Famed foodie magazine Food & Wine has announced that it will shut down its New York offices and move operations to Birmingham, Alabama. The magazine joins sister titles from Time Inc. in Birmingham, including Cooking Light and Southern Living. Along with a new address, Food & Wine will get a new editor. Hunter Lewis, who oversees Cooking Light, has been named Editor in chief.
Sophisticated food and drink consumers are everywhere now," Lewis said. "Bringing the center of Food & Wine's operations to Birmingham while maintaining a strong presence in New York allow us to super serve the sophisticated and influential Food & Wine audience as we continue to grow the brand's reach."
Three things I love in life...butternut squash, @cookinglight & editor @notesfromacook ?? I'll be sharing more on the @thesouthernc blog next week but had the best visit yesterday at @timeincfoodstudios Now off to make a butternut squash soup! #cookinglight #hunterlewis #butternutsquash #timeincfoodstudios #PR #ForestHomeMedia #nashvilleinfluencers #rockstarcook #latergram
Time Inc. is excited about the move explaining that it is a strategic one. Nathan Lump, Time Inc.'s editorial director of luxury and lifestyle said of the move:
"We are leveraging the best of both our Birmingham and New York food operations to strategically position ourselves for future success. Given our talent, cross-platform content capabilities and passionate audiences, we believe we can bring even more clout, scale and creativity to this popular and important category."
The company owns and operates a multimillion dollar complex in Birmingham that includes 28 test kitchens (one is an outdoor one) and and full photo and video studio.
The existing test kitchen in downtown NYC will stay open to accommodate the Food & Wine digital team who is not making the move with the mag.
John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, as well as other media pros believe the move will bolster Time Inc. and Food & Wine's place in digital food media. Reduced costs mean better content.
"The arrival of Food & Wine in Birmingham signals a moment of democratization for food media ... in that a base in New York is no longer required to cover the dining scene. The American dining scene is vital in Birmingham, in Chicago, in San Francisco and Los Angeles. It's vital across a broad swath of the nation."
This move is a big step in the right direction to celebrating the classic foods of our Heartland.