LAS VEGAS — Can a magazine make a movie? That’s what is happening at Conde Nast, the periodical publisher more used to turning pages than rolling film. But, in the multi-media digital era, all bets are off, and all screens are on.

“We have 22 films in different stages of development, and four television shows in production as we speak,” Conde Nast CEO Robert A. Sauerberg tells Beet.TV in this video interview from Consumer Electronics Show.

“Whether it’s Vogue, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, GQ or Glamor, it’s such a natural extension for us to take it from a magazine to video. We’ve hired the best people we can find, Dawn Ostroff leading a great team.”

Sauerberg hired Ostroff, the former CW network head, to lead his new Conde Nast Entertainment division, the unit tasked with making moves in video as well as in publishing – a move that was considered bold. Productions include:

  • A film based on Josh Davis’ Wired story, John McAfee’s Last Stand.
  • The Old Man and the Gun, based on a New Yorker article by David Grann, starring Robert Redford.
  • The Longest Night, from Sean Flynn’s 2008 GQ piece, which was sold to Paramount.
  • Vanity Fair Confidential.
  • Syfy’s Geeks Who Drink.

Sauerberg says magazines are thriving: “It is far from being dead. Consumers love magazines. In a world of ad avoidance, it’s such an engaging thing.

“Our brands are really learning how to get the DNA of what they’re doing in sight, sound and motion,” Sauerberg continues. A huge part of our future is in video. This is a huge growth area for Conde Nast.”

Se interviewed Sauerberg Wednesday night at the MediaLink executive dinner.

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