Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Condé Nast Web Arm CondéNet’s Turn for “Across the Board” Cuts

Here’s the deal: If you work at a media company that hasn’t had layoffs recently, just go ahead and assume they’re coming.

This afternoon’s installment–CondéNet, which manages some, but not all, of media giant Condé Nast’s Web operations, is cutting staff “across the board.”

Which means not just cuts at, as Alley Insider reported earlier this afternoon, but also sites like Epicurious and

The company wouldn’t announce how many people are being let go.

But here is the official statement, from a CondéNet spokesperson:

Visibility for 2009 is very limited and we are adjusting all costs to prepare for slower revenue growth. The adjustments are across the board and include staff restructuring and some reduction. Despite the current environment, CondéNet will end the year slightly up over 2007. These moves will put the company in a stronger position to handle a challenging year ahead and for the business to benefit when the economy and the ad market start to rebound.”

This follows cuts at Condé Nast’s print titles last month, so it’s not that much of a shock.

A person familiar with the situation tells me that the CondéNet took longer to make its cuts because it hadn’t gotten a grip on 2008 sales and 2009 projections.

Now it has: The unit won’t hit its internal goal of 35 percent revenue growth for 2008, but should still “outperform the market,” I’m told. What I’m not told–whether that means the broader market for Web ads and display ads only.

Next year, the CondéNet group, run by Sarah Chubb (pictured above) expects a “modest” increase in revenue–likely something in high single or low double-digits.

As always, I’m happy to update my posts as I learn more. If you’ve got information on specific titles or people cut, please drop me a line. As always, I keep all correspondence anonymous:

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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