Condé Nast put a new publisher in place at Details magazine, signaling confidence in a title that’s been seen as vulnerable in the past.
Evp Bill Wackermann, who oversees Details, moved Paul Jowdy to Details from the same position at Bon Appétit. Details had been without a day-to-day publisher since the last one, Steve DeLuca, left the company as part of a shakeout in fall 2009.
Details, a smaller, edgier counterpart to corporate sibling GQ, has cycled through a number of publishers in the past several years (Jowdy was there for less than a year, two publishers before DeLuca). With its small audience (relative to other titles at the company), some saw it as marked for closure.
When DeLuca left, Wackermann gained oversight for Details as publishing director and turned over the sales staff. Now, the 456,519-circ title seems set for a fresh start, with Jowdy coming on board and editor Dan Peres adding The Body, a new 8-10 page fitness section starting with the March issue. In 2010, pages were down slightly (1.3 percent) to 777, but the magazine is said to have stopped bleeding red ink.
Wackermann said while he wouldn’t discuss the title’s profitability, Details is in a strong position. “In 2010, we exceeded our budget,” he said. “The company is pleased and I’m pleased with the momentum Details is doing. Having a seasoned professional like Paul Jowdy is a clear sign we’re investing in this property.”
Pamela Drucker Mann, who served under Wackermann as associate publisher at Glamour, replaced Jowdy as publisher of Bon Appétit.
Both titles will continue reporting to him. However, that could eventually change; the company has been assigning troubled titles to Wackermann, its in-house “fixer.” One of those, Brides, just moved out of his group, three years after he took it on.