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Gourmet Magazine to cease publishing

Gourmet Magazine to cease publishing
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  • Gourmet Magazine to cease publishing

    Post #1 - October 5th, 2009, 8:35 am
    Post #1 - October 5th, 2009, 8:35 am Post #1 - October 5th, 2009, 8:35 am
    Not quite sure where to put this post, but...Gourmet magazine is shutting down: http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/ ... imesdining
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #2 - October 5th, 2009, 8:44 am
    Post #2 - October 5th, 2009, 8:44 am Post #2 - October 5th, 2009, 8:44 am
    David Hammond wrote:Not quite sure where to put this post, but...Gourmet magazine is shutting down: http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/ ... imesdining

    Thanks for posting!!! I just renewed for 3 years 4 days ago and quickly called for a refund. Not surprisingly, the woman I spoke to was shocked and had no idea. They're always the last to know.
  • Post #3 - October 5th, 2009, 9:18 am
    Post #3 - October 5th, 2009, 9:18 am Post #3 - October 5th, 2009, 9:18 am
    BR wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:Not quite sure where to put this post, but...Gourmet magazine is shutting down: http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/ ... imesdining

    Thanks for posting!!! I just renewed for 3 years 4 days ago and quickly called for a refund. Not surprisingly, the woman I spoke to was shocked and had no idea. They're always the last to know.


    That sucks. :cry: Gourmet is one of the few magazine that I subscribe to that I actually start to read the day it arrives in the mail. My wife the Food Photography Maven That Doesn't Cook even enjoys Gourmet.
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  • Post #4 - October 5th, 2009, 11:53 am
    Post #4 - October 5th, 2009, 11:53 am Post #4 - October 5th, 2009, 11:53 am
    Gourmet is still accepting subscriptions on its website. I subscribed, just to see what would happen.
  • Post #5 - October 5th, 2009, 11:54 am
    Post #5 - October 5th, 2009, 11:54 am Post #5 - October 5th, 2009, 11:54 am
    nr706 wrote:Gourmet is still accepting subscriptions on its website. I subscribed, just to see what would happen.
    If I have to guess based on what happens with Rodale magazines, when your subscription ends they give you the remainder on a like magazine (probably Bon Apetit) unless you object and they refund the balance.
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #6 - October 5th, 2009, 12:03 pm
    Post #6 - October 5th, 2009, 12:03 pm Post #6 - October 5th, 2009, 12:03 pm
    jpschust wrote:
    nr706 wrote:Gourmet is still accepting subscriptions on its website. I subscribed, just to see what would happen.
    If I have to guess based on what happens with Rodale magazines, when your subscription ends they give you the remainder on a like magazine (probably Bon Apetit) unless you object and they refund the balance.


    That's exactly what happens. They'll start sending you a different one and you'll get a letter saying you have to request a refund if you want one. This happened to my wife twice in the past year.
  • Post #7 - October 5th, 2009, 12:15 pm
    Post #7 - October 5th, 2009, 12:15 pm Post #7 - October 5th, 2009, 12:15 pm
    David Hammond wrote:Not quite sure where to put this post, but...Gourmet magazine is shutting down: http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/ ... imesdining

    Aaaarrrgh!
    Not only did I just subscribe in the last couple months, but I just bought the Gourmet Today cookbook, whose perceived value was increased by the certificate for another year's subscription to the magazine. (The book looks like it rocks, btw)
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #8 - October 5th, 2009, 1:34 pm
    Post #8 - October 5th, 2009, 1:34 pm Post #8 - October 5th, 2009, 1:34 pm
    Sad to see it go. I wonder what made them choose to retire Gourmet rather than Bon Appetit. Of the two, I always preferred Gourmet, although I haven't subscribed for some time, since I like Saveur and Cooks Illustrated better.

    Looks like Conde Nast mags have taken a huge advertising hit overall:
    http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2 ... gazine/?hp

    I'm also wondering what impact on the Epicurious site there will be.
  • Post #9 - October 5th, 2009, 1:45 pm
    Post #9 - October 5th, 2009, 1:45 pm Post #9 - October 5th, 2009, 1:45 pm
    LAZ wrote:I'm also wondering what impact on the Epicurious site there will be.

    I saw Louisa Chu comment elsewhere it would be open until year's end.

