After five years it looks as though George Hirsch has had his fill at La Cucina Italiana. Tanzina Vega writes that the 76-year-old print veteran is stepping down as chairman of the board and publishing director at the food mag after joining as a consultant in 2006. Hirsch, who is known best in the industry as the founding publisher of New York, said he is prepared to make his exit once the company finds a suitable replacement:
I wasn’t looking for a full time job. We need a full time publisher who’s going to take it to the next level and who, frankly, knows a lot more about the digital world than I do.
While La Cucina Italiana seeks out an individual to oversee their digital agenda, Hirsch was glad to report that since 2008 the title has witnessed double-digit gains in print advertising revenue. Print circulation in the U.S. has improved from 75,000 to 135,000 in the past three years — a growth pattern Hirsch attributes to the rising appeal of Italian cuisine and cooking shows headlined by celebrity Italian chefs such as Mario Batali.
Hirsch said the magazine will begin interviewing candidates to replace him this week. La Cucina Italiana releases eight issues each year and costs $6 on newsstands.