Bon Appetit and Gourmet Both Exist. Why?

Bon Appetit and Gourmet are both Conde Nast-owned food magazines with similar reader demographics and ad rates. They're both equally popular among Gawker readers. They're both troubled. Why does Conde need both?

Stats from the media kits of both magazines:

Bon Appetit
Circulation: 1.3 Million rate base
Median household income: $81,981
Top ad rate: $113,140

Gourmet
Circulation: 950,000 rate base
Median household income: $79,942
Top ad rate: $98,600

In the first quarter of this year, Gourmet and Bon Appetit have seen their ad pages decline 42% and 26%, respectively. It's already become abundantly clear that Conde is going to have make serious cutbacks to save money. And these two foodie magazines tied almost exactly in our popularity poll last month. They are combo-ready! So what does Conde Nast say?

Charles Townsend, the president and chief executive of Condé Nast, said that [shuttering one of the magazines] was not a consideration.

"Gourmet and B. A. are two completely different magazines, both in their editorial point of view and in their audiences," Mr. Townsend said through a spokeswoman. "Both are circulation powerhouses, and I'm perfectly content with both properties as businesses."

You may live to eat those words, Chuck. Eat them in a very sophisticated and attractive meal, with a nice bottle of wine. [NYT; pic via]