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The past 12 months have been full of upheaval and change for Glamour, and it looks like the magazine's transitional period won't be over anytime soon. According to a new report by WWD, the publication may be the next from Condé Nast to shut down its print operations and turn to an all-digital format.
Signs of a shift at Glamour began last September, when its longtime editor-in-chief Cindi Leive announced she'd be leaving after 16 years. In January, former CNN Executive Producer Samantha Barry was named as Leive's replacement, in a move that surprised many members of the fashion press (Barry had not previously worked in fashion or women-centric media). But as Barry was praised by Anna Wintour at the time for being Glamour's "first digital native editor," it's possible she was hired with the potential for a pivot to a digital-only version of the brand in mind all along.
While Condé Nast declined to comment to WWD on the report, WWD's sources claim that Glamour could cease print operations as early as next year. (A spokesperson for Condé Nast did not immediately respond to Fashionista's request for comment.)
In shuttering its print edition, Glamour would join other Condé Nast publications like Teen Vogue, which went digital (with the exception of quarterly print editions) last fall, and Self, which ended print production last February. The other option WWD's sources presented is that Glamour might join forces with Glamour U.K., which already functions as a mostly-digital publication with a biannual print edition, in a manner similar to the way that Condé Nast Traveler in the U.S. and U.K. recently consolidated their efforts.
Whatever happens with Glamour in the long run, it's clear that staying afloat in print media is only getting tougher.
Update, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 11:00 a.m.: Condé Nast has announced that it will officially cease Glamour's monthly print publication to focus entirely on digital, according to The New York Times.
"This is my plan, because it makes sense," said Barry in an interview with the newspaper. "It's where the audiences are, and it's where our growth is. That monthly schedule, for a Glamour audience, doesn't make sense anymore." Special print issues could still be in its future, noted Barry, while access to Glamour's website and content would remain free.
Anna Wintour also gave her seal of approval for the women's publication's next phase: "I am thrilled with her plan for Glamour's future," said Wintour in a statement. "[Barry] will be reaching the title's loyal readers on the digital and social platforms they use most, while using the power of print to highlight tentpole moments like Women of the Year."
Since Barry's hire at the beginning of the year, she's increased Glamour.com's monthly unique viewers by 12 percent, totaling 6.3 million. Plus, its YouTube channel's subscriber count has jumped to about 1.6 million — a whopping 110 percent.