More Conde Nast Changes: 'Details' Publisher Out

'Cookie' Publisher Takes Over 'Brides,' as Its Publisher Leaves

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NEW YORK ( -- Continuing the changes across its portfolio that kicked off with the Gourmet shutdown yesterday, Conde Nast has ousted Details VP-Publisher Steven DeLuca. Conde Nast Senior VP-Publishing Director William Wackermann, who already oversees Glamour and the bridal category, received oversight of Details today as well. Details Associate Publisher Lucy Kriz continues in that post.

Steven DeLuca
Steven DeLuca
A Details spokeswoman confirmed the news.

Rumors had occasionally circulated over the summer that Details would be shut down for much the same reasons Conde cited as it closed Gourmet and two bridal titles yesterday. Details and GQ both serve the men's fashion market, just as Gourmet and Bon Appetit overlapped in the epicurean space. Conde Nast and consultants visiting from McKinsey have been studying the company's portfolio, which includes major brands including Vogue and Glamour, amid a major downturn in revenue resulting from the recession. "I'm surprised that Details made it," a Conde Nast staffer said yesterday. "I'd just heard that Details was redundant. Like having two food magazines and a bunch of brides' magazines."

Details, however, hasn't been as much of an influence on Conde's bottom line as Gourmet, a title with a paid circulation approaching 1 million, a superstar editor in Ruth Reichl and more than 100 other names on the masthead, even if they weren't all full-time staff. Details, on the other hand, guarantees average paid circulation of 450,000 and maintains a leaner masthead. Conde Nast President-CEO Charles H. Townsend told Ad Age yesterday that no more shutdowns were planned after Gourmet, Cookie, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride.

Mr. DeLuca had been publisher since April 2008. Ad pages in the issues from January through October this year fell 33.65% from the same period in 2008, worse than monthlies' average decline of 21.96%, according to the Media Industry Newsletter. That was still better, however, than several other Conde books did. Ad pages fell 42.71% at Gourmet, for example, but also at surviving titles such as Architectural Digest, down 49.38%, and W, down 45.51%.

Conde made another publisher change late Monday, when it found a post for Cookie Publisher Caroline Kremins. She was named publisher of Brides, the surviving bridal title, succeeding Alison Matz, who is now leaving the company.

Mr. DeLuca did not respond to a message left seeking comment; Ms. Matz could not be reached on Tuesday.

Another Conde publisher worried yesterday that the dramatic moves could hurt print's image among advertisers. "The concern is that everyone says this is further proof that print is dead," the publisher said. "But Brides is going to 12 times a year. They're consolidating under a powerful brand name. That from the get go could be better."

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