Conde Biz Book


In a place where the fabulous and fabulously connected work, it’s no small feat to manage the regular leakage of news and gossip. This is especially true at Conde Nast, home to glam glossies like Vanity Fair, Vogue, Glamour, Architectural Digest, GQ, and sister pubs W, The New Yorker, HG, etc. Case in point: the big news today on the defection of the highly regarded Joanne Lipman from the Wall Street Journal to Conde Nast to start a new business magazine. The news comes just prior to next month’s launch of Lipman’s baby, the Wall Street Journal’s Weekend edition.

I was trying to figure out just how this story evolved. Based on the reports in today’s Times and NY Post, it appears that Conde Nast played a back seat role to Dow Jones, which issued a news release focusing on Ms. Lipman’s replacement. There didn’t seem to be a news release from Conde Nast, so the company’s PR honcho Mauri Perl comandeered CEO Charles Townsend to avail himself to reporters. (Conde Nast, a private company, does not post news releases on its site. Most of the publicizing is done at the magazine level.)

The take-away, much to Dow Jones’s relief, honed in on Conde Nast’s foray and less on the future vitality of the company’s flagship newspaper’s new weekend edition, which Ms. Lipman has agreed to head only through its Sept. 17 intro.