Future Media Group announces that it has acquired W from Condé Nast. The acquisition will bring W together with Surface and Watch Journal to form Future Media Group. The Group will continue to publish eight print issues of W annually while also expanding the brand’s digital and experiential footprint.
“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,” said Marc Lotenberg, CEO of Future Media Group. “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.”
Continuing W‘s commitment to creativity and groundbreaking content is vital to its evolution. To that end, Future Media Group is pleased to announce Sara Moonves will be the magazine’s new editor-in-chief. Moonves, who previously worked at Vogue and at T:The New York Times Style Magazine, joined the staff of W as Style Director in 2017.
“Sara has impeccable taste and a keen eye for how a media brand should evolve in today’s fast-paced media landscape,” said Lotenberg. “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.”
Moonves will also be the first female editor-in-chief at W since the magazine’s creation 47 years ago as a biweekly broadsheet spin-off of the fashion newspaper Women’s Wear Daily.
“I am excited to be a part of the future of W, an iconic brand that has always inspired me,” said Moonves. “W is W because of our amazing contributors, and I look forward to continuing to work with them in my new role. It is an honor to be able to guide this brand into its promising future.”
Future Media Group will operate W offices in Paris, Milan and New York, as well as a soon-to-be established bureau in Los Angeles.
Following a transitional period during which Condé Nast will provide support services, the W, Surface and Watch Journal teams will converge into a new office to work collaboratively across all departments. Amber Estabrook, W‘s VP of Revenue, will become the chief revenue officer of Future Media Group and lead the various brands in its portfolio. Joining Estabrook will be Lynn Hirschberg, the magazine’s editor-at-large and over 30 other dedicated and passionate current employees.
“Future Media Group will be differentiated by our innovative network which allows our advertising partners to achieve brand accelerations on a global scale,” said Estabrook. “Merging our talent under the Future Media Group umbrella provides us with an unmatched depth of experience within the cultural sector and the worlds of luxury and design.”
W was purchased by Condé Nast from The Walt Disney Company in 1999. Since its early days, the publication has celebrated the worlds of fashion, art, philanthropy and culture through stunning visual storytelling, exquisite artistry, bold photography and cutting-edge design.
Over the years, the magazine has set trends in content and has won numerous awards in the media space. In its very recent history, W has developed relationships with the most influential individuals in fashion, art and celebrity through incomparable editorial partnerships as well as standalone events including the Best Performances party during the Golden Globes, the It Girl Luncheon, exhibition sponsorships and private dinners during Art Basel.
An extraordinary brand synonymous with access, influence and affluence, the print edition of W has cultivated a base of over 500,000 paid subscribers, 80% of whom are female or identify as female. The global media outlet reaches a digital audience of over three million users per month on its website, with an average of 23 million video views. On social media platforms, W services 20 different Instagram franchises and boasts nearly seven million followers between its various channels and 10.5 million monthly engagements.
Greenhill & Co. served as financial advisor to Condé Nast and Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP served as its legal advisor. Greenberg Traurig, LLP served as Future Media Group’s legal advisor. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.
FUTURE MEDIA GROUP
Future Media Group, formed as the holding company during the acquisition of W from Condé Nast, also encompasses Surface and Watch Journal. It is committed to developing legacy media brands and delivering them into the future.
Since 1972, W has been an escape from the ordinary. Unbound by convention, W sees the world through the lenses of fashion, art and film. Across platforms, W celebrates the unexpected and sparks cultural conversations with provocative stories, addictive videos and distinctively curated social feeds featuring iconic celebrities such as Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett and Rihanna.
Since 1993, Surface has been the barometer for what’s new and what’s next in the worlds of contemporary global design, architecture, art, fashion, and culture. With special access to tastemakers including Thom Browne, Delphine Arnault, David Adjaye, Nobu Matsuhisa, Kanye West and more, Surface is a compass for today’s creative leaders that boasts a circulation of 100,000 with in-room distribution at top hotels including The Edition, The Nomad, and The Gramercy Park Hotel.
Founded in 1997, Watch Journal is the category leader in fine watches and living well, pairing a love of fine timepieces with fashion, art, travel, sports and architecture. Readers of the publication have an average net worth of $4.4 million. The magazine is distributed as the exclusive trade media outlet at over 250 private air terminals across the United Statesand as the only in-room American publication at Les Trois Rois in Basel, Switzerland.
Future Media Group