News From Legacy Publishers: Condé Nast Editorial, Executives Undergoing Big Changes

Legacy publishers like Condé are trying to keep up in a different world for digital magazines; what are their latest strategic personnel and property moves in doing so?

Did you know that while many Mequoda Members are niche publishers and regional publications, many others have been legacy publishers looking to transition to creating digital magazines that can compete in an industry that finds niche publishers and regional publications succeeding at unprecedented rates?

That’s why we have a soft spot for legacy publishers, and why we keep a close eye on magazine industry news, activity from top publishing companies, and mergers & acquisitions.

To start the week, we’re checking in with Ad Week to get the latest from Condé Nast, arguably the king of legacy publishers, which is cutting executive personnel and doubling down on branded content.

Another Shuttering + Consolidation From Legacy Publishers

After years of struggling as a print product, Details is no more, while Self is becoming part of Glamour, Ad Week reports.

“In an effort to keep some of Details’ luxury fashion advertisers onboard, Condé is planning to expand GQ’s fashion-centric spinoff franchise, GQ Style. The semiannual print supplement will increase its printing schedule to four times a year, while a new stand-alone website,, will launch in early 2016. The current digital staff at Details is expected to transition to GQ Style; in the meantime, will remain live,” Emma Bazilian writes.

“[Incoming Condé President Bob] Sauerberg also dropped a bombshell about Self, which has been the subject of closure rumors of its own in recent months. While the magazine is not folding, its sales and marketing teams are being absorbed by sister title Glamour, and staffers will now report to Glamour’s publisher and CRO Connie Anne Phillips. Self publisher and CRO Mary Murcko will be leaving Condé Nast.”

Well-Known Condé Nast Publishing Executive Gets Cut

Speaking of Details and Glamour, Bill Wackermann made his name at both during his career at Condé Nast during the past 15 years. But now, after a last stint at Traveler, that career is over, Ad Week reports. Wackermann will be replaced by Brendan Monaghan. Although Wackermann found some success at Traveler, word is that his salary outweighed his worth as the company looked to adapt to a scaled digital future.

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Condé Nast Editorial Changes: Allure’s Linda Wells Leaves

Meanwhile, Michelle Lee, recently of Nylon, will replace Allure founding editor Linda Wells, who will stay on both the masthead and as an advisor, Ad Week reports. Lee is known as a more advertiser-friendly editor-in-chief.

More Condé: Legacy Publishers Trying Content Marketing

When it comes to advertiser-friendly, native, sponsored, and branded content are more popular than ever among legacy publishers. Condé is taking it a step further by producing an entire magazine for real estate company Simon, Ad Week reports.

According to a statement from Simon:

“The premiere edition features diverse content including covetable gift ideas, an A-to-Z listing of cultural event happenings around the world, rising technology stars and the gadgets of the future that are here today. The magazine will reach select Simon locations just before the holiday season.

‘This is the first time Condé Nast has worked with a brand to create custom editorial content at this scale, and we are pleased to bring our expertise to this project,’ said Condé Nast creative director Raul Martinez. ‘We’ve worked with some of the best talent in the industry to create a truly exceptional magazine.'”

Do you count yourself among legacy publishers looking to transition to a multiplatform strategy? Contact us today for a conversation and consultation!

To read more about legacy publishers in the news, visit Ad Week.


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