Stefano Tonchi Exits W as the Magazine Is Sold to Surface Media

by Charles Manning

Well, it finally happened, Condé Nast has sold W, which will now join Surface Media and Watch Journal to form a new company called Future Media Group. The deal also includes the licensed W edition in Korea.

Stefano Tonchi, W’s editor-in-chief since 2010, has left the company and is being replaced by current style director, Sara Moonves. As was reported last week, Tonchi and other “high-profile staff” were apparently resistant to the sale due to Surface Media’s high staff turnover rates and allegedly hostile workplace culture. Even so, more than 30 members of W’s current staff are said to be making the transition, including long-time W editor-at-large, Lynn Hirschberg.

W’s editorial team will remain in the Condé Nast offices at 1WTC for the time being, with Condé Nast continuing to manage digital and video ad sales for the brand through the end of the year. Amber Eastbook, formerly VP of Revenue for Vanity Fair, W, The New Yorker, Teen Vogue, Vogue, and Them, will take over as chief revenue officer of the newly-formed company.

According to a press release shared by Condé Nast this morning, W will continue to publish eight print issues per year while also working to expand its digital and experiential footprint. Future Media Group plans to operate W offices in Paris, Milan and New York, as well as a soon-to-be established bureau in Los Angeles. A new head office is also in the works for New York, where editors from all three brands will work together.

“W has always been an extraordinary and visionary arbiter of style. For over 45 years, its pages have been filled with indelible imagery and exciting journalism,” said Marc Lotenberg, CEO of Future Media Group. “We look forward to honoring and building on that legacy. We know that W will serve as a perfect complement to the publications already in our portfolio.”

Moonves will be W’s first female editor-in-chief since its creation, 47 years ago. “I am excited to be a part of the future of W, an iconic brand that has always inspired me,” said Moonves. “W is W because of our amazing contributors, and I look forward to continuing to work with them in my new role. It is an honor to be able to guide this brand into its promising future.”

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