GQ has laid off about seven staffers, WWD has learned, as budget cuts are biting throughout Conde Nast. GQ did not comment on details of the situation, but noted that it will re-appropriate and shift some of the jobs that were cut, as it continues to build up its Web site. Sources said jobs that have been impacted include managing editor, senior digital editor, entertainment editor, market associate, business manager and business assistant.
GQ is one of the first magazines to be affected by what is understood to be reductions at several titles at the parent company. The cuts are said to vary depending on each magazine’s current revenue picture, but it’s believed other titles won’t be as hard hit as GQ in terms of layoffs.
It is rumored that Glamour will be next to face cuts after it puts on its big-ticket event Women of the Year on Monday. It isn’t certain if the reductions will mean layoffs, or merely budget trimming.
GQ’s print magazine has been struggling for the better part of the year. According to data from the Publisher’s Information Bureau, the men’s magazine logged 17.6 percent less advertising pages for the January to September period over last year for a total of 655.31 pages. According to the Alliance for Audited Media, GQ saw its paid and verified circulation rise 1 percent to 953,320 as total-single copy sales slumped 28.3 percent to 93,301.
That kind of steep deterioration on the newsstand is indicative of a broader trend across the magazine industry. Rival magazine publisher Time Inc. said as much on Thursday during its third-quarter earnings call.
Condé Nast, which is in the process of evolving its business to be more digitally nimble, is following a similar path as its print rivals. This path includes combining jobs and using the budget to establish new streams of revenue. Most companies are building out their video and live events businesses, while adding e-commerce. Condé is no exception. While each magazine brand there is in charge of managing their own budgets and head counts, Condé is moving money and investing in Condé Nast Entertainment and the digital group. The transition has been described as a shifting of resources rather than a steep across-the-board cut like the company instituted in 2014.