Latest Conde Shakeup: Vanity Fair Publisher Takes Over Corporate Media Group

Media Group Chief Lou Cona is Leaving the Company

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Edward Menicheschi was named CMO-president of Conde Nast Media Group.
Edward Menicheschi was named CMO-president of Conde Nast Media Group.

Conde Nast has promoted Vanity Fair VP-Publisher Edward Menicheschi to CMO-president of the Conde Nast Media Group, which sells ad programs spanning the company's brands, effective immediately. Mr. Menicheschi succeeds Lou Cona, who is leaving the company.

Mr. Menicheschi was named publisher of Vanity Fair in 2006 after serving as president of WWD Media Worldwide, which included Women's Wear Daily. He previously held positions at Conde magazines Vogue and GQ.

"Edward has posted extraordinary business results while leading Vanity Fair's drive into cross-platform ad initiatives including digital, print, video and event activation," Conde Nast President Bob Sauerberg said in a statement Thursday. "As we build the team that will lead Condé Nast forward, we will rely on Edward to bring his shrewd business skills, his strong relationships and his proven leadership abilities to elevate the company's advertising and marketing power."

"This is an unprecedented opportunity to transform the Condé Nast Media Group to more effectively reach premium audiences, cultivate data services, and innovate new ad products, native and client solutions, and large cross-platform deals," Mr. Menicheschi said in the statement.

Conde Nast plans to name Mr. Menicheschi's successor at Vanity Fair soon.

The media group at Conde Nast handles advertising sales across multiple magazines and their digital properties. Like Mr. Menicheschi, Mr. Cona was Vanity Fair's publisher before joining the group. Prior to that Mr. Cona was publisher of The New Yorker, another Conde Nast title.

Mr. Cona ascended to CMO of the media group in 2010 following the resignation of Richard Beckman, who had been a polarizing force at Conde Nast, partly because publishers felt he took credit for their hard work when he bragged about the proportion of company revenue that flowed through his office. Mr. Cona's tenure proved to be less contentious, and he helped steer the company through choppy financial waters beginning in 2008 when magazine ad pages began to crumble.

The shakeup is only the latest in a series of big moves this summer at the publisher, whose other glossy titles include Glamour, Bon Appetit, Conde Nast Traveler and Allure. On Tuesday, Conde Nast said it was selling Fairchild Fashion Media, publisher of Women's Wear Daily, to Penske Media for a reported $100 million.

Also, this month, Conde Nast said it was spinning off Lucky magazine into a separate company. And in July, the company reshuffled its executive ranks, consolidating some power under Mr. Sauerberg and giving Vogue Editor and Conde Nast Artistic Director Anna Wintour more influence over the magazines. Tom Wallace, the company's longtime editorial director, left the company.

Ad pages across the entire Conde Nast portfolio were down nearly 6.4% through the September issues of their monthly titles and the Aug. 18 issue of The New Yorker, according to stats from the Media Industry Newsletter. Monthlies as an industrywide whole declined 6%.

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