At Condé Nast this season, the big color is pink—with about 5 percent of the company’s work force set to get pink slips. Condé Nast chief executive Roger Lynch said in an Oct. 31 note to employees that about 270 of them would be affected by the move, which he said was a response to such factors as a drop in social media traffic, a slowdown in digital advertising and altered video viewing habits, which have resulted in audiences moving to such platforms as YouTube and TikTok. That move results in less revenue going into the publisher’s pocket. The main thing being scaled back seems to be the company’s ambitious plans for creating an in-house video studio. While the Condé Nast Entertainment brand, which focused on re-fashioning the company’s editorial content into movies and TV shows, will be retained, the division’s most recent head, former Disney exec Agnes Chu, left in October, and is not set to be replaced. Lynch says that Condé Nast, which lost more than $120 million back in 2017, was turning a profit by 2021, with revenue growth (which nonetheless failed to meet its target) last year.
NewsMatch, a collaborative fundraising movement to support independent, public service journalism, is leveraging a $6.3 million investment in order to attract donations to nonprofit news organizations across the United States. The campaign will include 353 nonprofit outlets across 46 states, 16 percent more than participated in the effort last year. This year’s program funders include Heising-Simons Foundation, Jonathan Logan Family Foundation and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, along with hundreds of local and issue-oriented funders that directly supported news organizations during the year-end NewsMatch campaign. NewsMatch has helped power the growth of the INN Network, an alliance of nonprofit newsrooms that includes more than 4,000 journalists—which the organization says is more than any commercial newspaper group. In addition, nearly one in five newsrooms participating in NewsMatch 2023 has a primary mission to serve communities of color, and 22 percent said their organizations are led by individuals who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color. Many of the institutional funders supporting NewsMatch in 2023 also support Press Forward, a $500 million fund announced this year to support local news that is expected to start making investments in early 2024.
Global investment firm KKR officially closes its $1.62 billion all-cash deal with Paramount Global for Simon & Schuster. Now a private standalone company, Simon & Schuster is now the only independent major trade publisher in the US. Simon & Schuster president and CEO Jonathan Karp remains at the helm of the company. “The company is in a strong position to capture the opportunity ahead, and we look forward to building on Simon & Schuster’s reputation,” said Ted Oberwager, a partner who leads the gaming, entertainment, media and sports verticals within KKR’s Americas private equity business.