Condé Nast will announce this morning that it plans to close Gourmet, which has been published since 1940. This isn’t exactly the “shock” that Media Decoder describes, since it had long been known that the magazine, currently edited by Ruth Reichl, was in trouble. (Just last month Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan promised to eat his shoe if Gourmet and Bon Appetit survived Condé Nast’s recent belt-tightening.) It even poked fun at itself via a viral video. As the Times pointed out in March, the magazine’s recent efforts to appeal to budget-minded cooks hadn’t stopped a decline in advertising (it lost a quarter of its ad pages in 2008, and that only worsened in 2009). Nevertheless, Condé Nast president Charles Townsend told the Times that Gourmet and Bon Appetit were “circulation powerhouses” (according to Gawker, Gourmet has a circulation of 950,000 versus Bon App’s 1.3 million) and that he was happy with both of them. But the gig is up, and it’s sad news, to say the least.
Update: Gawker has a copy of the in-house memo from Chuck Townsend: “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.”