Monday, October 5, 2009

Gourmet Magazine to Close at Year’s End

Today, true tragedy strikes both print media and food lovers everywhere - the end of 2009 will lighten coffee tables across America as publication of Gourmet magazine ends.  Almost 70 years after its creation in 1941, a decline in circulation and magazine advertising has been cited for the magazine’s closing. Condé Nast will instead focus its efforts on Bon Appétit, although Gourmet recipes will still appear on  As part of a company-wide review of Condé Nast’s magazines, parenting magazine Cookie will also close, along with wedding magazines Elegant Bride and Modern Bride.

The closing of Gourmet magazine comes as a great disappointment (although, sadly, less of a shock) to Little Scarlet. Gourmet could always be counted on for accessible, yet impressively elegant, meals and was a wonderful resource for entertaining. Through its expert prose, accomplished home cooks were able to elevate making dinner into a kind of craftsmanship, and beautifully photographed holiday spreads inspired both beginners and unsuccessful veterans to enter the kitchen and try to turn out a masterpiece.

It’s hard not to hear the death-rattle of print media with the fall of this once-great giant, and I’m sure the rest of the food-loving community - chefs, writers, home cooks, and eaters alike - will join me in raising a glass, and hoping that Bon Appétit will meet with greater success.

The full internal Condé Nast memo appears after the jump, courtesy of Gawker.

**update** - For a look at Condé Nast's very first issue of Gourmet, click here (from “Serious Eats”).
From: "Townsend, Chuck"
Date: Mon, 5 Oct 2009 10:16:52 -0400
To: Conde Nast Publications-All
Subject: Announcing Changes within Condé Nast

We have now completed an extensive review of our business – an important undertaking given the dramatic changes in the U.S. economy. 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’s success comes from the ability of our publications to attract readers with a wide range of interests, as well as advertisers who value them. But in this economic climate it is important to narrow our focus to titles with the greatest prospects for long-term growth.

As a result of our review, Brides will increase its frequency to monthly to solidify its position as the most important brand in the bridal category, and Modern Bride and Elegant Bride will close.

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.

Finally, Cookie magazine will be discontinued, and resources that had been dedicated to its publishing will be invested elsewhere.

The editorial and business staffs of Modern Bride, Elegant Bride, Gourmet, and Cookie all have earned their magazines large and devoted followings. We have been proud to publish these titles, and we are grateful to the staffs for their hard work and dedication.

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. In the coming weeks, we hope to announce initiatives to develop digital versions of our brands that will make use of new devices and distribution channels.

Condé Nast is now in its 100th year of creating the most respected and iconic brands in the publishing world. These changes will ensure that our unique publishing company will continue in its preeminent position for many years to come.


  1. Sad news. Thank you, Little Scarlet, for your thoughtful commentary - and the news. I heard it here first.

  2. Gadzooks!

    More coverage here: