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Gourmet Magazine to Fold

This morning, Condé Nast announced its oldest food title, Gourmet magazine, is folding. There were telltale signs of trouble: the glossy, which will print its last issue in November, just underwent budget cuts. As early as the onset of 2009, rumors were already flying that Gourmet would not see the end of the year.

The speculation didn't prepare me for the shellshock of Gourmet's demise. After all, the magazine, which has been published since December 1940, is an institution. I would have thought they could cut issues to six a year, or even quarterly, before shutting down such a venerable publication. It's wishful thinking, but a part of me hopes this is just some sort of sick publicity stunt. Are you as stunned as I am?

Join The Conversation
janneth janneth 7 years
I checked them out of the public library, and read them for fun. Never ever made a recipe. But I will really miss it.
eshellmoyer eshellmoyer 7 years
They stopped selling Gourmet at the drugstores and grocery stores in my neighborhood about four months ago. It has seemed like the end for a while now.
Love-and-Sex Love-and-Sex 7 years
Gourmet was the magazine that inspired me to cook like a grownup. Some of the craziest, fanciest, most delicious things I've ever made I was inspired to because of this beautiful mag. I will hold onto my back issues for dear life. A sad day...
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Aw, that's too bad! I personally subscribe to Bon Appetit, but I also love Gourmet and I used to pick up a copy every so often on the newsstands. It's really sad that so many great magazines are folding...the online versions are just NOT the same.
Erica-Reynolds Erica-Reynolds 7 years
Having worked as a sales assistant at Gourmet in 2008, I am not shocked. This is typical Conde Nast fashion. They had done all they could to bolster the sales for Gourmet - recruited former Associate Publisher from Town & Country magazine, recruited the advertising team from Allure to turn things around in 2008, and proposed numerous creative merchandising incentives as a way to add value to the high and often un-negotiable rates Conde Nast adhered to. The magazine had been struggling to maintain adequate sales figures for quite some time. Conde Nast corporate really turned on the pressure cooker with Gourmet, and tried to bring it to a boil, but unfortunately, it just kept losing steam. The features were perhaps the most luxurious editorial culinary content - with travel pieces that actually sent Gourmet staffers overseas at the expense of no one besides Conde Nast - no publicists exchanging favors; no reviews tainted by free meals from the restaurants. The photo shoots and the styling were expensive - produced in the old-fashioned way, which is to say, a mise-en-scene (setting the stage) full on photo feature with models, tabletops, props. (It's cheaper just to get a close-up product shot of a block of cheese rather than photograph it in a setting.) But publishing houses need to watch the bottom line and cannot be weighted with a nostalgia for the past. Journalism, afterall, is most concerned with the present: Bon Appetit does feel fresh, modern, and young. Ruth Reichl's cookbooks and the many Gourmet recipes on will remain the legacy for the Gourmet brand. As for the rest of their staff, many had spent their entire professional career at the magazine (Kemp Minefie, Bill Sertl). As for Cookie magazine, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride, it is a shame to see them go. Conde Nast has been known to revive certain books years after their folding. (House & Garden has come back to life several times after folding.) Keep those old Gourmet isues. They'll be collectors' items.
sabs sabs 7 years
i'm shocked, but not really surprised. it's a sad sign of our times that it's closing and bon appetit is staying, but hey i guess folks like things to be easier and more accessible. sad though because what magazine will challenge us to be even better?
mek123 mek123 7 years
Shocked but not really surprised given the rumors. Now I feel guilty I didn't renew my subscription from a few years ago. Great magazine
CoconutPie CoconutPie 7 years
Nooo! :cry: I, too, wanted to get a subscription after I realized last month that you can subscribe when you live in Europe. I love Gourmet, it's one of my favorite magazines. I will really miss it. I guess now I will mostly buy British magazines.
vinnie vinnie 7 years
How ironic. I was just about to buy a subscription, because I was so impressed with their latest cookbook.
Community-Manager Community-Manager 7 years
WOW! I am shocked!
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