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August 10, 2009

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Paul Riddell

That reminds me: keep an eye on gardening and hobby farming magazines, too. I've been noting that the pressure to keep subscribers is getting pretty intense (Taunton's Fine Gardening just offered me a deal to give two free subscriptions to friends and family if I renew mine, and I expect that Horticulture will start throwing out free gold bars to get people to look at it on the newsstand), and it's only nuttier with Organic Gardening and Mother Earth News. The gardening field is moving away from the pretentious ornamentals and more toward urban gardening and sustainable living, and Taunton's is trying to respond. Combine this with spotty customer service (Backyard Gardening went under probably because changing a subscription was much like trying to screw fog, and Horticulture's customer service department is apparently staffed with bottom-of-the-barrel English majors too rude and arrogant to remain employed at Borders), and you could be looking at a serious shakedown and slaughter in that genre in another few months.

Bart

Why is Ruth Reichel doing a TV show on PBS? Waste of time, waste of money.

Blake's Baby

So Reaper, I assume you've heard the latest:

Conde Nast to Close Gourmet, Cookie, Modern Bride
By Stephanie Clifford, NYTimes

Conde Nast plans to announce this morning that it will close Gourmet magazine, a magazine of almost biblical status in the food world; it has been published since December 1940.

The magazine has suffered a severe decline in ad pages, but the cut still comes as a shock. There was speculation that Conde Nast would close one of its food titles — Gourmet or Bon Appetit — but most bets were on the latter. Gourmet has a richer history than Bon Appetit, and its editor Ruth Reichl is powerful in the food world.

In addition to Gourmet, Conde Nast plans to announce this morning it will also close Cookie, Modern Bride, and Elegant Bride. Parenting magazine Cookie is a relatively new introduction, started in 2005, while the bridal magazines were seen as offshoots of the bigger Brides, which Conde Nast also owns.

The cuts come at the conclusion of a three-month study by McKinsey & Co., which conducted analysis of Conde Nast’s costs, and told several magazines to cut about 25 percent from their budgets. These are the first closures announced by the company since the McKinsey study.

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