When Vogue, the grand dame of hefty September issues, goes skeletal for its biggest issue of the year, it's a dire road ahead for glossies overall.
Subscribers will get much less than a thud on the doorstep when the willowy September Vogue, with a 36 percent plunge in ad pages, drops in August. This year's September issue has a scant 429 ad pages, down from last year's 607 ad pages and 727 in 2007. Vanity Fair's pages also dropped 36 percent. Now, we don't want to jinx ourselves here, but even with those numbers, it's doubtful that Vogue or Vanity Fair would ever actually shutter (it is, of all the women's magazines, still on top), but we can't say the same of the other books in Conde Nast's portfolio, which find themselves with slim pickings as well: W , Allure and Self all suffered losses of at least 50 percent.
The mood inside the building today is apparently terribly grim, with staffers wandering around worried about their futures within the company (which has already shuttered several titles this year in an effort to stem the bleeding). This all comes on the heels of the company's announcement that they're hiring an outside consultant to help them navigate the economic waters of a seriously dark future. If trends continue, the staffers at 4 Times Square have right to worry.