    Cook Illustrated (CI) business model was ahead of its time: no advertisers and pay for their web content puts them on more solid financial footing.

    There was an early version of CI that folded did have advertisers. Christopher Kimball was the editor for the first life, but was gone by the time it ended abruptly. A year later it was back in the form we know it today. I'd love to know the back story sometime on CI's history.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #10 - October 5th, 2009, 1:52 pm
    Post #10 - October 5th, 2009, 1:52 pm Post #10 - October 5th, 2009, 1:52 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    LAZ wrote:I'm also wondering what impact on the Epicurious site there will be.

    I saw Louisa Chu comment elsewhere it would be open until year's end.


    Only year's end? Odd, given that epicurious contains recipes from Bon Appetit as well as other sources. Seems like it should stay open indefinitely.
  • Post #11 - October 5th, 2009, 1:58 pm
    Post #11 - October 5th, 2009, 1:58 pm Post #11 - October 5th, 2009, 1:58 pm
    aschie30 wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:
    LAZ wrote:I'm also wondering what impact on the Epicurious site there will be.

    I saw Louisa Chu comment elsewhere it would be open until year's end.


    Only year's end? Odd, given that epicurious contains recipes from Bon Appetit as well as other sources. Seems like it should stay open indefinitely.

    I double-checked to find I mis-spoke: "Gourmet.com up at least through the end of the year."

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #12 - October 5th, 2009, 2:21 pm
    Post #12 - October 5th, 2009, 2:21 pm Post #12 - October 5th, 2009, 2:21 pm
    I wonder what made them choose to retire Gourmet rather than Bon Appetit.


    Bon Appetit had higher circulation and more ad pages, which is a big part of the equation.
  • Post #13 - October 5th, 2009, 2:26 pm
    Post #13 - October 5th, 2009, 2:26 pm Post #13 - October 5th, 2009, 2:26 pm
    But there are also claims that they're going to do things to continue to make marketable use in some fashion of the brand name. As in, keep a web presence at least.

    The real problem here was that Conde Nast had two magazine brands that kind of occupied similar space-- and nobody was quite sure what that was. I mean, can anyone articulate the difference between Gourmet and Bon Appetit? (They even have similar fine-dining-in-1950 names.) I think they're much less well defined than, say, Food & Wine (it's food and wine), or Saveur (regional classics). So one had to go, and it appears Bon Appetit did better at drawing a recipe-oriented audience that they knew how to attract canned goods advertisers for.
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  • Post #14 - October 5th, 2009, 2:49 pm
    Post #14 - October 5th, 2009, 2:49 pm Post #14 - October 5th, 2009, 2:49 pm
    Hi,

    Long ago, I subscribed to both Gourmet and Bon Appetit. At one point there was a difference between the two magazines: Gourmet was more serious and patrician in style, while Bon Appetit was glossy and seemingly more youthful. When Gourmet shifted to a format akin to Bon Appetit, that was when I pulled the plug on both.

    I have only Saveur and Cook's Illustrated now. I do access epicurious.com almost exclusively for the recipes.

    What I also have and about to abandon is effectively two subscriptions to Cook's Illustrated: hard copy and website. I use them differently, but I feel foolish paying twice for effecitvely the same content.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #15 - October 5th, 2009, 2:59 pm
    Post #15 - October 5th, 2009, 2:59 pm Post #15 - October 5th, 2009, 2:59 pm
    I decided to give myself a break from CI a little while back. It seemed like it was repeating itself and while there's a certain amusement to be drawn from a cook recounting his or her odyssey in testing the effect of peanut v. canola oil in a recipe which was tested 500 times, the reality is, am I ever going to make Penne alla Vodka? Or Chicken Francese? I realize that, although there are some golden nuggets (like the Vodka Pie Crust), I just couldn't stomach doling out about $44 about every year or less than a year for a subscription when the recipes in general seemed uninteresting. I have my back subscriptions as well as The New Best Recipe to fall back on in the meantime.
  • Post #16 - October 5th, 2009, 3:04 pm
    Post #16 - October 5th, 2009, 3:04 pm Post #16 - October 5th, 2009, 3:04 pm
    I'm the same way-- admire the approach, but it's not stuff I want to make, 98% of the time.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
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  • Post #17 - October 5th, 2009, 3:06 pm
    Post #17 - October 5th, 2009, 3:06 pm Post #17 - October 5th, 2009, 3:06 pm
    aschie30 wrote:I decided to give myself a break from CI a little while back. It seemed like it was repeating itself and while there's a certain amusement to be drawn from a cook recounting his or her odyssey in testing the effect of peanut v. canola oil in a recipe which was tested 500 times, the reality is, am I ever going to make Penne alla Vodka? Or Chicken Francese? I realize that, although there are some golden nuggets (like the Vodka Pie Crust), I just couldn't stomach doling out about $44 about every year or less than a year for a subscription when the recipes in general seemed uninteresting. I have my back subscriptions as well as The New Best Recipe to fall back on in the meantime.

