Condé Nast Creates Entertainment Unit

In unusual move, publisher hires TV talent in Dawn Ostroff

Vogue and Vanity Fair publisher Condé Nast has been focusing on reducing its dependence on print revenue. In one of the biggest moves yet toward that goal, it announced the creation of a new division, Condé Nast Entertainment, and named TV vet Dawn Ostroff as its president.

Ostroff’s hire is an unusual instance of a publishing company hiring TV talent. While running The CW broadcast network from 2006 to 2011, she developed hits like Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, and America’s Next Top Model. Before that, she was president of UPN Network and an executive vice president at Lifetime Television.

Condé Nast president Bob Sauerberg was light on details about what Ostroff would be doing for the publisher but said the company sees the the division as a “big business for us.”

“This is not necessarily about doing magazine shows,” he told The New York Times. “Dawn’s mission is to unleash our intellectual property, our talent, our ideas and find the right way to connect with audiences.”

Condé leadership recently identified TV and video as a target for revenue growth, along with licensing, e-commerce, and higher circulation prices. To that end, it recently signed with a unit of FremantleMedia, the company behind American Idol, to work with three of its brands: Self, Golf Digest, and Epicurious.

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