W Magazine Goes on Hiatus, Furloughs Much of Its Staff


W, the hefty vogue bible recognized for publishing the adventurous do the job of best-tier photographers, experienced lengthy been a single of the journal industry’s most august titles. Although it fees a lot less to operate than Vogue, it is nevertheless costly.

Now, it appears to be in critical hassle.

“The base has dropped out of the luxurious marketplace,” Marc Lotenberg, the chief executive of W’s parent firm, Upcoming Media Team, explained on Wednesday night. This, he said, has put the title in “survival” mode.

On Monday, the magazine’s editor, Sara Moonves, known as her employees to convey to them that many were staying furloughed. Those people who do the job on on the net content material are remaining on at minimized salaries.

Mr. Lotenberg blamed the economic upheaval caused by the new coronavirus pandemic for considerably of the magazine’s troubles, nevertheless he did not deny that payments to vendors have been late considering that January, acknowledging that many unbiased contractors have not been paid out for their expert services. (He blamed this in portion on the launch of a Chinese edition of W, which was scheduled for January and has now been moved to September.)

The magazine’s up coming print problem, earlier scheduled for publication in the beginning of Could, is getting postponed indefinitely. Potential Media Group’s most latest main economic officer, Sam Recenello, just departed the business.

Numerous of the individuals on the editorial workforce stay hopeful that a further purchaser could arise to take the title, started in 1972, off Mr. Lotenberg’s palms. Even he appears to be to be open to this.

“All selections are on the table,” he said.

But it is not a great time for nonessential commerce of any sort. And there are other troubles Mr. Lotenberg is struggling with.

It was June of past year when Condé Nast, struggling with monumental overhead and declining ad revenue, unloaded the lengthy-suffering oversize fashion regular monthly to Future Media Team, a small publishing company that puts out Surface magazine, a layout quarterly.

How very well this would flip out was substantially gossiped about from the get-go. Mr. Lotenberg has a past record of not spending expenditures on time.

According to a Long term Media Team employee and other folks at Condé Nast briefed on the conditions of the sale, Mr. Lotenberg was offered a yearlong grace time period for installment payments on the obtain of W. The interval was extended from June to September, as his company’s payments had fallen driving. (Mr. Lotenberg explained he could not examine phrases of the sale.)

The magazine had appeared to be off to a great commence less than Ms. Moonves, who became its editor following the acquisition by Long run Media.

W’s Best Performances challenge, introduced shortly ahead of the Oscars and showcasing actors from the year’s most prestigious films, experienced more advertisement internet pages than ever in advance of. The key portfolio was shot by Juergen Teller, whose underprocessed pictures, mainly no cost of retouching, have influenced a era of photographers.

Do the job like this was aiding to reestablish the magazine as a laboratory for photographers to do the form of editorial operate that Vogue and Elle never regularly publish.

Very first printed as a broadsheet by Fairchild Publications as an offshoot of Women’s Put on Daily, the journal grew to become a glossy in the nineties and frequently revealed photographers like Tim Walker, Steven Klein, Mr. Teller, and Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

All of individuals males shot for Vogue, but Vogue was not recognised for showcasing photos of Brad Pitt on the floor with his pants down and base exposed. Vogue did not forged Madonna as a modern-day Mrs. Robinson surrounded by a harem of Brazilian male designs who were scarcely aged adequate to drink.

But W, which did, even so became a runaway achievements with advertisers.

It was sold to Condé Nast in 1999 as the centerpiece of a $650 million deal that also brought WWD, Jane journal and a range of other retail trade titles below its wing. About the next two a long time, W won many American Society of Magazine Editors awards.

Points started to go awry all-around the time of the most past monetary disaster. Its longtime editorial director, Patrick McCarthy, was eased into retirement in 2009 (he died previous year). Stefano Tonchi (a previous editor of T, The New York Times’s style and life-style journal) was employed to substitute him.

As famous people started working with Instagram as their major marketing car and the promotion market grew to become dominated by Google and Facebook, Condé Nast began to clearly show indications of worry. Several of the company’s publications went digital-only or shut down totally. Editors at GQ, Glamour, and Self-importance Fair departed.

Tries to sell W went badly. Numerous prospective buyers flirted with getting it, only to pull out. That gave Mr. Lotenberg an opening, even as many sellers of Surface area Media were being complaining of missed payments.

“We wound up being a tiny overleveraged,” Mr. Lotenberg explained. He extra that anyone was compensated back again, some with restitution.

When the sale was ironed out — WWD described that Condé Nast was trying to get $7 million to $8 million for W — Mr. Tonchi was dismissed. He now has a wrongful termination lawsuit pending in opposition to Condé Nast.

Mr. Lotenberg thinks the long run appears brilliant for W, despite the recent financial predicament. “I imagine in the brand,” he mentioned.


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