CHANGES AT TRAVELER: Pilar Guzmán made her most sweeping changes at Condé Nast Traveler since she was named editor in chief after the dismissal of Klara Glowczewska in August. One by one on Wednesday, 14 staffers were called into a meeting with Guzmán and Condé Nast human resources to be let go. They included some of the most senior editors on staff, like executive editor Kevin Doyle and global affairs editor Dorinda Elliott, as well as the photography department, which consisted of three full-time staffers and was entirely scrapped. The photo editors were all told at the same time their services were no longer required, sources said. Three other senior editors had already been laid off in September.
Aside from one meeting in September to address the layoffs then, Guzmán and her new creative director, Yolanda Edwards, have not shared their long-term plans for the magazine with the remaining staff.
This story first appeared in the September 27, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
But the changes Wednesday are part of the new editor in chief’s efforts to remake the 25-year-old travel magazine and move away from the service category and into lifestyle, with less emphasis on the long-form pieces that had been its trademark. The business side is already pushing that pitch in new advertising campaigns. Since its inception, Traveler’s commitment to serious travel journalism was embodied in the logo coined by founding editor Harry Evans, “Truth in Travel.”
The layoffs suggest that credo may too be discarded, or at least, take on a whole new meaning. One noteworthy editor let go is Monica Kim, who handled the ombudsman column, which functioned as a mediator between disgruntled readers and travel companies and hotels.
Some of changes in the magazine reflect the influence of Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour. As WWD reported, she was vital in Guzmán’s appointment and had pushed for more fashion and lifestyle pieces in Traveler. Guzmán’s first adjustments to the magazine will show up in upcoming issues, but her most significant editorial changes aren’t expected until next year. The layoffs were first reported by the New York Post. Some but not all of the positions eliminated will be recast with a different focus. A spokeswoman for the magazine said the layoffs – which affected about half the staff – were part of “a larger restructuring.”