CondeNast, which has hired McKinsey to help rethink its business, is starting early: it is closing down Men.Style.com, its online-only destination which served as the online home of GQ and Details magazines since 2005, as part of its plans to focus on existing magazine brands online, instead of independent destination sites. Conde Nast Digital president Sarah Chubb told AdAge that it didn’t make sense to have three men’s brands online, what with the cost cutting already in place, and integrated print-web makes a better package for advertisers. GQ.com will become the flagship from now on, Men.Style.com traffic will refer to GQ.com, and the online staff will move to GQ.com. Details will get the traffic already going to Men.Style.com via Details.com.
Are the days numbered for the remaining online-only sites at CN? Style.com may be the next to go, as Glamour has its own website, and Vogue is supposed to gets its own site by next year. Chubb says Style.com is safe for now, but how long?
The existence of these independent online brands—Style.com, Epicurious.com and Concierge.com—within Conde Nast are a direct result of its history with CondeNet, and its famously slow embrace of the web in general over the years. CondeNet was dismantled early this year and in came Conde Nast Digital, with its new strategy of, well, we’ll find out what McKinsey comes up with.
By Rafat Ali