A Conversation Between NYTimes Journalist Kara Swisher and Roger Lynch, the CEO of Condé Nast, Headlined “This Is No Longer a Magazine Company”

From a conversation on nytimes.com between journalist Kara Swisher and Roger Lynch, the CEO of Condé Nast, headlined “This Is No Longer a Magazine Company”:

I’m Kara Swisher, and you’re listening to “Sway.” My guest today is Roger Lynch, the C.E.O. of Condé Nast. It’s the publishing empire behind some of the shiniest brands in media — The New Yorker, Vogue, Vanity Fair and many more. Lynch got the job in 2019, tasked with turning around a print business that was bleeding cash and being squeezed by the internet’s free content and cheap ads. In the years since, he’s navigated Condé‘s ongoing transition to digital.

He’s also dealt with a cultural reckoning at the company, which hit a crescendo around the time of the George Floyd protests in 2020. At one flagship Condé brand, Bon Appétit, employees claimed the culture was toxic with accusations of pay discrimination. And the food magazine’s chief editor resigned after photos of him surfaced online in what was dubbed, “brown face.”

Somehow, in the wake of all that, Lynch managed to move the company forward, and he made it profitable for the first time in years. So I wanted to ask him how he did it and if he’ll be able to keep it up. Is old media dead, or just as Lynch hopes, dying to change?

So I’m going to start on a positive note, Roger. Condé Nast has had kind of a rocky couple of years, but you turned a profit last year for the first time in a long time. Talk a little bit about how you did it.

Roger Lynch

Sure. Well, when I joined three years ago, the company was organized very differently. In fact, it was two companies. There was an international company and a U.S. company with separate C.E.O.s. And in many ways, they really operated like competitors to each other. And the international business was really a collection of businesses in every country where they operated. And there was certainly a lot of inefficiency in that, but even more importantly, it didn’t reflect how our audiences were engaging with our content, which, increasingly, is borderless. And so we’ve embarked on a pretty substantial transformation of the company that we’re largely done with now. And it’s worked for us. It’s been successful. And so —

Kara Swisher

Why was it like that? Why was it set up like that? Give people an idea of the historical nature of it.

Roger Lynch

Well, when you think about Condé Nast, a company that’s over 100 years old and grew up as a magazine publishing company, even though you know, a majority of our revenue is digital today, it became very large and very successful on the back of a structure that worked. It was the right strategy when this was a magazine company. It’s just that this is no longer a magazine company.

Kara Swisher

Of course, that’s what people know Condé Nast for, the famous magazines, whether they’re Vogue or Vanity Fair or whatever. You know, Fame, the editors ran everything. They ran it by themselves. They did whatever they wanted. I guess, you all met in the cafeteria, I suppose. But what’s the importance of doing that and also calling it not a magazine company? Because that’s what you’re known for. It’s sort of like saying, we were this kind of horse, and now we’re a goat or whatever.

Roger Lynch

Well, I mean, you start with, what do our audiences think about us? The fact that we have about 70 million people who read our magazines, but we have 300 something million that interact with our websites every month and 450 million that interact with us on social media. So our audience is already telling us that that’s not the way they interact with us as a magazine company. So that’s been, I think, evident for a while, although it’s still an important part of our business, and for many of our brands, I think an important part of the brand statement. I mean, being on the cover of Vogue magazine really matters as much as it has ever mattered. We just capitalize that on other ways besides the magazine, because magazines are a minority of our revenue today.

Kara Swisher

So you think Vogue matters as much as it always has in that regard and being on the cover of Vogue.

Roger Lynch

Oh, yeah. I mean, we can see it in, number one, what happens with our sales of print magazines, but also what we are able to do with it on social media and on the digital platforms and in video. I think it matters as much or more than it ever has.

Kara Swisher

And when you think about all these different things you’re doing, talk about the toll on the company because it’s such a — 100 years can be a great thing, but can also be a lodestone around your neck.

