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Agnes Chu Exits Conde Nast Entertainment in Restructuring of Company – The Hollywood Reporter


Condé Nast is shaking up its video and editorial content structure, with Condé Nast Entertainment president set to leave the company amid the changes at the end of this month.

Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch announced Chu’s departure in a memo to staff Tuesday.

“From building up our film, television and entertainment business with over 70 projects in development and ten projects in production, to helping grow our digital video audience to a projected 20B annual video views, she has been a valued member of our leadership team these last three years,” Lynch wrote. “Please join me in wishing her all the very best.”

“I am proud to leave Condé Nast Entertainment better than the one I joined,” Chu wrote in a memo of her own. “By building and stewarding a cultural moment content strategy with our iconic brands, we transformed into a globally diversified media division. New and returning advertisers actively seek the creative quality showcased in our branded entertainment – driving business up 40% year over year – as do new distribution partners and platforms across the entertainment landscape who value our IP and our production of film, television, podcasts and social video. Most importantly, I am proud of the culture we have created together – one of integrity, teamwork and quality results. Thank you for your timeless contributions and relentless commitment to creative excellence.”

Chu joined the venerable publishing giant in the summer of 2020 to lead its entertainment division, seeking to transform its stable of intellectual property into a programming powerhouse. Condé brands include Vogue, Wired, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, among others.

She had previously worked at The Walt Disney Co., where she was closely involved in the 2019 launch of Disney+ as senior VP of content.

Lynch said in his memo that the company is developing a new organizational structure that will be in place by the end of the year, combining editorial, branded content, video, and audience development.

“This will allow our editorial talent to work across all mediums as true digital content experts, enabling these leaders to tell stories and elevate our journalism across all platforms directly,” Lynch wrote. “Details about individual reporting lines are still being finalized and we will update everyone when we have more to share.”

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last year, Lynch explained why the company was investing in an entertainment division:

“You start with the pretty insatiable demand for high-quality content coming from streaming services. But the emphasis is on high quality. They’re in heavy competition with each other about having the best content,” Lynch said. “And the biggest constraint is the ideas, the intellectual properties, which is why you see so much of what Hollywood is producing is basically sequels and prequels, bringing back some idea from the ’70s. What we have is a massive treasure trove of IP, and we replenish it every day. And some of that was making its way into film and TV, but not really through us.”

Read Lynch and Chu’s memos, below.

Subject: Bringing our Content Teams Together

Dear all, 

I’m writing to share an organizational update. Over the last several years we’ve worked to better align our world-class video and editorial teams so that they can produce the best possible content and journalism. Now, we are ready to take the next step, which will affirm the position of these teams in the center of the company. 

Before year-end, the members of our top-line leadership across editorial content, audience development, branded content and video will move into a new structure. This will allow our editorial talent to work across all mediums as true digital content experts, enabling these leaders to tell stories and elevate our journalism across all platforms directly. Details about individual reporting lines are still being finalized and we will update everyone when we have more to share.

As part of these changes Agnes Chu will be leaving the company at the end of this month and I want to thank her for her many accomplishments with us. From building up our film, television and entertainment business with over 70 projects in development and ten projects in production, to helping grow our digital video audience to a projected 20B annual video views, she has been a valued member of our leadership team these last three years. Please join me in wishing her all the very best.

Thank you, as always, to everyone for all you do for Condé Nast each and every day.

My best,

Roger

Note from Agnes Chu, President Condé Nast Entertainment to her team

Sent October 10

Dear Condé Nast Entertainment Team, 

I am writing with the tough news that I will be leaving the company.  

These past 3 years represent some of the most inspirational experiences of my life – your remarkable creativity, energy and teamwork drive the storytelling that define us as human beings and as a culture, and I am deeply proud of what we have accomplished together. 

Around the world, our creativity fuels conversation and community. The New Yorker logo now graces the silver screen with 7 Academy Award nominations and counting. Along with Vanity Fair Studios’ Secrets of Hillsong on FX/Hulu and premieres of The New Yorker Studios’ Cat Person, Vogue Studios’ LEE, Invisible Beauty and John Galliano: High and Low in the past year alone, we have 8 film and television projects in active production across our iconic brands. Our award-winning Bon Appetit’s Dinner SOS will celebrate live onstage next week, part of our revived audio slate that has delighted listeners, yielding 48% growth in downloads since our new programming strategy. 

In the last 9 months on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, we engaged new Gen Z audiences with our storytelling influence, scaling our organic video network views nearly 20% more so far this year with 16B+ views in 9 distinct languages across our brands. Audiences also swiped into the cultural conversation with our global Vogue’s Met Gala, Vogue World, and Vanity Fair Oscars livestreams and always-on content, delivering 1.2B views. 

I am proud to leave Condé Nast Entertainment better than the one I joined. By building and stewarding a cultural moment content strategy with our iconic brands, we transformed into a globally diversified media division. New and returning advertisers actively seek the creative quality showcased in our branded entertainment – driving business up 40% year over year – as do new distribution partners and platforms across the entertainment landscape who value our IP and our production of film, television, podcasts and social video. Most importantly, I am proud of the culture we have created together – one of integrity, teamwork and quality results. Thank you for your timeless contributions and relentless commitment to creative excellence.

I would also like to thank Roger Lynch, Anna Wintour, David Remnick and all the editors for their trust. I will continue to be a lifelong fan of the journalism and the entertainment from the best and brightest minds at Condé Nast. 

Agnes



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