Carey Lured Back to New Yorker

David Carey is returning to his previous post as publisher of Conde Nast’s New Yorker after six months as chief executive of the unit that publishes Gruner + Jahr USA’s Fast Company and Inc. magazines.

With Carey’s return, David Kahn, Carey’s No. 2 at the New Yorker before moving up to publisher, will shift over to lead the Conde Nast Image Center, newly created to oversee licensing and marketing, a Conde Nast spokeswoman said.

Carey, New Yorker publisher from 1998 until earlier this year, entered business and technology publishing during an advertising freefall. Inc. ad volume plunged 46 percent to 561 pages this year though the Aug.31, from a year earlier, as Fast Company volume fell 50.6 percent to 642 pages, according to Mediaweek Magazine Monitor.

Nevertheless, a reporting structure that required approvals from layers of executive committees — all the way to chief of international operations at G+J’s German parent company, Bertelsmann — made it impossible for Carey to “independently run this business unit as president and CEO,” he said. By contrast, Conde Nast’s management structure is “as flat as it can be, and I find that I work best in that environment,” he said.

Carey’s departure means publishers and editors in chief of Inc. and Fast Company will report directly to Dan Brewster, G+J’s president and CEO, an insider said.