Conde Nast has decided to cease publication of the classic food magazine Gourmet. Today's front page story in the New York Times pointed out that this decision had something to do with financial problems at Conde Nast, something to do with the magazine's advertising base of hard-hit luxury product manufacturers, and much to do with a cultural change in how Americans are approaching food:
The death of Gourmet doesn’t mean people are cooking less or do not want food magazines, said Suzanne M. Grimes, who oversees Every Day With Rachael Ray, among other brands, for the Reader’s Digest Association.
“Cooking is getting more democratic,” she said. “Food has become an emotional currency, not an aspiration.”
It has also become democratized via the chatty ubiquity of Ms. Ray and the Food Network stars. Ms. Reichl is a celebrity in the food world, but of an elite type. She “is one of those icons in chief,” said George Janson, managing partner at GroupM Print, part of the advertising company WPP. But what harried cooks want now, it seems, is less a distant idol and more a pal.