The Met Gala, Vogue World and GQ Sports Take Center State at Condé Nast Entertainment NewFront

Magazines are dead. That was the top take-away from the Condé Nast NewFront presentation on Tuesday afternoon in Manhattan. Legacy print products have been supplanted by social video streams from parties (GQ Sports’ inaugural Super Bowl soirée this year) or events like Vogue’s Met Gala and Vogue World or the Vanity Fair Oscar Party or short-form video content that can be easily shared across social channels.

Global chief revenue officer Pam Drucker Mann opened the 90-minute presentation to media buyers with a slew of digital statistics including from last year’s Met Gala: Vogue’s red carpet coverage of the fashion event generated 14 billion media impressions, which means it “grew the internet by 600 percent,” she claimed.

Granted, the NewFronts are designed to sell digital advertising. And the media buyers assembled at the Highline Stages on Tuesday in Manhattan are looking for sticky, digital content in an increasingly bloated video ecosystem. They’re not buying full-page print ads in Vogue. Still, the lack of attention paid to the legacy – but no longer core – product was striking. Even the Met Gala cockroach, which became a viral flash-in-the-pan when it crawled onto the red carpet at last year’s event, earned a nod amidst the company’s push to promote itself as a repository of live, unscripted digital moments.

Among the few reminders that Condé Nast still produces journalism was a nod to the brand’s seven Pulitzers; a clip showing live hit appearances on cable television from various reporters and editors (including New Yorker correspondent Ronan Farrow, recipient of one of those Pulitzers, and his boss, David Remnick) talking about their journalism, and Wired editor Katie Drummond’s announcement that the magazine has expanded its politics team ahead of the 2024 election and will focus on breaking news in a technology sector roiled by AI and an increasingly powerful minority of Silicon Valley billionaires.

Otherwise, media buyers were deluged by the usual dizzying array of unattributed digital statistics: Condé Nast’s 80 platforms generate 1 billion views was repeated throughout the presentation by multiple executives.

Since last year’s NewFront, Condé Nast has merged its editorial and video teams, which resulted in the exit of Condé Nast Entertainment executive Agnes Chu last October. And the company’s editorial titles are focused on expanding their video footprint with 100 new pilots and 235 digital series returning.

Global chief content officer Anna Wintour, who pronounced herself “so excited” about this merger, talked up Vogue’s upcoming third iteration of Vogue World, which will take place June 23 at Place Vendôme on Paris. The theme will be 100 years of French fashion and will be styled as an “opening ceremony” in a nod to the Paris Summer Olympics kicking off July 26. Introducing a clip of Vogue’s marquee events, Wintour reminded the assembled audience to keep an eye out for her “favorite [six-legged] surprise guest” from last year’s Met Gala.

The company will bundle its more than a dozen titles into three main categories: news, live events and sports. The latter will include new partnerships through GQ Sports with Formula 1, ESPN and YouTube.

In unveiling a revamp of Bon Appétit, editor-in-chief Jamila Robinson, who took over last summer, introduced among the most popular guests of the presentation Tatiana founder and chef Kwame Onwuachi. He did not offer any insider tips for scoring a table at his Lincoln Center hot spot, but he noted that scalpers are now reselling reservations at his Lincoln Center hot spot for $800, which he said, “is f—ing dope!”

Of course, Condé Nast’s NewFront presentation takes place as a proposed 5 percent workforce reduction has plunged the company into a protracted and contentious labor dispute with the union representing writers, editors and videographers across several publications including Vogue and Vanity Fair. More than 400 union members from publications including Vogue, Vanity Fair, Allure, Them, Architectural Digest and GQ, staged a walkout last January. And the union is threatening a strike ahead of the Met Gala on Monday. There were no picketers at the Highline Stages. But the Gala, with its billions of social impressions last year, offers the union a much larger platform.

Kim Kardashian attends the 2023 Met Gala.

Kim Kardashian at the 2023 Met Gala, which generated 14 billion media impressions, according to Condé Nast executives.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum

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