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Posts Tagged ‘Si Newhouse’

Gossip From The Condé Nast Holiday Luncheon

The first thing you need to understand when discussing the Condé Nast luncheon yesterday is that it was just a lunch. Luncheon is just a rich person word for lunch. With that out of the way, let’s get to some of the more notable moments from the meal at the Four Seasons.

The New York Post reports that everyone was in pretty good spirits. Charles Townsend, the CEO of Condé, said, “We had a very good year — up in high single digits,” and said the company’s digital business was doing well.  Si Newhouse was sitting at a table with Scott Dadich, David RemnickBrandon Holley and a few others. This seating arrangement can mean something or nothing. Feel free to pick one and spread those thoughts to everyone you know.

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GQ Featured Prominently in Upcoming Timberlake Film

Friends with Benefits, a movie that will undoubtedly garner heavy praise from critics, puts GQ on the big screen in a big way. According to Adweek, Justin Timberlake’s character is an art director for the magazine, which is prominently featured in the movie.

The idea to include GQ was Timberlake’s, and for that, he even got a tour of its offices:

Once the publication agreed, Gluck [the movie's director] was able to tour the magazine’s real offices and chat with editors to get an authentic pulse. ‘We built the entire set of GQ based on their building,’ he says. Associate publisher Marcy Bloom even introduced him to Si Newhouse in the Condé Nast cafeteria.

Two takeaways from all of this: 1) Si Newhouse eats in the cafeteria! and 2) No matter how bad this movie is, at least Timberlake isn’t making music anymore.

Where Does Lucky Shakeup Leave Kim France?

Picnik collage.jpg
From left: Brandon Holley, Kim France

The magazine and fashion worlds are buzzing this morning with the news that Conde Nast alum Brandon Holley has been named editor-in-chief of Lucky.

Holley was most recently the editor for Yahoo’s female-focused Shine channel and also presided over cult favorite Jane before it shuttered in 2007. According to WWD, she’ll now be tasked with expanding Lucky “across multiple platforms.”

But here’s the big question: What happened to former EIC Kim France?

“This is a decision we came to together,” Conde Nast editorial director Tom Wallace said. “Kim France created a brand and not many people in this business can say that. Conde Nast owes her a lot.”

And it seems France has only nice things to say about her employer as well. “I am exceptionally grateful to Conde Nast and Si Newhouse for what has been a tremendous opportunity, and something I will remember with only fondness,” she later said via statement.

And as usually happens with media’s revolving door, there’s already speculation about who may follow France out the door. NBC New York has its eyes on creative director Andrea Linett as the next to bounce.

Well, congrats to Holley and a big shout-out to France as well. Regardless of the reasons for her exit, a 10-year reign as founding editor isn’t too shabby.

Si Newhouse’s Secret Tattle Tales


Condé Nast‘s anti-fraud hotline is actually working, as it turns out. Although Si Newhouse wouldn’t point any fingers to the actual press, Keith Kelly reports today that a Wired employee was fired for poaching stuff from the company store, someone may have pocketed an extra $10k off the record, and there is an ongoing investigation into an employee taking cash in exchange for writing certain fashion tips. A lot of blind items to go on, and it can’t help the image of Condé headquarters being filled with backstabbers in stilettos that can now pick up the phone whenever they’re holding a grudge.

Read More: Conde sleuths — Keith Kelly

Canada Gets The Finger | Newhouse Gets Fashion-Happy Feet | Media People Become Politicians, Possibly | Buzzkill

New York Post: Condé Nast publisher Si Newhouse was present with the Glamour dancers practicing in the company cafeteria for Fashion Week, and was even seen “bobbing his head” to their Lady Gaga routine. Human after all!

New York Times: Is Mort Zuckerman going to run for senator?

• FishbowlDC: Is Jake Tapper running for D.C. mayor?

Reuters: Google’s new Buzz platform is already causing some privacy issues that the company needs to address.

Condé Nast’s First iPhone App Teams Up with Loreal

It took this long for Si Newhouse to come up with an iPhone application for one of his Condé Nast titles? (edit: Condé has 10 other apps out for various other magazines, but this will be the first for Vanity Fair.) Well, no one is going to accuse the media titan of knowing too much about the Internet, but at least he can make Vanity Fair on par with, say, The Onion in terms of techno-savviness. As of today, you can officially get the Vanity Fair Hollywood App for free, which allows you to pick who you think will win the Academy Awards, and share that information with your friends. Sounds like a half-baked project in social media? Probably, but it’s a good start. The project teams up with L’oreal Paris cosmetics to provide specials via the “gift-bag feature” of the app.

Full press release after the jump.

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Condé Nast Creates Fraud Hotline

4 times square.jpgThings seem to be looking up for Condé Nast in the New Year, and Si Newhouse wants to keep it that way.

