Conde Nast Shutting Down Gourmet Magazine

gourmet-cover-appleThis is far, far worse than even we dared to predict. As the New York Times' Diners Journal blog reports, Gourmet magazine "will cease publication after the publication of its November issue."

After an epic ad page meltdown there had been rumors of budget cuts and frequency reductions, but this is such an extreme and unexpected move. More as it comes in.

Gawker has an internal memo: "Gourmet magazine will cease monthly publication, but we will remain committed to the brand, retaining Gourmet's book publishing and television programming, and Gourmet recipes on We will concentrate our publishing activities in the epicurean category on Bon Appétit."

Mediaite has a memo from Conde Nast Digital: "In regard to and Gourmet,com, the sites will remain up at least through the end of the year."

Ruth Reichl tweets: "Thank you all SO much for this outpouring of support. It means a lot. Sorry not to be posting now, but I'm packing. We're all stunned, sad."

Condé Nast Chief Executive Chuck Townsend tells the WSJ: "We've been working with those titles in addition to others titles to maximize their financial health in this economy... And unfortunately, these titles just fall below the line. We can't sustain them."

Thought pieces / tributes: Jay Rayner; Corby Kummer; Gabriella Gershenson; Robb Walsh; Robert Sietsema; David Tamarkin.

Colman Andrews tweets: "Condé Nast, which has set so many standards for the magazine industry for so long, ought to be ashamed. You don't kill a heritage brand because you have a bad year. But this whole affair raises another point: the cut-rate-subscription, make-your-bucks-from-advertising model for magazines just doesn't work anymore, and shouldn't. Wake up, magazine publishers! Value your product and charge us for it!"

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Comment Feed

  1. Kris

    why not just kill Bon App? That makes no sense.

  2. blerg

    Maybe Ruth Reichl should have spent more time trying to sell ads and not galavanting around the world with her celebrity friends making a not-for-profit pbs show.

  3. 10001

    I blame the blogs

  4. h.p.

    I am so sad. I loved the quick recipes and the deserts. :( I guess I should cherish the issues I have saved at home.

  5. bloomer

    Gotta wonder how much money the magazine was losing. It's easy to be sad about it, but the magazine was run into the ground. They should have cut expenses long ago, but they tried to position themselves as the New Yorker of food, figuring they'd be immune to any cuts. This is a huge wake-up call to the rest of the magazines: Not a single title is safe.

  6. Tish

    I'm more sad for the legacy of Gourmet rather than the reality of what it's been for the past few years. As a metaphor, many of the recent covers have been more about art direction than anything to do with cooking (don't know which I liked less -- this month's candy apple or the recent dust-covered pear). The shrinking editorial was hard to distinguish from the airline advertorials. Ruth Reichl was always on the celebrity circuit (book tours, TV shows, etc.) yet the magazine was obviously in trouble. And what content was there had little to do with real life.

    The home cooking world has been going through a revolution and Gourmet just seemed to be elsewhere, clinging to some arch and slick epicure's notion. I, too, have subscribed for many years and have many precious, saved copies, but the last time my renewal came up I hesitated. They should have acted sooner to fix it instead of waiting for a financial crisis in CN to force their hand. What a shame.

  7. Larry

    This is horrible. Bon Appetit is a crappy magazine compared to Gourmet. Going to miss the quick kitchen recipes, dessert recipes (the salted caramel ice cream in a recent issue is to DIE for), browsing the index of recipes at the back to see which ones I want to make, and the anticipation of a new issue coming in the mailbox.

    This is a stupid stupid move by Conde Nast. Should have killed Bon Appetit, not Gourmet.

    What a drag.

  8. Carolina

    I'm very sad about this. I got my first subscription at age 14, given to me for my birthday by my grandmother, and I have been a loyal reader ever since. (BTW, that first subscription? 1958.) So many things have changed and are changing, so quickly, over the past 5 or 6 years that it's almost impossible to keep up. Welcome, Brave New World? I'm not so sure I want to be a part of you.

  9. rinshin

    I agree - the subscription is too cheap. Right before it's demise, I sent in $42 for 3 more years. That's about $1.16 per issue.

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