In Further Cost-Cutting, Condé Nast Tries D.I.Y. Reception

When you arrive at the lobbies on the editorial floors of Vanity Fair, Vogue or The New Yorker, don’t look for someone to guide you—they’ll be a phone, and you can call up the editor you’re seeking.

A source has told The Observer that Condé Nast executives have laid off the remaining 13 receptionists who avoided cuts five months ago. Back then, Condé Nast laid off receptionists on non-editorial floors, and preserved the rest.

This time, they’re all out. It has been suggested that editorial assistants can help escort visitors in.

The news comes only days after the company announced it was canceling all newspaper subscriptions, effective this week, and two weeks after C.E.O. Chuck Townsend announced to all staffers that the consultants from McKinsey & Company were coming into the building—for what we’ve learned is a three month run—to pour over numbers and recommend big changes.

Another source said that the slash of editorial receptionists doesn’t have anything to do with McKinsey—it’s been in the works for a while.

But ever since McKinsey invaded, the entire building has been full-fledged panic mode. It appears Condé Nast execs are finally taking notice. After Mr. Townsend met with publishers over a week ago (where he said he needed profitable magazines) he held two meetings in the past week (along with editorial director Tom Wallace, COO John Bellando and HR head Jill Bright) with managing editors from each publication.

In one of those meetings according to a source, Mr. Townsend, conscious of the building-wide blowback, asked staffers how communications could be improved.

Evidently not by using receptionists.

In Further Cost-Cutting, Condé Nast Tries D.I.Y. Reception