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Death of a food magazine

Au revoir, Gourmet

It’s the ultimate irony that even as the interest in all things culinary has boomed in the United States, Gourmet magazine will die after the November issue, it was announced today.

The problem is that interest in anything printed on paper is low and dwindling rapidly, even when it’s a landmark, classy, evolving 70-year-old publication like Gourmet which had a circulation of 980,000. I can’t say I was totally surprised, having been laid-off as a food writer in February when the Rocky Mountain News was laid to rest.
A few years back a reader called and asked me if I wanted a few back copies of various food magazines. It turned out that “a few” actually meant “several hundred.” When I moved recently I had to recycle all but a few copies of Cuisine and Bon Appetit, but I just couldn’t ditch the Gourmet collection.

The publisher Conde Nast announced that the Gourmet brand will survive on TV, online and in books, but it won’t be the same. Enjoy the existing general interest food magazines while you can. I’ll be surprised if more than one of them exists in five years as a print publication.  Cookbooks are next.

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