Ruth Reichl after Gourmet

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ruth Reichl, former editor-in-chief of Gourmet discusses the magazine’s sudden closing and the future of food magazines.


Ruth Reichl

Comments [20]

Lynn Vezina from Kingston NY

I was so sad to hear the news of Gourmet's sudden "death". I literally went into mourning. My mom always had an issue spread out on the dining room table when I was growing up. It may have been some old issue that she savored but an issue non the less. I am framing my 3 favorite covers to hang on my kitchen wall.

I, however, thought the Gourmet Entertains sections were getting to be very "blue". No pun intended. I looked back over 15 consecutive Gourmet Entertains segments.The spread props were in shades of blue and brown. There was this dark feeling that "shrouded" the section. I even wrote to Gourmet about this observation. Ominious....If the mag ever comes back brighten it up a bit. Leave everything else alone. I refuse to open my free issues of Bon Appetit. Cheesy in comparison. I toss every renewal notice.

I am asking for my money back (an option on the back page of the book)rather then fear that they will try again to push Bon Appetit on me again.

Long live Gourmet!

Jan. 13 2010 10:50 AM
what! from NYC

#15/16 I'm sure it's purely a coincidence that you're touchy about defending someone who shares the same first initial as you, and that you claim to be able to explain his thoughts. I mean, even having listened to the segment by now, I fail to see how "no serious online strategy, no clear advertising strategy ... It deserved to die. Get over it" can be read as the critique on Ruth Reichl's efforts to "reposition herself in the market" that you claim it to be. If it is, your buddy Andrew is as inarticulate as he is philistinic, because that is simply not what he wrote above! Likewise I'm sure it's just a coincidence that you see the world of publishing as a "game" that "was theirs to lose." You must have an MBA to speak that way ... how nice it must be to live in a parallel universe in which everything is like sports, and content is the same as "marbles"! You would do well to understand, though, that when you try to communicate with those of us in the outside world, it just sounds like thunderingly vapid, incoherent noise.

Jan. 13 2010 08:43 AM
Celeste from New York

Boo hoo. Ruth Reichl has done just fine out of this whole thing, after having driven the magazine into the ground. She knew better than anyone what was happening with the finances of the mag and didn't do a thing about controlling costs, etc. They were burning through money thinking they would never be closed. What about all the people on the staff who didn't walk away with huge settlements??? The people who lost their jobs because of her arrogance?

Jan. 13 2010 05:14 AM

[[[1] phyllis January 12, 2010 - 12:07PM I, for one, have had just about enough of Ruth Reichl.]]

I, for one, have a crush on Ruth Reichl and would listen to her read from the phone book.

Jan. 12 2010 06:30 PM

(personally i would prefer that gourmet magazine continued along w its website, but also am somewhat irritated that publishing isn't figuring out ways not to die, given that they started with ALL the content marbles. this game was theirs to lose.)

Jan. 12 2010 04:25 PM

what 13/14 -- i think andrew 11 said that in response to rr putting on her new media visionary hat in the segment you admit you haven't actually listened to. she was using the show to reposition herself in the market, can't blame her and we listened, and andrew 's comment seemed to be his response to what she was sellin.

Jan. 12 2010 04:23 PM
what! from NYC

One more thing: I should have written "... as Gourmet's website does" because I just checked and it looks like all the content is still there, for now at least. And it is very much worth browsing before the Andrews of the world put it down in favor of generic, slavering Twitter-y bits and pieces!

Jan. 12 2010 02:56 PM
what! from NYC

I missed today's show and haven't even listened to this segment yet but here I am leaving a comment because I cannot believe someone who thinks the way Andrew does above (comment #11) could be so myopic and so proud of his myopia. The important thing to you about the magazines you read is their online strategies and their advertising strategies and not their content? Actually that would explain a lot about your philistinism ... It is one thing for you to hold certain economic models within the publishing world dear to you (I can't understand why you would, but whatever) but to conflate those economic models with one's tastes regarding content is truly, truly strange. Anyhow, another reason your comment is so ignorant is that Gourmet's website was a treasure chest of appealing recipes and features, from the present all the way back through their incredibly rich history. Every time I went to their website looking for a particular recipe I not only found what I was looking for, I also found myself enjoying something wonderful from their past - for example, something by Lucius Beebe or Clementine Paddleford - there are very few magazines with such lovely archives to draw upon, and fewer still who are able to open up those archives alongside current content as elegantly as Gourmet's website did.

Jan. 12 2010 02:30 PM
Sandra from Astoria, Queens

I miss Ruth Reichl and Gourmet magazine!

Funny, the first thing I thought of when I heard the news in November was Leonard's show, hoping she would come in for another interview to talk about it.

What bothers me most is that Conde Nast did it so ignominiously--couldn't they have published that final December issue (Christmas cookies!) for a proper goodbye?

Jan. 12 2010 01:57 PM
Andrew from NYC

Oh, boo hoo. Gourmet had no serious online strategy, no clear advertising strategy, and had been supplanted by many other properties -- especially online -- that did and do. It deserved to die. Get over it. I have nothing to do with her industry, but always thought Riechl to be way over-rated and an egotist, and this interview only confirms that.

Jan. 12 2010 01:56 PM
AudreyCode from Grand St. and Wooster

I would like to know what happened to the photographer Ronny Jacques who did the lovely subtle covers for Gourmat in the 80's.

Jan. 12 2010 01:56 PM
richard balestrino from nyc

i have every copy of Gourmet from 1972 (and 1 -- my first from 1969). Any suggestion of what to do with them?


Jan. 12 2010 01:52 PM
MaryLou Minard from Great Neck, NY

I hope you will keep Ruth Reichl coming back. I love the segments she does. I have one of her early cookbooks called MMMMMM! I think she's great.

Jan. 12 2010 01:51 PM

haha lose the new media guru hat keep the chef's

Jan. 12 2010 01:51 PM
miranda from manhattan

In addition to Ruth mentioning the importance and talent of her chefs and test kitchens, she & Gourmet should also be lauded for their unmatched level of quality & taste in the photography, art direction and layout of each & every issue.

Jan. 12 2010 01:50 PM
Lynne Elliott from Colonia, NJ

So good to hear Ruth again on your show. I grew up reading my mothers Gourmet mag, so much so that I could already read by the time I went to school!
Miss you Ruth, Miss Gourmet!!!

Jan. 12 2010 01:48 PM
Troy from Carroll Gardens

so, i realize this is different from case to case, but i'm wondering what happened to all the writers and contributors. have they moved on to other publications? started superb restaurants? gotten back to the roots and started a hardcore street-level gourmet 'zine? work at Best Buy?

Jan. 12 2010 01:42 PM

i notice that all the titles conde nast shed were acquisitions rather than originals. fair to buy or jettison titles so easily? can/will gourmet be reconstituted by another publisher?

Jan. 12 2010 01:37 PM
db from nyc

phyllis... might have to second that.

nothing necessarily wrong with her but, how often?

Jan. 12 2010 01:21 PM

I, for one, have had just about enough of Ruth Reichl.

Jan. 12 2010 12:07 PM

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