You've probably heard that these are grim times for Condé Nast. Editors and publishers may be asked to cut spending by 25 percent, further layoffs are expected in the coming weeks, and several other magazines may shuttered entirely. If you're anything like us, you've probably been sitting at home asking, "What can I do to help?" Obviously, you could subscribe to one of Condé's magazines. But let's be honest: A $10-a-year subscription to Glamour isn't going to exactly turn the ship around. One much better way to deliver a few bucks to Condé's bottom line: Consider purchasing one of the fine, overpriced items on sale in the Condé Nast store! Last week, The New Yorker started selling wristwatches featuring the magazine's mascot, Eustace Tilley. But there's plenty more to choose from. A few suggestions below.
• David Pecker's magazine empire may avoid bankruptcy after all. [NYP]
• The mood is expected to be bleak when Sundance kicks off next week. [WSJ]
• Discovery has signed Paula Zahn to create a weekly news show. [THR]
• An op-ed and podcast by Bono in the Times will debut on Sunday. [JR]
• Three more Politicker sites have been shuttered. [Jossip]
• The spring issue of Men's Vogue will be bound inside Vogue. [WWD]
• Katie Couric chats about feminism, Hillary, and the future of TV news. [CNP]
♦ The Times has the skinny on "Martin Eisenstadt," the supposed McCain consultant who leaked info to the press. (He's an aspiring filmmaker, not surprisingly.) In the meantime, MSNBC's retracted its story. [NYT, AP]
♦ You might be enjoying CW's Stylista, but the ratings thus far haven't been especially encouraging. [NYO]
♦ Two new cast members, Michaela Watkins and Abby Elliott, will join Saturday Night Live beginning this weekend. [NYT]
♦ Showtime is developing an hour-long show by Stan Lee about a gay superhero. [Variety]
Condé Nast announced yesterday it planned to scale back publication of Men's Vogue to two times a year. But not before Condé took one last opportunity to rope in Men's Vogue readers to renew their subscriptions! A reader was kind enough to send in this renewal offer he received last week, which offered two years ("20 issues!") for the price of one. But as he pointed out, when a Vogue title stamps "Free Gift Enclosed!" on the envelope and the gift turns out to be a flimsy bookmark, that's a pretty good sign the end is near.
♦ A first look at Charlotte Ronson's line for JCPenney, I Heart Ronson, and her new $30 dresses. [Nylon]
♦ Details on the cuts at Men's Vogue: The mag will be published just two times next year and publisher Marc Berger is leaving. The fate of other staffers is unclear. [Mediaweek]
♦ Damien Hirst's latest collaboration with Levi's includes pairs of jeans for $230 and $83 t-shirts. [WWD]
♦ Plastic surgeons report interest in cosmetic procedures is dropping fast. [NYT]
The 5% across-the-board cuts at Conde Nast are already manifesting themselves. Men's Vogue has been officially scaled back to a twice-a-year publication—meaning that it's folding, in the sense of being a regular (almost) monthly magazine. Tipsters tell us that the MV staff is getting laid off, although Conde's own statement uses the vague phrasing, "Men's Vogue will be absorbed into Vogue," leaving open the possibility of some staff retention (MV editor Jay Fielden is staying on). And All Things D reports that the entire staff of Conde's troubled business title Portfolio has been summoned into a meeting that's going on right now. Ominous. Anyone with specific info on layoffs, email us. [UPDATE: Portfolio has indeed suffered a serious cutback, along with layoffs]: The bad news at the meeting: Portfolio is going to be published ten times per year, rather than 12. The December and January issues will be combined, as well as the June and July issues. Alley Insider says that Porfolio's web staff is being cut from twenty employees to five. More layoffs may be coming. The magazine has a lot of high-profile, highly-paid journalists on its staff—and now, one-sixth less space to publish their stories.
Quelle horreur: Conde Nast is cutting the budget of all their high-class rags by 5% across the board! Five percent of payroll and 5% of every title's expense budget. And that goes for the editorial and the business sides. The Observer calculates that it will be impossible to accomplish the cuts without layoffs. One less assistant for Vogue's Anna Wintour! A slightly less long tail for Wired's Chris Anderson! And, worst of all: could this be the end of the long road to oblivion for that emasculating Wintour plaything, Men's Vogue [UPDATE: Sort of!]?
