Magazines. Condé Nast, of the US, is to sell the eight-times-per-year W magazine to a new company formed by Surface Media called Future Media Group. The new entity will hold W along with Watch Journal and Surface as part of a luxury-focussed portfolio. The new group will continue with the print brand and expand its digital presence under the editorship of Sara Moonves, the W style director. She succeeds Stefano Tonchi who is claiming some $1.1m in damages, alleging that Condé Nast improperly denied him severance pay and a bonus.
W was bought from Disney 20 years ago alongside WWD (since sold to Penske Media) and other brands. It now has 500k paid-for subscribers. It is Condé Nast’s third sale after the divestment of Brides (to Barry Diller’s Dotdash) and Golf Illustrated (to Discovery Inc), prompted by the company’s losses of $120m in 2017 Surface has received funding from Magna Entertainment which invested $2m in 2018. The sale price has not been disclosed, although it is rumoured to be some $5-6m. Will the name Future Media Group be just too easily confused with the increasingly global Future Plc?