Wine Spectator on the wane? Personally, I hope not.

1) Suckling, Laube and Kramer gone.  (Of course, people move on) 2) Seems like fewer restaurants bought into the award thing. 3) The forums are quieter.  I wonder how the print subscriber numbers are.

Probably this is a combination of change of tastes in millenials, online subscription, ridiculous Bdx prices, and lots of other factors.  So, while wine consumption in the US is probably up, the question is whether WS is on the wane. 

I wonder.

Original Post

Not bashing but it appears to me WS has been in a downward direction for a while. I cancelled my print years ago, barely keeping the online subscription. I find the content less and less relevant as time goes on. Appears as though mgmt/ownership threw their hands up years ago, No new talent, no WOW articles, even the board has gone downwards compared to WB or winesearcher imho. 

differentdave posted:

Not bashing but it appears to me WS has been in a downward direction for a while. I cancelled my print years ago, barely keeping the online subscription. I find the content less and less relevant as time goes on. Appears as though mgmt/ownership threw their hands up years ago, No new talent, no WOW articles, even the board has gone downwards compared to WB or winesearcher imho. 

That. 

Were it not for the opinions and insights I gain from folks on this forum board, I would have little interest in WS anymore. Also enjoy the off-lines.

Can't speak for the magazine's well-being, but I'd actually be pretty sad if this forum died out from lack of participation. I've learned a lot and been the recipient of some pretty insane generosity, thanks both to locals and the TWC. For what it's worth, I still buy and read the print version. I'm going to be one of the holdouts that, while not against electronic reading technology, will always prefer the tangible feel of a book with paper pages. 

billhike posted:

Can't speak for the magazine's well-being, but I'd actually be pretty sad if this forum died out from lack of participation. I've learned a lot and been the recipient of some pretty insane generosity, thanks both to locals and the TWC. For what it's worth, I still buy and read the print version. I'm going to be one of the holdouts that, while not against electronic reading technology, will always prefer the tangible feel of a book with paper pages. 

agree completely

irwin posted:

1) Suckling, Laube and Kramer gone.  

 

Suckling gone was a big positive for WS IMO.  He was hard to read and worse to watch on video.  Laube is still there but not on the main Napa tasting beat anymore if I read that correctly.  I’m not much of a Napa guy so no impact and Kramer gone is a lose for some but neutral for me.  I think WS is still doing fine.  It’s a lifestyle mag that I still see at every office, spa, car, airport, waiting room/lounge I go to.  

The forum activity is down without question and the customers have spoken on the layout.  A lot of folks complained about the last time the site changed, but activity didn’t slow.  This time there has been a real drop off no doubt.  

theoldman posted:
glennk posted:
irwin posted:

1) Suckling, Laube and Kramer gone.  

 

It’s a lifestyle mag that I still see at every office, spa, car, airport, waiting room/lounge I go to.  

We must run  (walk) in different circles.

I don’t think there has ever been a doubt about that

I still get the mag because it's discounted on some of those free magazine sites and I can get it for credit card points. Never paid any attention to the lifestyle part - this month there was an article about some guy who started collecting wine in the 2000s and has a few hundred bottles in an expensive cellar. It's of no interest - that was the caption on the picture and I didn't read more. Same with the travel bits and the new rich guys who are now in the wine business because they hire a consultant, pick a label with the help of another consultant, and associate their name with a brand.

But every so often they do a nice article about wine, a region, or a person actually in the wine business, and there are a few writers who aren't bad - Kim Marcus for one.

No idea what their demographics or circulation happen to be. Laube's departure sounds a lot more amicable than Kramer's. And I don't think James has looked back much - he's his own brand and seems pretty successful.

Thanks for this discussion. I'd like to add a few notes and clarifications.

James Suckling left years ago to pursue new directions. 

Matt Kramer left this summer. We regret that, but it was his decision.

James Laube has not left. He is no longer reviewing new release wines, but he will continue to write and taste for Wine Spectator.

Wine Spectator is not "on the wane." Despite headwinds in the publishing industry, our print circulation is solid, and our Web site has more traffic than any other wine site, to our knowledge. We feel we are still serving and pleasing our readers, and hope to continue doing so. We are always open to new ideas!

We value these Forums and thank members for their contributions. Basically, it's your world. I think Robert Taylor does an excellent job in terms of moderation, but generally we consider this a public square and encourage the free expression of your opinions about wine. You can make it a positive place, or not. Overall, we think the Forums serve a valuable purpose and we encourage you to make the most of them.

Sincerely,

Thomas Matthews

Executive editor

 

This forum has been really important to the development of my passion for wine, and also a contributor to meeting some great friends.

Sad to see the decline of the forum. It's so 'fixable' too.

I've said it once, and will offer again. I have spent my career to date in digital marketing (web and search). I think I'm pretty good at it too

If anyone at WS wants to reach out, I'm here to help!

mklein86 AT gmail DOT com

As I mentioned in my other thread or perhaps on a different page, I've met some really wonderful people through these forums and also have learned a lot.  I was a subscriber for several years and probably saved about 1/4 of those magazines, having referenced them periodically to find inspiration for the next vacation destination.  I don't remember what year it was - 2009 or earlier -- where the patio of Il Giglio was featured on the cover.  I kept that magazine in mind and when planning for a Tuscany trip in the fall 2014, I and a group of friends stayed a few nights in the hotel.  It was memorable.  I'm glad to hear that the subscription base is on solid footing, and I encourage new drinkers to check these forums.  I can't guarantee you'll have the same experience, but if you are an open-minded person, you'll do fine.

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