Publishing giant Condé Nast announced today that it was discontinuing Gourmet magazine, an influential publication that has been published since 1940.
The closure comes as a shock, as Gourmet is a more influential magazine than fellow Condé Nast title Bon Appétit, and Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl is well known and powerful in food and restaurant circles. Condé Nast is also closing Cookie, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride, and in the past year has closed newer titles Condé Nast Portfolio,Domino and Men’s Vogue.
The New York Times reports that the closure of the 69-year-old title came as a shock even to industry insiders such as Bon Appétit publisher Paul Jowdy. The Times spoke with Jowdy in February (conceding that Jowdy was interviewed in far safer economic times) and he then doubted the title would be retired:
“They would never do that,” Mr. Jowdy said in February. “They’re both very important magazines in the culinary world, and they’re very different magazines, and they’re both very healthy. So there’s all these rumors that are just ridiculous. I try not to pay attention to them, but you have to know — if you think of two of the most prestigious, credible, trusted magazines in the industry, you’re going to say Bon Appétit and Gourmet.”