BRADY ARRANGEMENTS: James W. Brady’s funeral mass will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Ignatius Loyola Church at 980 Park Avenue (at 84th Street). The wake will be held tonight from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., as well as Friday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Frank E. Campbell’s Funeral Chapel at 1076 Madison Avenue (at 81st Street). Brady, former WWD publisher, Page Six founder, columnist and author, died Tuesday at his Manhattan home at age 80. — Rosemary Feitelberg
This story first appeared in the January 29, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
MONEY MAKER: Speaking of 4 Times Square, the consolidation of Condé Nast Digital this week was described as “a growth based consolidation, not a cost cutting consolidation,” by chief executive Charles Townsend. Now the company is looking to hire a chief revenue officer for the division to figure out how to make money out of its online properties. A spokeswoman for CondéNet Digital confirmed the move. So far, one name has come up for consideration: Drew Schutte, vice president and publisher of The New Yorker, and a former publisher of Wired. The hire would move him out of the weekly as it has suffered under recessionary pressures on its ad pages: In 2008, ad pages fell 27 percent, to 1,478. Condé Nast Digital president Sarah Chubb would then have two top executive partners: the new chief revenue officer and Debi Chirichella, formerly chief operating officer at CondéNet, who has the same title at the newly created division.
Who would replace Schutte? That’s unclear at this point, but depending on Schutte’s successor, The New Yorker could be working more closely with the Condé Nast Business Media Group, which includes Portfolio, Wired and Golf Digest Brands, in a similar manner that the now-shuttered Domino was looped under Bill Wackermann, senior vice president, group publisher of Glamour and Condé Nast Bridal Media. The Business Group is overseen by former New Yorker publisher David Carey.
BAD NEWS FOR THE TIMES: The New York Times Co. reported fourth-quarter results on Wednesday, and although they beat some analysts’ expectations, the company still reported a 48 percent decline in profit, to $27.6 million, on a 10.8 percent drop in revenues, to $772 million. The company recorded a noncash impairment charge of $19.2 million during the period, related to the writedown of an intangible asset at the International Herald Tribune.
During the quarter, total Internet revenues fell 2.9 percent to $92.5 million and Internet ad revenue declined 3.5 percent to $81.9 million. In total, Internet businesses account for 12 percent of the company’s revenues during the quarter, compared with 11 percent during the same period in 2007. The company also said it has retained Goldman Sachs & Co. to explore the sale of its stake in the New England Sports Venture, which includes the Boston Red Sox.
JOB CUTS — AND MORE: Reader’s Digest Association will lay off 8 percent of its workforce, a move that will affect approximately 280 people. In a memo to employees, chief executive officer Mary Berner said remaining employees will be asked to take weeklong, unpaid vacations and merit increases will not be available through the 2010 fiscal year. The company is also suspending its matching contributions to its 401(k) plan. A spokesman said no magazines will close as part of this new “recession plan.”
But RDA isn’t the only one cutting. After revealing plans to lay off approximately 600 people at Time Inc., and 800 at Warner Bros., Time Warner Inc. has moved on to AOL, which will lay off 700 people between now and March. In a letter to employees, chief executive officer Randy Falco said the company will forgo merit pay increases in 2009 to minimize the number of layoffs. “To provide some perspective on these decisions, right now we’re two years into a three-year turnaround plan. Since Day One, our strategy has focused on building and growing mutually dependent publishing, advertising and social media businesses to take advantage of the shifting media landscape,” he said.
LOVE IS IN THE AIR: Aquascutum is spreading a little love this season. The British luxury brand has tapped the London-based photographer Tim Walker, who’s known for his whimsical images, to shoot 12 kissing couples for the label’s spring campaign. In one shot the female models are clad in a rainbow of the label’s lightweight AquaMac coats, embracing male models wearing sharply tailored Aquascutum suits, while in another the women wear spring looks from Aquascutum Collection — all in various shades of blue — while the men wear blue AquaMacs.
“This partnership reinforces our Britishness and Tim’s imagery develops beautifully a new take on the story of intrigue and passion introduced in the last few seasons’ campaigns,” said Kim Winser, Aquascutum’s president and chief executive.
The campaign take a quirky turn from the previous three seasons’ ads, in which Gisele Bündchen and Jamie Dornan were featured as a glam couple shot in various locations. The new campaign will break in the March issues of W, V and Esquire in the U.S. and British Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, GQ and Esquire in the U.K.
And the feel-good campaign follows some positive sales performance for the brand over the past year. A spokeswoman for the label said sales at Aquascutum’s own stores had risen 12 percent in the 2008 fiscal year, compared to 2007, while sales at the label’s concession in Harrods rose 18 percent over the year. Aquascutum’s men’s wear business in Bloomingdale’s has been 30 percent above budget over the last year, the company said, while Christmas trading at its own stores was up 31 percent in the four weeks up to Christmas, compared to the same period last year.
— Nina Jones