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The last remaining member of the publishing old guard at Condé Nast is days away from leaving 4 Times Square for good. Vogue’s sometimes abrasive, often brash and perennially aggressive Tom Florio, who most recently served as senior vice president and publishing director, was said to be on thin ice for a while and insiders claim he almost was out of a job late last year. Now it seems the parting is amicable and Florio is headed for La La land. Or something like it — he wants to run his own show, and an announcement in the world of entertainment is said to be forthcoming. “I’m just in a position to do something else,” he told WWD, coyly adding, “It could be in TV; it could be on many platforms. It also could be that I will be working closely with Condé Nast. We’ll see.” Incidentally, not long after the formal resignation announcement, Florio was said to have met with executives at IMG.
In his current role, he oversees Vogue, Teen Vogue, Bon Appetit and Condé Nast Traveler. It wasn’t long ago that he lured Carol Smith from Elle to head up the food group. Since joining, insiders say the two have gotten along but after years as fierce competitors, there was a lot of back and forth, described by one as “like a couple bantering.”
This story first appeared in the June 18, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Florio, who will leave the company at the end of June after 25 years, is best known as the driving force behind the glory days at Vogue, when the magazine’s heft required two hands and when the fashion title generated more ad pages than any monthly consumer magazine. He launched Vogue.TV and Vogue’s largest issue ever, published in September 2007, which became the subject of RJ Cutler’s documentary, “The September Issue.” But Vogue was hit like every other fashion title by the Great Recession and suffered the ignominy of losing its top perch in ad pages last year to Elle under Smith. In the first half of 2010, Vogue rebounded slightly — but clearly not enough to put Florio back on top — with ad pages up 8 percent to 987, according to Media Industry Newsletter.
Prior to Vogue, Florio was publisher of GQ. During his 25 years at the company, he’s also been president of The New Yorker and was on the launch team of Condé Nast Traveler. So will Florio be replaced in his current role? Not likely. “I would be shocked if they filled it,” said one observer.