W Magazine sells to Surface Media, editor-in-chief steps down

Conde Nast has finally found a buyer for W Magazine. Newly formed by Surface Media, Future Media Group acquired the fashion title for an undisclosed amount. The amount is rumored to be between 7 and 8 million USD.

While Future Media Group will continue to publish eight print issues of W annually, it has already made changes in personnel. W Magazine's editor-in-chief Stefano Tonchi has exited the publication, and style director Sara Moonves will take his place.

"Sara has impeccable taste and a keen eye for how a media brand should evolve in today's fast-paced media landscape," Marc Lotenberg, Future Media's CEO, said in a statement. "She has enormous credibility in the fashion community, not to mention a forward-thinking sensibility that will bring W beyond its core print distribution into various offline, online and augmented formats."

W will maintain offices in Paris, Milan and New York, with a new bureau to be established in Los Angeles.

Future Media Group buys W Magazine after almost a year on the market

Conde Nast originally put W Magazine on the market in the August 2018, along with its titles Brides and Golf Digest. While Brides sold to Dotdash and Golf Digest to Discovery Inc. this past May, W Magazine's time on the market was less straightforward.

Originally it looked like C Ventures would buy the title, however that deal did not move forward. In fact, the deal with Future Media Group almost fell through due to controversy over Lotenberg and his financial backer Magna Entertainment.

Conde Nast purchased W Magazine from the Walt Disney Company in 1999. The magazine generated success in setting content trends and winning media awards, however the publisher struggled with expenses as consumers have turned their attention to digital media as opposed to print.

"W has always been an extraordinary and visionary arbiter of style. For over 45 years, its pages have been filled with indelible imagery and exciting journalism," Lotenberg said.

"We look forward to honoring and building on that legacy. We know that W will serve as a perfect complement to the publications already in our portfolio."

photo:wmagazine.com

 

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