The $120 million loss — for a publisher once accustomed to hundreds of millions in annual profits — has put pressure on Mr. Sauerberg, who joined Condé Nast as an executive vice president in 2005 and rose to the top position in 2016.
The Newhouse family remains at the helm. It entered the magazine business in 1959, when Samuel I. Newhouse, a self-made newspaper magnate, bought Condé Nast for $5 million. His elder son, Samuel I. Newhouse Jr., known as Si, expanded the company after taking charge in 1975. During his roughly 40 years as chief executive, the self-effacing executive, who died last October, revived a moribund publication, Vanity Fair, purchased GQ and The New Yorker, and installed Ms. Wintour as the editor of Vogue.
Condé Nast is a subsidiary of a Newhouse company, Advance Publications, which is controlled by Donald Newhouse, 89, and his son, Steven O. Newhouse, 61. Jonathan Newhouse, 65, a cousin of Si, is the chairman of Condé Nast International, home to British Vogue and dozens of other international editions. That arm is something of a corporate oasis, given that Europeans, unlike Americans, have yet to give up the magazine habit.
While many of the roughly 30 newspapers in the Newhouse chain have endured layoffs and other cost-saving measures, the Newhouses’ fortunes have not suffered, thanks to the family’s $10.4 billion sale of its cable businesses to Charter Communications in 2016. A provision in the deal gives Advance an additional annual payment of $150 million, cushioning the parent company from any recent losses.
Condé Nast has gone through fits and starts as it has sought to revise its corporate identity for the digital age. Until last month, Dawn Ostroff was the head of Condé Nast Entertainment, the unit devoted to digital video, film and television projects that was started in 2011. She left the company for Spotify with little warning, but the business she oversaw is very much on the rise and will significantly narrow the company’s losses this year, two executives said.