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The End of Gourmet Magazine?

In the last six months, we've witnessed many brands — for some reason in particular, cookie labelsgo kaput. We're barely into the new year, and at least one source predicts that media companies will be going next, and food publications won't be excepted.

New York financial media company 24/7 Wall St. reports that things are looking glum for Gourmet magazine:

Gourmet will probably not see the end of the year. Its parent company, Condé Nast, can no longer rely on the huge profits of the newspaper portion of the Newhouse family business.

The magazine operation needs to go on a diet. Condé Nast . . . owns Gourmet, Bon Appétit, and Condé Nast simply owns too many titles in this category. From 2004 to 2008, Gourmet's ad pages have dropped from 1,364 to 955, with a 24 percent drop last year. January's ad pages were down another 32 percent according to MIN. Gourmet can survive since it has a competitive audience of web visitors to its food site, but it will have to migrate totally to its website.

Although, Gourmet wasn't our favorite food magazine of the year, and you prefer Bon Appétit, I am an enormous fan of the magazine's editor, Ruth Reichl. I frequently read the glossy for its reliable and creative recipes, and would be sad if I no longer had a subscription. Do you subscribe to the magazine, and would you be disappointed to see it go?

Join The Conversation
debdoubleu debdoubleu 8 years
I am very ambivalent about this news. I subscribed to Gourmet for 8 years, but had bought it occasionally for years before, and let the subscription run out in 2000, as it seemed to have become "too precious". Although I renewed within a few months, I have continued to feel it wasn't as much to my taste, although I see so many people feel the opposite. Some months there are a number of great recipes, and others are just "out of reach" for most budgets. I agree with feeling that the amount of advertising had to be huge-one month I counted the recipes that were part of advertising vs. from the mag itself because it seemed there were more recipes from the ads than from the staff (turned out there were more from staff, but the point remains, there's a lot of advertising).
eater eater 8 years
Our Gourmets go back to the 1940s, and we consult them often. Gourmet is history. Sure, it's gone beyond itself. Like so many it's learned to live on an unsustainably expanding economy, and it may have to come back to earth. Ruth Reichl is as savvy as they come, she knows living plain, and she knows the intelligent, exotic, literate, yet solidly-based values that have been in Gourmet from the beginning. I hope Gourmet trims its sails and sails on; she's yaw, you know.
laurelm laurelm 8 years
I love Gourmet, I even have a few years of back issues I got off Freecycle. Would be sad if it goes down
mrs4hand mrs4hand 8 years
Heartbroken. I love Gourmet and Ruth Reichl.
CoconutPie CoconutPie 8 years
Nooooo! :cry:
sandy82 sandy82 8 years
oh no:( I love Gourmet!
Celebrity Celebrity 8 years
I love Ruth's books. if the magazine sadly folds hopefully it will free up her time to write more amazing books.
miznic miznic 8 years
If Gourmet folds - Ruth Reichl needs to go to either Bon Appetit or Saveur.
CiaoBella2 CiaoBella2 8 years
Sorry to hear the news about Gourmet. I bought a copy or two at the grocery store during the past year.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 8 years
I like Gourmet a lot, would be missed by me. Not so happy with the new look of BellaSugar, please don't change Yum and Party I love the quirkiness!
colormesticky colormesticky 8 years
Funny the advertising has dropped, because my biggest complaint about it was that it seemed to be nothing BUT ads with a few articles sprinkled in. Oh well, I got it for free by overspending at Sur La Table.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
that's really interesting to me. it's funny - i work in advertising and i have a client that runs in Gourmet, and we've talked to them time and time again about going to BA since it's a better book and they offer better positioning and added value (yes that's media speak), and of course the client never wants to change it...they like Gourmet. i guess this means that they might have no choice if they want to stay in an epicurean book with Conde Nast.
limelindsey limelindsey 8 years
I love Gourmet! and I too love Ruth Reichl...her books are amazing and she does a great job as editor. Sad times.
partysugar partysugar 8 years
I will be so sad if Gourmet dies. Not only do I LOVE the magazine, I also aspired to write for it one day!
tsp tsp 8 years
i actually do like gourmet quite a bit! my parents subscribe to bon appetit, and pass that along monthly, but i pick up gourmet several times a year. it's just such a hard time for the magazine industry now! but subscriptions are so cheap (relatively) and you get so much. i mean, of all the things to cut back on, a $12 subscription isn't at the top of my list. but i do understand that mags like these survive on their ad sales. i hope they can turn it around, or at least tough it out until advertisers are ready to spend a little more. i would be sad to see it go.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I agree not my fav but I def picked up a copy here and there. :(
Dana18 Dana18 8 years
I can't believe Gourmet is a goner. I am very disappointed. This was one of the magazine I look forward to seeing every month.
kia kia 8 years
Gourmet is not my favorite magazine but it is an institution and I know my husband bought at least one issue in the last year. It would be sad if it folded.
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