Si Newhouse Has Been Through This Before

Yeterday's long and detailed NYTimes profile of Si Newshouse and his Conde Nast empire posits that the company may have to crimp on its luxury brand lifestyle:

Some people inside Condé’s stylish Times Square headquarters, as well as experts outside, wonder whether the company, by choice or necessity, will tighten its belt in the years to come — and risk losing some of its cachet along the way. Analysts point to the economic vise the Internet has already put on newspapers, and question whether the luxury goods market — the cash cow for Condé magazines — will continue to defy gravity.

But execs there have pointed out to me that Newhouse, in building the empire, not only made some unfashionable purchases (as the NYTimes points out, Vanity Fair and the New Yorker took many years to become profitable) but also managed the company, first under his father then on his own during the 70s and early 80s, economic times that many say look like today.

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