The struggles of big glossy magazines continue.
WWD reports (paywall) that publisher Condé Nast, faced with a declining audience, is slashing 80 jobs across its 3,000-person workforce, reducing budgets, and publishing fewer issues per year of GQ, Glamour, Allure, Bon Appétit, Architectural Digest, and Condé Nast Traveler.
But perhaps the biggest news is that it will cease printing Teen Vogue entirely.
The magazine had renewed its relevance recently thanks to a new, more politically and culturally aware perspective, exemplified by its political coverage around Donald Trump’s election to the US presidency. Lauren Duca’s December 2016 story on Trump’s psychological manipulation of American voters—”Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America”—was a viral hit that alerted many readers to a Teen Vogue they weren’t familiar with.
For years, Teen Vogue, which launched in 2003, had been known for light, fluffy celebrity and beauty news. But under Elaine Welteroth, who became editor-in-chief in May 2016, it broadened its scope noticeably.
“The current iteration of Teen Vogue is, if you listen to anyone who likes it—and you’d be surprised at the diversity of people who do—a ‘revolution’ in magazines,” the New York Times wrote (paywall) in a recent profile of Welteroth. “Devoid of the prom- and weight-loss-themed articles that usually litter teen magazines, the title, read primarily by 18-to-24-year-olds, is now full of articles like an open letter by Mckesson to Jordan Edwards, a 15-year-old black boy who was fatally shot by police, or a conversation between the singer Troye Sivan and the model Hari Nef about being members of the L.G.B.T. community in the current political climate.”
I'll admit, it's a strange feeling seeing yourself, your story, and your work on page, let alone The Sunday @nytimes Magazine (hi mom!). While I'm sure my mother was beaming with pride when she pinned this profile onto her cubicle wall at work, this is not just an acknowledgment of me, but every young person with a dream worth chasing, every black woman who persists, every young woman with fight, everyone who chooses to go right when the world has gone wrong. It's for anyone who has been "othered," unseen, discounted, or second-guessed and pushed on anyway. It's for every single member of the @teenvogue team doing the work that's driven by making a difference. We are all revolutionaries in our own right. Right where we are. Just as we are. And on that note, huge shout out to @jazzloon, the witty young black woman at The Times who tracked me down, pitched, reported, and wrote a story that might not have been told otherwise. Thank you for seeing me–and for giving my mother endless bragging rights!
This reinvention, however, apparently wasn’t enough to save the print edition, which was already publishing just four times a year according to Condé Nast, from the persistent onslaught of digital media. Teen Vogue will apparently continue to exist online, but the physical version that a generation of teens grew up with will disappear from newsstands.
As for Welteroth, who has her own sizable fan base online, WWD reports she may keep working with Teen Vogue in a different capacity or may find a new role within Condé Nast. She could take over the top editorial role at Glamour or Allure, for instance. “Another perhaps more plausible scenario,” WWD states, “is that Welteroth grows a new brand at Condé Nast.”
Condé Nast declined to comment on future plans for Welteroth. “Teen Vogue has experienced tremendous audience growth across its digital, social, and video platforms this past year, and has earned journalism and industry accolades that set it apart from its competition,” it said in a statement. “Though the quarterly print editions will cease publishing on a regular schedule at newsstand, we are looking forward to exploring reimagined special issues timed to specific moments of our readers’ lives.”
This story has been updated with a statement from Condé Nast.