I am in mourning over the death of Gourmet Magazine. There's a revolution going on on Twitter (follow @savegourmet and search gourmetmagazine to see how it's developing) that I've been contributing to. But I'm taking off my fan hat and putting on my analyst hat to contribute something data-driven to the conversation.

I've been looking at some new, as-yet-unpublished data that I'm using in an upcoming Forrester report on reinventing magazine and newspaper subscriptions. Here's a preview:

Forrester magazine data1
And here's the same question cut by subscribers to any of Conde Nast's publications:

Forrester magazine data2
In other words, 19% of Conde Nast subscribers think their magazine subscriptions are "surprisingly inexpensive," compared with 13% of US consumers in general. The takeaway: Conde could probably be charging more for its subscriptions.

But as we all know, subscriptions are only part of the story–advertisements account for the lion's share of revenue for most magazines. That's why subscriptions are so cheap–to keep their paid circulation up so advertisers will pay more for magazine ads. In the same survey, we ask about consumers' trust of 24 different ad formats. And while advertiser spend continues to shift away from offline media to more "cost-effective" digital media, consumers still trust print and TV ads far more than online, consumers say they trust ads from offline media (magazines, newspapers, TV) far more than they trust online media (banners, search): 20% of US consumers say they trust magazine ads, versus 5% that say they trust search ads and 4% that say they trust online banner ads [%s are top-two boxes on a five-point scale, where 1=Do not trust at all and 5=Trust a lot]. 

To quote Jeffrey Graham, former Executive Director of Customer Insight at The New York Times Company, "Advertisers are growing increasingly rational about irrational things," like relying on click-through rates on banner ads to tell them if their ads are working.

In the meantime, a beloved media brand near and dear to my heart bites the dust.