NEW YORK — Condé Nast president and chief executive officer Charles H. Townsend on Monday detailed the formation of Condé Nast Publications, a move aimed at positioning its operations for future growth.
The seven divisions within Condé Nast Publications will be Fairchild Publications, owner of WWD; Golf Digest Publications; Condé Nast Magazines; the new Condé Nast Business Magazine division; the Condé Nast Media Group; CondéNet and Condé Nast Shared Services Centers.
Mary Berner, president of Fairchild, and Mitchell Fox, president of The Golf Digest Companies, will become officers of Condé Nast Publications and will report to Townsend.
Townsend, who also serves as president of the Condé Nast Magazines division, said the significance of the change goes well beyond the cosmetic. "At the end of the day, there are distinct advantages to being identified as one company, with a one-company point of view," he said. "Externally, we have had a very blurred image in the marketplace. We have marketed ourselves under at least three or four different handles. That requires an inordinately complex amount of information. Now it's simple — we're Condé Nast."
In a physical sign of the new corporate mind-set signified by the rebranding, Condé Nast Publications will consolidate its New York-based facilities in four offices, located at 4 Times Square, 750 Third Avenue, 1166 Sixth Avenue and 1440 Broadway. All publications will be housed either in the Times Square or Third Avenue locations, and will no longer be physically divided based on which divisions they fall under, as they are now. "We're not going to draw any lines of distinction," said Townsend. "It will be an issue of how we can most effectively use the space."
He even acknowledged the possibility that titles that currently reside in the Fairchild division could migrate to Condé Nast, or vice versa. "I couldn't possibly be setting us off in this direction without leaving it open that the top management we have here would manage other magazines in the future. But we're not going to start out that way."
The company also made two new appointments: Debi Chirichella has been promoted from Condé Nast's senior vice president of finance to chief financial officer, and Robert A. Sauerberg Jr., previously Fairchild's chief operating officer, was named executive vice president of consumer marketing for Condé Nast Publications. Peter Armour, Condé Nast's senior vice president of consumer marketing, will report to Sauerberg. "Circulation is an area that's been challenged throughout the whole industry," said Townsend.
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