‘Si’ Newhouse, billionaire publisher of Vogue and GQ, dies at 89

 In Entertainment
Samuel “Si” Newhouse Jr., the publishing billionaire who oversaw some of America’s best-known magazines, including Vogue, the New Yorker, GQ and Vanity Fair as head of the closely held media empire built by his father, has died. He was 89.

He died Sunday at his home, the New York Times reported, citing a family spokesman. No cause was given.

Newhouse was chairman of Advance Publications Inc., which Forbes magazine in 2017 ranked as the 40th-largest private U.S. company, with an estimated $8 billion in revenue and 25,000 employees. In four decades at the helm of its magazine unit, Conde Nast Publications, he created new titles, entered markets around the globe and helped reengineer magazines as thick, glossy periodicals in which paid advertisements seem to complement rather than interrupt the articles.

His father, Samuel Sr., died in 1979 as a self-made media chieftain. He owned 31 newspapers with a total circulation of more than 3 million, plus the Sunday supplement Parade, seven magazines including Vogue and Glamour, radio stations and cable-television systems. In 1971, Syracuse University’s journalism school, acknowledging its main benefactor, was renamed the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Newhouse was given control of Vogue and four other women’s magazines in the early 1960s, a reflection of how his father viewed them as “a sideline business,” Thomas Maier wrote in his 1994 book on the family’s media empire. His younger brother, Donald, viewed inside the family as more dedicated to the family company, was put in charge of its newspapers.

Both brothers were among the wealthiest Americans. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimated Si’s net worth at $12.7 billion, ranking him the 35th wealthiest in the U.S., and Donald’s at $11.7 billion, ranked 119th.

Under Si Newhouse, Conde Nast’s magazines moved from sideline to centerpiece.

He acquired GQ, Gourmet, the New Yorker and Details and oversaw the creation of Self. He bought Diner Club’s travel magazine, Signature, and turned it into Conde Nast Traveler. He revamped House & Garden, which was renamed HG. And he re-introduced Vanity Fair, an original Conde Nast publication that had ceased publication in 1936.

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