Gourmet magazine preps travel-themed TV show

NEW YORK (Mediaweek) - There’s certainly no shortage of TV shows blending food and travel, but Gourmet magazine is betting there’s room for one more.

On October 17, the Conde Nast publication will debut its new public television show, “Gourmet’s Adventures With Ruth,” in which the magazine’s editor, Ruth Reichl, spans the globe visiting cooking schools with celebrities, among them actresses Frances McDormand and Lorraine Bracco.

“Adventures With Ruth” is the successor to Gourmet’s “Diary of a Foodie,” the PBS show that explores international cultures through a culinary lens. Both are produced by WGBH in Boston.

The idea to do a show that revolves around travel sprang from a 2008 issue of Gourmet that was devoted to cooking vacations, said Nancy Berger Cardone, the magazine’s vice president and publisher.

The deal is expected to give a much-needed boost to the epicurean magazine. Ad pages are off 44.5 percent this year through August, per the Mediaweek Monitor.

“We got hit by what happened in luxury,” Cardone said.

Nevertheless, she said she sees ad categories like automobiles, financial and travel picking up in the fourth quarter. “I do think there’s some pent-up demand. There’s a lot of great ideation about food and travel.”