Brookline-based magazine Cook’s Illustrated is making money “hand over fist” despite the overall downward trend for print publications, reports the Globe in a lengthy profile of founder and editor Christopher Kimball. Unlike most magazines, Cook’s Illustrated makes all its money from readers, not advertisers. Subscription charges are high ($24.95 for a one-year subscription), but the renewal rate is an astronomical 78 percent, compared to 35 to 40 percent for most magazines.
Readers keep coming back because they trust the magazine: every recipe is tested time after time in America’s Test Kitchen to ensure that it’s “bulletproof.” The magazine is a reflection of Kimball’s own relentless perfectionism and quintessentially New England belief that there’s a right and wrong way to do everything. Cook’s Illustrated is, of course, only one of several major cooking instruction innovations to come out of the greater Boston area. Fannie Farmer’s best known cookbook The Boston Cooking School Cookbook was published in the city in 1918, and 1963 saw the debut of Julia Child’s The French Chef on Boston’s own WGBH.
Perfection, Inc. [Globe]