Gourmet, Gourmet, gone

Conde Nast is in a peck o’ trouble. The publishing giant shuttered four titles, including the 60+-year-old Gourmet. Reports say they’ve lost about $1 billion-with-a-B.

From Newsweek.com (Oct. 8):

The grim analysis, based on data from the Publishers Information Bureau, provides the starkest rationale yet for Condé Nast’s decision to shutter titles and lay off nearly 200 people this week. The closures are only part of the company’s effort to trim perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars of expenses, likely to include more layoffs on top of those caused by the closures. Under corporate edict to slash budgets by 25 percent, each of the surviving 20 titles must comply by early November, according to a senior Condé Nast insider who wouldn’t be identified discussing internal matters. Condé Nast’s titles include Architectural Digest, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, GQ, Vogue, and Wired.

The sharp cost-cutting comes at the urging of McKinsey & Co. whose consultants spent weeks prowling the company’s glass-skinned office tower in midtown Manhattan, renowned for its Frank O. Gehry-designed 260-seat cafeteria. When the bloodletting is completed, it will have transformed a publishing culture of lavish spending so ingrained that only now, nearly two years into a deep recession, is Condé Nast seriously bowing to what for many in the industry is an existential reality.

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  • A reluctant welcome

    It’s no secret what’s going on the field of print journalism. It’s going into the crapper. I wonder if Mr. Internet realized this would happen when he invented the World Wide Web. Regardless, the situation is here and we’re stuck with it. The purpose of this blog is to blow off a little steam, and I invite my fellow ink-stained wretches to join in with their own tales of woe or triumph. Maybe this will turn into a nice little support network. Questions? Suggestions? E-mail me at worriedjournalist(at) gmail(dot)com.
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