Condé Nast chairman Si Newhouse sat New Yorker editor David Remnick down before consultants from McKinsey & Co. came onboard to make cost cuts and told him that his magazine would be safe. Newhouse said “the magazine would be just fine, and neither McKinsey nor company executives would be mucking with his editorial costs,” reports John Koblin in today’s Observer. This is great news for Remnick’s team, though any companywide cuts would obviously affect them — and Koblin argues that so many of these lifestyle changes have been cascading through 4 Times Square over the past year that the “Gilded Age” of Condé Nast is now finally over. What kind of quality-of-life changes are we talking about?
Koblin ticks off a list of lost perks:
• Fresh flowers for editors on Monday mornings
• Interoffice expensed gifts
• Dinners at Nobu (well, people “think twice” about them now)
• Massages with clients
• Cheese plates from Balthazar
• Shrimp in the salad bar
• Fiji water (Now they have … Poland Spring)
• Red Bull
“The Red Bulls and Oranginas are maybe no longer there, but what’s the difference?” explained CEO Chuck Townsend. “I don’t want to lose the speciality or the quirkiness, but a lot of this stuff that has been part and parcel of it is just meaningless. You don’t need it! You don’t need the Orangina!”
We’re not so sure about that, Chuck. We know how we get when we can’t have Orangina, and we don’t even want to know what happens to Anna Wintour.