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AWARDS NIGHT: Publishers and executives from Condé Nast were treated to some fun in the sun at the company’s annual conference held in Naples, Fla., on Monday and Tuesday — and then firmly came back to earth on Wednesday. The two-day event came to a head Tuesday night when Condé executives gathered for cocktails and a seated dinner at Sea Salt, where awards for the best-performing magazines and individuals were handed out.
The company’s publishers and vice presidents nibbled on fried calamari, oysters, crudo and sushi before Condé chief executive officer Charles Townsend delivered ra-ra remarks about the company’s success last year, plus a few jokes. Then came the important part: the awards. An insider told WWD that acceptance speeches were done away with.
The six publications that took home the prize for record profitability in 2013 were The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, Vogue, GQ and Allure. To commemorate that achievement, publishers from those titles got football jerseys with their last names affixed to the back.
Other awards took a more traditional form — that being small statues or trophies with the award winner’s likeness etched by laser.
Allure’s editor in chief Linda Wells and vice president and publisher Agnes Chapski won Collaborative Leadership honors. Monica Ray, executive vice president of the consumer marketing division, was recognized as the Corporate Executive of the Year, while Pam Drucker Mann, vice president and publisher of Bon Appétit, took home the Publisher of the Year prize.
Drucker Mann, along with publishers Susan Plagemann from Vogue and Kevin Martinez from Details, nabbed a new award for leading their teams to 100-plus ad page increases.
Finally, for overall business, Vogue won top honors with the platinum award, followed by Bon App (gold), Details (silver) and Vanity Fair (bronze).
But the next day, all the fanfare and feel-good vibes produced by the event soon faded when the majority of publishers and vice presidents got stuck in transit back to New York.
“It was a great night,” said Drucker Mann via telephone from inside the plane, which was apparently too “heavy” to fly. “We’ve been grounded for hours,” she said with a sigh.