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Blame Blogs? Conde Nast Closing Gourmet & Other Titles

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If you follow any "foodies" on Twitter you may have woken up to a stream of 140 character obit-like wails echoing the death rattle that's just been shook at print publication mega-player Conde Nast. They've just announced that they're going to close up shop at Gourmet magazine, a 68-year-old monthly whose colorful photos and thoughtful words have inspired cooks and eaters here in Los Angeles and around the world for decades.

Although it should not be too shocking to hear that a print publication is going kaput--in an era of written media gone increasingly electronic, paper-waste conscious consumerism trending high, and that pesky old economy tugging at our purse strings and wallets a $5-an-issue glossy certainly seems expendable, no matter its legacy. And it is, indeed, that bottom line that forced the hand of Conde Nast:

The cuts come at the conclusion of a three-month study by McKinsey & Company, which conducted analysis of Condé Nast’s costs, and told several magazines to cut about 25 percent from their budgets. These are the first closings announced by the company since the McKinsey study.
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They are, however, cuts of titles that are much older than the usual selections for shut-down, like their Domino and Portfolio titles that disappeared in the last year or so. In addition to Gourmet, they're also closing Modern Bride, Cookie, and Elegant Bride, but their other food pub, the younger Bon Appetit, will remain open for now.So are blogs to blame, in some small--or large--way for print disappearing? Is it a fair trade to lose a couple hundred glossy pages folded into your mailbox once a month for shorter, possibly interactive, online stories and massive recipe indexes in which you search and from which you print--or just display on your monitor--while you cook?

One Twitter user kids: "Gourmet probably took the $25 to stop writing about food," indicating Eater's poorly-received gimmick offering cash for a blog's shut-down. $25 bucks or 25%, no matter how you look at it, savor that November issue of Gourmet: It's your last.