Roger Lynch

Well, look, I think a lot of things go back to culture. And it’s something that, to me, is very, very important. And when I joined the company, I knew I had a lot of work to do in this area. And I knew the reputation of the company. And there were aspects of it that I really wanted to embrace, like its commitment to excellence and commitment to really high quality journalism. But there are other aspects of it, frankly, that didn’t match a company that I wanted to work for.

Kara Swisher

Like what?

Roger Lynch

It was very internally competitive and especially in the U.S. business and sort of reputation of sharp elbows and—

Kara Swisher

I don’t think that was a reputation, but go ahead. I think it was the reality.

Roger Lynch

It was the reality, yeah. And I just came in. I was like, I don’t want to work in a place like that. It’s not — and that doesn’t mean that it can’t be successful with that culture. I can’t lead a company like that. I don’t believe in it. And I don’t want people around me who want to perpetuate a culture like that. So it’s why 80 percent of the executive team at the company is new since I joined. A lot of that was around culture change.

Kara Swisher

Except for the most famous employee you have, Anna Wintour. She’s obviously still there, and of course, famous for that kind of attitude, I guess.

Roger Lynch

Well, look, it’s not how I find her at all. And I thought I knew her by reputation before I joined, and I found out I didn’t know her at all, because I find her as being one of the most collaborative, business focused executives, who also happens to be unbelievably creative. When I joined and I found that the other executives also found her that way, I thought, oh, there’s something there. OK, maybe this reputation — I have no idea. I didn’t work with her 20, 30 years ago. The only thing I can say is the last three years, I found her to be very different from what I expected.

Kara Swisher

So what did you tell her when you were doing this, about changing the culture and changing? Because this is someone who obviously really watches so carefully.

Roger Lynch

She was one of the biggest proponents. She knew it had to change. I mean, that’s the amazing thing about her, is that she’s always looking to the future and how things need to change for the future. And so she actually was one of the most important people in helping lead the transformation of all of the editorial teams globally, which is the core of what we do. So —

Kara Swisher

So — go ahead. Sorry, go ahead. Keep going.

Roger Lynch

No, there was no convincing. I had to do it all. She was brought in from the moment we started talking about it.

Kara Swisher

What were you thinking when you’re bringing in new people? You said 80 percent. That’s a huge amount of executives. What were you looking for in these executives?

Roger Lynch

Well, so this is at the top level, so the executives report to me. I was looking first for people who shared values about the type of culture they wanted to build that was similar to me. Secondly, who had global experience. And I also looked at it as, for companies, one of the hardest things to change when you look at diversity, or one of the last things to change, is usually the executive team. And I looked at this as a huge opportunity to effect that change because it was largely a white male dominated, both the US and the international, executive team.

And so it’s now 70 percent female, which, by the way, is about our employee base. So our executive team is 70 percent female. It’s 30 percent people of color. It’s 30 percent L.G.B.T.Q. So it enabled me to have a bit of a blank slate so that I could also effect change on the diversity front at the executive level.

Kara Swisher

So let’s talk about that. Condé Nast had a real reckoning with race and diversity during the pandemic. Several employees, in fact, just spoke out about the toxic culture, especially for people of color. Was there one, and how have you changed it?

Roger Lynch

Yeah, and I think especially companies that have a long history, you’ll tend to find it’s more prevalent. So when I joined, one of the first things I did was start traveling around to all of the markets we operate around the world and talking to employees. And obviously, I was trying to learn the business. And the two areas that I heard over and over from employees — and by the way, not just the U.S., everywhere — China, Russia, German y— it didn’t matter— was, what’s our focus on diversity inclusion, and what’s our focus on sustainability?

And so, before I started doing all of the transformation and all the executive reshuffling, I created two global employee councils that had representation from every market where we operate, one in diversity inclusivity and the other in sustainability. The diversity and inclusivity council, one of their first recommendations — I was very pleased to see because I had done this at prior companies I run — was to start publishing our stats, which I really, really believe in. Because what you measure gets managed, and if you publish it, it really ties your hands to the mast and makes sure you’re going to deliver on it. And we now publish it every year. We update it, and we have very public targets about what we hope to achieve. And we’ve made really, really good progress on that.

