Magazine launches & events 2005

Magazines listed by cover date with most recent at top. Also with alphabetic links to magazines on the right. Launches in other years.
Grazia preview cover with Jennifer Aniston Pamela Anderson cover of Front magazine OK! US first issue cover Jessica Simpson Eve first issue cover
Feb: Grazia shakes up women's sector with fashion weekly launch Dec: Ex-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie loses shirt in Highbury fiasco Aug: OK! launches in US and sells 1m; but loses Zeta Jones case to Hello! Jan: political pressure forces BBC to sell women's monthly Eve to Haymarket

In development and news beat:
  • Murdoch's Love It to launch as sample with Sun
  • Burda Living & Gardens due out 2 February
  • Sunday Times Inside Out homes title 16 March
  • 'The nationals can't compete,' Closer editor tells The Independent
  • Editorial Intelligence for journalists and PRs (24 November)
  • Fashion weeekly at NatMags – Project Z
  • ACP-Natmag to launch Real People weekly in January 2006
  • NatMags-Rodale planning to bring Prevention to UK from US
  • FHM compact for summer 2006 at Emap following trial success
  • News International to launch True Lives and Inside Out in spring. Follows Guardian report
  • Robin Derrick, creative director of Vogue, was inspired in his career by a Vogue cover in 1976, he tells The Independent
  • Muffin the Mule and Zap comics at Future
  • Women's rights magazine editor arrested in Afghanistan. BBC News
  • Vogue's Anna Wintour hit with pie in fur protest
  • Trinity Mirror real-life magazine, Reality
  • Independent on Sunday goes tabloid (Oct 16).
  • Guardian columnist Roy Greenslade fears for press in distribution changes
  • Burda sees dirty tricks in Tesco delisting Full House
  • Higher frequency for the Economist's lifestyle annual Intelligent Life
  • Undisclosed £9m weekly from Future France
  • GQ Style for September
  • Weekly fashion title at IPC
  • Film weeklies from IPC and Emap; KO! for men at Northern & Shell

Australian Women's Weekly
ACP title The Australian Women's Weekly – country's best-read magazine

Magazine mogul Packer dies

Dec 26. Australia’s richest man, Kerry Packer, who controlled most of the country’s magazines through Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd, has died, aged 68. A family statement released through his Nine Network television station said: ‘He died peacefully at home with his family at his bedside.’
He inherited the family company, which has been run by his son James for several years. Kerry was the son of newspaper and magazine mogul Sir Frank Packer and began his career working in the printing room of one of the newspapers. When his father died in 1974, Packer became chairman of Australian Consolidated Press, now the magazine arm of PBL. He inherited television and radio stations, newspapers and the biggest magazine publisher in the country. In 1977, he bought limited-overs cricket to television with players in multi-coloured kit – ‘pyjamas’. The 190cm – 6ft 2in – Packer was flamboyant and a gambling ‘whale’, playing baccarat around the world and buying Melbourne’s Crown Casino, Australia’s largest.

Australia magazine Merricks
For emigrants

Australia and New Zealand magazine

Dec 05/Jan 06. Merricks. £3.75; 124pp. Ed: Anna Scrivenger
The latest in a range of titles from Merricks covering lifestyle, buying property and travel to various countries. The range focuses on advice for people who want to migrate. Australia (six a year); limited distribution: only WH Smith; sponsored by Currencies Direct.
Travel sector profile

Pamela Anderson on Front cover
Highbury's Front

MacKenzie drops Highbury

Dec 22. Kelvin MacKenzie resigned as chairman of Highbury House. He told the Guardian: 'I gave it my best shot but was defeated by a mountain of debt which had been accumulated over the past three years.' The publisher of Front suspended its shares on December 12 over £25m in debts. In January 2006, the company broke itself up
MacKenzie moves in
Future pulls out of Highbury acquisition
Archant buys Highbury division
Future to buy Highbury to jump into top 3
Highbury House offloads trade titles
Buyer stalks Highbury House
Magazine publishers profiled

