We're still eight weeks away from McKinsey actually handing out down recommendations for whatever painful cuts they devise to help boost the publisher's bottom line. But it's clear, from interviews with Condé Nast employees--from editors to executives to editorial staffers to ad sales slaves--that the enchanting, mystical era of Condé Nast is pretty much over. Small perks--the mani-pedis for clients, the flower deliveries, the sodas in the fridge--disappeared a while ago. Some changes, such as the emergence of Vanity Fair editor and restaurateur Graydon Carter eyeing reasonably priced stir fry, are worrisome on a psychological level. A culture of paranoia has taken over. What all these things add up to is a hefty emotional toll on staffers: Is this what they signed up for?
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