The Condé Nast Merger: What Does it Mean?

ICYMI, the magazine industry giant Condé Nast has been going through some major changes. In August 2018, they announced that they would be collapsing their American and U.K. versions of Condé​ Nast Traveller into one and selling three of their publications (Brides, Golf Digest, and W), and in November, they officially announced that Condé Nast and Condé Nast International would merge into one company headquartered in London.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Think Deeper. Dream Bigger. @teenvogue @condenast #nextgen

A post shared by Condé Nast (@condenast) on

 

Let’s do some background on Condé Nast.

 

They’re the huge company that owns the large majority of magazines we love. Some examples:  

Allure

The New Yorker

Glamour

Bon Appétit

Vogue

GQ

Vanity Fair

 

And that’s not all. For a full list, see their website.


They own, some might say, everything, which means one company owns many of the messages we’re receiving. The Newhouse Family (Condé Nast owners) have their own partisans and biases, so how can we be sure those polarized opinions aren’t infiltrating the pages of magazines we read every day?

 

On a larger scale, the merging between Condé Nast and Condé Nast International means these messages may now be spread globally. One family owns the messages that get sent out to billions of people around the world, not to mention what we see on Reddit (oh yeah, they own that, too). To top it all off, the merger moved Jonathan Newhouse from being the CEO of Condé Nast International to being the chair of the Board of Directors at Condé Nast. Bob Sauerberg, the current company CEO of eight years, is being asked to leave or "pursue other opportunities," in sweeter terms, so the company can hire a new CEO with "global experience." Do with that what you will. 

 

The company didn't do an official press release or conference about the merge. The source of the announcement is an email sent to employees on November 27, 2018. "What has become clear is that our aspirations are no longer best served by our historical structure of running two separate companies. We have concluded that the time is right for us to combine our U.S. and international companies to realize the full potential of Condé Nast for our audiences and our business partners," read the email (fashionista).

 

Besides layoffs and consolidated magazines, the merger signals the already-clear collapse of the print magazine industry. Whether the merger is due to budget cuts or message conspiracies is unclear, but we know that print magazines, like newspapers, are slowly being phased out by blogs and online platforms. Condé Nast’s reach may be broad, but is it enough to save the industry giant? Only time will tell.