HarperCollins is laying off staffers, the Toronto 'Metro' is written by interns, and approximately 41,000 media jobs have been slashed since the start of the recession. But things are looking up in France!
In further Condé Nast belt-tightening, the December and January issues of the fledgling business magazine will be combined, as will the June and July issues, and the edit budget will be cut by 5 percent.
No, not in the Damian Hirst sense, though that would be amazing: The art-loving SAC Capital Management CEO could have some problems with the SEC if he's not careful. Plus! An ex–Bear CEO jumps ship at JPMorgan, Natalie Portman's apartment goes on the block, and Condé Nast has a green issue, in our daily rundown of industry news.
We know, we know — dare to dream, right? But there are proposals to build above it, and the renderings look lovely. Plus, news from the finance, law, real estate and media industries, in our daily roundup.
• As Blackstone's profit sinks 89 percent, Stephen Schwartzman gets the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street named after him. The naming rights came with a very generous $100 million donation, but we're not sure we're ready to go have lunch on the lovely steps of "Schwarzman." It'll feel like we're an undergrad at Penn or something. [NYT]
• Wall Street says "There is a God" as its longtime persecutor, Eliot Spitzer, falls from grace. [NYT]
• Lehman Brothers, the largest underwriter of U.S. mortgage bonds, plans to lay off 5 percent of its workforce, which is about 1,400 people. Meanwhile, Bear Sterns, the second-biggest underwriter of mortgage bonds, lost more than $1.3 billion in market value yesterday as investors worried about the firm's liquidity. [NYP, NYP]
• Fired Portfolio editor Jim Impoco makes his comeback at The New York Times Magazine, where he'll be a consulting editor. [NYO]
• NBC puts its traditional glitzy advertising on the back burner. That's really too bad for the girl who was hoping to be assigned to keep tabs on John Krasinski during the day of the presentations. [NYP]
• Nielsen CEO David Calhoun charts a new course for his media-measuring company. [Fortune]
We admit it. We read Portfolio's story on Outsourcing Valentine's Day twice before we realized it was written by the comedian Andy Borowitz and therefore, totally fake. Yes, we're gullible. But aren't magazines supposed to put disclaimers on this stuff nowadays? Especially when they have paragraphs such as this?
Jason F., a risk arbitrageur whose friends call him “Douche” relates a cautionary tale. “My assistant spent weeks researching the perfect gift for my girlfriend and chose a Givenchy handbag that matched her eye color. But as soon as my girlfriend unwrapped it, she smelled a rat — so much thought had gone into it, she knew that I couldn’t have been involved.”
Okay, a Givenchy handbag that matched her eye color — that, we don't buy. But a hedge-fund guy named Jason F. whose friends call him "Douche"? That sounds completely plausible. In fact, we bet that some of you readers know guys named Jason F that are — or should be — called "Douche." Submit their names in comments below.
Outsource Valentine's Day [Portfolio]
• At least 75 Time Warner layoffs are expected to be announced today. The layoffs are among CEO Jeff Bewkes's first public tasks since taking the helm of the company from Dick Parsons last month. Earlier today, Time Warner announced a 41 percent decline in fourth-quarter earnings. [MSNBC & AdAge]
• Maybe some of those Time Warner folks can hang their hats over at Condé Nast. The Observer evaluates Portfolio's recent spending spree, during which it recruited top talent from The New Yorker, the Post, and the Times. [NYO]
• (Product)Red, the love child of Bono, iPod, and the Gap, has raised more than $22 million for fighting HIV and AIDS in Africa. But considering the big advertising bucks spent during the Super Bowl and elsewhere, some are arguing that it's not enough. [NYT]
Have you noticed that all of the news about the Great Condé Nast Reshuffling of 2008 has emerged from Women's Wear Daily? It's becoming the mouthpiece of the company's HR department. (Or maybe the news is all a little too boring for anyone else to care about.) After a week of updates about shifts and firings on the business side at Condé titles Vogue, Golf Digest, Lucky, Teen Vogue, and The New Yorker, WWD today tells us about Portfolio (this month's cover pictured here). Apparently the business mag's editor, Joanne Lipman, tapped recently departed Post metro editor, Dan Colarusso, to run its growing Website. Also, to fill new Portfolio publisher William Li's absence at Men's Vogue, Condé looked within its walls to Details associate publisher, Marc Berger. We'd walk you through all of the changes that came last week, but the most telling detail is already above: While the rest of Condé Nast continues to recruit talent only from inside the company, Portfolio continues to look outside for fresh ideas!
New Titles All Around [WWD]
Last week Portfolio's Jeff Bercovici reported that CNBC says they're not worried about Fox Business Network anymore. Crowed a CNBC press release:
During November when the stock market has swung wildly, viewers tuned to CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, for fast, accurate, actionable and unbiased business news. In measured ratings, CNBC had its best November in total viewers since 2000 in Business Day and its best November in the key adults 25-54 year-old demographic since 2003. It was also CNBC's best month in Business Day programming in total viewers since August 2002.