In order to avoid an embarrassing computer hacking like the one that hit GQ and other titles last year, or some similar fraud, the magazine publisher has set up a 24-hour fraud tip hotline, Keith Kelly reports today.

In a memo sent to staff yesterday, CFO John Bellando explained that the hotline was intended to allow employees to report instances of any “release of proprietary information, accounting/audit irregularities, falsification of company records, theft of goods/services/cash,” and even “unauthorized discounts/payoffs.”

From the outside, it would seem like this sort of thing is rampant at Condé. If that’s the case, will this move help stem the tide? We’re also wondering if releasing Bellando’s memo to Kelly would be cause to call the hotline. In any case, don’t stop sending those tips our way!

Read more: Fraud crackdown shocks Condé NastiesNew York Post

Previously: Conde Nast Promotes Execs, Awards Top Publishers

Condé Nast’s Dead Titles May See New Life In Licensing Deals

gourmet2.jpgWhether its digital versions of its magazines or partnerships with e-commerce sites it’s clear Condé Nast is on the hunt for new sources of revenue.

Today’s report in Mediaweek adds that Condé may be taking it one step further in seeking a new life for its now-defunct titles, Cookie, Domino and Gourmet, in the form of things like branded kitchen appliances. In this respect, execs have been reportedly telling staffers to look to rival publisher Meredith Corp. for inspiration; the Midwestern company has been pumping out Better Homes & Gardens-branded products for years.

But, of course, don’t expect any products connected to Condé Nast brands to cheapen its namesake –that’s a fear Si Newhouse has always had, which has kept the publisher out of licensing deals before. Thoughtfully chosen, high-end partnerships are probably where this company will end up, much like last month’s tie-in with Vogue and e-commerce site Gilt Groupe. But even if Condé can squeeze some money out of its dead titles’ brand names, those products can’t make up for the magazines we miss so much.

Condé Nast’s Cultural ShiftMediaweek

Previously: Conde Keeps Gourmet Alive In App Form

Condé Nast Apps Premiere To High Numbers

condd2.jpgMaybe Si Newhouse won’t have to start licensing his magazine brand names’ to fashion lines after all: the results from the first sales of Condé Nast‘s digital applications are in, and they aren’t half bad.

GQ‘s “Man Of The Year” iPhone app has already made close to $20,000 since mid-November, and the entire January issue has been downloaded 12,000 times as of this writing. Considering that each issue/download goes for $2.99, that’s a promising amount of cash and a hint of the money to be made in digital downloads in the future.

Although, if you look at magazine applications as providing the same service as a full subscription (like the one you could buy on an e-reader), the question still remains if the consumers purchasing the product are the same people who would buy a physical GQ subscription anyway. In which case the company is actually losing money from their monthly newsstand costs. However, magazines never really survived on their newsstand sales anyway, relying mostly on advertising revenues, and it’s nice to see at least one revenue number on the rise.

“We threw a great idea at a new medium and it is sticking,” Condé Nast CEO Charles Townsend said.

Condé said they are now planning more content for the iPhone, and, although the single download price of a digital GQ will remain $2.99, repeat customers will be able to get it for $1.99, as “subscription offerings are being evaluated.”

Condé Nast is slowly but keenly tapping into the digital market, as evidenced by November’s launch of the late Gourmet magazine application. Condé’s actually found a way to isolate the market for the dead title’s new digital life. Now if only they could shutter all their magazines so people would have no choice but to by the application. Wait, what?

Press release after the jump.

Previously: Condé Keeps Gourmet Alive In App Form, How To Lose Your Brand Identity And Influence Consumers: A Condé Story, Condé Keeps Gourmet Alive In App Form

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Condé Nast Promises $10K A Quarter For Innovative Ideas

4 times square.jpgIt’s a sign of the times when a once-juggernaut media company becomes desperate enough to start handing out lottery-winning sums for whatever ideas can get them out of this rut. Well, it’s better than just throwing what little money you have left into a giant bonfire at least.

Condé Nast, which took some tough hits in 2009 (along with most other magazine publishers), is now trying to raise employee morale — and trying to find its golden goose — by offering $10,000 every quarter to the staff member who comes up with the best idea for improving the company, The New York Observer reports. We’d suggest that $40K a year could pay for an outside consultant, but that’s so 2009.

The new Si Newhouse is all about being warm and accepting, as evidenced by last week’s Observer profile of the nicer, humbler, Chuck Townsend, Condé’s CEO. So get to work, Condé employees; there’s $10,000 up for grabs.

Read more: The $10K Contest at Conde Nast: Help the Company!New York Observer

Previously: Condé Nast Hires Consulting Co. For “Realignment”, Conde Nast’s Positive Outlook