Sunday, April 14, 2024

Hard Times: For Five Months, Vogue Editor Anna Wintour Will Have to Make Do with $1.6 Mil Salary


(Editor’s note: thanks to everyone who pointed out my math problem. The fog of quarantine sometimes turns off that part of my brain. I’ve fixed the number to $1.6 million. So Anna should be okay after all!)

Hard times have come to Conde Nast Publications, part of Advance Publications.

Other Advance newspapers, like the Cleveland Plain Dealer, have recently been gutted. They’re down to just four reporters after a tug over war over unionizing. Advance/Conde Nast has gutted their newsroom because they don’t are about journalism. That’s no longer an issue.

Now in Manhattan, Conde Nast itself will suffer. Anna Wintour will see her $2 million salary cut by 20% for…five long months. She’ll have to tighten that Prada belt from May 1st til September 30th. If she hasn’t been evicted or gone to seed by then, she’ll be back to the $2 million base. How she will make it through the summer is a frightening thought.

According to reports in the New York Times and elsewhere, everyone at Conde Nast making over $100,000– which is a lot of people– will get similar 20% cuts for those five months. It’s dastardly. But ads at the print mags are down, and the web sites are exactly booming. At least no one will be assigned to Cleveland, so that’s a relief.

Meanwhile, the inside baseball media are waiting for a 30 % layoff at The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard. So says Variety, the Daily Beast, and other reports.  THR’s print weekly loses $10 million a year– and that’s an underestimate. THR and Billboard tried to make themselves into magazines for the public, which they are not. They are for the trade.

Owned by Guggenheim Partners’ Todd Boehly, they’ve over spent like sailors on leave, as they used to say. Now the whip comes down. THR recently also ousted Editor in Chief Matthew Belloni because they didn’t think he was being nice to celebrities. Whoops! A big problem for Boehly is that he’s got a lot of conflicts of interest if he wants to be a news mogul and also throw parties for the stars. He also now owns Dick Clark Productions, which produces a lot of awards shows including the Golden Globes. All of that is very complicated.

So stay tuned. Houses of cards are about to collapse.

PS I only wish Nikki Finke wasn’t gagged from speaking on all this. But maybe she is, and we don’t know it.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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