Conde Nast will close four magazines -- Modern Bride, Elegant Bride, Gourmet and Cookie -- following a review the publisher undertook to find ways to cut costs and staff in the face of the advertising recession.
Conde Nast, publisher of magazines like The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Wired, previously closed its Portfolio business magazine and home decor magazine Domino.
The latest magazine shutdowns combined with cost and workforce reductions now under way throughout the company, will speed the recovery of our current businesses and enable us to pursue new ventures, Chief Executive Chuck Townsend said on Monday in a memo to staff.
About 180 employees will lose their jobs in the cuts, a Conde Nast spokeswoman said.
With the shutdown of Modern Bride and Elegant Bride, a third wedding magazine, Brides, will increase its publication schedule to monthly. As for Gourmet, Conde Nast said it remains committed to the brand and would continue Gourmet's book publishing and TV programing.
Conde Nast hired consulting company McKinsey to look for ways to trim costs.
The company is far from being the first U.S. publisher suffering circulation and advertising revenue declines as readers go online and advertisers slash budgets because of the recession. It is, however, one of the most conspicuous.
The privately held company, whose headquarters sits in a skyscraper in New York City's Times Square, has long enjoyed a reputation as sophisticated as the one depicted in its glossy fashion magazines, including reports of profligate spending even as magazine and newspaper ad sales crumbled.
A roster of high-priced editors such as Vogue's Anna Wintour and Vanity Fair's Graydon Carter, and the image of a staff leading an exhausting but glamorous lifestyle tailored for gossip columns, ensures that when Conde Nast tightens budgets, its magazines' fans and detractors pay attention.
The company has aroused equal portions of envy and ire among more thrifty media watchers with its generous spending on projects such as an office cafeteria designed by architect Frank Gehry and budget items that include $1,000 nightly expense limits for traveling staff.
Conde Nast is part of the Newhouse family's Advance Publications, which already has been slashing costs at its more workaday daily newspapers.
At The Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey, the paper offered buyouts to 40 percent of its staff last year, and threatened to close the paper if they could not get that many to sign up.
The decision to close the magazines comes after a source told Reuters on Friday that Conde Nast may work with Time Warner's Time Inc, Hearst Corp and others to set up a digital newsstand for people to read magazines, and get charged for them, on mobile devices such as electronic book readers.
(Reporting by Paul Thomasch and Robert MacMillan; editing by Gunna Dickson)