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Memo Pad: Condé Nast Cuts Continue… Newsroom Buyout…

The layoffs at Condé Nast continue this week, with Glamour cutting about a dozen editorial staffers on Monday.

CUTS CONTINUE: The layoffs at Condé Nast continue this week, with Glamour cutting about a dozen editorial staffers on Monday. Though the magazine did not specify how many staffers were let go or release names, several top-level staffers will leave, including deputy editors Ellen Seidman and Maryellen Gordon. Both were longtime editors at the women’s title — Gordon has been there for 10 years, while Seidman first worked for Glamour under Ruth Whitney, and later returned when Cindi Leive took over as editor in chief. The magazine’s production director, Paul Kramer, was also laid off. Glamour also cut seven staffers on the business side early this month.

Glamour’s staff reductions follow layoffs at Vanity Fair, W, Wired, Lucky, Golf Digest and Vogue that started almost two weeks ago as the company streamlines its workforce. The cuts also continued across the digital businesses — Style.com has laid off two contributors, including executive fashion director Candy Pratts Price, whose contract will not be renewed when it ends in spring 2010. Price is also a contributor to Vogue and vogue.com, and will likely make Vogue her primary outlet after her Style.com contract ends. Senior features editor Laird Borrelli-Persson will remain through the end of the year.

This story first appeared in the October 20, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

As widely reported, Condé Nast’s ad revenues have declined by a third this year, resulting in several rounds of cost cutting and the hiring of McKinsey & Co. The company shuttered Gourmet, Modern Bride, Elegant Bride and Cookie, leaving 180 staffers without positions, and editors and publishers at Condé Nast have been charged with trimming up to 25 percent of their budgets for 2010 through any means they choose, from eliminating positions to reducing T&E budgets.

Cuts this month at the individual magazines and within several corporate divisions of Condé Nast have increased the total number of employees that have left the company to about 250. But not every magazine has relied on staff reductions to help reach its 2010 budget targets. At Self, editor in chief Lucy Danziger gave up her car service for next year, beginning immediately. That said, while Self didn’t eliminate any positions on its edit side, it did reassign some staffers to a reduced work week, and it already had lost some midlevel editors to attrition beginning this summer. However, two recently hired promotions staffers on Self’s business side were let go on Friday. — Stephanie D. Smith

NEWSROOM BUYOUT: Condé Nast is not the only publisher reducing head count. At The New York Times, executive editor Bill Keller sent a memo to employees Monday that said the paper must eliminate 100 positions between now and the end of the year, or be forced to lay off more staffers. The buyout offer extends to union and non-union employees, and staffers have 45 days to decide to take the package. The layoffs would follow a 5 percent salary cut implemented earlier this year in an effort to stave off staff reductions. “I won’t pretend that these staff cuts will not add to the burdens of journalists whose responsibilities have grown faster than their compensation,” wrote Keller. “But we’ve been looking hard at ways to minimize the impact — in part, by re-engineering some of our copy flow. I won’t promise this will be easy or painless, but I believe we can weather these cuts without seriously compromising our commitment to coverage of the region, the country and the world.” According to nytimes.com, the 100 staffers equate to 8 percent of the newsroom, which now has around 1,250 employees. Along with nearly every newspaper in the country, the Times has had to reduce staff and implement cost cuts as advertising has shrunk across the sector. “Like you, I yearn for the day when we can do our jobs without looking over our shoulders for economic thunderstorms,” wrote Keller. — S.D.S.

TRAVEL, NOT LEISURE: Karl Lagerfeld will soon have a new stamp in his passport: Argentina. The designer is shooting the next Chanel campaign on location in Buenos Aires with Claudia Schiffer, Freja Beha Erichsen and Baptiste Giabiconi. It will be Lagerfeld’s first time in the South American nation. “I only go to places if I have a professional reason. I’m not a tourist,” he said. The multitasking designer said he would also work on a forthcoming book about architecture in Argentina. — Miles Socha

 

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