Goodbye CondéNet, and Hello Condé Nast Digital

conde12609 Goodbye CondéNet, and Hello Condé Nast DigitalThe byzantine set up of the Condé Nast internet operation is finally getting a facelift.

The company announced today that CondéNet properties (style.com, epicurious.com, et. al.), will finally be consolidated with Condé Nast’s other digital properties—like b brides.com—into one big happy family called Condé Nast Digital.

The idea, hopefully, is that it’ll make it a little bit easier to make some money selling ads against the Condé Nast brand, instead of dividing the entire empire piecemeal.

Nat Ives at Ad Age is skeptical about the idea: "It’s not obvious whether the new structure will help Condé make more money online. The company has made changes before. It only fully absorbed CondéNet, which had been a unit of Condé’s parent company, Advance Publications, in 2005. The next year it moved the magazine sites’ production chores from CondéNet to the magazines themselves."

In other words, who knows if this will work?

But Condé Nast C.E.O. Chuck Townsend thinks it can’t hurt any!

However you measure their popularity, Condé believes selling sites together will prove most compelling. ‘The problem with Gourmet.com is, even as much as we love it in and of itself by itself, it’s relatively insignificant,’ Mr. Townsend said. ‘This is a respectable site, but competitively—against Epicurious, for example, any of the really big sites—Gourmet.com sold by Condé Nast Digital is going to be part of a package.’

Here’s the full release:

CONDÉ NAST CONSOLIDATES DIGITAL ASSETS TO FORM DIGITAL UNIT

New unit increases scale and efficiency for advertisers
New York, NY, January 26, 2009 — Condé Nast is consolidating all of its digital assets into a single unit
called Condé Nast Digital (CND), it was announced today by Charles H. Townsend, President and C.E.O.
of Condé Nast. Sarah Chubb, formerly President of CondéNet, will be President of the new digital unit,
reporting to Mr. Townsend.

This new unit creates a more efficient way for the company to leverage its digital business and combine
that with the unique vertical opportunities it brings to advertisers. The move also allows for a more
streamlined approach to growing revenue across the company’s digital assets as well as aiding print ad
sales through the integration of on-line and print sales and marketing.

Digital media buyers will now have a more efficient way to work with Condé’s digital assets through a
dedicated sales team. Corporate level advertisers will be able to address digital commitments and
opportunities with Condé Nast Media Group (CNMG) Sales Directors as part of their overall relationship
with Condé Nast. The CND unit will incorporate the CondéNet sites including Epicurious.com,
NutritionData.com, Concierge.com, HotelChatter.com, Jaunted.com, Style.com, Men.Style.com,
Wired.com, Reddit, Ars Technica, and Webmonkey, as well as the individual magazine branded websites,
and Brides.com, a bridal destination site. WWD.com will remain part of the Fairchild Fashion Group, the
Company’s B2B unit.

“This move is really a convergence of our strong individual digital businesses into the larger Condé Nast
media company,” Mr. Townsend said. “Unifying all of our valuable digital assets under this direction
maximizes the strength and scale of our digital offering and also enhances their critical contribution to the
power of our print businesses. This is a growth based consolidation, not a cost cutting consolidation.”
“In today’s marketplace advertisers are looking for substantial scale, ease of buying, and the ability to
measure user engagement,” Ms. Chubb said. “Combining all of the company’s digital assets under one
umbrella allows Condé Nast to have the unique advantage of possessing all three of these essential
components.”

“This consolidation and alignment of our assets, allows The Condé Nast Media Group to maximize our
revenues and bolsters our position as a formidable player within the multi-media arena,” Richard
Beckman said, President, Condé Nast Media Group & CMO, Condé Nast.

Condé Nast, a unit of Advance Publications, includes twenty-four consumer magazines, Condé Nast
Digital, the Fairchild Fashion Group, Parade, the Condé Nast Media Group, and the Shared Services
Centers.