One day after telling staff it had hired consulting company McKinsey & Co., Condé Nast announced that is was deconstructing its Men.Style.com Web site and giving the site’s related magazines, Details and GQ their own sites.
This move is long overdue, since one of the magazines encompassed by Men.Style.com — Men’s Vogue — was shuttered last year as part of Condé’s cost cutting measures. There are reports that the Men.Style.com staff will be moved over to GQ.com, but we’re sure this is just the beginning of restructuring to come at the company now that McKinsey is on board.
Since the announcement yesterday, one anonymous tipster let us know what the experience was like when McKinsey was hired by Times Mirror Magazines in the 1980s. Then-president Francis Pandolfi called the staff into a rented out movie theatre and gave a prophetic speech.
“Look to your left, look to your right — your neighbor may not be here after this initiative,” Pandolfi said, according to our source. The company then hired McKinsey and spent a $1 million, which was quite a lot 20 years ago. The result? “Many people lost their jobs and then the company was bought out,” our tipster said.
Read on for a translation of yesterday’s Condé Nast memo.
“We have hired a consulting firm to tell us how to make money on all these marquee magazine names. Unfortunately not enough people are buying them at the newsstand, subscribing to them, or buying ad pages at premium rates, so they are going to tell us how to rethink our business model.
That means we will probably have to can the whole print division, roll everything over to the Web, and figure out how price a subscription model for the websites so that we can get premium ad dollars.”
Read more: Conde Nast Digital To Launch GQ.com, Details.com [WebNewser]