Major Downsizing at Condé Nast

by Taylor Harris

Downsizing — it’s not just a (terrible) Matt Damon movie.

This week, Condé Nast announced that consolidation plans (read: layoffs) already underway will result in the publisher subleasing more than a third of its entire One World Trade Center headquarters.

One World Trade, home of the Conde Nast offices. (Shutterstock)

350,000 of its total 1 million square-foot office space will be rented out, which equates to seven of the 23 floors they now occupy in the 104-story tower. The space is estimated to be approximately $75-per-square-foot in terms of rental pricing. Experts believe the publishing giant nabbed the space at $50 a foot, meaning Condé could make a tidy profit. The move is seen as an attempt to close the massive loss, estimated to be $100 million, the company saw in 2017.

The subleasing will force employees of all Condé properties to pack up and move. A spokeswoman said all magazines will eventually be affected since the space spanning the remaining 16 floors will have to be reconfigured with multiple magazines sharing spaces previously occupied by one. The only offices not moving are those now residing on the 43rd floor, where executives for Advance Publications, Condé’s parent company, are located. In other words, the Newhouse family members will not be relocating. But Condé Nast chief executive officer Bob Sauerberg will be moving along with other Condé brass, including chief revenue officer Pamela Drucker Mann.

The consolidation is another sign of a shrinking Condé Nast. Could it be that they held on for too long to an outdated business model and perhaps also…Anna Wintour?

Anna Wintour (Patrick McMullan)

At least Anna won’t have to pack up and move offices, as the reconfiguration process is said to take place over the next 18 months.  The rumor mill has been churning for weeks that Wintour will leave American Vogue and step down as Condé Nast artistic director after her daughter Bee Shaffer’s wedding this summer, although Condé Nast has vehemently denied the reports.

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