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Breaking: Condé Shutters Four Magazines: Cookie, Gourmet, Two Bridal Titles

cookie cover.jpgWe have been waiting for news of what sort of changes consulting company McKinsey & Co. will bring to Condé Nast, and this morning we have the answer. According to reports, the company is planning to shutter Gourmet, parenting magazine Cookie, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride.

Although there had been speculation that one of Condé’s epicurean titles was not long for this world, the closing of Cookie comes as sort of surprise. Especially since as recently as last week the magazine’s publicist pitched us an interview with Cookie‘s publisher Carolyn Kremins, boasting that she was “recently awarded the MIN Sales Team Leader of the Year for 2008 recognizing her 11 percent increase in ad revenue in 2008 versus 2007 with almost 30 percent of the publication’s 2008 ad pages [coming] from new advertisers.”

Mediaite quickly posted the email that went out to staffers today from CEO Chuck Townsend, which breaks down the changes. We’ve posted after the jump.

Here’s the most important parts of the memo:

“…Brides will increase its frequency to monthly to solidify its position as the most important brand in the bridal category, and Modern Bride and Elegant Bride will close.

Gourmet magazine will cease monthly publication, but we will remain committed to the brand, retaining Gourmet‘s book publishing and television programming, and Gourmet recipes on Epicurious.com. We will concentrate our publishing activities in the epicurean category on Bon Appétit.

Finally, Cookie magazine will be discontinued, and resources that had been dedicated to its publishing will be invested elsewhere.

The editorial and business staffs of Modern Bride, Elegant Bride, Gourmet, and Cookie all have earned their magazines large and devoted followings. We have been proud to publish these titles, and we are grateful to the staffs for their hard work and dedication.

We’re also hearing that there are staffers roaming around Condé’s offices at 750 Third Ave., which houses WWD and the bridal group among other titles, counting empty desks.

Have a story to tell about this new development in the Condé Nast saga? Send us an email or leave an anonymous tip in the box at right.

After the jump, Townsend’s email.


From: Townsend, Chuck
Date: Mon, 5 Oct 2009
To: Conde Nast Publications-All
Subject: Announcing Changes within Condé Nast

We have now completed an extensive review of our business — an important undertaking given the dramatic changes in the U.S. economy. The review has led us to a number of decisions designed to navigate the company through the economic downturn and to position us to take advantage of coming opportunities.

Condé Nast’s success comes from the ability of our publications to attract readers with a wide range of interests, as well as advertisers who value them. But in this economic climate it is important to narrow our focus to titles with the greatest prospects for long-term growth.

As a result of our review, Brides will increase its frequency to monthly to solidify its position as the most important brand in the bridal category, and Modern Bride and Elegant Bride will close.

Gourmet magazine will cease monthly publication, but we will remain committed to the brand, retaining Gourmet’s book publishing and television programming, and Gourmet recipes on Epicurious.com. We will concentrate our publishing activities in the epicurean category on Bon Appétit.

Finally, Cookie magazine will be discontinued, and resources that had been dedicated to its publishing will be invested elsewhere.

The editorial and business staffs of Modern Bride, Elegant Bride, Gourmet, and Cookie all have earned their magazines large and devoted followings. We have been proud to publish these titles, and we are grateful to the staffs for their hard work and dedication.

These changes, combined with cost and workforce reductions now underway throughout the company, will speed the recovery of our current businesses and enable us to pursue new ventures. In the coming weeks, we hope to announce initiatives to develop digital versions of our brands that will make use of new devices and distribution channels.

Condé Nast is now in its 100th year of creating the most respected and iconic brands in the publishing world. These changes will ensure that our unique publishing company will continue in its preeminent position for many years to come.

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