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Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Condé’s Cuts Come to Vogue

conde-nast-buildingAs expected, Condé Nast executives are swinging the layoff ax around the fabled magazine publisher. Today’s cuts are at Vogue, where I’m told at least six people have been let go from one of the company’s best-known titles.

There will be more to come at the publisher, which shut down four magazines last week and is trying to bring down costs at its remaining titles by 25 percent. “Everybody’s tense and anxious here,” says a still-employed Condé Nast worker. “A terrible environment. We know the layoffs are coming but don’t know how many or when.”

Statement from Condé spokeswoman Maurie Perl:

We announced last week when we closed the four titles that there would be companywide expense cost reductions and some workforce reductions in association with the 2010 budget process. These Vogue layoffs are  part of that and we have no further comment on the subject.

A reminder: Vogue’s September 2007 issue was supposedly the biggest in magazine history, and its production has been chronicled in a documentary you can see in theaters today. But Vogue’s September 2009 issue’s ad count was down more than 50 percent compared with the previous year.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald