SEEKING THE CROWN: The annual Condé Nast publishers’ meeting in Naples, Fla., is only three weeks away, so naturally speculation is rampant over who might take home the Publisher of the Year prize.

The publishers at two of Condé’s largest titles — Glamour vice president and publisher Bill Wackermann and Vogue’s Tom Florio — are the top favorites this time around. Wackermann is a front-runner again after losing out to Teen Vogue’s Gina Sanders last year. In 2006, Glamour’s pages grew pages 7.5 percent, to 1,890, on top of a 6.6 percent growth in 2005, according to Publishers Information Bureau. Wackermann also brought back Glamour’s “Reel Moment” film production franchise for the second year, and all three films earned spots at the Sundance Film Festival in February and got Wackermann a mention on the “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” In addition, he spun off “Real Music,” and one unknown female band won a music video directed by Pink.

“He didn’t get it last year, and we know that [chief executive officer] Chuck [Townsend] likes him. It’s a big, big magazine, so to be up 7 percent means it’s probably up a whopping amount of dollars,” said one insider.

Florio could be named top dog since he oversaw the spin-off of Men’s Vogue and a one-off of Vogue Living, while the flagship monthly posted a 3.3 percent gain in ad pages, to 3,057.

But going straight by the numbers, Drew Schutte, Wired vice president and publishing director, could have a chance, as well. Wired posted an 18.1 percent gain in pages, to 1,279, last year, but that’s compared with a 7.4 percent drop in 2005. The brand has gotten some buzz from the Wired NextFest and by buying back its Web site, wired.com, from outside owners. Plus, insiders say rewarding such a Webby brand would be a good public relations ploy to demonstrate how the company is plugged into the Web.

Though Schutte certainly has the numbers behind him, some say he may be rewarded for Turnaround of the Year, given Wired’s soft ad page results in 2005. In that case, Schutte could be up against House & Garden’s Joe Lagani, who oversaw a 15 percent uptick in ad pages, to 846, after last year’s 11.7 loss.

This story first appeared in the January 10, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Others mentioned as in the running for Publisher of the Year are Gourmet’s Giulio Capua, who helped grow ad pages at the title 7.3 percent this year, to 1,352, and Nancy Berger Cardone, who boosted Allure’s ad pages 9.2 percent, to 1,560 last year, the fourth year in a row pages have grown at the beauty title.
Stephanie D. Smith

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