Condé Nast has been undergoing climactic changes since this summer, when the big consumer magazine publisher hired reorganization consultants McKinsey & Company to help “rethink” the way it does business. Arguably the most noticeable of the changes were the sweeping layoffs that trickled out, magazine-by-magazine and division-by-division, over the span of several weeks.But the company also is experiencing a dramatic refocus online. It restructured Condé Nast Digital’s sales team into five brand categories. It developed its own reader technology to view magazine content on Apple’s iPhone. It launched Details.com and folded Men.Style.com site into GQ.com—a change that suggests that the publisher is embracing magazine Web sites more as enhanced platforms for the titles’ editorial missions rather than simply as companions to the print product.Senior vice president and chief revenue officer Drew Schutte [pictured] spoke with FOLIO: about the online changes at the company and what they mean for its print magazines and staffers. FOLIO:: Why reorganize Condé Nast’s digital sales team under five market-facing categories? Schutte: The new alignment better focuses our teams. Eight months ago we brought 26 sites under one roof, giving us tremendous scale (48 million unique visitors per month) and flexibility to offer advertisers. We will continue to benefit from this scale. The additional expertise on the individual sites is now enabling us to deliver better ideas, and the deep customization more advertisers are looking for. It also allows us to coordinate seamlessly with our print partners, in order to meet the increased demand for cross-channel selling. FOLIO:: While Condé Nast has been called a “late bloomer” in the digital realm, some of the recent changes, including the folding of Men.Style.com and launches of Details.com and GQ.com, suggest a focus on each magazine brand having a distinct voice online. How does that play into overall brand strategy?Schutte: I don’t think of Condé Nast as a late bloomer in the digital realm. CondéNet was started in 1995, and Epicurious.com is celebrating its 15th birthday this year, making us as old as Yahoo! and Internet Explorer. We have six iPhone Apps and more on the way, and GQ is the first magazine to launch an iPhone App that’s a full replica of the print magazine, complete with sponsors and circulation. However we can, and we are, getting better at adopting new technology earlier, and bringing the latest offerings to advertisers. We’re no longer looking at our magazine sites as magazine companions, but rather as enhanced versions of that title’s editorial mission. A great example of that is our decision to replace Men.Style.com with GQ.com and Details.com. We’ve long said that we will build a robust Web site for each of our titles, but this doesn’t mean the new sites will replace the old ones in any other cases. Epicurious continues to thrive online, and so does BonAppetit.com. The Men.Style brand depended heavily on GQ and Details readers. GQ readers were 35 percent of the site’s traffic, so in this case, there was so much overlap in audience that it made sense to rethink our position in the men’s category. FOLIO:: What do these changes mean for the print magazines? Schutte: As a company, we continue to stay focused on both print and online. We believe there is a tremendous future in both print and digital, and especially in the two together, as more advertisers want integrated programs. We’ve seen an increase from 8 percent of advertisers buying integrated programs last year to 15 percent this year. Approximately 30 percent of the top advertisers buy both print and digital. FOLIO:: Would you say Condé Nast is shifting focus from print to online? If so, how is the company managing that cultural shift?Schutte: The word isn’t “shift,” it’s “addition.” At Condé Nast Digital, we are focused on creating premium content online, and distributing that content to reach the maximum number of people. Whether that’s through iPhone Apps, e-Readers and Tablets, distribution deals, we’re exploring all of those platforms and more. FOLIO:: As Condé Nast looks to 2010, how will it monetize its online properties? Where will the money come from?Schutte: It will come in many ways. There are established sites, like Wired, Epicurious and Style, that will continue to grow in both users and revenue. There are sites in 2009 that have emerged as strong players like Glamour, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, and are poised well for significant revenue growth in 2010. There are also sites like Golf Digest that will be getting significant investment for the first time. In addition, we will continue to build on the success we’ve had in creating integrated programs for advertisers like Mercedes, LG, P&G, Wal-Mart, and many others. Finally, there is the revenue we’re bringing in from custom work for clients, which continues to grow.FOLIO:: After all the layoffs we’ve read about/reported at Condé Nast, is the company hiring now on the digital side? If so, what positions? What will the focus be?Schutte: We are hiring on an as needed basis in multiple areas including sales, marketing, business development and creative services.FOLIO:: Where are Condé Nast’s digital-side leaders coming from? Are they former print people? What mindset is the company looking for/grooming?Schutte: We continue to look for people, both from the print side, and those with an online background, who have a track record of success and a deep understanding of the digital world.
