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Gourmet Magazine RIP

 
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:05 pm    Post subject: Gourmet Magazine RIP Reply with quote

A moment of silence, please, for the passing (by the end of this year, they say) of Gourmet Magazine, after a long run of 70 years.

As a longtime subscriber, I'm stunned and will miss its arrival each month. Apparently, a million subscribers didn't balance out falling advertising revenue and rising costs.

Rats.
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

georgia..ya never know...enough folk missed 'Victoria' mag..'n that was brought back..

do the hope dance..

change can sometimes suck!
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Georgia, it was the first cooking magazine I subscribed to, though I dropped it a few years ago. There was just too much else to give attention to (including C&Z!) According to this

http://www.mediaite.com/online/mckinsey-bell-tolls-conde-to-shut-gourmet-cookie-modern-bride/

it will live on, but not as a glossy gift in your mailbox each month.
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melinda



Joined: 01 Oct 2004
Posts: 256
Location: Richmond, VA, usa

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i was surprised that saveur survived and not Gourmet....I had cancelled Saveur a while back since I never used any of the recipes, although the slick photos were nice to look at.....and they did articles on more far flung places...but it was/is an expensive mag......

My mom must have been one of the early subscribers to Gourmet....I remember it from way back & had issues myself that accumulated for decades (just gave em away....prob be collectors items now....missed my chance at big bucks) sorry to see it go...am sure Ruth R will land on her feet tho
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was very sorry to read of Gourmet Magazine's impending demise.

Every time I visited the US, I bought the current copy of Gourmet, and still have them. It's like a food diary of my trips to the US.
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved Gourmet until several years ago, coincinding with Ruth Reichl's takeover as an editor. Personally, I think her conception of Gourmet is a primary factor in it's failure. She took out most of the travel articles, she changed the Typo , which at least for me, became very difficult to read: small letters, bizarre coloring ( grey on black, yellow on white etc). Most of the magazine was advertising articles which actually seemed first as real articles- not very honest in my opinion. I had the feeling it's a magazine for people who had no time to read. But in fact, I believe most of Gourmet's loyals were 40 something, and the younger generation had no interest whatsoever in cooking magazines, as most of the information on restaurants (and food, and recipes) could be reached from the internet. So I ended my subscription about two years ago.
Sometimes, one does not have to change a "winning horse" - too much "modernization", was one of the killers of this beautiful magazine.

No more war, let Gourmet Rest in Peace.
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say you're pretty close to summing up the reasons folks stopped reading Gourmet, Simona.

But its failure goes a little deeper.

When there are two magazines dominent in a field, and the same Publisher buys them both, there is a leveling effect. Because of production efficiencies, advertising sales (i.e., bundling) and other factors, the magazines start looking like each other.

This wouldn't be too bad if the high quality was maintained. Unfortunately that was not the case. Both Gourment and Bon Appetite have suffered a major dumbing down. Either one of them could easily have been renamed Rachael Ray's Other Magazine and the insides would have reflected that.

Unfortunately, Conde Nast made one fatal error. If you disenfranchise you readership without having first captured the new demographic you're looking for, then, in a phrase, you lose. And that's what happens. The market Conde Nast seemed to be aiming at was owned by The Food Network and its individual stars.

Net result. Gourmet's advertising revenues were down 46% in the first quarter of this year alone. Bon Appetite's were down 26%, btw, itself a heavy hit and, if the trend continues, I think we'll see that one folded too.

Symptomatic is the fact Gourmet was folded instead of being put on the block. Could it be Conde Nast is afraid its image would suffer if another publisher made a go of it where they couldn't?
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't know that Gourmet was folding. I subscribed for a while, and then bought it frequently in the grocery store checkout. I didn't actually make most of the recipes. Although I am not a low fat cook, the majority of the recipes seemed too high fat to me. Also, the travel articles were too upscale for me. I can't afford to stay in lavish resorts or to eat $100 restaurant meals. I also don't have fine china to make the types of table arrangements featured in Gourmet's photo spreads. Still, I am really sad to see Gourmet go. I liked its old-fashioned air, and I liked the inaccessible photos. I also liked the fact that Gourmet was inexpensive to buy, despite its upscale nature.

