Magazine launches & events 2003

Magazines by cover date with most recent at top. Alphabetic list on right. Other magazine launch pages


Winter. Iandimedia, London. £4.50; 276pp (+gatefold). Ed: Nina Wadia
Quarterly for Asian women distributed through WH Smith and John Menzies. Target readership of 300,000. To be followed in January by Asiana Wedding



December. Infinity, Bath. £3.50; 132pp. Ed: Jeff Hudson
A magazine about reading books that also covers sex: so the cover promises. With 105 reviews, it clearly aims to sex up the coverage of books.



Dec/Jan. New Standard, London. £3.50; 132pp. Ed: Steve Janes
'New adventures in music and vision' says the cover line, with the mag sparked off by the way technology is shaping the music and film industries
Music magazines



Christmas. BBC (though this not stated in the magazine), London. £2 (introductory price); 164pp. Ed: Christine Hayes
'Eating + Living + Going Places.' BBC hides its imprint on this new title, which goes up against Seven's Delicious. Included Sydney chef and writer Bill Granger at the head of the contributors' list. Hayes had worked for Time Inc in Sydney on their wedding title, Bride to Be


Go Mini

Dec/Jan. A&S Publishing, Gloucester. £3.80; 116pp. Ed: Chris Anderson
For enthusiasts of the BMW Mini, from the publishers of Mini magazine. According to the editorial, the car was responsible for one in 50 of all new car sales, two years after its launch

Delicious cookery magazine
Delicious took on former BBC Good Food editor Mitzie Wilson for its cookery launch


December. Seven, London. £2; 156pp. Ed: Mitzie Wilson
For leisure cooks who 'assemble' food and are interested in what celebrity cooks have to say. First launch for the company, set up by Seamus Geoghegan, former BBC Worldwide director, and Mike Potter, joint-founder and former chairman of contract publisher Redwood Publishing. Mitzie Wilson, formerly of BBC's Good Food in editor's chair. All three had been at Redwood, which was then a division of the BBC, and launched Good Food. Licensed from Australian Broadcasting Corporation and FPC Magazines, where it has a circulation close to 100,000. Silver blocking on masthead


The Illustrated London News relaunch

ILN Group, London. £2.50; 132pp. Ed: Mark Palmer
Relaunch for the illustrious magazine, which for more than a decade had only existed as a Christmas issue. Aimed to be an intelligent read for Londoners. First appeared in 1842, when its use of illustration and later colour was highly influential on the rest of the fledgling magazine industry.

Penthouse first issue
Penthouse first issue from 1969

Penthouse founder resigns

Bob Guccione, who founded Penthouse in 1969 as a racier version of Hugh Hefner's Playboy,  resigned as chief executive of publishier Penthouse International. At one time the magazine sold 5m copies a month, but it struggled to compete with pornographic websites and 'lad's magazines' such as FHM and Maxim in the past decade, and sales fell to about 530,000. General Media, the division that published the title, filed for bankruptcy in August after a decade of decline.
See article on men's magazines



8-14 November, Northern & Shell, £1.50; 196pp. Editor: Martin Smith
A weekly magazine based on the celebrity-driven, downmarket strategy of the company's daily newspaper, the Star, which has been one of the few papers to show much of a sales growth in recent years. N&S also owns OK! Some commentators have said the celebrity sector may be crowded, but the price and handbag format are reminicent of a monthly such as Glamour. The comparison ends there, however, with much of the content feeling dated and cliched, and the cover choice of Jade Goodey, from the Big Brother series, decidedly B-list.


British teen magazines 'are really bad'

Amy Astley, editor of Teen Vogue in the US, says she is shocked by UK titles such as Bliss. 'They are really bad,' she told the Observer newspaper. 'They are really smutty. They have a real focus on sex and that's not what we are doing at all. That is not our focus.' Astley, whom the article by Paul Harris described as a 'protegee of legendary Vogue editor Anna "Nuclear" Wintour', produces a fashion-based title with a no-sex rule. Given that these British titles were shaped by men's magazines such as Loaded and Maxim, which were similarly rubbished by the US magazine glitterati – including executives from Vogue stablemate GQ – can it be more than a matter of time before a UK teen title launches in the US?
You Brits keep the sex please, we're America's teen angels


