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Our Pathetic Elites: Conde Nast Edition

By NoCoupForYou follow NoCoupForYou   2020 Feb 12, 3:11pm 141 views   0 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    

It’s a high-class but increasingly common problem: being a former magazine editor in a digitized world that cares little about whose name used to be on top of a defunct masthead. (A masthead, for those unfamiliar with the term, lists in careful hierarchy the top staff of a publication and is most often printed on paper — which tells you pretty much all you need to know.)

At 48, Dan Peres is already an old hand at being a former magazine editor. Condé Nast shut down Details, the men’s glossy that he had been editor of for 15 years, in 2015. Overnight Mr. Peres went from two decades spent as a coveted presence at fashion shows and parties in the world’s capitals to a divorced dad adrift in the ’burbs.

He tried to pivot to digital publications, but quickly learned there is little job security in start-ups. He took on some consulting gigs. He was also jotting down stories from his past life, one not many people knew about.

“I started to have some conversations about next steps career-wise, and during that time I started writing,” Mr. Peres said last week, sitting in his home office in Irvington, N.Y., at a wooden drafting desk that he had lugged from Paris. “There were experiences I wanted to get down on paper. I wanted to keep my mind sharp.”

The result is a memoir, “As Needed for Pain,” which was published this week by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins.

In the book, Mr. Peres reveals an opioid addiction that he tried for years to hide, and which, until he got clean in 2007, had him taking as many as 60 Vicodin pills a day. Among many anecdotes that illustrate his wincing desperation, he tells of gobbling up pills that had fallen onto the floor beneath a urinal at a black-tie event in 2003. “Does the five-second rule count for piss-soaked drugs?” Mr. Peres writes. “I’d like to say I hesitated.”

“You can’t fault his honesty, although you’ve got to wonder about the judgment of his bosses,” Jay McInerney wrote in a review for The New York Times. And indeed, “As Needed for Pain” is an eye-opening document of how Mr. Peres for seven years spent his working hours and many of his company’s dollars in pursuit of getting high.

Since 2009, Condé Nast has gone from publishing 22 magazine brands (including one digital-only publication) to 16 magazine brands (six of which are digital only). In 2017, the company had about $120 million in losses.
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