fashion-memopad
fashion-memopad

Magazine Publishers Scale Back on Holiday Parties

Adopting the “smaller is better” mantra, Time Inc. and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia will be celebrating in-house.

A LEANER HOLIDAY: Last year, Lucky magazine gave 2011 a modest send-off. While Vogue went to The Standard and Glamour held parties at both Mister H and the Electric Room, Brandon Holley and Co. retired to the Frames Bowling Lounge for their office holiday party.

This year, they’re keeping festivities quaint as well — on Wednesday, they’ll be celebrating in-house, at their sixth-floor offices at 4 Times Square. A raffle is expected. A buffet will be served in Holley’s office.

Explained a spokeswoman: “Most people spend time in her office for meetings. This is a nice time to have staffers hang out and socialize and not have to talk business.”

Parties are such a splurge anyway, so across the media world, many publishers have adopted Lucky’s “smaller is better” mantra.

Bain & Co. will be delighted to hear that Time Inc., which for the past two years has held a corporate party for all the brands, is forgoing a soiree this year. Parties cost money that a publisher in cost-saving mode — one facing the possibility that there will be widespread layoffs next year — is understandably hesitant to spend. Even InStyle, having another blockbuster year, is abstaining.

A spokeswoman said Time Inc. held a brand-boosting “holiday fair” last Thursday for the magazines to show off their latest issues and hand out prizes. “There was food and snacks,” she said.

Staffers at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, which reported a $50 million loss in the third quarter and laid off about 70 staffers from its magazines in addition to closing Whole Living and Everyday Food, won’t be leaving their West Chelsea headquarters for their party next Wednesday. Pierre Schaedelin, one of Martha Stewart’s favorite chefs, is catering.

Even Vogue scaled back its shindig. The magazine invited staffers last Tuesday to the screening and after party of the new documentary “The Editor’s Eye,” so they could see, on-screen, the offices where they work. The New Republic’s New York office isn’t putting all that Chris Hughes Facebook money to use: They’re just getting together at a bar.

A few others are venturing outside their offices, too. GQ is taking staffers out tonight for fried chicken and bowling at the Brooklyn Bowl (clearly taking a page from Lucky last year). Elle is also toasting tonight, at Mister H.

Wednesday is a busy evening. Cosmopolitan’s Joanna Coles will be holding court at Providence in Hell’s Kitchen, while Glamour’s business staff will be partying with publisher Bill Wackermann at The Wren on the Bowery. W’s editorial staff, some still hungover from a week’s worth of Art Basel parties, have been summoned for an early peek at the Rowhouse Inn in the Meatpacking District. Tina Brown is a big believer in the redemptive power of parties, and InterActiveCorp., finally done with all those layoffs at Newsweek, is partying like it’s 1999 on Thursday at Chelsea’s Center548. Even if they had wanted to celebrate in-house, they couldn’t, as there’s still some residual flood damage from Sandy. Cocktail attire required, reads the invite.

Next Monday, Harper’s Bazaar staff is heading to Bill’s in Midtown, while Glamour will hold its second holiday party, this one thrown by Cindi Leive, at Catch in the West Village.

As for Lucky, staffers will close the year at least knowing they’ve done some good. Catering their party is the Good Fork, a restaurant in Red Hook, where Holley lives. Like most of the neighborhood, the restaurant was devastated by Sandy and has been slowly working to reopen. “We thought they’d be the perfect business to help out,” said the magazine’s spokeswoman.

’Tis the season.

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