Sour Mash

November. Mash Communications, High Wycombe, Bucks. £2.40; 68pp. Ed: Johnny Sharp
Described in the trade press as a men's magazine aiming to be a cross between Private Eye, early Loaded and Viz, it has more the feel of Viz and Heat. Company founded by four ex-IPC executives: Andy McDuff, Alan Lewis, Nick Taylor and Mark Jones. FT's Creative Business magazine quoted McDuff (who was head of men's division when Loaded launched) criticising 'super tanker mentality' of IPC and Emap : 'IPC would never launch Sour Mash. It's too radical, too small and doesn't meet any portfolio strategy." (Four Emap executives had launched a similar breakaway company to launch Word.) Best visual joke: acerbic writer Julie Burchill – who built her reputation in the punk era at IPC's NME – digitally enhanced to look like Winston Churchill. Print run of 60,000; expecting to sell 50,000 of first issue (from which industry rule-of-thumb would suggest settle-own sales of 35,000). Needed to sell 25,000 copies a month to break even.

Jack magazine front cover
James Brown lost control of his company to Dennis and Jack was relaunched in a larger, sub-A4, format

Jack gets bigger

November. Dennis, London. £3; 308pp. Ed: Michael Hodges
The handbag format failed to work for James Brown's Jack, unlike Glamour (though the latter had £5m to spend on launch promotion, £2m of which went on special display units). So Brown lost control of his company to Dennis and Jack was relaunched in a larger, sub-A4, format (176mm wide by 255mm – 8mm wider and 29mm taller). Magazine mounted on card and sealed in a plastic blister with a set of similarly sized 'art' postcards on a 'women as warriors' theme. Whether Dennis's investment and experience (it also publishes Maxim, the world's biggest selling men's title) will enable the magazine to grow beyond niche sale of 30-40,000 a month as a men's magazine remains to be seen.
Men's magazines A-Z


Spectator's 175th anniversary special

October. The Spectator/Daily Telegraph, London. £4.95; 132pp. Ed: Martin Vander Weyer
The chance for the right-wing political/arts weekly to earn some extra cash by revelling in its past and reprinting its famous writers, from Kim Philby and Anthony Blunt to Greene, Fleming and Waugh, and Tony Blair and Nancy Mitford.


Be Unlimited

October. Mobius Strip Ventures, Richmond, Surrey. £3.95; 76pp. Ed: Rebekah Renton
A hefty price tag for a thin women's magazine, even if it does promise 'Brain food for women'. The coverlines shout: 'A new magazine with intelligent to inspire and motivate you.' It's a formula that many magazines have tackled, but no-one has cracked. A Mobius strip used at part of the masthead – it's a strip of paper with only one side that fascinates mathematicians. (Take a strip of paper, twist it once and stick the ends together, then trace a side with a pen)


Cosmopolitan – new size trial

October. National Magazines, London. £2.50; 342pp. Ed: Lorraine Candy
After 18 months of verbal spats, Natmags finally responds to Conde Nast's 'handbag format' Glamour by launching similar-sized Cosmo alongside the usual size in the South-East commuter belt. Marketed as a 'handy travel size'. Cosmo Girl! uses same format. On September 30, the daily newspaper The Independent put out a tabloid version alongside its traditional broadsheet format. Cosmopolitan website

Zembla first issue cover
Zembla first issue cover with Tilda Swinton


September. Zembla, London. £3.25; 124pp. Ed: Dan Crowe; design: Vince Frost
High production values and celebrity names mark this international literary magazine. Writers include actress Tilda Swinton (most recently seen in Young Adam with Ewan McGregor); photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson; advertising from fashion houses Paul Smith and Gucci; and illustrations by shoe designer Manolo Blahnik. 'Fun with words' is the strapline, although some of the design makes reading them not such fun.

Vince Frost later described the importance of the St Bride printing library for reseaching the magazine's design: 'It's a jolt to the senses, a trip back to the time when the craft of design was done by hand and the skills developed through years of apprenticeship. The quality and pride with which these books are produced makes me feel inadequate.' (no longer valid)

Heat magazine; launch; 6 Feb 99; EMAP
Heat takes to the airwaves

Heat – radio station

30 September. Emap launches its irreverent celebrity weekly Heat as a digital station on the Freeview platform, which is only available on televisions. Four magazines already make up the seven Emap stations on Freeview – Kerrang!, Mojo, Q and Smash Hits


The Total TV Guide

20 September. H Bauer, London. 45p (85p); 108pp. Ed: Lori Miles
The week before Radio Times celebrated its 80th birthday, Bauer launched its second listings magazine. Five spreads devoted to each day: main five terrestrial channels; drama and entertainment; factual & lifestyle; films; children & sport. Bauer's third listings mag: TV Quick and TV Choice being aimed at the low-end market. 


