Saturday, May 25, 2024

NY Media Mayhem as Guild Files Complaint Against Magazine Publisher Conde Nast: Read Their Statement


There are media layoffs going on everywhere. Most notably, Conde Nast, where the New Yorker just canned a bunch of people including their Culture Editor, and Vanity Fair is said to have dumped staff even though an unnamed source said that wasn’t so in a separate interview.

The sad truth is that the advertising world has dried up, not just for print but for online as well. Plus, Vanity Fair’s web traffic and circulation are way down.

Earlier this week the News Guild of New York filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board against Conde Nast. The Guild says Conde Nast was spying on staff before they were laid off. Yikes.

The trouble isn’t all in magazines. Both Spotify and Tidal streaming services have also just cut their payrolls. And there’s more to come.

Here’s the statement from the News Guild of New York:

Condé Nast management chose to announce layoffs Thursday to the staff at
WIRED, Pitchfork and Ars Technica just as the Guild was going into bargaining, in a clear
display of contempt for the workers who have contributed to the company’s success.
“It’s obvious who is taking the bargaining process seriously and who isn’t,” said Susan
DeCarava, President of the NewsGuild of New York. “Instead of being transparent and
recognizing how difficult this is for people, Condé management is playing games with people’s livelihoods. What happened today is unacceptable and will not stop us from negotiating and fighting for every affected Guild member.”

Condé Nast management announced on Nov. 1 its plans to lay off 5% of its workforce. Since then the Guild has been fighting on behalf of all affected workers, whether they already have contracts or are negotiating first contracts. That process is ongoing and as a result, we cannot discuss the number of layoffs announced Thursday.
Pitchfork Union, WIRED Union and Ars Union are all under contract. Conde Nast Union – which represents workers powering brands such as Allure, Architectural Digest, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, Epicurious, Glamour, GQ, Self, Teen Vogue, them., Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Condé Nast Entertainment – has been bargaining its first contract since certification in September 2022. Any changes to working conditions, including layoffs, must be bargained.

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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