And It All Came Tumbling Down, One Red Bull at a Time
Last week, a reporter from The New York Observer scooped the news of massive cutbacks at Condé Nast. No, it wasn’t more news of the staff downsizing and magazine closures that have become par for the course in the last year at the revered ivory tower at 4 Times Square. These latest cutbacks were a horse of a different color entirely. These cuts were hard-hitting and truly indicative of the scary and precarious future of the magazine industry.
What exactly did they cut, you ask? Let me give it to you straight, without sugar-coating any of the hard, ugly truth behind the measures necessary to saving everyone’s favorite glossy monthlies.
No more Red Bull. No more fresh flowers on the editors’ desks every Monday morning. No more dinners at Nobu. No more shrimp in the salad bar (as in, the salad bar in the Frank Gehry-designed employee cafeteria of the Condé Nast building). No more Fiji water (they’ll have to suffer through meetings with plain-old Poland Springs).
The list of lost perks continues, but the gist is all there in black and white. The extras that once defined Condé Nast are gone. The Gilded Age is over.
Which leads me—a simple plebian observer, yes, but one with a set of eyes and a usually-functioning brain—to ask: How delicious did the cheese plate from Balthazar taste when the staff a few floors down at Domino were packing up their things and taking as many back issues of the magazine with them so they could sell them on eBay to pay their rent? Did the nuttiness of that 150-year-old Spanish manchego really shine through?
Yes, I understand the need to keep up appearances at Vogue and Vanity Fair. What are these magazines if they’re not arbiters of obscene perks and luxe office amenities? “Mere magazines?” you ask. Hilarious! They’re selling a brand, bitches. They’re more than the pretty pictures and words they produce every month. They are a lifestyle.
And it’s a damn shame that lifestyle is starting to crumble. A damn shame.
Posted by Amelia