‘Tis a strange day in the world of food. Gourmet Magazine, that bastion of good taste and even better food styling, will release its very last issue this November. Condé Nast is blaming the shut-down on lack of advertising revenue, which shouldn’t be all that surprising given the state of things, but it’s shocking nonetheless. Well, I’m not going to lie, I was slated to be Editress in Chief one day and you better believe I would have brought the publication to shimmering heights of deliciousness. Alas, I will apply the shimmers elsewhere.
So the blogosphere is all atwitter and Twitter is all ablog (that’s like agog) over the news. Not to mention the print pubs — no doubt shaking in their ink-stained boots. Basically, everyone is being overwhelmingly dramatic about it all, and it makes for wonderful reading, as displayed in this Washington Post reportage. A few of my favorite bits:
The opener: “The epicurean elite and the chef wannabes plunged into communal grief Monday at the news that 68-year-old Gourmet magazine was toast.” Obviously I’m not the only one who can’t resist a bad pun. Meanwhile, ouch. Way to alienate your readership, Posty. I’m sure that’ll help your flagging subscription rates. Epicurean elite. Sheesh.
On the reason to close the mag: “This summer, the company retained McKinsey & Co., a managing consulting firm, to help identify which titles were expendable.” Really, McKinsey? Not Golf World or Golf Digest instead? Really? I’m sorry, that’s terribly closed minded of me. Golf really is much better than food.
Anthony Bourdain says: “It’s the center of gravity, a major planet that’s just disappearing.” Goshdurnit, I was going to move to Planet Gourmet when armageddon came!
And one more stab at the readership: “The other magazines to be closed are Modern Bride, which gave advice on everything from gowns to table napkins; Elegant Bride, for upscale brides-to-be; and Cookie, a parenting magazine for yuppies.” I can overlook the yuppie thing but do not appreciate the flippancy in regard to table napkins.
Anyway, I know I’m sounding terribly cynical, but it really is a sad day. I, too, saved all my Gourmets and until recently had a dozen of the most delectable covers framed and hanging on my living room wall. But, I also believe that some grand opening must come from this grand closing, and that’s pretty exciting. So while I shed a few tears (on the inside) for Gourmet and Domino–boo, boo–and the many more closures to come, I’m feeling hopeful for the next wave of journalism. Whatever the heck it is. In the meantime, there’s always Gourmet online… and gourmet in my tummy.