Culture + Travel, the idiosyncratic young magazine known for its high-minded approach to travel writing, has been hit with substantial budget cuts about three months after trade journalism vet Bruce Morris joined its parent company, Louise Blouin Media (LBM), as chief operating officer.
To C+T readers, the most obvious change involves the magazine’s publication schedule: Starting this November, it will move from a bimonthly schedule to a quarterly one.
Circulation is also apparently going down—according to Mr. Morris, copies of the magazine will be sent to a total of 40,000 subscribers. Last August, that number was at 75,000, according to an interview conducted at the time with C+T’s editor-in-chief, Kate Sekules. Ms. Sekules had been brought over from Food and Wine a few months earlier, about a year after the magazine first launched in the fall of 2007 under the leadership of ex-Condé Nast editorial director James Truman. Mr. Truman, who was the founding C.E.O. at C+T’s parent company, resigned in October of 2006.
Reached by phone last week, Ms. Sekules confirmed that C+T was becoming a quarterly, but referred to Mr. Morris when asked about what other budget cuts the fledgling magazine will weather as LBM, which also publishes Modern Painter and Art + Auction, takes steps to turn it into a profitable property.
Though unquestionably a niche publication, operating under a controlled circulation model, C+T offered wide-ranging coverage of the art world, food, architecture, and design from around the world. The latest issue features, among other things, a piece from professional travel writer Anya Von Bremzen about Valencia, one from critic Daphne Merkin on a gallery in Austria that exhibits work by mentally ill artists and one from Atlantic Monthly reporter Graeme Wood about cave temples in Damanhur.
Ms. Sekules said the budget cuts from LBM did not discourage her. "I love this magazine," she said. "I really believe in it. We’re doing something really different—there is some substance and some soul to it.”
She continued: "I didn’t expect to feel this passionately about it at the beginning, but I do. I’ve got a great, great team—tiny but gifted. I think we can survive this and get through it and come out the other side stronger."