Why Did Conde Nast Close Gourmet?

More

After a grim reaperish review by McKinsey consultants revealed that Conde Nast would have to cut up to 25 percent of its budget, the magazine company announced today that it will close four magazines: Gourmet, Cookie, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride. Most of the jaw-dropping online seems to be focused on Gourmet, an established name in the food journalism industry that has been publishing for more than 60 years. Why Conde, why?


From the internal Conde 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 Epicurious.com. We will concentrate our publishing activities in the epicurean category on Bon Appétit.

Well there it is. Two foodie magazines in one struggling industry was one magazine too many. Competing for the same advertisers and the same readers, it made sense to kill one to save the other. And in the downturn, Gourmet simply wasn't keeping. In the first quarter of this year, Gourmet and Bon Appetit saw ad pages decline 42% and 26%, respectively, according to Gawker. Gourmet's circulation was smaller (950K to 1.3M) and its top ad rate lower ($98K to $113K). But in March Conde pres Chuck Townsend said:

"Gourmet and B. A. are two completely different magazines, both in their editorial point of view and in their audiences," Mr. Townsend said through a spokeswoman. "Both are circulation powerhouses, and I'm perfectly content with both properties as businesses."

What a difference McKinsey makes.

For more, read Corby Kummer's half-eulogy, half-plea for Gourmet on the Food Channel.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror?

In a series of candid video interviews, women talk about self-image, self-judgment, and what it means to love their bodies


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In