“If we didn’t want to look like a museum, we had to change pretty radically,” he added.
Last year, Ms. Wintour focused on the next step in the process: converting seven of Condé Nast’s largest publications – Vogue, GQ, Wired, Architectural Digest, Vanity Fair, Condé Nast Traveler, and Glamor – into global brands, each under one leader, reduces costs and streamlines the exchange of content across print magazines and digital platforms.
“Instead of having 27 Vogues or 10 Vogues behind a story, we have a global Vogue behind it,” said Ms. Wintour. “So it’s more of a global newsroom with different hubs.”
The shift in focus from local to global has not been well received everywhere. Tina Brown, the former editor of The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, has described the plan as “suicidal” an interview in August with The Times of London.
“Of course there are some stories that work, especially when you think of fashion, which is a global language, and music, so there are stories that work in all areas and then there are stories that work absolutely not,” said Ms. Wintour. “We are very aware of that.”
Ms. Wintour also ensures that there will probably be no more Anna Wintours – no more imperial editors-in-chief, each with their own fiefdom, a job that Ms. Wintour herself helped shape as a stylish but demanding porter for fashion and culture. The brands are now run by “global editorial managers,” most of whom are based in New York, who are reported by the regional content heads.
“You used to make stories for publication and it came out once a month and that was great,” she said of the old domain of an editor-in-chief. Now the global editorial directors and content executives work across platforms including “Digital, Video, Short and Long Form, Social, Events, Philanthropic Endeavors, Membership, Consumers, E-Commerce,” said Wintour.
“You touch so many different worlds,” she added. “Honestly, who doesn’t want this job?”
In the midst of the change at Condé Nast, many people decided they didn’t.