this whole thing about Gourmet magazine closing really pissed me off. I am not as bothered by the fact that this big publishing firm decided to shut the doors of an under performing division as I am by all the praise and attention showered on Ruth Reichl. She may be a great writer, she may have tried to report serious food culture related topics in the magazine the way other food publications wouldn't, but the bottom line is, Gourmet didn't work.
every time I flip through an issue at a book store or a stand, it just look like a mess. No coherence, no direction, the pictures of the stories and advertisement blended together, and food that looked uninteresting or over wrought. Isn't that what an editor in chief supposed to do - producing a good magazine? Gourmet may have some occasional good articles, but it was definitely not a good product, in my opinion.
she has used her position at this publication to elevated her own reputation, sold tons of her own books, probably made a pretty coin in the process. But under her guidance, the sale and subscription of this magazine has been going down steadily. Please don't blame readers for this, Ruth. The magazine failed definitely not because we are not interested in difficult questions about food; the rise of internet based media is not it either (plenty of magazine are still in business, reporting serious or casual, fun stories about food). This magazine failed because under her direction, it was not a good magazine, as simple as that.
it just pissed me off more as I turned on NPR on this saturday morning, listening to her peddling her new book, while plenty of people who used to work with her are now out of a fucking job. Yes, she is to blame.