Conde Nast’s Vogue Magazine Owner to Cut 5% of Staff

Conde Nast (The publisher behind The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Vogue) to lay off 5% of workforce

conde nast layoffs
conde nast layoffs

Conde Nast, the parent company of iconic fashion magazine Vogue, has announced significant staff reductions.

The company plans to trim approximately 5% of its workforce, translating to around 270 employees out of its global workforce totaling roughly 5,400.

Conde Nast CEO Roger Lynch disclosed this development, underlining the necessity of this move to cut expenses and prosper in an intensely competitive digital media market.

The layoffs will be staggered over the next few months and the company will also undertake several other strategic measures, including downsizing office spaces and closing open positions, as part of their effort to reduce costs and invest in future growth.

In a memo to employees, Lynch explained that these actions are crucial to ensuring the company’s ability to make profitable investments in its business.

While it’s evident that the media industry is evolving at an unprecedented pace, it’s worth noting that these measures are not unique to Conde Nast. Media companies around the world are grappling with similar challenges, looking to diversify their revenue streams in an uncertain economic environment. For example, The Washington Post recently announced plans to provide voluntary separation packages to employees across all functions, with the aim of reducing their workforce by 240.

Lynch sums up the situation by emphasizing the need for adaptability in the face of changing circumstances, stating, “Our audiences are changing, technology is changing, and what advertisers want from us is changing… the only certain mistake is to not change ourselves.” These words highlight the imperative nature of Conde Nast’s decision to reduce its staff and undertake cost-cutting measures to secure its position and thrive in an ever-evolving media landscape.

Read Lynch’s memo to employees:

Dear all,

I’m writing to share an additional update about our business with details about planned changes to how we operate.

As you know, we began this work a few years ago during our global transformation. Our new strategy brought teams together for the first time around the world, while also creating new, diverse revenue streams. The result of this successful strategy and work is leading us to what we expect will be our third straight year of overall revenue growth. A highlight has been the promising results from our consumer revenue teams, which are delivering growth in a way that didn’t exist four years ago. With the investments we have made in our consumer strategy, we have more than doubled digital subscription starts this year. E-commerce is also proving to be an important growth engine, up 44% this year on top of the very solid growth we saw in 2022.

Over the next many weeks our teams will be working to finalize our 2024 plans. The approach outlined below reflects our path to protect and expand our journalism and our creative editorial work.

Remaining Competitive in a Changing Digital Landscape – A few weeks ago we shared our plan for changes to our content and video teams. Some of these changes are a direct result of how the digital video landscape is shifting. This year in particular, video has been a volatile area of the industry as audiences move to places like TikTok and YouTube Shorts (up 600% over the last two years alone). Social video has helped drive overall video audience growth (we expect to exceed 20B video views this year, significantly beating our target); however, these new video formats haven’t found monetization models yet. Beyond video, Meta (Facebook and Instagram) has deprioritized publisher content in users’ feeds, which has caused all publishers to experience significant declines in referral traffic.

Creating One Content Team – As we shared a few weeks ago, we have begun restructuring our top-line leadership teams across editorial content, audience development and video to solidify their place at the center and heart of the company. We pride ourselves on being one of the most prolific and premium creative organizations worldwide, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to ongoing excellence. Creating a more efficient combined content organization will enable us to continue to invest in our great journalism.

Investing in Areas We Can Control – While we can’t control platform algorithms or how AI may change search traffic, we believe our long-term success will be determined by growing the many areas that we can control, including subscriptions and E-commerce, where we directly own the relationship with our audiences. In fact, over the next five years we plan to double consumer revenue. This complements the planned organic audience growth that is monetized by our best-in-class commercial revenue team with industry-leading CPMs (ad prices). In part because of our commercial team’s capabilities, especially with digital product monetization, we are also planning new expansion of our brands within our existing owned and operated markets.

2024 Budgeting – As many of you have heard me say before, we are in an industry that is changing. Our audiences are changing, technology is changing, and what advertisers want from us is changing. With all of this change surrounding us, the only certain mistake is to not change ourselves. Over the next several months we will be taking additional steps to find efficiencies and reduce costs from the business so that we can continue to invest in strategic growth areas and continue to support the editorial core of our business, as outlined above. We are prioritizing cost reductions through real estate/office space savings (for example, we are already in the process of bringing our teams in the UK together in one space), closing open roles and re-phasing certain long-term projects across the business.

However, these efforts alone won’t be enough to ensure we can continue to make the investments needed to grow our business profitably. We’ve also had to make the difficult decision to implement reductions among our dedicated teams. These reductions will take place over the next few months and total approximately 5% of all staff roles. There is no easy way to share this news and our focus will be on making this transition as easy as possible for our dedicated colleagues with enhanced severance packages and career service offerings.

Over the next few weeks I will be meeting with many of our teams to share more details and answer your questions. I’m sincerely grateful for your patience and, most of all, your hard work and dedication. I’m always here for anything you may need in the meantime.

CEO Roger Lynch, Condé Nast

Gerard Thompson
Gerard Thompson

Gerard Thompson, a seasoned tech industry worker understands the struggles of facing layoffs firsthand. Having navigated the uncertain and daunting world of job loss himself. Gerard is the founder of JustLayoffs.com

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