Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New York Times on the closing of "Gourmet" Magazine

Before we continue on with this article, I will point out that I have subscribed to Bon Appetite (and Gourmet at times) since having gotten into cooking. Not so much for the cooking techniques but very much because they are great at showing what is trendy with the general public in cooking. It's a great way to see what is hot and allows a cook like myself to create my own version of the latest trend.


Condé Nast to Close Gourmet, Cookie and Modern Bride

Condé Nast will close Gourmet magazine, a magazine of almost biblical status in the food world, it was announced on Monday. Gourmet has been published since January 1941. Also being shut down are the Condé Nast magazines Cookie, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride, according to an internal company memo that also was sent to reporters on Monday.
Gourmet magazine has been published since 1941.
The magazine has suffered a severe decline in ad pages, but the cut still comes as a shock. There was
speculation that Condé Nast would close one of its food titles — Gourmet or Bon Appétit — but most bets were on the latter. Gourmet has a richer history than Bon Appétit, and its editor, Ruth Reichl, is powerful in the food world.
Cookie is a relatively new introduction, started in 2005, while the bridal magazines were seen as offshoots of the bigger Brides magazine, which Condé Nast also owns.
The cuts come
at the conclusion of a three-month study by McKinsey & Company, which conducted analysis of Condé Nast’s costs, and told several magazines to cut about 25 percent from their budgets. These are the first closings announced by the company since the McKinsey study.
The moves are significant for the publisher. It has never been quick to close titles, and in the last year or so has closed only newer titles, Condé Nast Portfolio and Domino, along with folding Men’s Vogue into Vogue.
Condé Nast tends to hold tight to its prestigious titles, making the Gourmet closing all the more startling. In an interview in February, even Paul Jowdy, publisher of the in-house rival Bon Appétit, said that such a closing was unlikely. (To be fair to Mr. Jowdy, the economy has plummeted, and Condé Nast has been hit particularly hard since then. Its magazines have lost more than 8,000 ad pages, excluding its bridal titles, so far this year.)
“They would never do that,” Mr. Jowdy said in February. “They’re both very important magazines in the culinary world, and they’re very different magazines, and they’re both very healthy. So there’s all these rumors that are just ridiculous. I try not to pay attention to them, but you have to know — if you think of two of the most prestigious, credible, trusted magazines in the industry, you’re going to say Bon Appétit and Gourmet.”

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