Earlier this week, new reports about Condé Nast executives’ meetings with publishers and editors of various publications mentioned budget cuts of around 25 percent — but not the possibility of title closures. Although there has been ominous talk all summer predicting what titles may get the axe after McKinsey & Co. leaves 4 Times Square for good, we were hopeful that the proposed budget cuts meant Condé’s magazines were safe for now.
Not so fast, says today’s Memo Pad column in Condé-owned WWD. Just because conversations have shifted from closures to budget cuts doesn’t mean we won’t see some titles fold in the near future.
At recent meetings with chief operating officer John Bellando, editors and publishers have been asked to trim budgets and given a packet outlining ways to accomplish this — “with everything from employee head count, freelance budgets, publishing schedules, travel and expenses, photo shoots and administrative costs being scrutinized,” the Memo Pad item said.
However, after leaders from Condé’s titles formulate their cost-cutting plans and submit them to the company’s management, some magazines still might end up on the chopping block. Or not. Or who knows really.
“Top executives at the company could still decide to close titles as opposed to endure budget cuts so extreme that production quality would be jeopardized or advertising and circulation growth would be too difficult,” the column explained. “Or, as earlier chatter indicated, management could opt for no closures at all and tough it out until the economy recovers.”
Turns out, even media reporters from inside Condé Nast’s walls don’t really know much more than anyone else. We’ll be keeping an eye on all of these developments.
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