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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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work