Conde Nast Planning Another Executive Shuffle

New Yorker Publisher to Conde Nast Digital, Then What?

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Conde Nast insiders are anticipating a new publisher shuffle, one likely led by the transfer of New Yorker VP-Publishing Director Drew Schutte to the new position of chief revenue officer at Conde Nast Digital.

Drew Schutte
Drew Schutte Credit: Joseph Moran
Several insiders report that Mr. Schutte was expected to be appointed as early as this week. That would set off another round of musical chairs among Conde Nast executives, one that could see Conde Nast Traveler VP-Publisher Lisa Hughes succeed Mr. Schutte at The New Yorker. Publishers inside Conde Nast have been approached about the Traveler job, an outsider with Conde Nast contacts said, suggesting that the company anticipates a new role for Ms. Hughes.

Requests for comment have been met with unusual silence since Wednesday afternoon. A spokeswoman for Conde Nast Digital declined to comment, and messages left with a Conde Nast spokeswoman, Conde Nast Digital chief Sarah Chubb, Mr. Schutte and Ms. Hughes have gone unanswered. Insiders speculated that some element of the shuffle had hit a snag, delaying company plans to announce the latest changes.

More successful at Wired
Mr. Schutte was tapped to lead The New Yorker in January 2008 but was never as successful there -- in an admittedly terrible year for most magazines -- as in his previous role overseeing Wired magazine and Wired Digital. The New Yorker's ad pages declined 26.8% last year, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.

Mr. Schutte wouldn't necessarily have an easier job at Conde Nast Digital. Conde Nast is above all a magazine company, one whose efforts to build revenue online have not gained a lot of traction yet. Conde Nast Digital itself is a new formulation of company strategy in the area.

Conde, publisher of major titles such as Vogue and Vanity Fair, enjoyed a period of double-digit revenue growth earlier this decade, but the recession ended that. The company's cooler, calmer approach -- a departure from earlier years -- also seems to have suffered. Last week Conde shut down Domino magazine, surprising many because it had just named Senior VP Bill Wackermann to oversee the brand.

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UPDATE:
Conde Nast confirmed this afternoon that Mr. Schutte is becoming senior VP-chief revenue officer at Conde Nast Digital, succeeded by Lisa Hughes at The New Yorker. Conde Nast has not yet identified a successor for Ms. Hughes as publisher of Conde Nast Traveler.

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