I don't know if there are any really interesting food magazines left in the U.S. I used to like Eating Well (which, by the way, rose up from the dead) and still like its nutritional information, but its "everyday weekday" recipes are almost at a "combine a can of this and a squirt of that" level that I find really unappealing-- even to think about cooking without actually doing it level I often use with cooking magazines. Saveur is too disgusting to read. Period. I have gotten it in airports a couple of times and there is nothing to read and no real recipes. Bon Appetit just doesn't make it for me, although I like the January issue where they have the 50 or so favorites. Cooks Illustrated has a fun cooking show on public TV but the articles are too pedantic, and assume that there is one perfect way to make every food which I don't care for. I always put my own personal twist on recipes. I guess the internet is what is left to us. Too bad! I like subscribing to magazines because it means getting a present in my mailbox monthly. I don't care if I have paid for the magazine. It feels like a present in with all of the junk mail and bills. I had just intended to re-subscribe to Gourmet this month, because I feel that I need a gift to myself.

Dory
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way you describe it, Dory, is the way Gourmet was before they dumbed it down with 30 minute meal type recipes and quick-fix dishes.

I personally discovered the magazine in the early 1960s. That was the height of cooking out of cans and boxes (you know, a can of cream of mushroom soup substituting for a real sauce), and it was both a revelation and breath of fresh air to me. I dreamed about the trips, reveled in the experiences of the columnists (anyone besides me remember Leslie Charteris' column?), and struggled through many of the recipes when ingredients were all but impossible to find, and I didn't have the proper cookware anyway.

The things you find fault with are precisely the niche the magazine filled for about 60 of it's 70 year run.

The sad thing is that Gourmet should have been the darling of the foodie revolution. But by the time that movement hit, the magazine already was on it's downward slide.
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taking everything everyone has to say into account...I'll still miss it. I'll miss the recipes and the photos and the more-than-infrequent fine writing. I rather like Ruth Reichl; I'm sure she'll survive just fine. I was still able to find a recipe or two in each issue that I vowed to try, whether I actually did or not. The cover of the most recent issue was fabulous: the loveliest caramel apple you'll ever see, and when I read that it was a red wine caramel, that was even better. I'll miss the November (Thanksgiving) and December (Chanukah/Christmas) issues even though I make my turkey the same way every year, and my Christmas cookie selection hasn't changed in 40 years.

I think the Food Network stinks. I never watch any of it. Anything that was ever any good there is long gone, and my local PBS stations carry fewer and fewer cooking shows that I wish to spend any time on. Truth be told, lots of my favorites are retired, out of fashion, or dead.

The economy has changed a lot in the cooking world at all levels. Speaking only for myself, I just hate letting go of another food icon publication that may have seen better days but was still pretty damned good.

Sorry. I'm a bit cranky. Feel like I lost a friend. Crying or Very sad
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

georgia, here are two Ruth quotes ~ they might lift your spirit Wink

Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.

Anyone who thinks they're too grown up or too sophisticated to eat caramel corn, is not invited to my house for dinner.

There now, feeling a wee bit better?

cyberhug
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, my dear.

Oddly enough, they do help.

A wee bit.
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually I was not finding faults with Gourmet. Although I cannot afford their type of travel, and the dishes are high calorie, I really enjoyed the fantasy of that kind of lifestyle. I was a regular reader. I am probably going to write to Conde Nast to protest their decision.

Dory
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sherri



Joined: 20 Oct 2009
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gourmet was one of my favourite magazines too. I live in australia so collected them for years from the local library because the newsagents didn't carry them.

Some excellent articles and I particularly liked the travel writing. I perferred reading gourmet to any actual travel magazine.
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