Kara Swisher

So a lot of companies — and for people who don’t know, for example, Bon Appétit, several top editors were thought to be not as open-minded. How do you have that discussion? Now today, Disney’s right in the middle of this thing right now around “Don’t Say Gay” in the state of Florida. And people worry and when you start to go down this road, that you’re sort of a creature of a woke — I do not agree with this, but obviously, you had to deal with it — of a woke culture that is sort of running the show. How do you think about how to message this to the whole company so you don’t get sort of caught into the, oh, they’re being woke. Like, you suddenly become a subject of a Tucker Carlson — whatever he does.

Roger Lynch

Honestly, I would look at that as a success personally, but look, I’m someone for whom the term woke is not pejorative. I think we should all strive to create equality in the workplace and to promote policies that really enable that. And it’s something that it’s not a passive thing. I mean, if there’s anything that’s come out of the last several years, the racial reckoning of the country, it’s hopefully that people realize that effecting change is not going to happen just because you say, I’m not a racist, or I don’t do racist things. You have to lean in and actively promote change because there are systems that happen in any company or organization that just inherently produce racist results. And so, if you don’t lean in and fix those systems, you won’t solve the problem.

Kara Swisher

Well, what you’re doing is, obviously, a very touchy subject. You yourself came under scrutiny, as you know, when Cassie Jones quit after you gave her “The Elements of Style” as a gift and thought she might benefit from it. Cassie Jones is a Black woman and “Elements of Style” is a book about writing by Strunk and White. And so, presumably, you thought, she was thinking you didn’t think she could write, I guess, or had needed help writing or something like that. Correct?

Roger Lynch

She didn’t speak to me directly about that. But it’s a gift that I’ve given many, many times to people, friends and people who have worked for me. I think it’s a fantastic book. It’s a reference book I use today. And yet, obviously, she read something into it that I never intended.

And so, for me, that was a learning experience to think about, OK, I’ve got to put myself in her shoes or somebody else’s shoes, to try to think about how they’d interpret it. It’s not like this — people like to say, well, I’m color blind in the way I think about these things. That’s wrong. Everybody has different experiences and history that affects who they are and how they view things, including me and everybody. And it’s impossible for you to look at something completely unbiased because your experiences affect your bias.

Kara Swisher

Sure. So the other thing you’re dealing with are union negotiations with the News Guild. So, too, by the way, is The New York Times. So tell me about the state of the union negotiations, and which publications have signed and what deals are still on the table.

Roger Lynch

Yeah, so when I joined the company, the company had already agreed to voluntarily recognize three unions, New Yorker, Ars Technica and Pitchfork. And after I joined, Wired came forward and asked to be recognized. Then you go through the real work, which is the negotiations, which were tough and painful, as I think everybody would expect it would probably be. But we were able to negotiate an agreement with the three initial unions. And so, we’ve negotiated a contract with the news guild for The New Yorker, Ars Technica and Pitchfork. We’re in the process of negotiating for Wired. And now we have a broader set of titles that have come forward in areas of our business. And we’re having very productive conversations with the union itself about a path forward there.

Kara Swisher

For the whole company or for individual titles as you move forward?

Roger Lynch

Well, they’ve come forward as a group that covers a few titles and areas of our business, so. But this is not new in this industry. In fact, we’re probably one of the few companies that didn’t have union throughout our company. And so it’s not surprising to us that this has happened.

Kara Swisher

Mm-hmm. Does labor have an upper hand right now with media companies?

Roger Lynch

Well, I think labor unions are certainly in a position where they’re asserting more influence than they had previously. I’m not sure I’d say one side or the other has an upper hand. I think it’s just the nature of what’s happening in the industry and the negotiations that have to happen around it.

Kara Swisher

Does that threaten the bottom line in profitability you’ve achieved? Obviously, across the economy, people are going to have to be paying people. Or does that threaten the bottom line of profitability you’ve been trying to achieve?

