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Conde Nast Ventures Into Restaurants: What Will They Serve?

Posted by Abe Sauer on August 6, 2010 10:00 AM

Have you heard that publishing is dead? Condé Nast, home to such iconic titles as Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Wired, The New Yorker and, um, Golf Digest, certainly has seen better days. In 2009 alone, the publishing house closed three major titles (Cookie, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride) and cut its overall budget by a quarter.

So how is the publishing giant going to make up for lost revenue? The iPad? Until that takes off... brand licensing! Specifically, it will start putting some of its media brands on restaurants. Assuming they won't mimic the fabled Frank Gehry-designed eatery at Condé Nast's Times Square HQ, what will they serve?Continue reading...

branded media

Does The Maxim Magazine Brand Have A Future?

Posted by Abe Sauer on December 1, 2009 02:09 PM

Maxim magazine is in the news, but not for anything it published. Investor Andrew Fox has taken to the press to complain that the publishing brand won't sell itself to him, and announced a $40 million hostile takeover bid. He says that without his plan to save it, the magazine will be dead in months. The magazine responded by calling Fox a "self-aggrandizing gossip" and insists his forecast has no merit. The question is, which part has no merit?

Founded by UK publishing magnate Felix Dennis in the '90s, Maxim changed the entire men's magazine publishing industry. The vortex created by the Maxim was so strong it literally changed the brands of all the magazines that competed with it. Before Maxim, magazines like GQ, Details and Esquire rarely featured half-naked women on their covers; lowest-common-denominator "listicles" were not a foundation block of their content, as they are today.

But Maxim became the Icarus of lad mags, and flew too high. It overindulged on questionable brand extensions likehair dye (see above) and a Maxim Living line that included duvets (though Maxim's poster child Tyler Durden insists a duvet is "just a blanket").Continue reading...

brand r.i.p.

Conde Nast Consolidates Brands, Shuts Gourmet, Cookie, And Bridal Magazines

Posted by Peter Feld on October 5, 2009 10:52 AM

Conde Nast Publications announced this morning that it is shuttering four magazines, following a widely publicized review by McKinsey and Company. Food bible Gourmet will shut down, Brides will increase to monthly publication but Modern Bride and Elegant Bride will close, as will family lifestyle magazine Cookie.

The changes show resolve by Conde Nast to eliminate redundant brands -- an opposite strategy than earlier in the decade, when the company was happy to boast food titles Gourmet and Bon Appetit, men's mags GQ, Details, Cargo, Vitals, and Men's Vogue, home titles House & Garden, Architectural Digest, Domino and occasionally Vogue Living, and numerous women's books including Vogue, Glamour, Self, Jane and Allure. In those days, the company's direction was to block competition and nail down every available ad dollar in a given category.

Now, the company has reversed course. Cargo, Vitals, and Domino (all clones, to some extent, of Conde's successful shopping magazine Lucky), Jane and House & Garden are gone, and Men's Vogue has been folded into Vogue as a twice-annual supplement.Continue reading...

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