Condé Nast Entertainment, the media and publishing company’s division that is behind its forays into podcasting, will remain but its parent company is continuing to restructure itself. The company has announced that it will cut its payroll by five percent in response to rapid changes in how Americans are consuming content.
CEO Roger Lynch said Condé Nast will create a single content team that will cut across editorial, audience development and video. “Creating a more efficient combined content organization will enable us to continue to invest in our great journalism,” he said in a memo to staff Wednesday.
The announcement comes after the company said President Agnes Chu was leaving at the end of October. She had been overseeing Condé Nast Entertainment, including its expansion into podcasts. The unit has launched more than a dozen series across its various brands, including shows like the New York Radio Hour, Bon Appetit’s Dinner SOS, The Run-Through with Vogue, The Pitchfork Review, and Women Who Travel. It was not immediately clear what impact the cuts will have on Condé Nast’s podcast team.
With internet companies like Facebook and Instagram deprioritizing content from outside publishers in user feeds, it has caused all publishers to experience significant shifts in referral traffic. Lynch said Condé Nast will therefore invest more in areas it can control. That could include podcasting, although he said only that they will look to put their efforts “where we directly own the relationship with our audiences.”
Based on the roughly five thousand employees at the company, layoffs are expected to total in the hundreds. Job openings will also not be filled. It is also looking at consolidating its real estate holdings, similar to what many other media companies have undertaken during the past few years.
“Our audiences are changing, technology is changing, and what advertisers want from us is changing. With all of this change surrounding us, the only certain mistake is to not change ourselves,” Lynch said. He pointed to a shift in short-form content as upending the company’s plans. “This year in particular, video has been a volatile area of the industry as audiences move to places like TikTok and YouTube Shorts,” Lynch said. But while he said Condé Nast has yet to make money on those, the company is expected to grow its overall revenue in 2023 for a third consecutive year.