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More Layoffs Hit Self Magazine

Eight staffers were let go, six of whom came from the fashion department, one from the photo department and one from art.

Self Magazine Jessica Alba

Self’s August cover featuring Jessica Alba.

Photo By Courtesy Photo

CUTTING AT SELF: Self magazine went through another round of layoffs Thursday.

This time eight staffers were let go, six of whom came from the fashion department, one from the photo department and one from art.

The layoffs were confirmed by Self, which is in the process of elevating and reinventing the magazine.

The news followed a headline-grabbing week for Condé Nast, which reshuffled its executive team, and quietly turned its 67-year-old title, Golf World, into a digital-only property.

RELATED STORY: Major Moves at Condé Nast >>


While insiders continued to ponder the implications of the changes, Self continued its purge, which began in April when longtime editor in chief Lucy Danziger was terminated along with vice president and publisher Laura McEwen.

The company swiftly installed Joyce Chang, who came from Hearst’s Cosmopolitan, as editor in chief and brought back former Condé Nast exec Mary Murcko as publisher.

The transition to a new regime — Chang and Murcko — has been a bumpy one. Upon her arrival, Chang made a handful of layoffs and hires, which included the roles of fashion director, art director, entertainment director and executive editor.

Sources speculated that Chang’s initial round of layoffs so quickly upon her arrival in May may have been linked to a gaffe by Condé Nast’s human resources department, which reportedly e-mailed a confidential list of Self employees to be fired to a midlevel editor at Hearst, instead of to Chang.

An insider told WWD that since Chang was appointed editor in chief, 25 people on the editorial side have left, nine of whom left “voluntarily,” while 16 were let go.

Some of those roles will be consolidated, other replaced or eliminated.

Since the 16 layoffs, eight new employees were hired, in what is being characterized as a new structure for the masthead.

For example, this week, Self hired former Michael Kors fashion director Dania Ortiz as its fashion market and accessories director. Ortiz will start on Aug. 5 and join a trio of new hires on the business side. They include beauty executive directors Lori Cohn and Tammy Cohen, both from Lucky, and Lexie McCarthy, a former manager for Gap Specialty North America, as northwest account director based in San Francisco. Cohn and Cohen will start on Aug. 11, while McCarthy will join on Aug. 4.

Adding and replacing staff could become tricky — particularly for Self — as all the Condé titles are under a mandate to reevaluate their budgets in order to hit internal annual revenue projections. Self, which is down in advertising sales for the first half of the year, will have to juggle that mandate as it works to revamp its image and relaunch the magazine under its new editor.

RELATED STORY: A New Austerity at Condé Nast >>

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