This has been the year of reorganization and cost cutting at the major magazine media publishing houses. Time Inc., Hearst, and Rodale have all streamlined their operations by tearing down the walls between brands. Now, Condé Nast has begun to put similar plans in motion.
Last week the company announced the hiring of Jim Norton as its new chief business officer. Norton’s hire is an effort to unify all revenue operations under his leadership. That’s certainly not the aggressive strategy shift Time Inc. introduced when it eliminated the publisher role in order to shift sellers to specific categories, but it is a pivot away from the siloed revenue operations that previously existed at Condé.
For the storied publisher, that change is just a starting point. Yesterday, WWD first reported CEO Bob Sauerberg sent out a company memo informing staffers that the company was moving forward with unifying the creative (photo and design), research, and copy teams across its brands.
A spokesperson from Condé Nast provided Folio: sister site min with a copy of the memo. So far there are very few specifics, but it’s quite clear that major changes are coming soon. min also followed up to gain more insight into the anticipated changes; however the spokesperson declined to comment.
The Sauerberg memo reads:
As our audiences read, watch and consume our content in increasingly varied ways, every new platform and product development is another opportunity to reach new audiences and grow our business. Today our premium content is being distributed across platforms and formats spanning print, digital, mobile, video, social and virtual reality, and as a result, we need to evolve our legacy culture and structure to reflect this new marketplace and be organized to deliver our content consistently across every platform.
In January, I spoke to you about the importance of acting as ONE company and breaking down the silos that prevent collaboration across our brands. In employee roundtables, group meetings and most recently, our employee survey, there is one constant theme. You want us to remove the barriers so you can work with and learn from your peers across the company.
To that end, last week we took the first step in modernizing our revenue operations by organizing our multiple sales teams, brand development and consumer marketing divisions under one leader, Jim Norton.
Today, Anna Wintour and I are restructuring our creative and editorial copy/research teams to unify these functions under new leaders and relocate them together. Our powerful and storied brands are our stars and these changes will enhance the creative process that goes into the popular and award-winning content we produce every day, across every platform.
Raul Martinez has been named head of the creative group for Condé Nast and will oversee the creative unit and all of the incredibly talented creative directors and teams from each brand. This new team will include all editorial brand creative, art, design and photo, in addition to the creative teams from the businesses and 23 Stories.
The creative division will work across the entire portfolio enabling seamless collaboration and making our collective creative talent more accessible and marketable to all. It also will offer our creatives the opportunity to work on varied projects and diversify their skills while providing a more holistic approach to our content creation, everywhere it is seen.
Additionally, we will bring the copy and research functions for all our brands together under Christiane Mack, who has been named head of content, strategy & operations, for Condé Nast.
Anna and team will be working through the specifics with each brand over the next several weeks and expect to have the groups relocated before the holidays.
All of this is part of an overall reorganization of the company from top to bottom, including my new executive committee which includes:
Anna Wintour, artistic director for Condé Nast; David Geithner, chief financial officer; Jim Norton, chief business officer and president of revenue, Dawn Ostroff, president of Condé Nast Entertainment; Fred Santarpia, chief digital officer; JoAnn Murray, chief human resources officer; and Cameron Blanchard, our chief communications officer.
This is a time of great change for all of us and I am excited and optimistic about our future together. We are working hard to evolve our company from a premium publishing company to a premium media company. We produce the best content and have the most talented and creative teams in the industry and together, there are no limits to what we can achieve. These new, contemporary structures will make it easier to collaborate across edit, business and brand-to-brand and truly unleash the collective power of our incredible company.
I look forward to seeing what I know will be outstanding results.