Embattled Domino Gets New Publishing Chief

Finally, a little January news out of 4 Times Square!

Bill Wackermann has been named the “publishing director” of Domino, the troubled shelter magazine at Condé Nast. It is essentially a demotion for Beth Brenner, the publisher of Domino who will retain her title but now has to report to Mr. Wackermann.

Mr. Wackermann is one of the star publishers at Condé Nast, a man who is annually in the running for the publishing house’s “Publisher of the Year” title, and oversees one of Condé Nast’s most profitable magazines, Glamour.

It’ll be a challenge to turn around Domino, however. As The Observer reported in November, the shelter category has been the industry’s hardest hit since the recession started.

“You’ll see further fallout,” predicted Kate Kelly Smith, the publisher of House Beautiful to us back in November. “There’s just not enough revenue out there to support all these [shelter] titles. We’ve already seen it, and we’ll continue to see it.”

Back in November, CEO Chuck Townsend, in a statement through a spokeswoman, conceded that there were problems at the magazine: “Ad revenue is off at Domino like it is across the industry, but the magazine is way ahead of our original plans to circulate it in the marketplace.”

Here’s the full release:


Senior Vice President & Publishing Director of Glamour and CN Bridal Media
Adds Domino to Publishing Responsibilities

January 12, 2009 (New York, NY) – Charles H. Townsend, Chief Executive Officer of Condé Nast, today announced the appointment of William Wackermann as Senior Vice President & Publishing Director of Domino, effective immediately. Wackermann continues in his role as SVP & Publishing Director of Glamour and CN Bridal Media. Beth Brenner, Vice President & Publisher of Domino, will now report to Wackermann.

“Bill Wackermann is one of our top business brand-builders, and I look to him to leverage Domino’s strong assets and continue to grow the brand’s vitality in the marketplace,” said Townsend.

Domino’s circulation growth has significantly exceeded the company’s original plans. The magazine has developed a strong connectivity with its readers since its launch in 2005, seeing a +6% increase on newsstand for 2008 and a rate base that has more than doubled from 400,000 at launch to 850,000. The magazine is one of Condé Nast’s top-selling magazines in online marketing and its growth rates continue to be robust.

Domino proved to be one of the most popular magazine launches in recent memory. In 2006, it was named to both Advertising Age’s “A List” and Adweek’s “Hot List” as “Launch of the Year” and “Startup of the Year,” respectively. In 2007, Domino was named to Adweek’s “Hot List 10 Under 50.”

Wackermann has been with Condé Nast for 15 years. He joined Glamour as Vice President & Publisher in 2004, where he boosted advertising pages, revenue, profitability, and brand vitality to their highest point in history. He was named Senior Vice President & Publishing Director in January 2008 and given oversight of CN Bridal Media in addition to Glamour. Prior to his current role, he was Vice President and Publisher of Details where he re-launched the magazine. Wackermann also served as Associate Publisher at Condé Nast Traveler, and held various sales positions at Vanity Fair and House & Garden.

Condé Nast, a unit of Advance Publications, includes consumer magazines and their websites, CondéNet, the Fairchild Fashion Group, Parade, the Condé Nast Media Group, and the Shared Services Centers.



Embattled Domino Gets New Publishing Chief