Condé Nast Lays Off or Furloughs Nearly 200 Staffers

It's the latest publisher to cut payroll as a cost-saving measure in response to Covid-19

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Condé Nast owns more than two dozen media brands, including Vogue, The New Yorker, Bon Appétit, GQ and Vanity Fair. Condé Nast
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Condé Nast laid off just under 100 of its roughly 2,700 U.S. employees and temporarily furloughed a similar number in roles that “can’t effectively work during this period,” CEO Roger Lynch wrote in a company email today. A handful of additional employees will have reduced work schedules.

The 111-year-old publisher owns more than two dozen media brands, including Vogue, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, GQ, Wired and Bon Appétit.

Lynch said the job cuts were a “last option,” after several other cost-saving actions such as delaying projects, renegotiating contracts, limiting new hires, and temporarily reducing salaries for the CEO and others in higher-paid roles.

Condé Nast will be providing laid-off employees with a severance package and job placement resources, and the publisher will continue to pay healthcare premiums for furloughed workers. No exact details about what those packages looked like were provided.

The layoffs are the latest evidence of the toll that the coronavirus is taking on media—an industry that was struggling even before the pandemic hit. At the end of Q1 in early April, several media companies announced layoffs all at once, including Bustle Digital Group, G/O Media and CQ Roll Call.

Since then, several publishers including Meredith and The Los Angeles Times have opted to cut pay for workers rather than lay them off in the hopes that some level of normalcy will return by the end of the year. Still others, however, have continued to furlough workers, citing profound losses in advertising revenue.

Lynch joined Condé Nast just over a year ago after leaving his position as CEO of Pandora in early 2019. He was also previously CEO of Sling TV.

Lynch’s email noted that the publisher had survived world-changing events in the past, from world wars to recessions and natural disasters, and said he’s “confident we will persevere through this, too.”

@klundster Kathryn Lundstrom is Adweek's breaking news reporter based in Austin.