The shakeout from Condé Nast’s combination with overseas operations isn’t over yet.
Condé Nast Entertainment, the video production arm of the publisher, is being slightly restructured under group president Oren Katzeff, who took on the role a year ago. In an effort to organize the division “in such a way that sets us up for success,” as Katzeff put it in an internal memo to staff. Roughly nine CNE staffers have been let go as a result, WWD has learned. It’s thought that most of the cuts are on the strategy and production side, mainly junior level executives.
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A Condé spokeswoman would not specify the exact number of cuts, nor their titles, but she did confirm the realignment without further comment.
In his memo, Katzeff pointed to Condé’s continuing efforts to combine its U.S. and International operations into one, which new chief executive officer Roger Lynch was brought on to effectuate.
“As I’ve said throughout the year, the process of aligning our departments and streamlining our processes is crucial if we want to reach peak efficiency, grow our business and succeed at the next level,” Katzeff wrote to staff.
Lynch, in a company town hall earlier this year, wouldn’t address specifically any impending cuts to the organization, something Condé has been doing on basically a rolling basis for the last few years as it works to return to profitability. He did offer that “there may be some roles that are duplicative” with the combination of operations, but promised that the company would be “open and transparent in how we deal with that” when the time came. It’s unclear how open the company was with this most recent round of cuts, but Lynch has made some efforts toward a more communicative style than his ousted predecessor, Bob Sauerberg.
Lynch did reveal how bullish he is on video for Condé, saying the segment could eventually be a $1 billion business for the company. But it’s not there yet, and as this is the time of year for finalizing operating budgets, it’s not a surprising time to make some staffing cuts.
As Lynch alluded to earlier this year, the cuts at CNE seem to be the result of some overlapping positions. In his memo, Katzeff said the strategy team at CNE is being integrated into programming. He added that all of the production resources currently going to the programming team will be shifting to the production team. The overall goal of the changes is to “sync” responsibilities for those working in programming and those working in production, Katzeff wrote.
The result is CNE will now have just four executive producers in the group, all reporting to Bruce Perlmutter, senior vice president of production. Two interim vice presidents of programming are also going full-time and will report to new senior vice president of programming Reginald Williams. Together, they will oversee content being produced out of all Condé brands, Katzeff said in his memo.
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