MENICHESCHI IN, CONA OUT: Change appears to be a constant at Condé Nast.
This story first appeared in the August 22, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
On Thursday, the publishing company named Edward Menicheschi chief marketing officer and president of its Media Group.
Menicheschi, who currently is publisher of Vanity Fair, succeeds Lou Cona, chief revenue officer, whom, sources said, was let go. A successor to Menicheschi at the magazine will be named shortly, the company said.
Menicheschi’s larger role may not be too surprising, as he worked closely with Condé Nast president Bob Sauerberg before when both were at the then Fairchild Publications.
“Edward has posted extraordinary business results while leading Vanity Fair’s drive into cross-platform ad initiatives including digital, print, video and event activation,” said Sauerberg, who made the appointment.
Cona, who already departed Condé Nast headquarters in Times Square before Thursday’s announcement — his bio was already erased from the company Web site — had reported to chief executive officer Charles Townsend prior to last month’s announcement of a shuffle at the executive level. In that reorganization, Cona reported to Sauerberg, who is heir apparent to the top job.
Cona’s departure came as a surprise to some within Condé. In April 2013, he was promoted after he mused about retiring at the ripe age of 55. Condé higher-ups gave him the title of president and chief revenue officer to add to his role as chief marketing officer.
But Thursday’s announcement by Sauerberg revived Cona’s delayed retirement plans, and underscored the general feeling that the reorganization at Condé Nast is indicative of a changing of the guard. Cona did not return requests seeking comment on his future plans.
Turning to VF, leading contenders for that coveted publisher role from within the company include GQ vice president and publisher (and another Fairchild alum) Chris Mitchell, New Yorker vice president and publisher Lisa Hughes, Wired vice president and publisher Howard Mittman and Architectural Digest vice president and publisher Giulio Capua.
With Menicheschi out as publisher, a role many thought he would never leave, buzz is beginning to build about editor in chief Graydon Carter’s eventual retirement.
Frontrunners for his job are said to include GQ editor in chief Jim Nelson and New York magazine editor in chief Adam Moss. In the Nelson-to-VF scenario, it has been rumored that Bon Appétit editor in chief Adam Rapoport, who recently was tapped to also oversee the editorial team at Epicurious, could helm GQ, where he served as style editor.
Either way, more changes are likely to follow in the coming weeks, Sauerberg hinted in a recent memo, as he continues to slowly unveil the blueprint for his new, leaner Condé Nast.