© 2012 Phys.org (Phys.org)—Researchers studying the cosmos have been stumped by an observation first made by Monique and François Spite of the Paris Observatory some thirty years ago; they noted that in studying the halos of older stars, that there should be more lithium 7 than there appeared to be in the universe. Since that time many studies have been conducted in trying to explain this apparent anomaly, but thus far no one has been able to come up with a reasonable explanation. And now, new research has deepened the mystery further by finding that the amount of lithium 7 in the path between us and a very young star aligns with would have been expected shortly after the Big Bang, but doesn’t take into account the creation of new amounts since that time. In their paper published in the journal Nature, Christopher Howk and colleagues suggest the discrepancy is troubling because it can’t be explained with normal astrophysics models. Journal information: Nature This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. New ideas add further mystery to why there is less lithium-7 in the universe than expected Estimates of the lithium abundance in the SMC interstellar medium and in other environments. Credit: Nature, 489, 121–123. More information: Observation of interstellar lithium in the low-metallicity Small Magellanic Cloud, Nature, 489, 121–123 (06 September 2012) doi:10.1038/nature11407AbstractThe primordial abundances of light elements produced in the standard theory of Big Bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) depend only on the cosmic ratio of baryons to photons, a quantity inferred from observations of the microwave background. The predicted primordial 7Li abundance is four times that measured in the atmospheres of Galactic halo stars. This discrepancy could be caused by modification of surface lithium abundances during the stars’ lifetimes or by physics beyond the Standard Model that affects early nucleosynthesis. The lithium abundance of low-metallicity gas provides an alternative constraint on the primordial abundance and cosmic evolution of lithium that is not susceptible to the in situ modifications that may affect stellar atmospheres. Here we report observations of interstellar 7Li in the low-metallicity gas of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a nearby galaxy with a quarter the Sun’s metallicity. The present-day 7Li abundance of the Small Magellanic Cloud is nearly equal to the BBN predictions, severely constraining the amount of possible subsequent enrichment of the gas by stellar and cosmic-ray nucleosynthesis. Our measurements can be reconciled with standard BBN with an extremely fine-tuned depletion of stellar Li with metallicity. They are also consistent with non-standard BBN.Press release What’s really bothering all the scientists working on the lithium problem is the fact that it’s the only element that doesn’t fit with models of how things should have come to exist right after the Big Bang. All known elements occur in amounts predicted, except for lithium 7; there’s just a third as much as theorists think there should be. In trying to understand why, researchers have looked at old stars that surround the Milky Way galaxy, low mass bosons called axions, and more recently binary stars that are believed to harbor black holes. Unfortunately, such studies have only made the problem worse by suggesting that even more lithium 7 ought to be hanging around somewhere than was predicted earlier.In this new research the team looked at one single huge young star in the Small Magellanic Cloud, or more precisely, at the spectrum measured of gas and dust through which light must travel to get from there to here, and found that the amount of lithium 7 is consistent with theories that suggest how much of the element there should have been shortly after the Big Bang, which is unsettling because scientists know that more of it should have been created between then and now. Thus, these new results only add to the mystery of where all the rest of it is, or worse, why it wasn’t created in the first place as models suggest. Citation: Mystery over apparent dearth of lithium 7 in universe deepens (2012, September 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-09-mystery-apparent-dearth-lithium-universe.html Explore further