They say blood is thicker than water, but you nick both when cutting to the bone. And so it is that Self magazine has laid off Stephanie Newhouse, granddaughter-in-law to one of the Newhouse brothers who built Condé Nast.
Newhouse confirms to us that she was laid off today, as first reported in a tweet from Britten Leigh Heft. Newhouse writes she's one of two people she's aware of being let go from the sales/promotion side of the magazine. The decision, she said, was based on seniority: "The two newest people in our department were let go."
That sounds like admirably fair treatment for the wife of Jesse Newhouse, whose father is a Newhouse newspaper executive, whose grandfather was an early partner in building the Advance Publications empire that owns Self parent Condé Nast and who is the son of a cousin of Advance CEO Si Newhouse Jr.
When Newhouse was hired, it arched our eyebrows along with, we were told at the time, those of some people within Self. Condé had already been through several rounds of layoffs when Newhouse was hired. Her discharge could stand as proof that nepotism is a weak force, at best, in the Newhouse empire. Newhouse did come into the promtoions job after running her own events and promotion company, after all. But it could also be a sign of how desperate the company's magazines are to cut costs.
After all, today also brings word of still more cutbacks in a seemingly never-ending stream for Condé Nast: a tipster tells us Vanity Fair is laying off six people from the business side, including one ad director, two sales positions and three people from creative services, including one "very senior level" person. We called a Condé Nast spokeswoman for comment and are waiting to hear back.
Newhouse, meanwhile, isn't eyeing an immediate return to the family business. She writes:
For the moment, I feel it's best to return to running my own company, 007 Events, which I haven't allowed to lapse. Should there be an opening at some time in the future at Condé Nast where my experience in event planning and promotions would be valuable again, I would definitely consider returning. It was a great experience to work with such a dedicated and hardworking group.
A dignified exit, then. Newhouse-ian, even.