Ex-Gourmet Editor Embraces New Journalism Model

After watching her magazine Gourmet die for lack of monied advertisers, Ruth Reichl tells the LA Times she has no problem with the business model of her latest venture, Gilt Taste.

Reichl’s online gourmet market and culinary magazine is anchored directly to the commerce of Gilt Groupe, a fashion and travel deals site overseen by Susan Lyne. When asked if a line is crossed when journalism is merged with commerce, the former Gourmet exec turned editorial advisor offerred these candid, pragmatic words:

“There isn’t any line to cross. We’re one unit. That firewall that used to exist has been eroding for years. We wouldn’t be selling something if we weren’t proud of it. And we wouldn’t write about something we weren’t interested in…. Now, I don’t have a publisher asking, “can you use these products in a recipe?” just because they’re an advertiser.”

Reichl, a one-time food editor at the LA Times, also noted in the interview that the local food scene has been completely democratized since she was covering it. During her time at the paper, she said, culinary trends were largely dictated by the tastes of movie stars.