Condé Nast Won’t Be Profitable Again Until 2020, Confirms Intended Sale of W

by Aria Darcella

On Wednesday, Condé Nast CEO Bob Sauerberg addressed staff about the the company’s future and shared plans for how it intends to adapt to the changing media landscape. According to the Wall Street Journal, this plan will undoubtedly include more layoffs down the road, although that is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are the seven things worth knowing.

1. Condé is selling W, and hopes to have an agreement in place by the end of the year.
Rumor has it that W‘s editor-in-chief, Stefano Tonchi, is speaking to investors about helping him buy the magazine and running it independently.

2. The company is also selling Brides and Golf Digest.
This confirms rumors of the sales as reported by the New York Times last week, although Condé apparently hopes to retain some sort of stake in the Golf Digest business, depending on who buys it. As with W, it is Condé’s hope that these deals will be in place before 2019.

3. Condé does not expect to be profitable again until 2020.
Sauerberg does not expect to see a profit in 2018, but his goal is to increase revenue by $600 million by the end of 2022.

4. By 2022, the company hopes advertising will make up half of its total revenue.
Currently, 70% of Condé Nast’s revenue comes from advertising, but Sauerberg is focusing on diversifying revenue streams by concentrating more on the company’s business-to-business marketing and consulting services, and business-to-consumer services such as GQ Recommends, which generates money through affiliate commissions.

5. A greater focus is being placed on video content.
2019 will see Bon Appétit and GQ launch streaming services. It will also continue to focus on long-form television production, and is looking for a studio to help with programming.

6. There are probably more layoffs ahead.
The company plans to continue investments in creating a data platform, an events business, and growing their digital business, all while cutting costs.

7. Sauerberg expects the process to be painful.
“At a time when Google and Facebook are taking so much ad money out of the marketplace, I’m investing in a more diversified future,” Sauerberg told the Wall Street Journal. “I’m doing necessarily tough things. But we have a blueprint.”

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