    I think we currently get Cook's Illustrated (have not seen an issue for a while and it was a gift, so I'm not sure when the subscription runs out) and I'm generally a fan, but my wife and I sometimes joke that the motto of the magazine should be: "Cook's Illustrated: Taking the Fun out of Cooking Since 1980."
  • Post #18 - October 5th, 2009, 4:03 pm
    Post #18 - October 5th, 2009, 4:03 pm Post #18 - October 5th, 2009, 4:03 pm
    Mike G wrote:I mean, can anyone articulate the difference between Gourmet and Bon Appetit?

    Two words: Ruth Reichl as editor.

    On the strength of the Gourmet cookbook, which has never let me down when I need a recipe, I subscribed to Gourmet, after being indifferent to Sauveur and disliking Bon Appetit. But you're right, they're both pretty vapid as cooking magazines go. The last two issues have been the Alphabet Issue (lots of silly recipes where everything begins with the letter B, for instance), and the Restaurant Issue.

    Gourmet's got a bizarre format where it has a long descriptive article continued in the back of the mag with the actual recipes, which makes it very hard to browse for something to cook -- you never know if there will actually be a recipe or not. Both BI and Gourmet suffer from excessive ad pages that look like editorial content, something a decent editorial staff should not stomach.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #19 - October 5th, 2009, 4:08 pm
    Post #19 - October 5th, 2009, 4:08 pm Post #19 - October 5th, 2009, 4:08 pm
    I am very, very sad to see Gourmet come to a close - the magazine has been a regular part of my culinary reading since I was twelve (many, many years ago). Unfortunately, I do not see any of the other food magazines successfully filling this void.

    Jyoti
    Jyoti
    A meal, with bread and wine, shared with friends and family is among the most essential and important of all human rituals.
    Ruhlman
  • Post #20 - October 5th, 2009, 4:29 pm
    Post #20 - October 5th, 2009, 4:29 pm Post #20 - October 5th, 2009, 4:29 pm
    I was so sad to hear the news this morning. I loved Gourmet, not only for the recipes and food-related travel articles but also for the wonderful issues dedicated to specific regions and cuisines. I just loved the issues dedicated to Italy, Mexico, Paris and Montreal . . . just to name a few. It was easily my favorite of the food magazines.

    But let's face it. The entire print industry is in shambles. Newspapers and magazines have been going out of business one after the other. Circulation has been declining for years (particularly among newspapers), which has translated to less revenue from publication sales and declining ad revenue (why spend as much in advertising if circulation is cut by more than 50%). Younger people largely turn to the internet and the print industry has yet to learn how to turn this internet traffic into significant revenue - a major challenge indeed. The recent economic downturn has exacerbated the problem as companies have further cut back on advertising spending. Unfortunately, Gourmet will not be the only food magazine casualty of the recession and I fear which one(s) might be next. Sad times indeed.
  • Post #21 - October 5th, 2009, 4:30 pm
    Post #21 - October 5th, 2009, 4:30 pm Post #21 - October 5th, 2009, 4:30 pm
    I wonder why they didn't try to sell it? Or maybe they did and there were no takers.
  • Post #22 - October 5th, 2009, 5:15 pm
    Post #22 - October 5th, 2009, 5:15 pm Post #22 - October 5th, 2009, 5:15 pm
    Matt wrote:
    aschie30 wrote:I decided to give myself a break from CI a little while back. It seemed like it was repeating itself and while there's a certain amusement to be drawn from a cook recounting his or her odyssey in testing the effect of peanut v. canola oil in a recipe which was tested 500 times, the reality is, am I ever going to make Penne alla Vodka? Or Chicken Francese? I realize that, although there are some golden nuggets (like the Vodka Pie Crust), I just couldn't stomach doling out about $44 about every year or less than a year for a subscription when the recipes in general seemed uninteresting. I have my back subscriptions as well as The New Best Recipe to fall back on in the meantime.

