Publisher Cuts 'Gourmet' Magazine
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
The publishing giant Conde Nast has decided to shut down four of its magazines. It's not that the magazines were a bad read but the accounting books apparently were a terrible read. Most notable among them is the monthly Gourmet magazine.
NPR's David Folkenflik reports.
DAVID FOLKENFLIK: Gourmet magazine is led by the culinary critic Ruth Reichl. It's been filled with recipes and luscious photographs and is beloved by upscale foodies both creative and finicky, but apparently not enough of them. Its advertising revenues for the first six months of the year fell by more than 40 percent against last year. Elegant Bride, Modern Bride and Cookie, a lifestyle publication for mothers of young children, are also to be closed after suffering significant revenue losses.
Conde Nast also puts out The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and GQ. It is part of the Newhouse family's media empire. The Newhouses are known for their largesse and pride toward the publications, and many of their editors have themselves become celebrities, such as Vanity Fair's Graydon Carter and the fashion arbiter of Vogue, Anna Wintour, who's inspired a documentary, a novel and a movie.
The recession, therefore, came as a shock to the system at Conde Nast. Most of the magazines that survived were forced to make cuts. Conde Nast hopes to hold on to readers as it still publishes Bride magazine and the foodie Bon Appétit. The gourmet name will live on through a new television series and the company's successful Epicurious Web site, which draws 4.5 million unique visitors each month.
Not all publishing news is bleak. The smaller rival Saveur magazine has seen a rise of nearly 20 percent in ad sales in the same period.
David Folkenflik, NPR News, New York.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.