New Musical Express – switch to magazine format

20 September, IPC, London. £1.80; 80pp inc double cover. Ed: Conor McNicholas
Declining fortunes for IPC's two weekly tabloid music titles had seen Melody Maker close in 2000 after going to an A4 mag format. Although NME re-took the top-selling weekly slot back from Kerrang! this year with 72,000 copies, it had fallen from 120,000 since 1996. This relaunch for NME saw tabloid width kept but height reduced. Double cover on thick paper helped it stand up on news agents' shelves. With CD of tracks chosen by US group The Strokes. Band list included in contents page.
NME profile


Observer Music Monthly

21 September 03, Observer newspaper, London. Free supplement; 68pp. Ed: Caspar Llewellyn Smith
Third in magazine strategy from the Sunday newspaper, after Food and Sport monthlies. Features included cover interview with Britpop band Blur, David Bowie with comedian Ricky Gervais' and 'dope smoking pygmies'. Editorial stated: 'a magazine reflecting such diversity with style and authority is long overdue'. Cover line 'With a bang' appeared to be a dig at Future title Bang.

Connect autumn 2003 launch cover   


Autumn 2003. Future/ £1.80; 100pp. Ed: Lynda Burgess.
Both magazine and website ( since closed

Striker 3D football cartoon strip
Striker – first issue of the 3D computer-generated comic strip featuring Warbury Warriors
Striker in 2004featuring Donnamite
Striker in 2004 featuring 'Donnamite'


28 August. Striker 3D Ltd, Tonbridge, Kent. £1; 32pp. Ed: "Eric"
Computer generated football comic strips. Based on a strip that had appeared in the Sun newspaper since 1985. Company launched by Pete Nash, who drew the strip. Claimed to be the "first weekly comic for 25 years".

A cross between Roy of the Rovers and Footballers' Wives.

The strip featured in the first issue of lad's weekly Zoo and was adopted by rival IPC's Nuts in January 2010 to front a marketing campaign focusing on football in the run-up to the World Cup.


Future's Digital Home takes over CSM's Future Home

14 August.
Less than a year after their launches, Carlton Stanhope Media's Future Home is sold to Future. To be merged into Future's Digital Home in December.


Broadband World

August, Optimum, Bath. £2.99; 116pp. Ed: Chris James.
The popularity of broadband led this new publisher to believe there was a big-enough market for a magazine devoted to sites that take an age for others to download. Another publisher in the Bath area since Future turned the city into a magazine powerhouse in the 1990s



August, Sibella, London. £3; 116pp. Ed: Tammy Butt
Looking for the golden age of travel and glamour. The world's most photographed model (according to March's GQ) Heidi Klum graces the cover and reveals her jet set style secrets inside.



August (?) no cover date 10/year, Zero Publishing, London. £3.99; 124pp. Ed: Paul Dedman
Flash cars, heavy paper, geat photographs – but too many of them lost down the gutter of double-page spreads.



July/Aug, contract title for Ministry of Sound by Conde Nast, £3.95, 168 pages. Editor: Rachel Newsome
Former Dazed & Confused editor brought in to pep up Conde Nast launch for the clubbing company. MoS had folded Ministry magazine in 2002. The move to Conde Nast took MoS back to where it had started - Ministry was originally produced for them by Dennis. Unconventional sectioning (eg 20 pages of city reviews, from Newcastle to Tokyo); grungy, underdesigned look and typography gives fanzine feel; some unfortunate spreads resulted in editorial merging into adverts; naive, line graphics; shared use of price-label graphics with Tense. Several house ads for Ministry and Conde Nast's Glamour magazine CD. Target sales 100,000.



July/August, Polygon, £3.25, 100 pages. Editor: Lynda Clark
Excessively spaced out words give this the look of a brochure that needs to fill the space. Strange cover line: "Ideas to help you create chill and enjoy." 


