Gourmet and Bon Appetit Facing 'Frequency Reductions' and Streamlining
It's no secret that Conde Nast's Bon Appetit and Gourmet are barely hanging on for dear life. Both publications have been faced with epic ad page meltdowns (year-over-year Bon Appetit's and Gourmet's are down 40% and 51.9%, respectively), and the emperor-has-no-clothes observations of their essential redundancy have grown increasingly frequent.
A dropped shoe of some sort has seemed inevitable, and today The Observer picks some news up from the rumor mill, suggesting that the food mags are going to be seeing “frequency reductions" and streamlining:
There have been ... conversations and presentations between Condé Nast execs and the McKinsey folks all along ... Within the building, one buzz term that keeps popping up is “frequency reductions.” The epicurean titles, Gourmet and Bon Appetit, are most commonly mentioned as candidates for reduced publishing schedules. There is also the possibility that the two staffs could be streamlined.
Considering that Bon Appetit and Gourmet barely meet the minimum amount of pages to physically glue a magazine together, some sort of rethinking of their production model is certainly in order. Less-frequent publication could be a more elegant solution than mashing the titles together and forcing some kind of Reichl-Fairchild cage match for dominance, amusing as that might be.