Big Changes at Lucky Magazine

Big Changes at Lucky Magazine

Lucky magazine has been struggling for the past two years as two different publishers and Condé Nast try and turn things around for the magazine. As of Wednesday, there has been a major shift in leadership to achieve that goal.

Marcy Bloom, the publisher since September 2011, has been replaced, effective immediately, by Gillian Gorman Round. Round is an executive who, until now, was mostly unknown outside Condé Nast.

Round gets the new title of general manager, a first in all of Condé Nast, and will be in charge of editorial and business. Brandon Holley will continue to be called editor in chief, but will now report to Round. Round will in turn report to Condé president Bob Sauerberg.

Round told WWD that Holley has "full editorial control" but, it is the first time an editor in chief at Condé has ever reported to a business executive.

What do these changes mean for Lucky's future? A source said that Condé has learned from the mistake of shutting down a print magazine in the past (Domino and Gourmet), and is unlikely to repeat it here.

But Condé has not written off the possibility of decreasing frequency, the source added. Condé has used this strategy with Brides magazine and cut it back to six issues a year.

Lucky has been on a downward spiral. It was the last remaining magazine initially launched by former editorial director James Truman. Unfortunately, it has had a hard time with advertisers and readers recently and lost 15 percent of its newsstand sales, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.

Bloom, the former associate publisher at GQ, was brought in to rescue Lucky as part of a company-wide shake-up in September 2011. But with the odds were stacked against her she was not able to turn the magazine around.

Several sources described her exit as a personal decision. Bloom did not respond to requests for comment says WWD.

Round's appointment was described in Condé's press release as part of an overhaul of Lucky's business model, "to encompass a multiplatform offering." The basis of that new model seems to be the addition of an e-­commerce platform.

The addition of e-commerce could be transformative for Lucky. But it remains to be seen whether e-commerce alone will be enough to turn a property as damaged as Lucky around.