LONDON — Nicholas Coleridge, a fixture for decades at Condé Nast Britain, will be stepping down from his current roles as managing director of Condé Nast Britain and president of Condé Nast International in six months, on Aug. 1. He will serve as chairman of Condé Nast Britain until “at least” Dec. 31, 2019, the company said, by which time he will have worked for Condé Nast for three decades.
“Slightly to my astonishment, I find that I have been managing director of Condé Nast Britain for 26 years, which is longer than many of our staff have been alive. It also makes me, I understand, the longest-serving MD of any British media group in any sector,” said Coleridge, a kingmaker at Condé Nast Britain whose job was to hire and fire editors in chief — and to ensure the titles made money.
The successors to his two positions will be announced on January 16, the company said Thursday.
Coleridge said he plans to reduce his schedule of international business trips, and will combine his new London rose with various pro-bono chairmanships of the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Prince of Wales’ Campaign for Wool and the Gilbert Trust for the Arts.
Coleridge also wrote a series of fiction and non-fiction books before and during his career at the company, including “The Fashion Conspiracy,” “A Much Married Man,” “Godchildren,” and “Deadly Sins.”
Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and chief executive of Condé Nast International, said Coleridge has been his closest associate in business for the past 25 years, and “the person whom I have counted upon as a business partner and comrade-in-arms in building and directing the organization.”
Newhouse said Coleridge would continue to visit India to supervise Condé’s operations on the sub-continent. “While he gives up his day-to-day involvement, he will not be absent. And that is a very good thing. As he moves to this new phase in his career and his life, Nicholas can look back with pride on a record of achievement and brilliance,” Newhouse said.
Coleridge’s decision comes as a time of great change and consolidation for Condé Nast on both sides of the Atlantic, with the launch of e-commerce with the new Style.com — the U.S. launch of which has been postponed until later this year — the increasing focus on digital and a drastic decline in print publishing.
According to the latest figures from the U.K.’s Audit Bureau of Circulations, the overall circulation figure for British women’s fashion titles declined nearly 2 percent year-on-year to 5.32 million for print and digital. Print circulation for the sector fell 2 percent, while digital circulation was up 6.7 percent, according to the latest figures for the Jan.-June 2016.
At Condé Nast, Tatler’s combined figure rose 6.4 percent to 84,515, while Vanity Fair was up 5.5 percent to 80,083. Vogue U.K.’s edged up 2.3 percent to 195,053. British Glamour, which has been struggling on the circulation front, has switched its strategy, expanding the magazine format and putting mobile first in digital as it marks its 15-year anniversary. The new brand strategy has debuted with the February 2017 issue.