The GQ.com home page previously encompassed Food and Travel tabs. But today, coverage of those topics enters a new digital era with the launch of dedicated vertical T&E (Travel & Eats).
“Launching the T&E brand is a way of demonstrating to our readers as well as our advertising partners that the food and travel coverage we’ve done well for many years is being expanded and invested in, by both GQ and Condé Nast as a company,” Mike Hofman, executive digital director for GQ, tells Fishbowl. “GQ has a long history of James Beard Award-winning food coverage, and it has often been told through the lens of travel.”
“If you look back at GQ from the ‘60s and ‘70s, there are whole issues devoted to places like Ireland or Italy or Mexico, that cover the style of these places as well as the culture, where to eat, where to stay and what to do. Online, the contemporary reader is equally interested in finding the best new restaurant in Atlanta, or the cool, emerging food neighborhoods in L.A. or Paris. We think it will be a winning formula for us.”
Hired to oversee the vertical, as food and travel editor, is Marian Bull, formerly an associate editor at Food52 and Saveur. She has also freelanced for a variety of outlets including Eater, Bon Appétit and Lucky Peach.
T&E comes on the heels of GQ’s launch in late 2016 of Best Stuff, a product recommendation site. There will be some overlap between that growing site and T&E, in areas for example like recommended bar accessories or best knives. Launch partners for T&E include the city of Nashville’s tourism board.
“T&E sits at the center of our ability to craft and create experiences specifically tailored to our affluent, refined audience,” explains Condé Nast chief business officer Howard Mittman. “And, on the heels of the successful launch of GQ Style, ‘T&E’ deepens and furthers our commitment to creating micro-communities that service the unique needs of the modern gentleman.”
“Our video-led, socially enabled approach takes our travel and epicurean opportunities out beyond the limited confines of 30 second ‘hands and pans’ videos. So as millennials continue to spend a disproportionate percentage of their income on food and travel, ‘T&E’ will create singular access for our partners to the gentleman who is experiencing this life from the corner table.”
Recurring T&E content will include the video series Making a Sandwich, featuring celebrities sharing their personal favorites, and the weekly column “Where to Take Her.” Year-over-year, GQ.com website traffic is up 21%.
In an interesting bit of food journalism karma, GQ, which has won 20 James Beard Awards, is up for another this year in the “Personal Essay” category alongside one published by Bull’s former professional home. Nominated alongside “The Culinary Education of Mr. Mozzerella Stix” by Mark Anthony Green is Food52’s “In Sickness, in Health, in White Castle,” by Allison Robicelli, as well as “All I Want Are Some Potato Skins,” by Keith Pandolfi for Serious Eats. Winners will be announced April 25.