By Paul Pannone
Following an eWedNewz story involving changes at Conde’ Nast’s Brides Magazine members of the Wedding Water Cooler that worked at Conde’ or once advertised with them gave their insight and experience about how the company operates. According to some of the discussions things could finally be changing at the challenged magazine mammoth, bending to the assault of competition and the digital impact of the Internet.
Delays at the new home of Conde’ Nast could postpone the move into 2014.
Conde’ Nast is undergoing a major overhaul and departure from the time when they led the market and dictated to the wedding world. Conde’ Nast, along with all other leaders in the market, have come to realize they are a part of the market– not the market itself. Conde’ critics say they find the proposed changes difficult to understand. One of the most vocal critics of Conde’ Nast, Jim Duhe, read the eWedNewz story and had this to say:
“I’m not saying that this kind of change couldn’t happen but it seems illogical and impractical — which is probably a sign that it will happen. Enlarging the magazine size is an expensive proposition. It’s doubtful that advertisers will agree to a rate increase to cover the publisher’s increased cost for this innovation. The concept has merit only if Condé Nast views Grace Ormond Wedding Style as its only competitor.
It’s no secret that Brides lost more newsstand sales than any other national bridal title last year. It’s now being outsold on the newsstand by Bridal Guide, Martha Stewart, The Knot., and For The Bride. In spite of the best effort of the Condé Nast brain trust to convince advertisers that newsstand sales are meaningless, not many are naïve enough to believe the fantasy that subscription are important within the bridal category. As a result, there were more than 150 fewer pages in the first three issue of Brides in 2012 than there were in 2011.
The decision to publish Brides Magazine monthly rather than bi-monthly a couple of years ago was viewed as ill-advised by most within the bridal industry. The decision to eliminate the majority of staff with bridal-specific experience — including Millie Bratten, one of the most respected and beloved editors in the business — seemed counter to common sense by many. Obviously, Conde Nast has a history of poor decisions regarding Brides Magazine management. Therefore, no one should be shocked or surprised by anything that happens next at Brides.”
Duhe’s criticisms are often dismissed by readers that find out he is now a competitor of Conde’. But Duhe’s assertions are supported by others in the group familiar with the Conde’ culture. The real low-down comes from advertisers that have left Conde’ because of their inability– or unwillingness– to change their path, so far.
Ex-advertiser, Steve Lang, gave his usual applause to the story saying, “Thank you for talking about this. You know how I feel about this topic.”
Lang gave his opinions in a very public statement to eWedNewz in 2011 predicting the end of the magazine if they do not change course.
“…I do not see Brides surviving unless they amend their ways. New editors/publishers will not solve the endemic problems they face if significant changes are not made. It is interesting to note that other publications seek the counsel of the bigger manufacturers while Conde’ Nast drinks their cool aide and only theirs,” says Lang.”
In a side story we’re watching, Conde’ Nast’s move to the World Trade Center at the end of 2013 will more than likely be delayed. eWedNewz is watching the progress that has slowed to a crawl, reportedly due to cost overruns and missed payments for project materials by the City of New York. We’re continuing to investigate the story.
All Rights Reserved