Condé Nast Entertainment announced plans to roll out 30 new Web series as it tries to extend its prestige brands to the fast-growing digital video space.
CNE president Dawn Ostroff, in a pair of vertiginously high Louboutin pumps, took the stage at the NewFront Wednesday to announce the new series. The first round of programming would build on CNE’s existing channels for Glamour and GQ, she said. Shows include GQ’s Casualties of the Gridiron, a documentary series about former NFL players dealing with chronic pain, and Glamour’s first scripted series, The Single Life.
Vogue will be the next Condé Nast brand to get its own digital channel, starting May 8, with shows like Vintage Bowles (starring international editor at large Hamish Bowles) and The Fund (which chronicles the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition). Wired will follow on May 15, with programs including Angry Nerd (described by editor Scott Dadich as the “Andy Rooney of the 21st century”) and Codefellas (a scripted, animated show set in the NSA).
This summer, expect to see a channel from Vanity Fair, followed by Teen Vogue, Epicurious and Style.com channels later in the year.
Ostroff said CNE had signed syndication deals with AOL, Yahoo, Twitter, Dailymotion and Grab Media to help distribute the new content. CNE will also be matching production investment dollar for dollar with marketing funds, according to chief digital officer Fred Santarpia.
The presentation—CNE’s first big public event since the division formed in 2011—was a swanky affair worthy of its namesake, complete with an all-white lounge area, cocktail bar and DJ. (All the better to entertain a few grumbling attendees as they waited for the room to fill up during the hour between doors-open and the slated presentation start time.) It also drew some of the biggest stars from the Condé galaxy, like Vogue editor Anna Wintour, Wired's Dadich and Glamour’s Cindi Leive.
Of the day’s speakers, which also included Condé Nast Media Group president Lou Cona, it was Santarpia who made the boldest statement: “Our goal,” he said, “is nothing short of making digital video as endemic to Condé Nast as the print business.”