Talk to people who write about food, and they’ll tell you that Saveur was a magazine that inspired them to do it, or got them to think about it in different kinds of ways. But the magazine will no longer be published in print, ending a 27-year run.
In October, Saveur was sold by its owner Bonnier Corp to North Equity, a private-equity firm that, the New York Post notes, has bought other struggling publications and turned them into online-only platforms. The magazine has faded in recent years, cutting back on print issues and experiencing significant layoffs, including its then-editor-in-chief Adam Sachs in January 2018. In the three years since, the magazine has had three editors-in-chief, the latest appointed after the sale.
Newspapers and especially local papers around the country have been gutted by hedge funds and private equity, which have been blamed in part for the further decline of local journalism. (A Vanity Fair headline from 2020 reads “The Hedge Fund Vampire That Bleeds Newspapers Dry Now Has the Chicago Tribune By the Throat.” A New Republic headline from 2018 states simply, “Finance Is Killing the News.”)
If you knew people at Saveur, you heard rumors about how the magazine was being managed by its overlords. Founder S. Christopher Meigher blamed owners in an interview with the Post, saying, “the magazine has been diluted in quality and image by subsequent owners” and called the move away from print “unnecessary as it is unwarranted.”
Saveur’s “demise in print,” as Meigher put it to the Post, is happening at a time of some transition in food media, including the rise of more independent magazines like Whetstone and a boom in newsletters bringing in different voices and perspectives not always given space. Whetstone has been publishing some of the most interesting food journalism in recent years (read, well, anything on the website), and in a tweet, co-founder Stephen Satterfield noted Saveur’s influence: