Future Media Group 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."
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.
The print edition of W has cultivated a base of over 500,000 paid subscribers, 80 per cent of whom are female. The brand 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 served as its legal advisor. Greenberg Traurig served as Future Media Group's legal advisor. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Condé Nast is a member of FIPP.
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