Highbury House buys up Paragon

31 July. Highbury House Communications plc paid £32m for Paragon Publishing Holdings Ltd. A year before, Paragon's advertising had proclaimed its 30 consumer specialist titles made it 'the fastest growing publisher in the fastest growing markets' (unofficial console games, home entertainment and digital photography). A busy year for Highbury, which bought Cabal for £10m in March. Strategy of moving away from trade sector came unstuck later in year, when unable to sell its titles
Highbury profile
Paragon profile



July, Tense, £3, 100 pages. Editor: Toussaint Davy
Focus on (black) urban music and lifestyle. Good range of interviews (photographer Rankin, attitude from DJs Trevor Nelson and Tim Westwood, and actress/singer Michelle Gayle: "Men have to shower at least twice a day. If he wants something then he's gotta clean up before bed."); professional feel to design and writing. Price label graphics used for bylines and on cover.



July, Octane Media. £3.50, 148pp. Ed: Robert Coucher
Classic sports cars in an upmarket format



June, GE Popworld, £2.50, 100 pages. Editor: Gavin Reeve
Spin-off from the TV programme on T4 channel. First issue came with CD; the two mounted in a card folder in Virgin shops. Also £2-off voucher at Virgin. Has the feel of a marketing vehicle.



June, MIB Partnership, £3.25, 146 pages. Editor: Neville Warren
"The essential magazine for black Britons" joins a roster of ethic launches (Indobrit and Memsahib in late 2002, though these aimed more at British Asians). Cheap design and editorial shown up by established black men's title Untold.


Mobile Gamer

June, Future, £3.95, 100 pages. Editor: Matt Bielby/Keith Stuart
"Four free* games" to download screams the cover – in fact each one costs 25p plus the cost of a text message. Future brings its expertise with computer magazines – that's how it was founded – to mobile phones. Bielby had previously launched .Net (1994), SFX (1995) and Arcade (1998) for the company.
Future profile


Western Interiors and Design (US)

May/June, Western Interiors and Design, £4.25, 148 pages. Editor: Michael Wollaeger
According to this magazine, "The West is the most vital region in the world today with regard to contemporary architecture and design"; hence the magazine



May (no cover date, quarterly), 3D Media, £2.99, 100 pages. Editor: Clare O'Reilly
Is there room for a quarterly for dads? FQ aims to find out. Very glossy cover but low level of investment in typography and design.


Financial Times Magazine

26 April (UK distribution only), Financial Times, London. Free supplement; 48 pages. Editor: John Lloyd
New Saturday magazine (The Business supplement had been closed in July 2002) as part of a relaunch of the daily financial paper. Tony Blair pictures taken by Rankin for front cover.
FT profile


Planet Riding

Undated (bought in April, (c) 2003/03); frequency not stated. Planet Riding Riding Ltd. £4.95; 132pp. Editor-in-chief: Carl Fogarty MBE
Explores all aspects of riding: on road, off-road and on track under the stewardship of 'Foggy', the four times World Superbike Champion. Silver cover


Living History

March. Origin, Bristol.£3.25; 100 (+wraparound half cover). Ed: Jenny May Forsyth 
Based on practical, hands-on approach with 32-page section covering places to visit.

Bang launch issue cover   


April. Future, London. £1 special price (£3.30); 142 pages. Editors: Crispin Parry and Danny Ford 
'It's only rock 'n' roll' tagline. US-music led. Future logo not carried on cover. Aimed at 16-24-year-old male rock audience. Launch run of 150,000 expected to settle down at 50,000. No website – rare for a Future title.

Personal Computer World PCW
PCW – the UK's oldest consumer computer magazine reaches 25

Personal Computer World – 25th anniversary

April. VNU, London. £3.25. 354 pages plus gatefold and 2 CD-Roms.
Featured history of the magazine. One CD full of machine emulators and retro games.

Computer magazines


Trace – UK version

Issue 42; Trace UK, London. £2.95; 132 pages. Editor: Claude Grunitzky.
UK version of US magazine that had originally started in London. Cinema verite cover with Damon Dash and Ana-Beatriz Barros on cover by Paul Rowland.



March/April. Hubert Burda Media. Published by Medien Innovation GmbH, Germany. Editorial in London. £1 (usually £1.60); 148 pages. Editor: not stated
Stars, fashion and beauty for young women. A5 format stuck to A4 backing sheet that holds two postcards (as Jack had done a couple of months earlier). Guide to page numbers of cover stories on contents page. Reader survey included. 

Edge magazine cover   


April. Future, Bath. £5; 148 pages. No editor credited
'The making of...' special from Edge based around 33 classic computer games for machines such as the BBC Micro, Sinclairs and Commodores. Cover used matt varnish with some gloss for graphic details of 1970s Asteroids arcade game.



