Condé Nast shakes things up

Epicurious & Bon Appetit

Publishing powerhouse Condé Nast announced yesterday that it is merging the sales and editorial staff of Epicurious with that of Bon Appétit magazine. According to the press release, the move will combine "Bon Appétit's authority in food content and lifestyle with Epicurious' digital leadership and recipe database." The move comes as part of a larger reshuffling within the organization.

As part of the change, Epicurious chief Carolyn Kremins is out, and Adam Rapoport, currently editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit, will oversee both editorial teams. Nilou Motamed will remain editor-in-chief of Epicurious but will report to Rapoport. There has been no word on how much of the editorial teams will remain in place, but according to The New York Post, about one-third of the Epicurious sales force will be let go.

Condé Nast assures us that "each brand will continue to have its distinct voice and positioning," but they expect the consolidation will drive up the combined entities' ranking on ComScore (an internet ranking service) to #3. Individually Epicurious ranks #6 on ComScore while Bon Appétit comes in at #8. Although it's not clear what, if any, changes users can expect to see, the press release notes that the merger will allow "cross-promotion of content, co-branded partnerships, programs, events and sponsorships, and close collaboration of two talented teams."

What do you think of this merger?

7 Comments

  • rivergait  on  8/12/2014 at 8:15 PM

    I'm still grieving over the abrupt termination of Gourmet. BA under Rappaport sucks, and Epicurious is pretty lame also. Check out Rappaport's signature on the editorial page in BA. Never trust someone whose signature looks like a surfer's trail through the waves.

  • jenniesb  on  8/13/2014 at 12:32 PM

    I'm with rivergait - I have never forgiven Conde Nast for axing Gourmet. I don't know much about Epicurious - is it a monthly publication or one of those curated "best of" random publications like what Cook's Illustrated puts out? Shows you how much I've been paying attention to Conde Nast endeavors. I don't think Bon Appetit has been horrible under Rappaport, but that's not saying much because BA was never the stand-out publication that Gourmet was. Sorry Conde Nast - you're striking out swinging again.

  • Rinshin  on  8/13/2014 at 3:17 PM

    I too miss Gourmet and don't like BA with foul languages in vogue under Rappaport. Now that I've signed up with Fine Cooking, I may drop BA after almost 40 years of subscription.

  • Laura  on  8/14/2014 at 5:51 AM

    I cancelled my subscription to BA in 2008 after 20 years of being a subscriber. For quite a while before doing so I had come to feel that it was becoming more and more 'dumbed-down' and aimed at those with no attention span. The photos were also no longer appealing -- I just don't find a picture of a plate of half-eaten food appetizing. Epicurious used to be a very important source of recipes for me -- however, since discovering EYB in 2009, that's no longer the case.

  • Jane  on  8/14/2014 at 9:24 AM

    jenniesb - Epicurious is a website that Conde Nast set up to showcase the content of Gourmet and Bon Appétit magazines. They now also include Self magazine and Random House cookbooks. We link to them for the full recipe for any cookbook recipe they carry. For Bon Appétit recipes we link to the BA site but now we are wondering if they will merge that into Epicurious.

  • robinorig  on  8/17/2014 at 11:56 PM

    I, too, miss Gourmet. I still like BA but hate the design changes. It is more difficult to read and ugly with too many type faces and sizes. In general, there's been too much consolidation in magazines so that the same subjects get covered at the same time, which gets monotonous. There is a new Epicurious magazine. I'm not sure why they didn't put the energy into BA instead of creating a new magazine. I wonder if they will eventually merge the two. Epicurious going from digital to print and BA is going from print to digital....

  • RickRodgers  on  8/28/2014 at 9:20 PM

    As someone who worked a lot under the old BA (editor Barbara Fairchild) and epicurious (editor Tanya Steel), i just don't know what Condé Nast is trying to accomplish because the results are obviously not working--do you ever hear someone say that they have subscribed to the new BA because it is so exciting and cutting edge? What I really want to say is that the "epicurious Italian" magazine that one sees on US newstands is not a new magazine, but a "special interest" issue. Condé Nast believes that there is caché in the old brand names, and pulls them out of the closet every now and then for an airing. There are Gourmet special issues, too.

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