Yet again, this time around 5% or around 300 people will get pink slips from Conde Nast’s 5,500 employees. As the New York based publishing house takes “death by a 1,000 cuts” road to profitability, I am starting to get the feeling perhaps it is not the patient but the doctors in charge of treatment. Round after round of lay offs and high profile exits seems to have yielded less than good results. In a letter from company head Roger Lynch, there were hints of more head count cuts to come along with a smaller office space footprint.
Twentieth century aspirational titles are becoming less relevant in the digital landscape. Platforms are algorithm centric where guys with no shirts, puppies and comedic irony rules. The parent company of Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair continues to struggle with declining ad revenue along as readers flock to short videos on TIKTOK and Instagram.
It begs some questions about the current centralised approach strategy for all magazines, one template fits all. How long can Conde Nast keep trying to “reduce costs” its way into the black column? Why is Fashion Empress Anna Wintour, still sitting on the thrown of a plush, yet continuing shrinking kingdom? Sooner or later the royal court will have to face reality.