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Memo Pad: More Changes at Condé Nast... New Role...

Changes at Condé Nast continued Tuesday morning.

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WAIT, THERE’S MORE: Changes at Condé Nast continued Tuesday morning: Steven Deluca, publisher of Details since April 2008, was pushed out as the men’s title was moved under the purview of senior vice president and publishing director Bill Wackermann. Lucy Kriz will remain as Details’ associate publisher and will report to Wackermann. Deluca was notified late Monday afternoon he was being let go.

The move should put to rest rumors that Details would be closed after Condé Nast folded four unprofitable magazines Monday: Gourmet, Modern Bride, Elegant Bride and Cookie. Speculation over Details’ future, as well as that of other Condé Nast titles, flourished as McKinsey & Co. was hired to advise on how to prune the firm’s unprofitable magazines and position it for growth. Details has seen its fashion and luxury advertising base decline during the crippling ad recession. Through October, ad pages fell 34 percent, to 627, while its larger sibling, GQ, saw a 32 percent drop in ad pages to 886. Details’ circulation has remained flat over several years at about 425,000, or about half that of GQ’s. Details now publishes 10 times annually after the magazine stopped producing an additional holiday issue last year.

However, Wackermann was positive about Details’ future, saying the title has a place at the company given its younger audience and edgier editorial voice. He also said editor in chief Dan Peres was the right man to steer the magazine into 2010. “I am honored to be involved with Details again, and the opportunity to work with Dan Peres. The market needs Details’ edgy and smart edit. There is nothing else like it,” said Wackermann.

And more changes at Condé Nast lie ahead. While 180 employees are exiting the building this week after the closures Monday, more are expected to follow suit as the remaining magazines finalize their 2010 budgets. Editors and publishers are charged with cutting their spending by as much as 25 percent by whatever means they choose — including job cuts, some of which could happen as soon as this week. — Stephanie D. Smith

 



A BOOKISH REVENGE?: Speaking of the Condé Nast closures, former Gourmet editor in chief Ruth Reichl broke her silence about the magazine’s shuttering by calling The New York Times’ Kim Severson on Tuesday and giving one strong indication that she has no immediate plans to return to Condé Nast: She is writing a memoir about her experience there. “When I’m done being sad I’ll be working on my next book,” Reichl told The Times, which described the book as “Ruth Reichl: The Condé Nast Years.” (WWD is also owned by Condé Nast).


“This has been a fascinating place to work,” Reichl added in her Times interview. “But I’ve always said I can’t write it until I leave here.”

Reichl will be returning to a book tour to promote a Gourmet cookbook currently on the shelves. She already has written several best-selling memoirs. Her most recent effort was May’s “Not Becoming My Mother: and Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way.” According to Nielsen BookScan, it has sold 20,000 copies.

But it appears another former Condé Nast editor in chief will beat her to the punch with a similar premise about life during and after a folded magazine. A memoir by Dominique Browning, who was the longtime editor in chief of House & Garden until it folded in late 2007, will appear next spring. According to Publishers Marketplace, “Slow Love” is an account of how Browning “simplified her life and found happiness after being laid off from the job that defined her.” Browning did not respond by press time to a request for more detail. — Irin Carmon



NEW ROLE: Bauer Publishing hired Charlie McNiff, a seasoned sales executive from Wenner Media, to head up ad sales across its celebrity magazines, In Touch and Life & Style. McNiff will become publisher-vice president of agency sales for the Bauer Entertainment Group, which comprises the two weekly magazines. McNiff succeeds Mark Oltarsh, who left the company in September. McNiff was associate publisher of Us Weekly, but left in 2007 after contract negotiations with Wenner chief Jann Wenner fell apart. McNiff then joined OK as associate publisher, but left when Kent Brownridge, McNiff’s former boss at Wenner, joined OK as general manager. In Touch and Life & Style historically have carried fewer ad pages per issue than category leaders People and Us Weekly, but the Bauer titles have suffered steeper declines than its competitors. In Touch has carried a quarter fewer ad pages this year than in 2008, with 666, while Life & Style has suffered a 30 percent decline in paging, at 297. People’s pages are 7 percent behind their 2008 total to date, with 2,441; Us Weekly’s 1,305 pages are 8 percent fewer than in 2008. — S.D.S.



TIP TOD’S: Gretchen Gunlocke Fenton has been named senior vice president of communications and public relations of Tod’s and Roger Vivier in the U.S. Gunlock Fenton comes from Chanel, where she was executive director of fashion public relations. Stephanie Hamada, Tod’s senior vice president of communications, has been promoted to senior vice president of global VIP relations for all the brands of the Tod’s SpA Group. Hamada has been in various positions with Tod’s for 15 years. Both appointments take effect Oct. 26, according to Marco Giacometti, chief executive officer of Tod’s USA. Allison Aston, director of communications at Roger Vivier, owned by Tod’s SpA, will leave her current post to pursue freelance opportunities. — Sophia Chabbott