Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Wed, 10/07/2009 - 10:05.

Condé Nast Publications announced yesterday that they would cease monthly publication of Gourmet Magazine.  Gourmet began in 1941, though Conde Nast only owned it since the 80s. A friend of mine called it the fall of the Western world a few years ago when he heard that University School planned to stop offering French -- for me, the death of Gourmet Magazine is a similarly bleak omen for America.

Gourmet had it all. It was about so much more than food. In any issue you could learn about history, culture, geography, health and current trends. And the wonderful photography! -- only National Geographic could compare. Gourmet Magazine was creative, compelling and classy. Ruth Reichl, Editor in Chief for the past ten years, deserves high praise, she managd to produce a masterpiece in a time when so many other magazine seem to fall flat.

Gourmet is the magazine I have probably read most often and most thoroughly in the past five years. Other magazines have failed to hold my interest consistently though I frequently read Time, The Economist, Antiques, The New Yorker, Art in America, Art at Auction, Vogue, W, Architectural Digest, Southern Living,Martha Stewart Living and the local museum publications.

I have the back issues, the books and there is always the recipes on Epicurious, but it just won't be the same.





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Fans of Gourmet Magazine Accept No Stand-Ins

Interesting article in the NY Times today about changes in the food magazine industry since Gourmet closed - their high-end fans did not stay with Newhouse or go to other "comparable" magazines... they went on-line. At the same time, cable-TV based food magazines appear to be the rage, reflecting changes in our American culture... Food Network Magazine is now #1.

RIP Gourmet is right....

Fans of Gourmet Magazine Accept No Stand-Ins

Though Gourmet was not thick with ad pages, its advertisers were expected to jump to competing high-end food magazines, like Food & Wine, Saveur and Bon Appétit.

Half a year after Gourmet’s final issue, in November, the Gourmet readership and ad base seem to have largely vanished. And as the high-end magazines fight over the leftovers of Gourmet, it’s the mass food magazines that seem to be feasting.

“I don’t think the closing of Gourmet has significantly caused the increase of dollars to other titles,” Robin Steinberg, senior vice president and director for print investment and activation at MediaVest Worldwide, said via e-mail. “In addition, they are all competing with dollars being allocated to online epicurean Web sites and soon-to-be iPhone and iPad applications.”

Disrupt IT

Preservation of our culture--LOC at CPL

It's hard to mourn a magazine. I always felt that Gourmet was too out of touch with an American audience.  I am amazed that Town and Country survives. But, both publications provide a snap shot of our culture and class issues for a particular time. 


Libraries must make agonizing decisions regarding serials/magazine subscriptions and what to collect, store and preserve. Black and white publications with minimal illustrations are relegated to microfilm. Color publications are bound.  If a publication is subject to vandalism (cooking magazines are highly susceptible), then the publication is bound and microfilmed for safekeeping. 

The recent state budget cuts have forced severe cost cutting measures.  Serials and subscription budgets to libraries are on the chopping block.  This is a time to discuss shared print repositories and collaborative preservation efforts--a good time to revisit a better future for the Breuer building.

Mark Dimunation, Chief of Rare Book and Special Collections for the Library of Congress will speak on Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. in the Cleveland Public Library Auditorium, Louis Stokes Wing, 325 Superior Avenue.

I hope that this event draws a large crowd.