Conde Nast to close four "lady" mags

The demise of Gourmet, Cookie and others is sad news for the publishing world and especially female editors

Published October 5, 2009 11:06PM (EDT)

Well, there go four more media properties: Gourmet, Cookie, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride. Condé Nast announced Monday that it's shuttering the four magazines because of these dark economic times.

Magazine closures hardly come as a surprise anymore -- but, Gourmet! Really? It premiered in 1941 -- amid the Great Depression and just ahead of World War II, as NPR points out -- and soon achieved iconic status for its spectacular recipes and accompanying photos so vivid you could swear they were scratch-and-sniff. (I dare you to look at any of these pictures without drooling. It's like the National Geographic of food!) Cookie, a relatively new title, comes as much less of a shock -- and that is even more so for Modern Bride and Elegant Bride.

Looks like amateur chefs will have to turn to Bon Appetit or any of the innumerable cooking blogs out there and Cookie readers always have online parenting publications like Babble or any number of awesome "mommy blogs." Readers of the final two rags will have what still seems an overabundance of bridal glossies and books, in addition to the loads of niche Web sites for each and every type of wedding imaginable.

That's the glass-half-full perspective (which is admittedly much easier for someone who isn't terribly interested in cooking, weddings or babies). The half-empty view is not only that it's unfortunate all of these are "women's" rags, but, barring a major institutional reorganization, it also means three prominent female editors in chief are out of a job (the two bridal titles share the same editor). Any way you cut it, it's yet another sad day for the publishing world, and for women's place in it.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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