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OCTOBER 5, 2009, 10:04 AM
CondÃ© Nast to Close Gourmet, Cookie and Modern Bride
By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD
CondÃ© Nast will close Gourmet magazine, a magazine of almost biblical status in the food world, it was announced on Monday. Gourmet has been published since January 1941. Also being shut down are the CondÃ© Nast magazines Cookie, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride, according to an internal company memo that also was sent to reporters on Monday.
Gourmet magazine has been published since 1941.
The magazine has suffered a severe decline in ad pages, but the cut still comes as a shock. There was speculation that CondÃ© Nast would close one of its food titles â Gourmet or Bon AppÃ©tit â but most bets were on the latter. Gourmet has a richer history than Bon AppÃ©tit, and its editor, Ruth Reichl, is powerful in the food world.
Cookie is a relatively new introduction, started in 2005, while the bridal magazines were seen as offshoots of the bigger Brides magazine, which CondÃ© Nast also owns.
The cuts come at the conclusion of a three-month study by McKinsey & Company, which conducted analysis of CondÃ© Nastâs costs, and told several magazines to cut about 25 percent from their budgets. These are the first closings announced by the company since the McKinsey study.
The moves are significant for the publisher. It has never been quick to close titles, and in the last year or so has closed only newer titles, CondÃ© Nast Portfolio and Domino, along with folding Menâs Vogue into Vogue.
CondÃ© Nast tends to hold tight to its prestigious titles, making the Gourmet closing all the more startling. In an interview in February, even Paul Jowdy, publisher of the in-house rival Bon AppÃ©tit, said that such a closing was unlikely. (To be fair to Mr. Jowdy, the economy has plummeted, and CondÃ© Nast has been hit particularly hard since then. Its magazines have lost more than 8,000 ad pages, excluding its bridal titles, so far this year.)
âThey would never do that,â Mr. Jowdy said in February. âTheyâre both very important magazines in the culinary world, and theyâre very different magazines, and theyâre both very healthy. So thereâs all these rumors that are just ridiculous. I try not to pay attention to them, but you have to know â if you think of two of the most prestigious, credible, trusted magazines in the industry, youâre going to say Bon AppÃ©tit and Gourmet.â
CondÃ© Nast to Close Gourmet, Cookie and Modern Bride - Media Decoder Blog - NYTimes.com
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