Gourmet, the nation's oldest food magazine, will be no more, publishing its last issue in November, Conde Nast said today.
The publisher is also putting an end to Modern Bride, Elegant Bride and Cookie, a parenting magazine. All are casualties of the economy and the collapse of advertising that has affected the entire publishing industry.
Gourmet was started in 1941, not exactly an auspicious year to start a magazine considering the Great Depression still hadn't ended and World War II was about to start. It survived the war and all the economic downturns since then but like many a publication had trouble coping with the Internet and changing consumer behavior.
An excerpt from an NPR.org story:
"We're all stunned, sad," Gourmet's editor, Ruth Reichl, posted on Twitter.
Conde Nast had no comment. But in a memo to staff on Monday, Conde Nast CEO Charles Townsend said the closures were required "to navigate the company through the economic downturn and to position us to take advantage of coming opportunities."
The decision comes at the end of a three-month study by consultants from McKinsey & Co. on ways Conde Nast can reduce costs. Gourmet's ad pages were down 50 percent in the second quarter from the same period last year, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Gourmet had a circulation of 980,000 last year.
All Things Considered also has a piece on the end of Gourmet, featuring Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of public radio's The Splendid Table.