Condé Nast’s top brass flocked to Miami before the winter storm hit New York for the company’s annual publishers’ meeting.
The two-day excursion began on Monday and was capped off with a dinner Tuesday night, in which company chief executive officer Chuck Townsend and president Bob Sauerberg doled out awards to Condé’s standout publishers and execs.
Glamour’s Connie Anne Phillips brought home top honors for chief revenue officer of the year. According to a memo from Townsend and Sauerberg to staff Tuesday night, Phillips has “significantly” driven year-over-year growth in “virtually every metric.” They highlighted the women’s magazine’s ad-revenue and ad-profit growth, at a time when most of the publication’s competitors ended the year down.
Another big winner was managing director of real estate Bob Bennis, who was named corporate executive of the year. Bennis oversaw the relocation of Condé staffers this year from 4 Times Square to the company’s new headquarters at One World Trade Center in lower Manhattan.
Two titles were highlighted for their record profitability in 2014, namely Teen Vogue and big sister, Vogue. The company said Teen Vogue publisher Jason Wagenheim increased profitability by 20 percent over 2013. Teen Vogue, which has experienced double-digit declines in print advertising pages, clocked the company’s highest percentage increase in digital revenue — 60 percent over 2013.
Vogue publisher Susan Plagemann got a shout out for her ability to increase profits 2.5 percent over a “record breaking 2013,” the company said, while overall business performance went to three publications: Condé Nast Traveler, Glamour and W.
Traveler, which nabbed the gold awards, was able to “increase pre-overhead profit by bigger margins than any other business at the company,” under publisher Bill Wackermann. Traveler ranked first in ad-page growth and print ad-revenue growth, while turning in double-digit revenue growth, the company said. It has also been rumored that the magazine, which was relaunched by editor in chief Pilar Guzman last year, was the only title in the company that ended the year up in ad pages.
Glamour came in second, achieving “the highest growth in absolute total ad profit, absolute Web revenue and absolute total ad revenue,” while W grabbed the bronze award, thanks to publisher Lucy Kriz, who helped grow total revenue by more than 3 percent. The company said W ranked second in ad-page growth, and the highest percentage increase in total ad-profit growth on top of the highest increase in total ad-profit margin. Kriz and editor in chief Stefano Tonchi were awarded collaborative leadership honors for their “perfect cadence” working together in corporate meetings.
Brides publisher Michelle Myers was awarded the business transformation award. According to the company, she created new advertising offerings while maintaining the revenue of the magazine, which had decreased its frequency from 12 to six times a year in 2013.
Townsend and Sauerberg ended their memo adding: “We are looking at strategic ways to evolve the way we approach our culture and business. With that in mind, we are modernizing our publishers’ titles to reflect the contemporary marketplace and the true depth of these leaders’ talents as media executives.” — A.S.