March. Northern & Shell, London. 60p; 68 pages. Editor: Kirsty Mouatt
'Celebrity action' from publisher of OK!, the Express and Star daily newspapers, as well as top-shelf magazines.Heat ran a spoiler in the same week, launching a stapled-in gossip magazine called Ooh! Scandal! Both magazines ran Victoria Beckham, Posh Spice, on the cover


Highbury House buys Cabal

March. Consumer, trade and contract publisher Highbury House Communications plc announced a takeover of Front publisher Cabal worth about £10 million
Highbury profile
Cabal profile



Spring/Summer. Emap East, London. £5; 364 pages. Editor-in-chief: Katie Grand
Headline-grabbing cover featuring a new-look Kylie Minogue from the quarterly fashion magazine. Lead feature of photos of seven women: Kylie (the megabrand); Natalia Vodianova (the sweetheart); Eva Herzigova (the princess); Angela Missoni (the knitter); Jessica Miller (sex kitten); Louise Pedersen (new girl); and Kate Moss (rebel). May be being groomed as monthly launch by Emap to fill gap from loss of Elle and Red to Hachette, leaving the company with just New Woman in the women's glossy sector


Future Home

March/April. Carlton Stanhope Media, London. £4; 116 pages. Editors: Chris Price and Ashley Norris
'Living with integrated technology'. Compare with Future's Digital Home. Spot varnish on cover
MD: Rob Lehmann; publisher Dan Bromage.

Word magazine cover
Word cover featuring Joni Mitchell from April 2007 (the 50th issue)


March. Development Hell, London. £3.50. 132 pages. Editor: Mark Ellen
'Music and Entertainment now.' A 'serious entertainment' magazine for men from Development Hell, a new publisher involving ex-Emap executives David Hepworth, Jerry Perkins, Mark Ellen and Andrew Harrison. Nick Cave on the cover.
'New! Something to read!' screamed the cover-line filled half cover. Interview with Maxim publisher Felix Dennis.

Music magazines



February/March. Sunday Times/River Publishing, London. £2.95; 180 pages. Editor: Brian Schofield. 'Be informed. Be inspired. Be there.' Gatefold cover


Vogue – pubic hair advert controversy

February. Conde Nast, London. £3.20. Editor: Alexandra Shulman
Controversy over double-page spread advert by Gucci with a model up against a wall showing her pubic hair – in the shape of a 'G' – to a male model kneeling at her feet. Company defended the advert as being in the tradition of Vogue publishing cutting-edge advertising and photography, and being unwilling to censor material.
Sophie Dahl cover by Nick Knight
With Top Shop catwalk supplement.
Conde Nast profile

Word magazine cover
Digital manipulation: Kate Winslet 'stretched' to look tall and thin

GQ – digital distortion fuss

February. Conde Nast, London; £3.50; 186 pages. Editor: Dylan Jones
Huge row over digital stretching and touching-up of actress Kate Winslett to produce taller-looking, size-12 feet version. Front page 'news' for Daily Mail and Daily Mirror (Fri Jan 10) – with page article inside on how it was done. Page 3 on previous day's Evening Standard in London
Digital distortion and manipulation: examples and debate
Conde Nast profile



January-April. Indobrit Publishing, London. £3.50; 140 pages. Editor: Farah Damji
'The light issue' devoted to exploring light in eastern and western cultures. A5 format with uncoated paper inside. 50,000 run.


Spa Health & Beauty

Winter/Spring. Spa Magazine Ltd, London. £3.50; 100 pages. Editor: Catherine Beattie
New magazine sitting alongside several titles using spa supplements to boost sales, including Conde Nast's Traveller. Used inside back cover for spread encouraging subscriptions


Three Sixty

Winter/Spring 2002/03. H. Bauer, London. £3.95; 180 pages. Editor: Jeanette Baker
Upmarket lifestyle quarterly: travel, entertaining, shopping, design, interiors. Unusual format: squarish 230mm wide x 250mm. 160,000 run


Digital Home

Spring. Future, Bath. £3.50; 132 pages. Editor: Dan Hutchinson.
'Technology for life.' Products and ways to connect up music, TV, web and security systems. Tip-on half cover carrying cover lines. Sub-line to masthead on cover: 'Featuring: Panasonic, Sony, Denon, [etc].' Brand-driven, highly-illustrated look (almost like a Dorling Kindersley book) ends up looking like a catalogue. Some use of silver ink inside