Condé Nast Cuts the Title “Publisher” in Sales Shakeup
Perhaps taking its cue from Time Inc., Condé Nast announced yesterday a sales reorganization that eliminated the title of “publisher.” Instead, the media company will organize its sales teams around client industries and publishing groups, and these teams will be lead by “chief industry officers” and “chief business officers.” Like Time Inc.’s sales reorganization, Condé’s goal is to cut costs and make it easier for advertisers to launch campaigns across multiple publications. Women’s Wear Daily reported rumors of this reorganization on Monday.
As a result of the shakeup, three publishers were let go, including Self and Glamour publisher Connie Anne Phillips, Brides publisher Michelle Myers, and Allure publisher Agnes Chapski.
Filling the void are newly appointed chief business officers: former Architectural Digest publisher Giulio Capua, Wired’s Kim Kelleher, GQ’s Howard Mittman, and Vanity Fair’s Chris Mitchell. Capua will continue to oversee Architectural Digest as well as Condé Nast Traveler and the Food Innovation Group. Mittman will oversee GQ, GQ Style, Golf Digest, Golf World, the Wired Media Group, and Pitchfork. Kelleher is responsible for Glamour, Allure, Brides, Teen Vogue, and Self. Mitchell will lead W and Vanity Fair. Vogue and The New Yorker are the only brands not included in these groups and will continue to be led by Susan Plagemann and Lisa Hughes, respectively.
Condé Nast Entertainment CRO Lisa Valentino will lead the industry-focused sales team, which will span eleven industry categories. Those include autos, beauty, fashion, telecommunications, luxury, travel, media and entertainment, retail, business and finance, pharmaceuticals, and food, beverage, and spirits.
In addition to the sales shakeup, Condé also announced the appointment of a new CMO, Pamela Drucker Mann, who previously oversaw sales for the Food Innovation Group. Josh Stinchcomb was also appointed managing director of 23 Stories, Condé’s branded content studio.
Talk of consolidation and reorganization at Condé sparked acquisition rumors. WWD reported that, according to some unnamed sources, Condé has entertained sales talks with a few companies. Sources hypothesized that Hearst would be the most likely suitor, but a Hearst spokesperson denied any interest in acquiring Condé. Apple and Google have also been named as theoretical suitors. Apple declined to respond to WWD’s request for comment. But Google sent WWD this cryptic, and perhaps facetious message: “You seem Wired into the latest chatter. We got some Backchannel from a New Yorker that this gossip was en Vogue. When your question came in and we Reddit, it made us quite Epicurious because your stories have some Allure. But Self-ishly we don’t comment on rumors (Glamour-ous or otherwise). Bon Appétit!,”
Related story: Time Inc. Cuts Up to 30 Ad Jobs, As Suitors Line Up