Conde Nast closes beloved Gourmet magazine and three others

In case you needed convincing that things have changed for good in the glossy magazine business, the best proof yet arrived Monday morning, when Condé Nast Publications -- the home of Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker -- said it was shutting down Gourmet, a widely respected magazine beloved by foodies for decades, and headed by one of the food world's genuine celebrities.

"[I]n this economic climate it is important to narrow our focus to titles with the greatest prospects for long-term growth," said Chuck Townsend, Condé Nast's CEO, in announcing the move. Three other magazines are also getting the chop: Cookie, a relatively new parenting magazine that never quite found an audience; Modern Bride, which Condé Nast spent $52 million to acquire in 2002; and Elegant Bride. Bride's, the company's flagship weddings title, will increase its publishing frequency to fill the void created by the closures.