Conde Nast is ready for their close-up. With circulation numbers down (except for at Vogue) and ad sales still struggling, the storied publishing house is looking to cash in elsewhere: The TV and movie biz.
WWD reports that Conde Nast has launched a fully-fledged entertainment division and has already named Dawn Ostroff as president. As former president of the CW and UPN, Ostroff is responsible for bringing us such gems as America's Next Top Model and The Vampire Diaries.
While it's clear the new entertainment division will be responsible for developing, creating, producing and distributing original television, film and digital initiatives, little else is known about what specific projects may be in the works. “It could mean films, it could mean documentaries, it could mean television shows, it could mean digital series or digital content, it could be digital channels,” Ostroff told WWD. “And it could be across all platforms: Cable channels, cable broadcast networks. It ranges across the board.”
While it sounds like the company will mostly likely go the reality TV or documentary route--something that's long been rumored--Ostroff leaves the possibility of a fictionalized drama (or comedy!) still on the table, which has a whole slew of hilarious/terrifying ideas swirling in our heads (Hamish Bowles in the next Judd Apatow movie, Lauren Santo Domingo in the next big rom-com, etc). After all, Ostroff also told the paper: “I think there are a lot of movie and TV stars [already at Conde Nast]."
One thing is certain though: Conde Nast is working hard to stay relevant in the publishing industry's increasingly uncertain climate. And considering Elle's Joe Zee is already starring in a reality TV show, it seems that the key to success for publishing houses may lie in everything but, you know, magazines.