    I think we currently get Cook's Illustrated (have not seen an issue for a while and it was a gift, so I'm not sure when the subscription runs out) and I'm generally a fan, but my wife and I sometimes joke that the motto of the magazine should be: "Cook's Illustrated: Taking the Fun out of Cooking Since 1980."


    Yup: I try to watch the show between watching something else and get the nuggets of information. The sad truth is that every food publication puts its recipes through testing, the difference being CI shows you the failures, which can sometimes be really useful information, but more often it isn't. And, yes, I don't think it's geared towards this crowd's tastes, including mine - but at least it's a repository for popular Americana recipes and keeps people cooking. I enjoy the illustrations in the magazine almost enough to pay for a subscription, but I, too, have a hard time paying for both the print and online version.

    In general, I like both Gourmet and Bon Appetit, since I got gift subscriptions I didn't have to pay for. There is good, if similar, content in both - but I agree, I find many of the article-style ads irritating, and an awful lot of the content doesn't appeal to me at all. However, they usually have at least one long article about families, food, travel, or gatherings punctuated by recipes - something I admit Saveur does better, but which I enjoy reading. I always thought it was odd that they were so similar: especially around holidays, you'd wind up with 2 magazines of cookie recipes, or 2 magazines with turkey recipes, and I just got finished reading both hamburger issues. Fun when they're free - I might think twice about subscribing, though.

    Epicurious, though, I love and spend an awful lot of time on - I suppose I would subscribe to it if need be. I will be sad if the number of recipes there are reduced because Gourmet is gone.
  • Post #23 - October 5th, 2009, 5:21 pm
    Post #23 - October 5th, 2009, 5:21 pm Post #23 - October 5th, 2009, 5:21 pm
    Mhays wrote:
    Matt wrote:
    aschie30 wrote:I decided to give myself a break from CI a little while back. It seemed like it was repeating itself and while there's a certain amusement to be drawn from a cook recounting his or her odyssey in testing the effect of peanut v. canola oil in a recipe which was tested 500 times, the reality is, am I ever going to make Penne alla Vodka? Or Chicken Francese? I realize that, although there are some golden nuggets (like the Vodka Pie Crust), I just couldn't stomach doling out about $44 about every year or less than a year for a subscription when the recipes in general seemed uninteresting. I have my back subscriptions as well as The New Best Recipe to fall back on in the meantime.

    I think we currently get Cook's Illustrated (have not seen an issue for a while and it was a gift, so I'm not sure when the subscription runs out) and I'm generally a fan, but my wife and I sometimes joke that the motto of the magazine should be: "Cook's Illustrated: Taking the Fun out of Cooking Since 1980."


    Yup: I try to watch the show between watching something else and get the nuggets of information. The sad truth is that every food publication puts its recipes through testing, the difference being CI shows you the failures, which can sometimes be really useful information, but more often it isn't. And, yes, I don't think it's geared towards this crowd's tastes, including mine -...


    I dunno, I don't read the magazine regularly*, but count me a fan of Chris Kimball and CI. I always learn at least a little something, and as a person who once spent 10 full hours in search of the perfect cherry tomato, who made gnocchi 25 times before I thought I got it right, and who forced his wife to eat no fewer than 5 virtually identical batches of mac and cheese before entering a "smackdown," I'd say the CI style is geared toward at least one LTHer's tastes.



    *maybe that's why it doesn't bother me
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

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  • Post #24 - October 5th, 2009, 5:49 pm
    Post #24 - October 5th, 2009, 5:49 pm Post #24 - October 5th, 2009, 5:49 pm
    Matt wrote:...I'm generally a fan, but my wife and I sometimes joke that the motto of the magazine should be: "Cook's Illustrated: Taking the Fun out of Cooking Since 1980."
    I always joked that it should be "Cook's Illustrated: Putting Two Sticks of Butter in Every Recipe" - where they methodically test every recipe, adding more butter and cream until it finally meets Kimball's exacting standards of rich, creamy, heart-stopping blandness.

