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Posts Tagged ‘Ruth Reichl’

Ruth Reichl Still Haunted by the Shuttering of Gourmet Magazine

It was five years ago that Condé Nast shuttered Gourmet magazine.

OneBigSizzlingSummerNight
Former EIC Ruth Reichl, ahead of a Connecticut event appearance, told the Hartford Courant ‘s Maryellen Fillo that the memories of that time remain painful:

“I am devastated for so many reasons. Here was an almost 70-year-old magazine closed on my watch. It felt like a profound failure. I had 60 people who worked for me who lost their jobs and that was terrible. Magazine making is the most collaborative work you can do. I felt like I let all my colleagues down.”

“When I took over they told me, ‘Do anything you want.’ All of us at the magazine started paying attention to more serious issues… The politics of food, what was happening on farms. If you are an eater you should be paying attention to more than just a recipe and does it taste good. The New Yorker, the Smithsonian, lots of other publications are embracing that. The food magazines have reverted into nice, safe recipes. No epicurean magazine would have asked David Foster Wallace to do an article. We kept trying to push the envelope.

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The ‘Cosmo 100′ Starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Jessica Seinfeld; The Wednesday Crowd with Star Jones and Doris Kearns Goodwin

1003_mockup.gifAs you probably know by now, only the most extreme circumstances could keep the faithful from their usual lunch at Michael’s. Since Mother Nature proved to be too formidable a force for us on not one, but two back-to-back Wednesdays, we were only too happy to pull double duty this week.

On Monday, I attended the estrogen-fueled lunch for “The Cosmo 100,” a gals-only power lunch hosted by Joanna Coles who, having been named EIC of Cosmopolitan mere weeks ago, put together a guest list to end all guest lists for her first event. When I arrived  a few minutes before noon, the paparazzi was lined up to capture the arrival of Sarah Jessica ParkerDiane von Furstenberg, Ali Wentworth, Jennifer Westfeldt and Jessica Seinfeld, who seemed to be channeling MC Hammer in some curious gold lame harem pants. Also in attendance: ABC News’ Deborah Roberts, model Carol Alt, bestselling author Jane Green and more A-list Gotham gals than I’ve seen in one place in ages. Hearst’s amazing PR team headed by Deb Shriver, Alexandra Carlin and Holly Whidden deserve some major kudos. I was seated at a fabulous table with Cathie Black, modeling icon Pat Cleveland and Barbara Taylor Bradford, who told me her 29th book will be published early next year. The mind reels.

When the A-list crowd made their way to the Garden Room, Joanna (who was rocking some gorgeous leather pants) greeted everyone with her trademark cheeky humor, telling us she’d prepared ‘binders of men’ as research for her new gig and then quoting Margaret Thatcher with the wise words, ‘Cocks crow but it’s hens that lay the eggs.’ She also advised us “never to underestimate what you can do in 10 minutes.” So true. But Joanna wanted to do more than celebrate fun, fearless females at her kick-off lunch; she surprised everyone by introducing some truly formidable women who’d broken through the glass ceiling during this election cycle. New Hampshire’s first female governor Maggie Hassan talked of having her daughter run her winning campaign, Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to congress explained how she won her race in Hawaii by proving wrong the naysayers who told her “it wasn’t her time,” and Grace Meng, the first Asian-American elected to congress from New York, spoke of the need for women to be mentors to other women. It was truly one of the most inspiring events I’ve attended in a long, long time.

Marcy Syms and Diane Clehane

Marcy Syms and Diane Clehane

Today, I was joined by another trailblazer Marcy Syms, who you must know from those commercials for the legendary off-price retailer (“An educated consumer is our best customer”).  It was Marcy’s father, the late Sy Syms who founded the business in 1958 as the first national retailer to sell off-price men’s clothing. At first, it was Sy who gave voice to the slogan in 1974, but he wisely asked Marcy to take his place in 1978 thus tapping into an emerging public consciousness about working women. The rest, as they say, is history.  ”I still remember wearing those bow blouses and those short haircuts!” said Marcy.

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Ex-Gourmet Editor Embraces New Journalism Model

After watching her magazine Gourmet die for lack of monied advertisers, Ruth Reichl tells the LA Times she has no problem with the business model of her latest venture, Gilt Taste.

Reichl’s online gourmet market and culinary magazine is anchored directly to the commerce of Gilt Groupe, a fashion and travel deals site overseen by Susan Lyne. When asked if a line is crossed when journalism is merged with commerce, the former Gourmet exec turned editorial advisor offerred these candid, pragmatic words:

“There isn’t any line to cross. We’re one unit. That firewall that used to exist has been eroding for years. We wouldn’t be selling something if we weren’t proud of it. And we wouldn’t write about something we weren’t interested in…. Now, I don’t have a publisher asking, “can you use these products in a recipe?” just because they’re an advertiser.”

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Jonathan Gold, Ruth Reichl and Others on the State of Food Journalism

Up until Jonathan Gold in 2007, no food critic had ever won the Pulitzer Prize. Now, thanks to Gold, Michael Pollan and the dawn of Yelp, food writing has taken on a whole new importance in the cultural consciousness. Poynter’s Dawn Fallik put together a series of interviews with prominent food editors and writers on the emerging impact of food writing.

Here’s Gold discussing, presumably, Yelp–although he doesn’t say it by name.

The online food world runs the gamut. Some of it is good because there is so much food information out there. And some of it is less good because there are so many people reporting news that is so little news.

The public has a power they didn’t used to. I’m certainly an expert on a lot of things, but you always have readers who know more than you do, and these days they have a voice.

