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Chris Mitchell Named Publisher of Condé Nast Traveler

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Condé Nast has named one of its longtime publishers, Chris Mitchell, to the publisher slot at Condé Nast Traveler, ending speculation about one of the open high-level positions at the company.

Mitchell succeeds longtime Traveler publisher Lisa Hughes, who was named vp, publisher of The New Yorker earlier this month when that title’s publisher, Drew Schutte, was tapped for a new ad sales role at the company’s reorganized digital sales unit.

The company didn’t name a new publisher for Wired Media, which would be getting its third publisher in less than a year. Mitchell was named vp, publisher of Wired Media in April 2008, from the same role at Details. At Wired, Mitchell tried to diversify the business title’s advertising base by bringing in more fashion and luxury accounts, an effort that’s been hampered by the ad recession.

In 2008, Wired’s ad pages declined 12.5 percent to 1,148, per the Mediaweek Monitor. The company said a publisher announcement wasn’t expected until the week of Feb. 23.

Mitchell, meanwhile, will have his hands full righting the ship at Traveler, which has been hit hard, as belt-tightening consumers have traded trips for staycations. This year through its March issue, ad pages fell 33.3 percent to 228, with the March issue alone off a whopping 50.7 percent. The travel magazine category was off 21 percent through March and 30.8 percent for March.

Condé Nast still has another big job to fill over at its Parade Publications unit, whose longtime chairman and CEO Walter Anderson has retired.