Food & Wine staff gets downsized and moved to Alabama

Just like the dishes at the chic restaurants it covers, the editorial staff at Food & Wine is getting downsized.

In its latest cost cutting move, Time Inc. will relocate the foodie publication to Birmingham, Alabama from New York City. A small number of the 40-person edit staff will remain in New York while a limited number will be asked to relocate.

Nilou Motamed, who has been editor-in-chief since March 2016 when she replaced long time editor Dana Cowin, is among those staffers not making the trek south. Hunter Lewis, the editor-in-chief of Cooking Light, based in Birmingham, will now do double duty overseeing both magazines.

“Food & Wine is stronger than ever because of the great work the team has done over the past year,” said Motamed, reached in her office on Friday.

Nathan Lump, editorial director of Time Inc Luxury & Lifestyle Group said, “We are leveraging the best of both our Birmingham and New York food operations to strategically position ourselves for future success.”

The digital team, whose boss Stacey Rivera has been elevated to digital director of food at Time Inc., will remain in New York with her 10+ staffers. Ray Isle, the wine editor, will also stay in New York.

“Wine coverage will be handled from here. I’m not headed to Birmingham (delightful city though it is),” Isle wrote on Facebook.

Justin Chapple, Deputy Test Kitchen Editor and frequent Today show guest, is staying put in new York where the company has two new test kitchens opened in late 2015.

The Brimingham location boasts 28 test kitchens and 13 studios.

New editor Lewis tweeted, “To clarify: we will maintain key digital/print/wine/resto and test kitchen ops in NYC. Super important.”

But it does seem to be a jarring relocation for a luxury magazine that is closely associated with the celebrity chefs and restaurants it chronicles in New York and elsewhere.

Shakeups had already hit the business side. Christina Grdovic, who was group publisher of Food & Wine and…

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