Roger Lynch

Well, we’ll have to see after we get done with the negotiations. But look, there’s wage pressures throughout the country and, frankly, the world right now, driven by lots of factors. And you look at the inflation rates right now, which, hopefully, are transitory, but we don’t really know. But certainly, there are a lot of factors that are transitory that will work themselves out. But that does create wage pressure, whether you’re a union company or not a union company.

Kara Swisher

OK, so one of the things that’s also happening, the third thing in the sort of culture, is, how do you think about intellectual property for Condé Nast’s various brands? In 2019, it was reported that Condé would offer some writers health insurance in exchange for a take in film or T.V. projects resulting from articles. Shouldn’t creatives have more ownership? I think about it all the time. I own some of my stuff. Some of them, I don’t, but I definitely am moving in that direction for everything when I think about it.

Roger Lynch

Yeah, well, look, there’s a distinction between employees and contributors. But in general — and this is the way we really try to approach most things — I think one of the biggest issues why we had writers who didn’t want to work with us on, say, film and T.V. projects is because we didn’t have the right team in place to really help them. That’s completely different right now.

So we have new leadership of our Condé Nast entertainment business, Agnes Chu. And she’s hired some really top notch film and television people, like Helen Estabrook and Sarah Amos, who almost immediately, it went from what you just described to writers wanting to work and asking them to promote whatever story idea that they had to create film and television.

So that flow reversed because we had teams in place who really understood the brands and understood the quality of the journalism and what the opportunities were for those stories. So we’re not in a position where we feel like we have to strong arm these issues because we created a center of excellence that’s really, really good. And they now have over 70 projects in development today.

Kara Swisher

One of the things that I think a lot of people are thinking about because you see people move to Substack and other things like that, pretty prominent people, how much of an individual writer should you own. I mean, I think about all the content I made that Rupert Murdoch now owns, and I want to just bomb it into my shoes sometimes when I think about it, you know?

Roger Lynch

Well, yeah. Look, we —

Kara Swisher

And he didn’t really help me make it. That’s the thing, right? It wasn’t through journal brand at all. Anyway, just, I think about it a lot, this idea of what a gatekeeper is.

Roger Lynch

Yeah. Look, I think if the internet has taught us anything, it is the demise of gatekeepers, although we do have new gatekeepers in some of the social media platforms, you could argue, but.

Kara Swisher

Yeah, we’re going to get to that.

Roger Lynch

My approach, really, is in any relationship, there should be value that both parties see. And if you’re not creating value for that party, whether or not you can contractually bind someone, it’s not going to result in a good outcome. And so, what we’re really focused on is creating value. And we’re doing that. And I think now our writers are seeing that, which is why we’re having really significant momentum with that group.

Kara Swisher

Are you surprised by the Substack trend? Or that’s just one of the many. Are you surprised by that?

Roger Lynch

No, no, I mean, look, the unbundling of content has been going on for 10 years or more, 10 years or more. And I very much view it as a pendulum that will start to swing back because there’ll be subscription fatigue. And by the way, I participated in some of that unbundling when I launched Sling T.V. That was our core premise, is that consumers would create their own bundles by packaging things together. But at some point it becomes hard for marketers to sell all these individual subscriptions. And so the natural effect is to re-bundle. And so I think you start to see that re-bundling. And you’re seeing Disney do that with Hulu and Disney+ and ESPN+, creating bundle offers and things like that.

Kara Swisher

Yeah. One more question on the T.V. and films, because that’s an area that’s a big — your major brands like The New Yorker or Vanity Fair all have studios to develop film and T.V. products. With Netflix losing 70 percent of its value in the past few months, although Disney just reported huge growth in their streaming area, how are you looking at that industry right now? Are you feeling gun-shy? Are things getting cut? How do you consider those deals? Are you worried about them getting canceled? Has anyone done that?

Roger Lynch

We haven’t seen that in the relationships that we have and the projects that we have under development. But again, I think it goes back to the quality of the content. If we had lesser brands and not as high quality content, I’d probably be more concerned about it. But for us, we have so much intellectual property that a small percentage was making its way into film and television, that it’s really a bit of a goldmine for us. Look, they are not going to start competing with each other, which means they have to have very high quality content.

