Conde Nast Might Kill Some Magazines After All

Conde Nast, the twinkling magazine publisher whose glossy covers match the shimmer of its iconic Times Square building, has been pummeled by the recession. So the firm hired a group of McKinsey consultants to examine ways to restructure the company, which is the business equivalent of phoning your local amputation surgeon.

As Megan reported yesterday, now that the doctor has examined the patient, fingers have been crossed for the severity of the diagnosis. The grapevine gossip is 25 percent cuts through the company. Yesterday's update: Hooray, no magazine closings! Today's update: Yeah, about yesterday's update...


Romenesko finds that

Conde Nast execs might close titles rather than endure budget cuts so extreme that production quality would be jeopardized or advertising and circulation growth would be too difficult.

I think the graf that should have tipped us off to the potential for closings was this:

Meanwhile, it appears men's mag Details, oft-thought to be beleaguered, has been thrown a lifeline. However, since there are only about 35 staffers on the editorial side there, a 25 percent cut could be quite damaging.

It doesn't make sense to mandate 25 percent cuts at every magazine if you see profit potential at some magazines and not others. That's especially true when 25 percent cuts at flailing magazines like Details mortally gut the editorial staff. It makes more sense to cut losses and invest in the titles you believe in. News is McKinsey advocated the one-quarter cuts and let Conde figure out for itself how to get there. I would be shocked if Conde goes the route of all haircuts and no be-headings.

Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Business

Just In