By now you’ve probably heard that Conde Nast is shutting down their magazines Gourmet and Cookie, along with three Bridal Magazines.
Gourmet has been around since 1941, enthralling readers with its articles about cooking and travel. As the New York Times puts it, “Gourmet poured money into sumptuous photography, test kitchens and exotic travel pieces, resulting in a beautifully produced magazine that lived, and sold, the high life.”
In the current economic climate, I guess selling the high life isn’t as profitable a business as it used to be. Fewer people can afford to be interested. Bon Appetit, however, which I’ve heard called the “younger, hipper sister” to Gourmet, has been doing better in both readership and ad sales, largely in part to the fact that it focuses more recipes than it does on the lifestyles of the rich and well-traveled.
I always think it’s sad when a magazine folds. Having worked in publishing and seeing how people throw themselves into the creation of a product, I can imagine how sharp the sting must be, especially if you’ve been working on one of the most esteemed publications in its class.
On the flip side of that, I once had an interview at Cookie just as I was about to graduate from college, and boy, am I glad that didn’t work out. Who knows, though? Perhaps even if it had worked out, I might have been laid off by now. I think what’s happening in the publishing industry is really sad. The internet is great, but it’s hardly a substitute for being able to bring a magazine on the bus to pass the time and relax.