Gourmet magazine closes after 70 years
Downturn and ad drought claim longstanding Gourmet magazine. Publisher Condé Nast announces 3 other closures: Cookie and bridal magazines Elegant Bride and Modern Bride.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Foodies got some sour news Monday.
Gourmet, which has amassed a devoted following over nearly 70 years of publication, will be shut down, publisher Condé Nast said.
The magazine, introduced in 1940, is expected to close by the end of the year.
"I feel like Linus and somebody has yanked away my security blanket," said Stuart Clifford, 55, who has been a subscriber for 32 years.
For Clifford, the November issue, which may also be its last, holds particular sentimental value. "My brother and I would always grab the November issue and find the featured meal and make a big deal about cooking it. That was our Thanksgiving (meal) year after year after year," he said.
Even though many fans enjoyed flipping through the glossy pages, popular food shows on television and online sites eroded the magazine's advertising revenue.
"The magazine industry is in a difficult position generally speaking, it's losing revenue to online advertising and it's a tough business right now," said Richard Dorfman, managing director of Richard Alan Inc., a financial advisory and investment company focusing on the media industry.
Gourmet, which has nearly 1 million subscribers, fell victim to a decline in ad sales and followed a companywide review of magazines.
"The review has led us to a number of decisions designed to navigate the company through the economic downturn and to position us to take advantage of coming opportunities," Condé Nast CEO Chuck Townsend wrote in an e-mail to employees.
In addition to shuttering Gourmet, Condé Nast said it was also killing parenting magazine Cookie and two wedding magazines, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride.
"In this economic climate it is important to narrow our focus to titles with the greatest prospects for long-term growth," Townsend wrote.
Roughly 180 people were affected by the news of the four titles closing, according to Condé Nast spokeswoman Maurie Perl.
According to Townsend, Condé Nast will continue to use the Gourmet brand in book publishing and television programming, and Gourmet recipes will still appear on Epicurious.com. The publisher's other epicurean title, Bon Appétit, will remain intact.
Condé Nast is also bumping up the frequency of its Brides magazine to monthly to fill some of the void left by the closing of Modern Bride and Elegant Bride.
"These changes, combined with cost and workforce reductions now underway throughout the company, will speed the recovery of our current businesses and enable us to pursue new ventures," Townsend wrote.
Other magazines have also been hit hard during the downturn. Titles including Blender, Vibe, Domino and Portfolio were all lost in the last year.