'Gourmet' Mag To Live Again (Well, Sort Of)
The twenty-first century incarnation of the nearly seven-decade-old title will be an app developed in HTML5 in collaboration with technology company Activate. According to the demo video, you'll be able to find the new app "on your favorite device." The video shows the iPad version, which at this stage at least, doesn't seem especially snazzy and looks as though it would port well across devices. The app will be free to download, with registration required, and paid content options thereafter.
The content will surely draw on Gourmet's vast archives, but Condé has hinted that there will be plenty of fresh content as well. Who will produce this content is anybody's guess, since the entire staff of Gourmet was sent packing when the company shuttered the august magazine. One can imagine some combination of Bon Appétit staffers and Epicurious interns manning the battle stations. A rep for Condé Nast said that some "producers" will be hired for content creation, but that the company was currently looking at the organizational structure since this is unlike any project they've undertaken before.
"We are extremely pleased with the magazine apps we have developed as part of our R&D efforts, however Gourmet Live is profoundly different," Charles H. Townsend, President and C.E.O. of Condé Nast said in a statement. "We approached this like a tech company, utilizing the rich assets of a media company, keeping Condé Nast at the forefront of content innovation." By this, he seems to mean sharing options, geo-targeted content and alerts, something called "rewards" (which sounds like an opportunity for sponsor promotion), and Facebook and Twitter integration.
Though, no matter how hard it tries, Condé Nast will likely never come up with any new media offering as wonderful, insightful and weird as the Ruth Reichl/Tony Bourdain Twitter mash-up @ruthbourdain.
While the classy Gourmet logo may soon live on on iPads in kitchens everywhere, it seems the original is still very much dead, for now at least.