Condé Nast closes Gourmet magazine after 70 years

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After an evaluation of weaker titles, publishing giant, Condé Nast, home to Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker, announced the end of the respected 70-year-old food magazine, Gourmet, in an effort to consolidate its roster of US publications. It came as a surprise in the publishing business and with readers.

Despite its star editor, Ruth Reichl, former New York Times food critic and author of bestselling culinary memoirs, the economic climate and an overlap in readership led to Gourmet folding.

Gourmet was crushed in the recession by losing 46 percent of its ad revenue in the first six months of 2009, compared to Bon Appétit's 35 percent decline. The other of Conde Nast's two epicurean titles, Bon Appétit, has survived the ax.

Also shut down were two wedding magazines, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride though the decision keeps Bride magazine alive. Also parenting publication Cookie will stop appearing too. Domino, a shelter magazine, was shuttered earlier this year, along with Portfolio, which isn't surprising for an investment and business publication.

According to, a periodical database, 383 titles in North America have or will be shuttered soon. Another 64 switched from print to online-only this year.

In 2008, 613 titles folded and in 2007, 643 magazines closed. The worst year in the industry, however, was apparently 2001, with a loss of 38 percent of the publications.

Part of the publishing business woes with declining readership and ad revenue, some of the magazines closing were due to competition with similar titles and could indicate it's a clearing out of a magazine glut. Depends on how many new publications will be in print.