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.

I mostly agree and in fact I think I met DD through this forum, although maybe indirectly. But it's true, this has been a great place.

Thanks for posting Tom - a few years ago I had promised Kim some smoked lamb and never delivered, so even though he's not in LA, maybe I'll have a chance to deliver.

Anyhow, I still read the mag each month and still like most of the people I've met here and I hope everything keeps going.

gregt posted:

Thanks for posting Tom...

Agree.  It would be nice to see more of the writers/editors here.  It wouldn't have to be a full time thing, but an occasional post or thread by a WS writer would likely bring some vitality back to the forums.  Why not ask each to make a post or two every month as a starter?  It would take a few minutes, would bring some more focus on wine related topics and might just energize the place a little.

PH

This is an interesting thread.  If people are wringing their hands over what is happening at the WS, imagine what it's like at the Wine Advocate. I have been a member there for years.  Ever since RP sold out there has been a revolving door of reviewers. I find someone I like then they go out and start their own site. Galioni and Dunnuck were the last two I really liked. The WA bulletin board used to be very vibrant and a great source of information. Now it's fading away. I used to see a dozen postings per day, now one or two. 

The strength of the WS should be that it's not a cult of personality. 

wineandfoodexpert posted:

Had Wine Spectator conferred with moi and my services, this topic would not exist, positively!

Cheers!
~W&FE~

After your disgraceful, and disgusting, comments in the "Norman Hardy Accused of Sexual Harassment" thread don't you think it's time to retire this unfunny routine? "At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

After reading this thread I'm actually a little more motivated to get WS in print again.  It's been years since I picked one up to read.  I did enjoy it and found the wine-related topics pretty interesting. 

Thanks for posting here Thomas.  I love the idea of the occasional drop in from a WS writer or editor, I think it would help revitalize these fora and maybe even boost interest in the print edition, having us plebes feel like the editors are just one of us.

Thanks for the supportive comments in this thread -- and for the critical ones, of course.

I'll try to post more often on these Forums, and to encourage other editors to weigh in. We appreciate your enthusiasm for wine and benefit from your experience and insights. 

Tom

thomasmatthews posted:

Thanks for the supportive comments in this thread -- and for the critical ones, of course.

I'll try to post more often on these Forums, and to encourage other editors to weigh in. We appreciate your enthusiasm for wine and benefit from your experience and insights. 

Tom

Bytown Rick posted:
thomasmatthews posted:

Thanks for the supportive comments in this thread -- and for the critical ones, of course.

I'll try to post more often on these Forums, and to encourage other editors to weigh in. We appreciate your enthusiasm for wine and benefit from your experience and insights. 

Tom

I, too, will drink to that!

theoldman posted:
wineandfoodexpert posted:

Had Wine Spectator conferred with moi and my services, this topic would not exist, positively!

Cheers!
~W&FE~

After your disgraceful, and disgusting, comments in the "Norman Hardy Accused of Sexual Harassment" thread don't you think it's time to retire this unfunny routine? "At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Good Sir! I will have you know my reply was perfectly acceptable, to the point, stern and addressed the issue, positively! I clearly stated my position and expect YOU to respect it, sincerely!

Cheers!
~W&FE~

wineandfoodexpert posted:
theoldman posted:
wineandfoodexpert posted:

Had Wine Spectator conferred with moi and my services, this topic would not exist, positively!

Cheers!
~W&FE~

After your disgraceful, and disgusting, comments in the "Norman Hardy Accused of Sexual Harassment" thread don't you think it's time to retire this unfunny routine? "At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Good Sir! I will have you know my reply was perfectly acceptable, to the point, stern and addressed the issue, positively! I clearly stated my position and expect YOU to respect it, sincerely!

Cheers!
~W&FE~

Give it a rest. The #metoo movement that sprung up in the last year is a great thing to hopefully  help women in the future not experience the sexual harassment which a high percentage of women have experieced in the past. And your first response to the serious issue was--

"I laugh, absolutely! I will have you know, Mr Hardy [sic] hardly stands a chance at feeling my Double D's, positively, as I would knee his big fat belly and duck to avoid his breath as the wind is knocked from him, defensively! He knows this to be true, as I am truly more influential...blah, blah, blah."

I'm supposed to respect that? If you think this routine of yours is amusing, especially  about a topic like this, you're simply dead wrong.

I've definitely been posting and reading a lot less since the forum format change.  I didn't really have a problem with the previous change, but I just don't like this format.  In the last few months 3 forums I frequent somewhat have changed their formats, and this is the only one that bothers me for some reason.

wineandfoodexpert posted:
theoldman posted:
wineandfoodexpert posted:
theoldman posted:
wineandfoodexpert posted:

Had Wine Spectator conferred with moi and my services, this topic would not exist, positively!

Cheers!
~W&FE~

After your disgraceful, and disgusting, comments in the "Norman Hardy Accused of Sexual Harassment" thread don't you think it's time to retire this unfunny routine? "At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Good Sir! I will have you know my reply was perfectly acceptable, to the point, stern and addressed the issue, positively! I clearly stated my position and expect YOU to respect it, sincerely!

Cheers!
~W&FE~

Give it a rest. The #metoo movement that sprung up in the last year is a great thing to hopefully  help women in the future not experience the sexual harassment which a high percentage of women have experieced in the past. And your first response to the serious issue was--

"I laugh, absolutely! I will have you know, Mr Hardy [sic] hardly stands a chance at feeling my Double D's, positively, as I would knee his big fat belly and duck to avoid his breath as the wind is knocked from him, defensively! He knows this to be true, as I am truly more influential...blah, blah, blah."

I'm supposed to respect that? If you think this routine of yours is amusing, especially  about a topic like this, you're simply dead wrong.

You sir, shall respect that, me, and my word, respectfully! It's not my fault I am blessed with a fast metabolism, long slender body, creamy smooth skin and double D breasts, straight pearly white teeth, a fine jaw line, blue eyes and rich, ravenous hair, all of which I am sure you could enjoy for three seconds, or less, at best (1, 2, 3 ~POP~&nbsp , ABSOLUTELY!!

I have been approached, attempted to be groped, and propositioned by powerful men in the business and I trust you understand I cannot go into detail on a public website. Continue with your negative, spiteful attitude and your online persona may need to be changed to The Grumpy Old Man, POSITIVELY!!!

Cheers!
~W&FE~

You're response to this serious issue says it all. You are a pig. Now go and amuse yourself and your feckless followers.

This new format is really hard on the eyes. This maybe the 1st time I came back to read and post in about 2 months,   Sad to see the community falling apart even tho sometimes we hate each others guts, i still love u guys.       

PS: The new emojis suck as well

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