Conde Nast closes icon

Gournet: toastGourmet: toast

The recession claims another scalp, Gourmet magazine, an icon in magazine publishing.

Founded in 1941 Gourmet is to food what Vogue is to fashion.

Condé Nast is also closing Modern Bride, Elegant Bride and parenting magazine Cookie.

The closure of Gourmet, with the November edition, is in stark contrast to the growth of Bon Appetit, a down market title.  Says the New York Times:

In choosing Bon Appétit over Gourmet, Condé Nast reflected a bigger shift both inside and outside the company: influence, and spending power, now lies with the middle class.

Advertising support for luxurious magazines like Gourmet has dwindled, while grocery store advertisers have continued to buy pages at more accessible, celebrity-driven magazines like Every Day With Rachael Ray, which specializes in 30-minute meals, and Food Network Magazine.

It was an unexpected decision from Condé Nast, which said it closed the magazine because it was losing too much money.

“In the economics of the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s, this would be a business decision balanced by the cultural reticence to part with iconic brands,” Charles H. Townsend, Condé Nast’s chief executive, said in an interview. “This economy is a completely different bag.”

With the decline in luxury advertising, the company lost about 8,000 ad pages through the October issues, compared with the same period in 2008, according to Media Industry Newsletter.

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