There are 85 staffers at Portfolio who need a new job, and we’ve got our first bit of news to report: William Li, the publisher of the magazine, is staying with Condé Nast and will take the associate publisher position at Condé Nast Traveler.
“I wanted to keep working,” said Mr. Li in an interview with The Observer. “I wanted to keep working on a brand that was a strong one and to have opportunities to work at blue chip brands like Condé Nast Traveler don’t come around often.”
Mr. Li was Portfolio‘s publisher from 2008 until last Monday (and only found out about the magazine’s closing about an hour before he had to inform his staff) and was Men’s Vogue‘s publisher before that. We asked Mr. Li why he decided to take a step back with a No. 2 position instead of holding out for a publisher’s job somewhere else.
“It’s less about being No. 2 and more about being with a magazine that’s very established,” said Mr. Li. “There’s a familiarity there and it’s still within David Carey’s group and I really wanted to continue to work with David. I don’t get hung up on the No. 2 number.”
Mr. Carey oversees Traveler, The New Yorker, Wired, Golf Digest and Golf World, and, until last week, Portfolio as well. (It’s worth noting that according to Women’s Wear Daily, Condé Nast Traveler is hiring Observer editor Peter W. Kaplan as its new No. 2 on the editorial side.)
Mr. Li will replace Michael Provus as associate publisher. It is not clear whether Mr. Provus will stay with the company.
And in other ex-Portfolio staffer news, we hear the magazine’s former associate publisher, Gail Day, will become The New Yorker‘s new ad director