Layoffs Hit CN Digital

NEW YORK The layoff toll continues to rise at Condé Nast, where more than 15 people were let go from the company’s digital unit, most of them from sales.
 
Those layoffs, made Oct. 8, come on top of about 14 staffers who were laid off at Brides magazine Oct. 7 after a management shake-up there.
 
The digital layoffs reflect an overall belt-tightening at the company as well as Drew Schutte’s first major reorg since he took over as head of Condé Nast Digital sales in February.
 
Condé Nast three months ago launched a company-wide review by consultants McKinsey & Co. As a result, the publishing house shut four titles — Gourmet, Cookie, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride — and laid off their associated 180 or so employees on Monday.
 
After shutting the two bridal titles, Condé Nast replaced Brides publisher Alison Adler Matz with Carolyn Kremins, who had been publisher of Cookie.
 
A company spokesperson would not confirm the digital layoffs but referred to an earlier statement by company president and CEO Chuck Townsend on the magazine shutdowns and other expected changes.
 
“We closed four businesses, and this is all part of an overall review of the entire company, and there will be cost reductions in expenses and workforce,” the rep said.
 
Insiders expected further reductions to start the week of Oct. 12. Still to make cuts are the company’s remaining books, which include Condé Nast Traveler, Vogue and Architectural Digest, as publishers look to meet an average cost reduction demand of an estimated 25 percent. Along with staff cuts, some books are expected to reduce their frequency.
 
Mid- to junior-level staffers are seen as especially vulnerable as publishers ask, as one insider put it, “what do we really need to run these businesses we have?”
 
More publisher moves also are expected. Speculation continues about former Gourmet publisher Nancy Berger Cardone, whom the company is believed to be looking to place within Condé Nast.
 
One floated scenario called for her to be named publisher of Self, whose publisher Kim Kelleher would then move to Glamour as current publisher Bill Wackermann moves up to a corporate role. Said one: “There’s been a lot of conversation about what do you do about Nancy.”
 

Nielsen Business Media