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Top Media Players Share Their Favorite Magazines

Adweek unveiled their annual Hot List today — but because it’s not only their opinion that matters — they asked some of the biggest names in media to give their personal favorites from the newsstand. And it’s quite an illustrious group of people! It’s a veritable who’s who in media, including Ruth Reichl, former editor-in-chief of Gourmet, Steve Bodow,  co-executive producer of The Daily Show, Nick Denton, founder of Gawker Media, Dylan Jones, the editor of British GQ, and more!

This is what FishbowlNY has gleaned from the list: media insiders all seem to love The New Yorker and The Economist. Other favorites include The Atlantic, New York magazine, and Vanity Fair. So if you want to pass yourself off as a hot shot media player, just read (or claim to read) those magazines.

Of course, you could just say to hell with it all, like James Truman, former Condé Nast editorial director, whose personal hot list only included this quote: “I actually don’t read magazines regularly.”

When you’re above it all, that’s how you know you’ve made it.

Former Gourmet Editor-in-Chief Ruth Reichl to Run Food Blog for Gilt Groupe

It’s not just Gwyneth Paltrow making moves in the food-writing business — former Gourmet editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl is getting set to run a food blog that will be a spinoff of the luxury discount retailer site Gilt Groupe, the New York Observer reports.

Not a lot of details are available about the blog yet, but Grub Street rumored that senior writer Francis Lam will leave Salon to become the features editor of Gilt Taste, an “online market offering exceptional artisan foods with stories and recipes from the experts.” Grub Street further speculated that it looks likely that Reichl will sign on as a part-time managing editor of the site, which is slated to launch later this spring.

New Gig For Ruth Reichl

It’s been almost exactly one year since Gourmet magazine shut its doors, and left editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl unemployed. So her many fans should be pleased to hear that Reichl has taken a position with Random House as an editor-at-large, and has more books on the horizon. From the LA Times blog Daily Dish:

Apparently, Reichl, already a bestselling author, has contracted for three books, two of which will be nonfiction, including “The Tao of Ruth,” which she says was suggested in an Anthony Bourdain story (wonder what Twitter phenomenon “Ruth Bourdain” will have to say about that?). The other will be the latest installment in her memoirs, covering the years at Gourmet. Food gossip fans are already salivating. In addition, there are plans for her first novel, “Delicious.”

Prior to Gourmet, Reichl was a food critic for the NY Times, and a food editor and critic at the LA Times.

2010 James Beard Media & Book Awards: Winners, Losers, and What We Ate

JBFA_2010.jpg There’s something refreshing about a media event where attendees actually eat. Add to that the fact that the most politically charged statement of the night had to do with honeybees, and you’ve got yourself a convivial evening. At NYC’s Espace last night, the 2010 James Beard Foundation Media & Book Awards were abuzz with familiar foodies, including Chicago chef and nominee Rick Bayless, Momofuku chef and nominated cookbook author David Chang, and everyone’s favorite Swede, chef Marcus Samuelsson, who arrived with a super-tall plus one in tow. The vibe was relaxed and upbeat (we hear it’s a lot more fun than tonight’s gala), and the cocktails were flowing: We sampled champagne and a refreshing gimlet (ahem, “Cucumber Mint Creole” from Pegu Club mixologist Audrey Saunders) before sitting down to a five-pieces-of-stemware dinner. (One guest evidently couldn’t handle this liquid feast and was escorted from the event around 8:30 p.m. after his tablemates complained.)

This year marks the first time the book award winners were announced with the broadcast and journalism awards rather than the chef awards gala, tacking on 12 awards to the already lengthy program. Co-hosts Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods on The Travel Channel, and Kelly Choi, host of Top Chef Masters, emceed the 3.5-hour affair with equal parts humor and efficiency. Zimmern took home the prize for TV food personality, so his demeanor and suit were boosted for the latter half of the ceremony with the ultimate accessory — a gold medal. [Ed. note: This probably distracted guests from his verbal slip early in the night when he said "recipe for sex" instead of "success," eliciting a requisite round of giggles.]

More details and what we ate, plus a photo slideshow and the complete list of winners, after the jump…

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Variety For Sale|AOL Hires Gourmet Editors|BusinessWeek Pulls Twitter Article|Ruth Reichl

The Wrap: Variety is up for sale after all.

NY Post: Amidst layoffs, AOL is still hiring, picking up a dozen staffers formerly of Conde Nast‘s shuttered Gourmet magazine to work for a food site the company hopes to launch next month.

Talking Biz News: BusinessWeek pulled a story about Twitter from its Web site after some bad math “rendered its premise incorrect.”

Mediaite: Ruth Reichl talks about the shock of Gourmet‘s closing.

Rothstein Joins FishbowlDC|Newspaper Publishers To Charge Sunday Prices For Thanksgiving Papers|Disney Names Lightcap Prez|Ruth Reichl|Reporters Among Slain In Phillipine Massacre

FishbowlDC: Meet the new FishbowlDC editor, former gossip columnist at The Hill, Betsy Rothstein.

Bloomberg: Some newspaper publishers, including Tribune Co., E.W. Scripps Co. and MediaNews Group, plan to charge Sunday prices for their Thanksgiving papers.

Variety: Disney Channel Latin America executive Carolina Lightcap has been named president of Disney Channels Worldwide, replacing Rich Ross, who became chairman of Walt Disney Studios last month.

New York Observer: Will former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl continue to host her Gourmet-branded PBS show after the first season ends soon?

New York Times: At least 20 journalists we among the almost 50 people slain in the Phillipines massacre earlier this week, the largest number of reporters killed in one day.

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