PARTYOLOGY: For the first time since 2007, Condé Nast’s holiday party returned to The Four Seasons.
With the party returning to the pool room for a luncheon on Tuesday, so returns the holiday party seating chart, a favorite moment for old media world Kremlinologists.
Vanity Fair publisher Edward Menicheschi and Condé Nast Traveler publisher Carolyn Kremins flanked Condé Nast chairman S.I. Newhouse Jr. Menicheschi helped lead Vanity Fair to its most profitable year ever and Kremins, two months into the Traveler job, is seen as a rising star at Condé. New Yorker editor David Remnick, Lucky editor Brandon Holley and Condé Nast digital executive Scott Dadich also sat at Newhouse’s table.
Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Dawn Ostroff, Condé Nast’s new president of entertainment, sat at the elbow of Condé Nast president Bob Sauerberg at the front of the pool room, directly in front of a podium. Vogue publisher Susan Plagemann (who led Vogue to a year where it saw 9 percent ad page growth) and new Brides editor Anne Fulenwider sat with chief executive officer Chuck Townsend, next to Sauerberg’s table. Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter and New Yorker publisher Lisa Hughes sat next to Condé Nast executive Steven Newhouse.
In a speech, S.I. Newhouse paid tribute to Wintour and her effort in organizing Fashion’s Night Out in Tokyo (the issue is particularly significant to him — the Newhouse Family Foundation gave a $1 million donation to Red Cross Society of Japan after the earthquake and tsunami hit in March). Townsend, meanwhile, made a rah-rah speech, telling the 81 publishers, editors and executives in the room that Condé Nast was set to have its most profitable year ever (though the Four Seasons get-together was scheduled long in advance of the recent news that the magazine industry is beginning to slump again, with ad pages down 7 percent in the fourth quarter after a promising start to the year).
For the last two years, Condé Nast’s holiday party has been held at cocktail hour at Aureole, the Charlie Palmer restaurant in The Bank of America Tower next door to 4 Times Square. In 2008, as Condé Nast began to slash budgets, the publisher canceled its holiday party.