Gourmet on Media Endangered List

Posted by R.K. Gella

Print media has endured the rapid change in landscape with resilience comparable to the Short-tailed Albatross: sadly the oceanic aviator tops the endangered species list.

A listing of “12 Major Media Brands Likely To Close In 2009” was posted on the 24/7 Wall St. website today.  Among those in critical condition was Gourmet magazine.

Conde Nast Publications, reportedly suffering ad page declines reaching 20% with a sharper decrease in circulation expected throughout the year, is projected to close Gourmet magazine by the end of this year.

Gourmet will probably not see the end of the year. Its parent company, Conde Nast, can no longer rely on the huge profits of the newspaper portion of the Newhouse family business. The magazine operation needs to go on a diet.  Conde Nast reaches the “food” market several ways. It owns Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and epicurious.com.  Conde Nast simply owns too many titles in this category.  From 2004 to 2008, Gourmet’s ad pages have dropped from 1,364 to 955, with a 24% drop last year.  January’s ad pages were down another 32% according to MIN. Gourmet can survive since it has a competitive audience of web visitors to its food site, but it will have to migrate totally to its website.

The food-centric magazine was first published in 1941.  Presently, the future of Bon Appetit magazine, Gourmet’s sister publication, doesn’t appear to be as dismal.

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