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Gourmet, 3 Other Magazines To Close

Gourmet, the nation's oldest food magazine, is being closed by Conde Nast Publications as the high-end magazine publisher tries to weather a devastating advertising slump.

Conde Nast is also closing Modern Bride, Elegant Bride and Cookie, a parenting magazine. Earlier in the year it killed publication of Portfolio, a business magazine, and Domino, a lifestyle title.

Conde Nast had no immediate comment. But in a memo Monday, Conde Nast employees were told the magazine shutdowns were required "to navigate the company through the economic downturn and to position us to take advantage of coming opportunities."

Consultants from McKinsey & Co. have been helping the publisher identify ways to cut costs in a brutal media slump. For instance, Gourmet's ad pages were down 50 percent in the second quarter from the year before, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.

Conde Nast Publications, run by billionaire S.I. Newhouse Jr., also publishes such magazines as Vogue, The New Yorker and Wired and is a unit of privately held Advance Publications Inc. It is retaining a separate food publication, Bon Appetit.

The Conde Nast memo said that as Modern Bride and Elegant Bride close, a third magazine, Brides, will be upgraded to monthly instead of coming out every two months.

Gourmet, which debuted in the 1940s, is revered by many culinary aficionados and edited by Ruth Reichl. Now, Conde Nast said, Gourmet's brand will live on in books and TV programming.

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