    I subscribe, but I'm not exactly sure why. I enjoy reading them, I suppose - though Kimball's introduction letters alway strike me as the mildly incoherent ramblings of William S. Burroughs had he lived in New England and liked to cook.

    -Dan
  • Post #25 - October 5th, 2009, 6:16 pm
    Post #25 - October 5th, 2009, 6:16 pm Post #25 - October 5th, 2009, 6:16 pm
    Perhaps it will come back like Eating Well did. Once you get robust subscribers, look at Cook's Illustrated's model, it could happen. Too bad Conde didn't think of scaling back to quarterly instead, but I'm sure they crunched the numbers.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #26 - October 5th, 2009, 6:34 pm
    Post #26 - October 5th, 2009, 6:34 pm Post #26 - October 5th, 2009, 6:34 pm
    While I have missed the Gourmet with which I grew up (I know, things change), I still had a fondness for the idea of Gourmet magazine. We got it for all the years I was growing up, and I loved going through it every month, me trying some of the recipes, mom trying others. I haven't subscribed for a few years, more because I decided to clear magazines out of my life for a while so I could read more books than because of any thoughts on how Gourmet had changed from my idealized memory, but I'm still very sorry to see it go. It's Gourmet, after all. It's kind of like when Julia Child died.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

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  • Post #27 - October 5th, 2009, 10:20 pm
    Post #27 - October 5th, 2009, 10:20 pm Post #27 - October 5th, 2009, 10:20 pm
    BR wrote:But let's face it. The entire print industry is in shambles. Newspapers and magazines have been going out of business one after the other. Circulation has been declining for years (particularly among newspapers), which has translated to less revenue from publication sales and declining ad revenue (why spend as much in advertising if circulation is cut by more than 50%). Younger people largely turn to the internet and the print industry has yet to learn how to turn this internet traffic into significant revenue - a major challenge indeed. The recent economic downturn has exacerbated the problem as companies have further cut back on advertising spending. Unfortunately, Gourmet will not be the only food magazine casualty of the recession and I fear which one(s) might be next. Sad times indeed.


    Five years ago in a WSJ editorial, one of the Arkansas newspaper publishers predicted that MOST US newspapers would be in bankruptcy within five years. He claimed that the newspapers with web access would see their subscriptions decline big time.

    Personally, I am really tired of ALL magazines and have pretty much eliminated all subscriptions. The Readers Digest has cut its content by 50% and replaced it with 75 pages on prescription ads. At least 20% of the Tribune are articles that were published the day before in the LA Times. Any more, most newspaper content is AP content that is readily available on the web hours earlier.

    I used to get Cooking Light until its editors decided to load it up with exercise content. Gourmet and the like has never appealed to me because its advertising really turns me off
  • Post #28 - October 5th, 2009, 11:49 pm
    Post #28 - October 5th, 2009, 11:49 pm Post #28 - October 5th, 2009, 11:49 pm
    I'm sad about Gourmet magazine even though I was not a subscriber recently. I loved the old Gourmet, when it was not that popular. I've been reading it for many many years and have some vintage and well loved copies. I remember reading about Kitzbuhel in Gourmet long before I ever visited there, and loved the combination of travel and food writings. In recent years Gourmet lost its individuality and became more like Bon Appetit which was a shame.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #29 - October 6th, 2009, 3:00 am
    Post #29 - October 6th, 2009, 3:00 am Post #29 - October 6th, 2009, 3:00 am
    rickster wrote:I wonder why they didn't try to sell it? Or maybe they did and there were no takers.

    I'd hazard that Condé Nast realizes that Gourmet is still a (relatively) strong brand with a lot of historical assets, and they can probably figure out some way to make money off of those things in the future, whether or not it's as a monthly printed magazine.
    Joe G.

    "Whatever may be wrong with the world, at least it has some good things to eat." -- Cowboy Jack Clement
  • Post #30 - October 6th, 2009, 4:55 am
    Post #30 - October 6th, 2009, 4:55 am Post #30 - October 6th, 2009, 4:55 am
    Matt wrote:I'm generally a fan, but my wife and I sometimes joke that the motto of the magazine should be: "Cook's Illustrated: Taking the Fun out of Cooking Since 1980."


    LOL.

    I know what you mean. I like their systematic approach to finding the best way to meet their criteria for some dish (though I don't always agree with their criteria) ... but it seems like half the time they add 10 extra steps for very minor benefits.

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