Kara Swisher

Right, there’s a lot of money. There’s, what, $900 billion, some incredible number.

Roger Lynch

Yeah, so it could be the schlock that’s on some of those services. You may see less of that, but I would argue that’s a good thing for all of us. But content of the quality that we produce, I think it still feels like there’s an insatiable appetite for that.

Kara Swisher

So talk a little bit about this, the power of these tech platforms. Right now, Apple News, you can get every magazine in the world. These are the new gatekeepers. When you think about the power of the tech platforms, if you’re going to be a digital company, you’re without a lot of power, presumably.

Roger Lynch

I wouldn’t say that because we have brands that these platforms really, really want. And so, if we didn’t have the stature of our brands, I would be much, much more concerned. But look, there’s certainly things that we don’t like about some of the business practices —

Kara Swisher

Tell me.

Roger Lynch

— but they’re — well, you know, we’d like revenue shares to be more favorable to us as an example. Certainly, that would be important to us, or there’s some platforms where we’re able to sell our own ads on them and others that were not. We’d like to be able to sell our ads everywhere. So if I had a magic wand, I’d change some of those things. But the vast majority of these cases, these are partners for us.

Kara Swisher

So let’s talk about that. You’re one of YouTube’s top publishers. Video is a big part of your strategy, but its revenue sharing sucks. It takes 45 percent.

Roger Lynch

Yeah, look, we would rather have better revenue share terms than we have, but this is a platform that brings us huge scale. We couldn’t create that scale on our own. Nobody forces us to be on YouTube. We’re on it because it’s a good relationship for us. It’s where audiences are aggregating. And one of our core premises is that we should make sure we are in the places where audiences expect our brands to be. And that’s one of the places they expect our brands to be. And they show it to us every day.

Kara Swisher

Facebook, Instagram.

Roger Lynch

Yeah, on Facebook, Instagram. We’ve been doing some more innovative things with them more recently, but generally, that’s a platform where they sell the ads on them, and we’re starting to see some opportunity for improvement in that relationship. But it brings us, again, huge scale. When you look at U.S. Vogue having almost 40 million Instagram followers or some of our other brands that have very, very large followings, these are relationships with our consumers through those platforms that are really important to us.

And there is increased competition. You just look at the unbelievable growth of TikTok, which is creating yet another new distribution platform that we’re really leaning into that helps provide balance in this ecosystem.

Kara Swisher

So, which one do you see as the real comer? TikTok, presumably.

Roger Lynch

Certainly. That’s the most ascendant right now.

Kara Swisher

And why is that?

Roger Lynch

Because that’s where audiences are aggregating, especially younger audiences. And I mean, we see it when we launch Vogue videos on TikTok. I mean, the uptake is unbelievable.

Kara Swisher

It’s a bit screwed up how much money platforms make from your content, right, and now they’re competitors making content, right? Is that of concern to you as a publisher?

Roger Lynch

I don’t worry about them making content because it’s really not in their DNA.

Kara Swisher

I don’t know. Apple just want an Oscar, didn’t they? But go ahead.

Roger Lynch

Yeah, but that’s a — look, although we are in film and television, yeah, they won an Oscar, but they are not producing that content themselves. They’re working with partners. And that’s an opportunity for us because of the quality of the content that we produce, and I think that there’s always a market for the premium content. And that’s where we reside.

Kara Swisher

And when you think about there are revenue sharing laws in Australia and Europe and soon in Canada that force Facebook and Google to pay media outlets when they profit off their content, will this help you? And would it be significant if Congress passed a profit sharing law in the U.S.? This is something publishers have talked about since the beginning of time.

Roger Lynch

Yeah, look, I am, in general, a believer that less regulation is better when markets are operating well. But markets don’t always operate well because you get certain companies that get into very dominant positions. But I’ve also seen the real issues around unintended consequences of regulation, and especially when it comes to technology, which is changing so quickly. I mean, all you have to do is look at G.D.P.R. in Europe.

