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LA Times: Gourmet Died Because It Did Too Much

Nearly a month after the big news, Russ Parsons of the Los Angeles Times files a thoughtful post-mortem on Gourmet's passing in which he wonders where the magazine's death leaves the state of print media. In addition to squashing (or trying to squash)) the two popular theories for Gourmet's death—that it was too elitist and that print is dead—by pointing out that its circulation was "far-from-pitiful," Parsons makes the compelling point that the demise of Gourmet signals a shift in magazines to the end of the general interest magazine, which is something that has been happening in television for some time now.

Using the comparison of "trying to be a department store in what has become a specialty-store publishing world," Gourmet was too broad:

In looking through the Thanksgiving issues of the various food periodicals now on the newsstands, it becomes clear that more and more magazine publishing is about what broadcasters call narrowcasting -- focusing on serving the needs of a small but enthusiastic audience. In the end, Gourmet may have been done in by trying to do too much, rather than too little.
While the competition (Bon Ap, F&W and the rest) each found itself a niche, Gourmet was at once everywhere and neither here nor there. And in changing times, that wasn't good enough.
· Apres Gourmet: Food magazines find their niches [LAT]
· Complete Gourmet Coverage [~EN~]