Ann Marie Gardner steps down at Modern Farmer

ann-marie-gardner-steps-down-emmodern-farmerem
Gardner at the Modern Farmer offices in Hudson. (Philip Kamrass for Capital New York)
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Staff and contractors of Modern Farmer have been informed that founder and editor in chief Ann Marie Gardner has stepped down from the celebrated food-culture magazine she founded in 2013, and which won a National Magazine Award just one year later, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

Gardner did not respond to requests for comment and a representative for Modern Farmer was unavailable for comment Wednesday afternoon.

Gardner was known to have a fraught relationship with Modern Farmer's investor, the Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra, who recently agreed to keep the magazine afloat in exchange for additional shares from Gardner, who was a minority owner.

Tensions between the two were outlined in a November New Yorker profile by Alec Wilkinson: Giustra was eager for the magazine to make money; Gardner believed it needed more runway before it could turn a profit.

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"By the end of October Gardner and Giustra were again disagreeing about how the business should be run," Wilkinson wrote. "When I asked her how I should describe the future of the magazine, she said she wanted to speak to her lawyer. Then she sent me this sentence: 'The relationship between the company and the primary investor remains tense and the company is still looking for long-term financing.'”

After winning the 2014 National Magazine Award for "Magazine Section" (it was also nominated for general excellence in the special interest category), Modern Farmer became something of a media darling, garnering praise from gatekeepers and high-profile coverage in The New Yorker and The Daily Beast, as well as in our own Capital magazine. (It also was profiled by The New York Times last year.)

Prior to Modern Farmer, Gardner was a founding editor of Monocle and the editor of T: Travel.