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Posts Tagged ‘John Koblin’

Check Out The New Yorker‘s Masthead

new yorker cover.jpgCondé Nast weekly The New Yorker doesn’t publish a masthead, so its staff, titles and editorial structure is sort of a well-kept secret. And, it’s one of the few Condé pubs to mostly survive the massive staff cuts that hit the magazine publisher recently. We admit to more than a little curiosity about what that masthead might look like these days.

Being curious himself, The New York Observer‘s John Koblin has done the legwork and put together a masthead for the venerable pub. It’s a hefty list, which includes more than 60 staff writers — although Koblin is quick to point out “that because of the unique, internal logic of the magazine, job titles are a strange thing — someone who may be a staff writer may have only contributed a single piece in the last few years.”

As New Yorker editor-in-chief David Remnick explained to Koblin:

“If The New Yorker is going to be worthy of the name and achieve a level of prose or accuracy or depth, or if it’s going to give the reporters or writers the time they need to achieve what I hope we can achieve, we can’t do it with a minuscule staff.”

See the full masthead: The Last Magazine Standing

Related: More Cuts At Condé?

One Last Gourmet Party

gourmet.jpgWe’d like to end the week on a high note, but on this gloomy, cold October Friday in New York City, this story from The New York Observer about the last hurrah for Gourmet magazine seems fitting.

Many braved the rain last night to toast the venerable epicurean magazine, which was among the Condé Nast casualties last week. Editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl, Condé Nast editorial director Tom Wallace was there and former publisher Nancy Berger Cardone gathered at A Voce Columbus Circle to celebrate the new television series, “Gourmet’s Adventures with Ruth,” airing this Sunday on Channel 13, even though the magazine has folded.

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When Will The Layoffs Start At Condé Nast?

4 times square.jpgLike many media watchers, The New York Observer‘s John Koblin, who has been diligently tracking the goings on at Condé Nast since McKinsey & Co. was hired a few months ago, is eagerly anticipating news of layoffs from 4 Times Square. It’s unclear how the company will implement its much-needed cost cutting, but layoffs are pretty much a given. But the question on everyone’s lips is: when will they start?

According to Koblin, reduced budgets — which executives have reportedly been asking publishers and editors to trim by about 25 percent — will be finalized in the next few weeks. Then, it’s bombs away:

“Technically, any editor and publisher can wait until the end of the fiscal year — the end of January — to break the news to staffers getting cut. The 25-ish percent reduced budget doesn’t kick in until Feb. 1.

This means layoffs could start in October at 4 Times Square and stretch out for several weeks.”

So, mark your calendars. Looks like D-Day at Condé could be in October, while others will have to wait in agony to find out their fate.

Got any news? Keep us posted about any breaking layoffs news.

Layoffs Will Come To Condé Nast, but When?The Observer

Earlier: Layoffs On The Horizon For Condé Nast?

Could Condé Nast Cut Budgets By 25 Percent?

VF.jpgWith McKinsey & Co. wrapping up its time at Condé Nast, the speculation has begun about how the magazine publisher will change its business in the coming months.

Today, Crain’s New York Business reports that editors and publishers have been asked to prepare for meetings to discuss next year’s budgets. They will likely be asked to cut budgets, perhaps by as much as 25 percent, the article said.

“The assumption behind the cuts is that advertising is not going to rebound any time soon,” observed reporter Matthew Flamm.

One Condé insider told Flamm that the company, “‘isn’t going to become like Hachette,’ referring to Hachette Filipacchi US, publisher of Elle and Woman’s Day, which is known to run a bare bones operation.”

Last week, The New York Observer‘s John Koblin predicted that the Condé Nast titles most in danger of being designated by McKinsey for “frequency reductions” are epicurean titles Gourmet and Bon Appetit and men’s mags GQ and Details.

Condé Nast execs to make big cuts, insiders sayCrain’s New York Business

Earlier: McKinsey Wraps Up At Condé Nast

McKinsey Wraps Up At Condé Nast

4timessquare.jpgToday we have another dispatch about McKinsey’s work at Condé Nast from The New York Observer‘s John Koblin.

Koblin, who has been reporting on McKinsey’s work throughout the summer, reports that the consulting company is ready to wrap up its investigation of the state of Condé’s business and will present their findings to the company’s executives soon:

The Observer has learned that McKinsey consultants are winding down their tour of Condé Nast, and will be ready to submit their final recommendations to chairman Si Newhouse and CEO Chuck Townsend in the coming weeks. One source said that recommendations could begin as early as Sept. 16, but another well-placed source said that the ‘totality of their recommendations’ will be given at all once, and that they would come down in the next two to three weeks.”

Although the consultants have taken a close look at Vogue and Condé Nast Traveler Koblin suggests that the magazines most in danger of being designated by McKinsey as “frequency reductions” are epicurean titles Gourmet and Bon Appetit and men’s mags GQ and Details.

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McKinsey Takes A Look At Vogue, Traveler

vogue sept.jpgThe New York Observer‘s John Koblin continues his coverage of McKinsey & Co.’s examination of Condé Nast with an article today about the consultants’ recent look at Vogue and Condé Nast Traveler.

Koblin reports that the two magazines are supposedly being used as studies that will shape the company-wide recommendations McKinsey will provide later this year:

“The two magazines are believed to be representative business units for the entire company. Vogue, the ad-heavy breadwinner, is seen as being reflective of a bigger magazine. Traveler, with its moderately hefty staff, is smaller than Vogue and considered reflective of a midsize magazine.”