1) At the New York premiere of spy thriller Traitor at the Regal Union Square last night, the film's stars Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Said Taghmaoui, and Mozhan Marno walked the red carpet along with director Jeffrey Nachmanoff, Busta Rhymes, Jesse Williams, Estelle, Aubrey O'Day, and Nicole Miller. [NYO/Wireimage]
Condé Nast confirmed tonight it will shutter Golf For Women magazine, seven years after buying the Golf Digest spinoff from Meredith Corp. Ad pages were off 7 percent through the July issue and there's been significant turnover on the business side. Meanwhile, also at Condé Nast, Men's Vogue is looking gaunt. Is the magazine brand spinoff an endangered species? After all, a variety of teen-themed brand extensions threw in the towel on the concept two years ago, including Teen People.
Hockey star Sean Avery is "guest editing" MensVogue.com this week, which means that, technically, he is the one who decided to print a picture of himself shirtless (above) for the slideshow accompanying his essay about life as a Vogue intern. The essay itself details Avery's love of fashion — especially women's fashion, which he finds "especially interesting — there are so many options, and they can tell more of a story." Go ahead and make the gay jokes, Avery has already heard them. And they don't stop him from bragging that he added a "leopard-print Alexander McQueen vest" to a photo shoot he worked, and that it "pulled the outfit together."
The outline on the model at left is not a bathing suit; that would be a tan line. The woman is completely naked. The ad for Cabana Cachaça was accepted not only at Playboy but also at Details, Men's Vogue, Esquire and GQ. Yes, this says something about eroding publication standards and the financial desperation of magazines amid the current advertising downturn. But more critically, it says that Cabana Cachaça is probably some really, really crappy liquor. Larger shot of the ad, marginally NSFW, after the jump.
New York's subway map is a monstrosity, the worst of all possible graphical worlds, neither visually legible nor geographically accurate. For his 1972 map of the system, Massimo Vignelli at least made a clear choice: he sacrificed scale to space out the stations and the lines and present a diagram that commuters could at least read, something along the lines of London's famous tube map. Vignelli has been commissioned to update his long-lost design-for Men's Vogue, of all places, which displays the full map. (Writes Jonathan: "I'm going to print it out and then make a show of obsessively checking it on the train. People will think I'm a tourist. Then they will see it, and know I'm a time traveler.")
It was hard to imagine anything less menacing than Hud Morgan in a bar fight, but a helpful tipster has supplied one: the Men's Vogue writer, dressed we presume as a gangster, at up-and-coming socialite Serena Merriman's fancy dress party, last weekend in Little Compton, Rhode Island. 28-year-old Morgan, a former gossip columnist with the New York Daily News, fancies himself the caddish man about town. For a microsecond, his liaison with a 17-year-old starlet even gave him a touch of credibility. But the fruitini-loving reporter has always been betrayed by his taste in clothes-technicolor sweaters and scarves worn with as much respect for his surroundings as an Olsen in sunglasses, which tend to undermine his masculine charisma. And, here, he's betrayed again.
Mens Vogue writer (and dater of teenage soap star Leven Rambin) Hud Morgan threw a loud-ass "champagne Easter party" in his West Village brownstone, where the frutini-drinking former gossip columnist lives in a studio somewhere on West 11th Street. One of his neighbors sent us a party report, written in the style of Jay McInerney and disguised as a noise complaint. What kind of people came? "Very very loud people, as if each is trying to make sure that whatever he or she is saying is heard by even those speaking more loudly. They are shouting such things as, 'Who bothers to learn their doorman's name?!?'"
All My Children star Leven Rambin is apparently still dating thin-skinned Men's Vogue writer Hud Morgan, reports to the contrary notwithstanding. And Hud is still trying to threaten anyone who raises questions about his relationship with the 17 year old starlet, albeit in the manner of a fruitini-drinking water polo ogler. His latest stunt was a middle-of-the-night call to dandy magazine designer Gregory Littley, who runs in the same circles as Rambin and apparently aired some healthy "skepticism" about her relationship with older man Morgan. Morgan suggested that Littley air his grievances face to face and came off sounding like he meant that as some kind of threat, albeit a barely credible one. Of course the whole call ended up on the internet, courtesy of Littley friend Emily Brill, the bloggy socialite. But maybe that was the idea. Morgan made the call from Rambin's phone and was sure to say so in his voice mail, thus helping spread the word that, no matter who else Rambin may or may not have recently made out with, she still belongs to Morgan. Video of Morgan's call, and Littley's reaction, after the jump.