Kara Swisher

Mm-hmm. This is the General Data Protection Rules in Europe.

Roger Lynch

I mean, arguably, it benefited Facebook and Google immensely and hurt smaller publishers. And so, that was a regulation that was designed to protect consumers. It certainly wasn’t intended to benefit the big platforms, and yet, it did. So one of the most difficult things is different regulation regimes around the world. And by the way, even in the U.S., where you have states like California that adopt regulations that are different from other states, the most complicated part of all of this is complying in every market.

Kara Swisher

What would you like to see Congress doing? What do you think of these revenue sharing laws, profit sharing laws?

Roger Lynch

To me, personally, it feels too prescriptive to come in and try to set prices in these relationships. But at the same time, I think there’s certainly investigations into business practices, where they’re investigating how some of these companies use their dominant position to favor either their own products or to favor other products that they want the ecosystem to use. And I think those types of investigations can be helpful.

Kara Swisher

Right, so you’d want what from Congress precisely? Just more about the power concentration, presumably.

Roger Lynch

Yeah, and I think the focus on the business practices.

Kara Swisher

And what about China? We just talked about TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese company, and most people feel the government is quite involved in all their companies. You did just pull out of Russia because of censorship laws around the Ukraine attack. Could you ever imagine having to do the same in China?

Roger Lynch

Well, first of all, on Russia, the censorship laws were a contributing factor, but they weren’t the only factor.

Kara Swisher

This is just for people to know. There’s Vogue Russia, and GQ is there, is that correct, and some others.

Roger Lynch

And Tatler, yeah. We have five brands in Russia. But the first thing we did was we ceased all publishing so that we could, number one, just evaluate what was happening at the very beginning of the war, and also to figure out how we could, frankly, take care of our employees. We had 270 employees there. And we concluded pretty quickly that it was not going to be tenable for us to continue to operate there. And the censorship laws really made it, essentially, illegal to be a proper journalist in that country. And so, that caused us to say we’re just going to exit the market completely.

Kara Swisher

Completely for good or until when?

Roger Lynch

No, we have no plans to go back.

Kara Swisher

Could you imagine? There’s a lot more pressure from our government around China. How do you look at that? But I know Apple is trying to negotiate it. A lot of companies are. How do you look at that issue?

Roger Lynch

I think it’s very different in China. There’s certainly censorship that happens in China, but it’s really more about news, which is why we don’t operate any news. Like, we don’t operate The New Yorker there or Wired or Vanity Fair. And we operate Vogue and GQ and titles that really are less about news because we can uphold our values and operate in that market.

But it’s a complicated market to operate in, but it’s also a fascinating one where, increasingly, for many years, you’d see the flow of culture would go from the West to the East, whether it was fashion or technology. That flow has reversed. And there’s many more trends that are coming from East to West. And being a global company, that’s one of the advantages we have, is that we can really try to learn from these trends ahead of when they may hit markets in Europe or in the U.S.

Kara Swisher

So when you think about, there’s going to be increasing tensions between the U.S. and China that it seems obvious, whether it was the Trump administration or the Biden administration, but it’s continual, and it’s probably inevitable. How do you think about it? Or how are you planning for that?

Roger Lynch

It’s something I spend time each week on. Number one, just making sure I understand what’s happening in the relationships and what’s happening with laws in China and our employees there. So even though we can’t travel there and haven’t been able to for several years, but what we try to stay focused on is, how do we serve the audiences there? And it’s different. I mean, China is a very different market than anywhere else where we operate in that the platforms there, like WeChat and Weibo, are the Facebooks and Instagrams of China. And they’re incredibly powerful platforms with huge, huge reach. And that’s where we reach a lot of our audience.

We also have brands that, from a Chinese government standpoint, I think align with the interests of the government, which is prosperity, but also because we’re a global company, we take content that we produce in China and make it available outside of the U.S., because, again, there’s interest and trends that are happening in China that are of interest to —

Kara Swisher

A little less difficult if you have a news organization, then.