Meanwhile, other sources tell Koblin that even more titles have been getting visits from McKinsey or are gearing up for sit downs soon, including GQ and Glamour. “It is also likely that McKinsey will be spending time with titles that have a smaller profile than Vogue, and with a much bleaker bottom line,” Koblin surmises. “In other words: The magazines whose prospects might not be so hot.”

Hey, Condé Nast employees, what are you seeing around 4 Times Square? If you have any tips or thoughts about what’s happening over there, leave a comment or anonymous tip (in the box at right) or send us an email.

Vogue, Traveler Get Thorough Exams, Courtesy of McKinsey Observer

Earlier coverage on FBNY: Mourning The Loss of Condé Nast’s “Gilded Age”

First On FBNY: More Cuts At Condé? (With Updates)

new yorker.pngA FishbowlNY tipster tells us there were layoffs at The New Yorker yesterday, the same day the New York Observer featured a story hinting that the magazine would be spared from the Condé Nast cuts.

“Two well-placed sources said that Condé Nast’s chairman, Si Newhouse, reached out to [New Yorker editor David] Remnick shortly after the McKinsey announcement was made and told him not to worry about anything — the magazine would be just fine, and neither McKinsey nor company executives would be mucking with his editorial costs,” the Observer‘s John Koblin reported.

FBNY has reached out to New Yorker‘s publicists, and we’ll keep you posted.
UPDATE: A New Yorker publicist has confirmed to FBNY that three of the magazine’s staffers on the business side were let go yesterday.

After doing some more digging, we have heard that the cuts were not McKinsey related. People at the New Yorker are maintaining the party line that Koblin referred to in his article: the editorial budget for the New Yorker will most likely remain untouched throughout the McKinsey process.

However, Koblin may have gotten one thing wrong: we’ve heard that Graydon Carter frequently eats in the cafeteria at 4 Times Square, and has for years.

Heard anything? Send us an email, leave an anonymous tip or a comment if you have any information.

Related: Mourning The Loss Of Condé Nast’s “Gilded Age”

Mourning The Loss Of Condé Nast’s “Gilded Age”

4timessquare.jpgThe New York Observer‘s John Koblin has gone deep within the depths of 4 Times Square to examine the changes McKinsey & Co. hath wrought at Condé Nast.

After interviewing anonymous sources on the edit and business side of the company, as well as editors like Glamour‘s Cindi Leive and The New Yorker‘s David Remnick and CEO Chuck Townsend, Koblin has uncovered some disturbing examples that illustrate the recent cutbacks at the magazine giant that may hint at things to come. Most troubling to Condé staffers? Seeing Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter in the cafeteria and having their free Orangina replaced with Poland Spring, and then (gasp) tap water. Reports Koblin:

“When I started, there was this little refrigerator, and it was stocked with amazing drinks,” said one ad-sales source. “Pellegrino, Orangina, Red Bull. And like the water wasn’t Poland Spring, it was like Fiji. I remember when I started working here, I emailed everyone I know and I was like, ‘I have to tell you about the drinks!’”

But then in December, a few months after Condé Nast ordered publishers and editors to cut 5 percent from their budgets, the drink supply emptied out. That Fiji water turned into Poland Spring. Worse, instead of the fridge, the water bottles were stowed in a warm closet.

And then: “I just found out today that we are on our last batch of Poland Spring,” said the source. “We won’t have any more after this. We have to start drinking tap water.”

What’s more, the Monday morning flower deliveries are gone, expensed dinners at Nobu and mani-pedis are out and employees are thinking twice about taking company-provided towncars. Still, Townsend argues that the quirkiness of Condé, not the Orangina, will help the company stand out from its competitors.

“The Red Bulls and Oranginas are maybe no longer there, but what’s the difference?” he asked. “It’s still the quirkiest place on the face of the earth. A lot of that quirkiness makes us special. A lot of that quirkiness makes for interesting observations. But it has absolutely nothing to do with anything, so where’s the line drawn? I don’t want to lose the speciality or the quirkiness, but a lot of this stuff that has been part and parcel of it is just meaningless.”

Like us, Koblin wondered exactly what Townsend meant by that comment. You should read his story to find out.

Journal Looks To Develop New York-Centric Culture Pages

wsj2.pngSince snatching up The Wall Street Journal last year, Rupert Murdoch has made a few changes — in an attempt to expand the business paper into a more general interest read.

Now, The Observer‘s John Koblin reports that the Journal is working to develop a culture and arts section that will focus on New York City. Koblin points out that this new section might be Murdoch’s attempt to snag readers from “a familiar foe,” The New York Times, but others said that is ripe for coverage.

“The Times has gone wrong by covering arts nationally and casting the net so wide that they aren’t focused on New York anymore,” said Pia Catton, the former culture editor of the now defunct New York Sun who now works for

Wall Street Journal Moves On

news corp.pngTomorrow, The Wall Street Journal will complete its move from its home downtown to News Corp.‘s corporate headquarters at 1211 Avenue of the Americas.

In advance of the move from a “newsroom with the hush of the library” to the building that some WSJ reporters call the Death Star, The Observer‘s John Koblin sat down with Journal managing editor Robert Thomson and got a look at the new space. Thomson, who was appointed by News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch last year after the billionaire bought the financial paper, told Koblin that it was “impossible” to make the Journal work in its current offices.

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