magazine ever going to compete with a good cooking website?’ (try using your laptop on the same work surface as you’re boning a side of beef on and you’ll find out),” writes Cloake, as he flags up an obsession with the delivery mechanism away from the quality of the content.

Using the example of Reed Business Information (RBI), Cloake goes on to explain how some magazine titles are using the web and print editions not as competitors, but to offer different things and to drive readers between mediums.

Full post at this link…

Condé Nast shuts four titles in cost-cutting move

As noted on our blog yesterday, Condé Nast, which publishes magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, is to shut four titles in a cost-cutting move.

180 jobs will be lost as a result of closing Gourmet, Modern Bride, Elegant Bride, and Cookie as the company focuses on titles ‘with the greatest prospects for long-term growth,’  according to Chuck Townsend, chief executive of Condé Nast.

Full FT report at this link…

Does the decision hold wider significance for the special interest magazine sector?

Join the debate on Journalism.co.uk:

Gourmet closure: does this sound the death knell for special interest magazines?

FT.com: US magazines planning digital store

Time Inc is reportedly at the front of an industry-wide plan to launch a digital store for magazines in 2010.

Talks have been held with Conde Nast and Hearst about the project, which could provide a new digital revenue stream for the groups, according to the FT.

The ‘digital storefront’, which could also feature other publications and newspapers, would take inspiration from online video service Hulu with the venture financed by its partners.

The service could offer more personalisation tools and additional content to resist merely replicating the title’s print editions.

Similar ventures have met with mixed fortunes: in the UK, digital magazine store Magazines On Demand closed in June. However, e-edition specialists Yudu Media launched its Yudu Store in August.

Full story at this link…

Gawker: Crowdsourcing a translation of GQ’s Putin article

Last week Gawker asked readers to help it translate an article into Russian from Conde Nast’s GQ, which the publisher reportedly went to great lengths to prevent from being read in Russia, because it contained criticisms of Vladimir Putin.

A full translation of the article has been completed and the process behind it can be read about at this link.

Issues of copyright and press freedom arise from this – Journalism.co.uk will be contacting Gawker to find out more.

FIPP 09: Audio: Jonathan Newhouse, Conde Nast International CEO

Conde Nast International’s CEO gave a rallying call to magazine publishers congregated at todays FIPP conference.

Newhouse said ‘the future is golden’ and dismissed ‘naysayers’ fortelling the end of the print industry.

Listen to Newhouse’s full speech below:


FIPP 09: Downturn is the conference buzzword – but is the mag industry facing up to it?

Yesterday at the FIPP World Magazine Conference, William Kerr, board chairman at Meredith Group suggested that ‘being 12 per cent down is the new up’.

The wider economic downturn and the gap between online and traditional offline advertising revenues in the magazine industry have been referred to in every panel I’ve attended so far (though more often than not it’s referred to as ‘challenging times’). But has the mag industry faced facts?

Dylan Jones, editor of GQ, doesn’t seem to think so:

“When we come out of this recession many industries will be the same, but the mass market motor industry and the newspaper industry will be changed forever,” Jones told delegates.

“There are many people in the magazine industry who think it won’t effect them, but we could equally be having these conversations in two or three years time about the magazine industry.”

There will be more cost-cutting, in particular staff reductions, as the industry realises the impact, he added. (GQ’s publisher Conde Nast reportedly axed five per cent of its US magazine staff last October)

For other’s the downturn is a huge opportunity for innovation and restructuring. Google’s UK MD, Matt Brittin, predicted that the current climate would accelerate certain types of user behaviour online. For example, the use of search and free technologies to create their own content.

The challenge for publishers is to monitor these changes and respond to the consumers’ changing needs online – often by embracing new, free technologies themselves, but also by finding new ways to serve up their content that will be found through specific search queries, for instance, or relating to niche topics.

According to Brittin, opportunities exist – with Google’s help of course – within the ‘first downturn in a truly digital age’.

Beet.tv: Conde Nast streams 5 million video views a month

Richard Glosser, Conde Nast’s executive vice-president for emerging media, tells Beet.tv about the publisher’s video plans, including its strategy for ‘hypersyndication’.

Full article at this link…

NYTimes.com: A vision for media survival

Two selections from the NYTimes, and maybe to send in @mediaisthriving’s direction: a ‘resilient strategy for [NY] Times despite toll of a recession,’ and this, ‘a site chronicles ways to adapt in the downturn’: “Two editors who were laid off from Condé Nast Portfolio could rage against the recession, but instead they hitched their wagon to the downturn by starting up a Web site, Recessionwire.com,” NYTimes.com reports.