Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Cuts Coming to Condé Nast, Too. Portfolio Gathers the Troops for All-Hands Meeting.

Time Warner’s Time Inc. (TWX) won’t be the only magazine publisher making cuts this fall: Condé Nast is trimming its sails, too.

The New York Observer reports that every title at the privately held publisher is being required to cut five percent from both its editorial and business ledgers, a number that MediaMemo hasn’t been able to confirm.

But I can tell you that the staff at Portfolio, Condé’s business magazine launched with equal parts fanfare and controversy last year, has been summoned to an all-hands meetings that should be starting … now. I’ll pass along more details as I get them.

UPDATE: A partial list of departing Portfolio staffers.

Recall that just two days ago Condé Nast publisher David Carey was expressing (guarded) optimism about advertising budgets next year. I’m guessing that if he were less optimistic, the cuts would be even larger.

And what about CondéNet, the Condé division that handles Web properties for some, but not all, of the publisher’s magazines? No comment, but one might imagine Sarah Chubb’s unit will be cutting back, too.

UPDATE: Condé is firing most of the staff of Portfolio.com, shrinking it from two dozen down to “single digits.”

UPDATE: I’m told that Portfolio staff has just been told the magazine will now be published 10 times a year, down from 12, and will cut five percent from its edit budget. (A second source says that will amount to 18 to 20 staffers) The December and January issues will be combined, as will the June and July issues.

UPDATE: One officially announced cut: Men’s Vogue will be shrunk down to a twice-yearly schedule. The one-paragraph release:

Men’s Vogue will be absorbed into Vogue and published in the spring and fall, it was announced today by Charles H. Townsend, President and C.E.O of Condé Nast Publications. It will continue to be edited by Jay Fielden.”

Disclosure: I’ve done freelance work for Vanity Fair.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus