Conde Nast Closes Gourmet

Gourmet

It’s all over the news that Conde Nast has closed their top food magazine Gourmet. The mag has been leading in the food industry since 1941. (That’s about 70 years!) It’s rare that Conde Nast would choose one of their oldest, most successful magazines, but execs say ad revenue is simply down. They also closed Cookie and two of their bridal magazines for the same reason, but those are newer and didn’t have the following Gourmet did.

According to The New York Times and NPR, everyone is confused and upset. The editor-in-chief of Gourmet, Ruth Reichl, tweeted, “We’re all stunned, sad.” No one expected this to happen, especially to Gourmet.

This whole ordeal for some reason is the first thing to really make me afraid that print may one day die. Before I was always considering readership, but readership isn’t the issue. Of course people will always want to physically flip the pages, but that doesn’t mean they’ll always be profitable for the companies. I knew that ad sales were important, but I never thought huge magazines like Gourmet would suffer for it. What if one day top-notch fashion designers don’t consider Vogue to be the most important place to advertise their collections? Anna Wintour won’t be editor-in-chief forever and what if when she leaves, so do the people (advertisers/designers) who trust her and follow her judgment? A 60 Minutes interview with her even showed designers saying they often create their collections with her in mind.

Vogue is to fashion what Gourmet was to food. Will Vogue’s day come sooner than we think?

Vogue

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9 responses to “Conde Nast Closes Gourmet

  1. Trust me, I was as shocked as you were to hear of this catastrophe. And, I couldn’t have said it better, Vogue is the Gourmet of fashion print media. It just goes to show how these occurrences sometimes can’t be predicted–yes, Cookie and the bridal magazines are understandable–but Gourmet, I honestly didn’t even see it coming. Now more than ever do advertisers play an incremental role in the lifespan and survival of our beloved print media.

  2. Seems like they could have explored selling Gourmet to another publisher, rather than closing it down. I wonder why they didn’t?

  3. Maybe they did try to to sell it. If so, that’s even more scary.

    I still dream of a job in a print version of a magazine (silly, I know), but if this is already happening to big, long-lasting names and the ever-popular family of bridal mags, what will be left when we graduate?

    Realistically, I know online is the new frontier of magazines, but we need to figure out a solution to keep magazines alive more quickly to save the titles we love.

    • The comments on Kate’s post remind me of my brother, who continues to buy CDs rather than songs off iTunes. I conformed to the individualized online purchasing a few years ago, but he continues to purchase physical CDs. He once told me he liked having the CD and the album booklet and being able to organize them all.

      I think magazine readers are the same. The music industry is able to continue producing CDs for people like my brother partially because they are making so much money off iTunes and other online music venues. So, it does seem logical that magazines will have to devise some type of online alternative to continue to compete. (Not to mention the ever-growing green movement is probably on the Internet’s side when it comes to paper usage.)

      I think there will always be a market for print magazines for people like my brother. But, I think magazines need to keep exploring and trying to find ways to hybridize the print and online industries.

  4. Somehow I really doubt that Vogue will get shut down. I’m not super familiar with Gourmet, but I know that Vogue has plenty of ad dollars rolling in. About half of Vogue’s content is advertising, and fashion/merchandise is biiiiiig money for magazines. Unless a lot of the major labels go under and pull their marketing needs down with them, Vogue will survive.

  5. I think Vogue will stay. It’s Vogue, after all. While I think it’s scary that even Conde Nast is struggling, I have my doubts that Vogue will meet its demise anytime soon. But then again… it really kind of makes you think, does it?

    I have goosebumps…

  6. Oh Matt, I’ve got the exact same reaction reading this entry – goosebumps.

    I cannot believe Gourmet collapsed so easily like that. Where has the ads revenue gone to? How come the big star like Gourmet suffers and, well, let’s say, BHG still stays? I know they are different, but does that matter?

    I wouldn’t bet that Vogue will stay. No way would I predict something like that. I mean, how many people thought Gourmet would say goodbye? That’s right. Vogue could do the same thing.

  7. Well the difference between Gourmet and BHG is the company. Meredith was more prepared for the downturn than Conde Nast, so it hasn’t affected them as much. I totally agree that Vogue is Vogue so it’ll stick around, but then again, Gourmet was Gourmet… For the food industry, Gourmet was Vogue. And the food industry is just as big as fashion. I’m just afraid that whatever Gourmet’s advertisers freaked out about, so will Vogue’s. You never know.

  8. I like to think that Vogue is safe, and for the most part, I believe it. But I also think that when Gourmet shut down, it was a reality check for a lot of people. Right now, I don’t think any magazine is completely safe.

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