Press accounts estimate that Condé Nast lost $120 million in 2017 (the company’s fiscal 2018 will end on January 31) with losses in print advertising and circulation revenues insufficiently offset by digital or such multimedia ventures as CNX, Spire and Condé Nast Entertainment. All sought to monetize the often award-winning journalism in Architectural Digest, Bon Appétit,GQ, Glamour, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Vogue.
Evidence of the closely held company’s financial problems came last year, after the subletting of floors within its One World Trade Center corporate headquarters, as well as placing Brides, Golf Digest and W up for sale, ending of Glamour’s print frequency and further staff layoffs, which culminated in November with the ouster of CEO Bob Sauerberg.
Sauerberg was not the first Condé Nast CEO to oversee a period of fiscal woes. In their scathing piece, “The Buzz Factory” in the July 20, 1998 issue of Fortune, Joe Nocera and Peter Elkind wrote that The New Yorker alone “lost a stunning $175 million” in the first 13 years after CN patriarch S.I. Newhouse, Jr. bought the weekly from the Fleishmann family as a “gift” for his mother Mitzi in 1985.