Roger Lynch

News would be very complicated.

Kara Swisher

Speaking of complicated, a lot of media entities are owned by a billionaire family, like the Newhouses. For example, Marc Benioff owns Time. Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post. Patrick Soon-Shiong owns the L.A. Times. And we’ll see with Elon and Twitter. We’ll see. What do you think about this trend of — I mean, rich people have owned media publications forever, but how do you look when you look across the broader landscape?

Roger Lynch

Yeah, I think there’s a big distinction between the ownership of Condé Nast and those others, which starts with the fact that the Newhouse family has owned this for many, many, many decades, going back to the ‘50s.

Kara Swisher

Just older, richer people, and OK, but go ahead.

Roger Lynch

Yeah, but also, these are people — this is a family that grew up in this industry in journalism. It’s been the core of what they’ve done for many, many, many decades. It’s not the case for most of these other owners. They made their money in technology, which is a fantastic place to make your money.

And you’ve seen in most of the tech companies, I’d argue that most of them don’t really know how to value content because their KPIs are engagement and ad revenue and things like that that content is a tool to use to drive those things, whereas we certainly have KPIs like that, but it all starts with our journalism. And we’re always evaluating the quality of our journalism and figuring out how we can do better. That’s our starting point. And that’s our north star.

Kara Swisher

Yeah, it’s interesting. I said that decades ago. They don’t care if it’s a cat or a insurrectionist. They don’t care. They don’t care, as long as it’s —

Roger Lynch

Well, and part of it is because it’s the algorithms that do the caring or not.

Kara Swisher

But, nonetheless, they still remain a financial entity that is very large. Do you see Condé Nast being bought by someone like Netflix or another one of these companies to add to those, that content pipeline?

Roger Lynch

No, I think this company’s been owned by the Newhouse family for many generations. And I would expect that to continue to be the case.

Kara Swisher

You don’t see Warner Brothers, Discovery, they need to get bigger? No?

Roger Lynch

Look, I’m sure there’d be a lot of companies interested, but I don’t get the sense that the Newhouse family has ever thought about that.

Kara Swisher

Thought about selling it. Well, until they think about it. All right, last question, is print dead? There’s so many publications considering just not printing anymore.

Roger Lynch

I think for titles that consumers really aren’t willing to pay to subscribe to or interact with, if you’re just a advertising-supported print publication, I think you have a difficult future. Fortunately, for the titles that we have, consumers are willing to pay for it. And so, we actually see print subscriptions growing within our business. What’s under pressure, and has been for a decade or more, is print advertising. But as that declines, we grow our print subscriptions. If we think about maybe Self or Glamor, these are titles that were print publications that, today, are bigger and more profitable than they ever were because they’ve really embraced digital. And so, it doesn’t mean — but again, it’s either a threat or an opportunity.

Kara Swisher

Yeah, so sure. But I don’t know. I think everyone’s going digital, period.

Roger Lynch

Well, look, that may be. The only thing I can say is the data that we have, what our audiences are telling us is that for those key titles that I’ve talked about — in The New Yorker, I’ve put it in there, too. Yeah, subscriptions are growing. They’re not declining. So our audiences are telling us something different than that. But digital subscriptions are growing faster, certainly, without a doubt.

Kara Swisher

Yeah, and then when you get VR, you could be in a photoshoot. Why not?

Roger Lynch

Look, we are fully embraced into the digital economy. And that includes what’s next in Web3 and —

Kara Swisher

I think you start with an Anna Wintour NFT, but that’s just me. I’ll end on that. Thank you, Roger.

Roger Lynch

All right, thank you, Kara.

Kara Swisher

“Sway” is a production of New York Times Opinion. It’s produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Caitlin O’Keefe and Wyatt Orme, with original music by Isaac Jones, mixing by Sonia Herrero and Carole Sabouraud, and fact-checking by Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker. Special thanks to Shannon Busta, Kristin Lin and Kristina Samulewski. The senior editor of “Sway” is Nayeema Raza. And the executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Irene Noguchi.

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