Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Feigning Sadness

So Gourmet is shutting down its test kitchens, recalling its correspondents and stopping the now-digital presses. Hundreds of thousands of foodies around the epicurean capitals are throwing themselves to the ground, donning sackcloth and ash to pontificate on the meaning of food journalism in the wake of this tragedy for which the same foodies are directly responsible.

This ad still pops up when you leave the wonderful Epicurious website (owned by the same folks who just shuttered Gourmet in case you didn’t know). It asks us free-riding foodies to put down just $1 an issue for two great food mags. But clearly we didn’t do that. Closing the magazine, firing its unmatched staff and saving some trees is about revenue.

So all of the digital shiva calls, the what I am sure will be many late night tweets maligning the decline of culture as we know it, and email recipe exchanges in honor of Ruth Reichl are just for show. If you were a subscriber to the magazine over the last two years, which I doubt considering that its year-to-date ad pages were down nearly 50%, you are entitled to your piety party. But the rest of us, we deserve this and were the only people who could have stopped it.

Good bye Gourmet, I will miss the pop-up ad when I close Epicurious the most.


Larry Kaufman said...

I've been in the PR business long enough not to believe everything I read in the media, especially what they say about themselves -- but I think we can believe that the demise of Gourmet had more to do with the loss of 8000 ad pages than with the failure of 8000 foodies to step up to the plate and subscribe. So you don't have to blame yourself for not supporting Conde Nast adequately -- but for not sufficiently supporting Ritz Carlton and Qantas and the Cayman Islands Tourism Bureau, so they'd pony up for those expensive 4-color pages.

dcc said...

Yeah but the ads are based on circulation...high circ, higher ad revenue.