Condé Nast has shaken up its longstanding publishing leadership at Glamour, historically its most profitable brand but one that’s seen unevenness in recent years. Former InStyle and Vogue sales exec Connie Anne Phillips was named vp, publisher, replacing veteran publisher Bill Wackermann.
Wackermann, a polarizing figure but one known for his showmanship and repositioning expertise, has led Glamour to record-breaking results. At one time, he had oversight for other titles in addition to Glamour, including Details, Bon Appétit and Brides. But Glamour has faced stepped up competition for the young female consumer from archrival Hearst Magazines, now under the leadership of ex-Condé Nast executive David Carey. Glamour's ad page growth was flat in the first three months of the year, per Publishers Information Bureau. Outside of ad sales, it hasn’t helped that the newsstand-reliant Glamour has struggled with single copy sales.
Still, fashion is still one of the few parts of the magazine business that are actually doing well, and Condé Nast seems to be betting on new blood to give Glamour an edge. Phillips had a strong track record at InStyle, where she quit last month in the lead-up to parent Time Inc.’s spinoff from Time Warner (immediately giving rise to speculation that she’d be returning to Condé Nast). Her fashion (and Condé Nast) cred runs deep; she’d spent 14 years at Vogue before defecting for InStyle.
Phillips’ appointment was announced by Condé Nast CEO Chuck Townsend (himself a former Glamour publisher), but the importance of her arrival at Glamour was underscored by her endorsement from none other than Anna Wintour, Vogue’s editor in chief and Condé Nast’s newly minted artistic director. “It is wonderful to have her back at Condé Nast helping to lead another one of our important fashion brands,” said Wintour in the announcement.
Wackermann, for his part, was dispatched to Condé Nast Traveler, where he will serve as evp and publishing director (the same title he had at Glamour). His arrival was preceded by publisher Carolyn Kremins’ departure last week to lead Condé Nast’s digital food brand Epicurious. Traveler could also benefit from Wackermann’s sales acumen; its ad pages were down 3 percent in the first three months of the year, per PIB.