NO MORE FOR SABINE: Someone is a fan of Meredith Corp. over at Condé Nast. Twice in less than a week, Condé has gone raiding the New York offices of the Des Moines-based publisher. A week ago, Liz Schimel, the former executive vice president, chief digital officer at Meredith, became the new president of Condé Nast China.
Now, Connie Anne Phillips, the new publisher of Glamour, has poached Sabine Feldmann, the publisher of More, one of Meredith’s more lucrative women’s service titles, ranked behind Ladies’ Home Journal and Better Homes and Gardens in terms of annual advertising pages…
Feldmann, formerly the publisher of Shape and Teen Vogue, will be Glamour’s new associate publisher, replacing Julia Fry, who is moving in that position to Condé Nast Traveler with Bill Wackermann, Glamour’s former publisher.
Until recently, Feldmann had been working on More’s important September issue, which is also the magazine’s 15th anniversary, a milestone that might not resonate with readers but is always a good opportunity to lure more dollars from advertisers.
The occasion was important enough for Meredith to create a public relations campaign around it, which is set to break some time in the next month. But it’ll have to celebrate without Feldmann on board. The issue hits newsstands Aug. 27, and she starts at 4 Times Square Aug. 6. Feldmann notified Meredith Tuesday morning. Leslie Russo, Glamour’s group associate publisher, brand development, will remain in her role, and she and Feldmann will both report to Phillips.
Feldmann had been at More for a little more than a year and a half after lasting roughly the same amount of time at Teen Vogue, where she was replaced by Jason Wagenheim. At the time, Condé was looking for a soft landing for her at the company, but she chose to jump to Meredith.
More finished 2012 with 671 ad pages, down 19 percent from the year before. That put it behind Better Homes, Meredith’s dominant magazine, which finished with 1,363 pages, and Ladies’ Home Journal, at 739 pages, according to Media Industry Newsletter.
In the end, an anniversary didn’t do much to help out More’s advertising troubles. The September issue closed with about 83 pages, according to estimates from Meredith, or down about 3 percent.
Asked about what made her look at More for a publisher, Phillips pointed to Feldmann’s experience.
“It had nothing to do with More. We needed a heavy hitter here. It was about Sabine. It was about her ability to be a great thinker. She has incredible relationships in beauty and fashion,” she said.
Phillips said she is close to building her “dream team” at Glamour, but dismissed concerns that there might be the kind of house cleaning that typically follows regime changes at magazines. She gave the sales staff credit for closing a successful September issue.
“I am building a team. I look forward to working with each and every one of them,” she said.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Meredith said the magazine is looking at internal and external candidates to take Feldmann’s role as the magazine enters the last quarter of the year. There is no timeline to fill the position, and the team in place will handle sales in the meantime.