Beano publisher buys Soduko company

Dec 15. DC Thomson, the family-owned company that publishes The Beano, Shout and Scottish newspapers such as The Courier and Sunday Post, spent £85m on Puzzler Media, publisher of 50 titles, including Puzzler Sudoku. Puzzler Media claims the title of 'the world's largest puzzle content provider'. The company traces its roots back to Home and Freezer in 1983 and is based in Redhill, Surrey. Puzzler Sudoku sells 280,000 copies a month and is the group's bestseller.
DC Thomson profile
Puzzler Media

Guardian picks top 20

Dec 12. The Guardian's media section named Private Eye, The Economist and The Week as its top three titles out of 20. It's a news-based list with just seven monthlies. Take a look at the BSME awards list for some similarities and contrasts
'Covered in glory'
BSME awards

Inked first issue cover tattoos
For the tattooed


Undated (c) 2005. Inked Productions (US). $3.99/£4; 146pp. Ed: Mike Salman
'Mindset, style, culture, art', in this case the art being tattooing. Glossy US quarterly distributed by Comag.

Nuts 15 August 2005
Naughty Nuts – it's official!

Zoo and FHM block Nuts

7 December. Zoo and FHM publisher Emap has won a ruling against IPC's Nuts to prevent it claiming the title 'best-selling men's magazine in Europe'. IPC made the claim in an email based on selling 301,671 copies a week of the title. However, Emap complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that monthly FHM sold 560,167 copies each issue. The ASA backed Emap.
ABC sales figures

Spin cricket cover Busy style differentiated Spin

No more Spin at Future

November 30. Future has closed Spin, the cricket title it bought in a £30m deal with Highbury House in April. The magazine was launched in March (April cover date) and was helped by the buzz surrounding the England team's success.
Future profile

Publicis Blueprint is top agency

Publicis Blueprint has been voted customer magazine agency of the year by the Association of Publishing Agencies. John Brown Citrus picked up five awards and Haymarket three. River won editor of the year for the Sunday Times Travel Magazine.
Customer publishers profiles

Grazia launch issue cover with Kate Moss
Grazia – launch cost £12m

France holds back Emap

A raft of problems has held back Emap profits – at a time when it has spent a total of £16m on the launches of Grazia in the UK and Closer in France. Interim pre-tax profits were flat at £75m, even though revenue rose 6 per cent to £554m. In France, its TV listings magazines TéléStar and TéléPoche have struggled to sell advertising in the face of new competitors, sales on the news-stands have been difficult – and the rioting of the past weeks will not have helped. French profits were halved. In the UK, recruitment advertising fell 14 per cent, but the company blamed NHS budget constraints rather than a shift in spending to recruitment websites. FHM, Heat, Zoo and Grazia were plus points.
Emap view on French market (Web Archive)
Emap profile

Queen cover from 1967
Queen from 13 December 1967

Bazaar NatMags drops Queen name

National Magazines plans to change the name of Harpers & Queen back to Harper’s Bazaar (it adopted the Queen when it took over the latter in 1970). Harper’s Bazaar dates back to 1867 and was bought by Hearst in 1912. It launched in the UK in 1929. Queen is even older. It was founded as a society weekly by Samuel Beeton in 1861.
NatMags profile

Magazines thrive in China

Magazines are thriving in China, as advertising income growth starts to eat into that of television, says the Wall Street Journal. A November 15 report, ‘Subscribing to China's Masses’, cites Nielsen Media Research showing that spending by mass-market and luxury consumer brands in consumer magazines was up 28% last year over 2003, outpacing the growth rate for newspapers and eating into the 80% share of television. Although there are obstacles such as a fragmented market, advertisers' preference for established titles, political land mines and ambiguous circulation numbers, the barriers for magazines, especially lifestyle titles, are lower than for TV.

Mixmag cover 2004
Mixmag – redesign in 2004

Development Hell buys Mixmag

Word publisher Development Hell has bought clubbing magazine Mixmag from Emap, paying 'a seven-figure sum' for the 46,470-selling title. Rivals Ministry and IPC's 1995 launch Muzik closed since in 2002 and 2003. The Ministry of Sound tried to launch another title, Trash, as a contract magazine with Condé Nast in 2003, but this was an embarrassing failure. Word sells 33,376 a month for £4.20. Emap bought Mixmag from independent music company DMC in 1997 for an undisclosed sum. It then had an 80,000-circulation, having been launched 14 years earlier as a newsletter for DJs. The £3.85 Mixmag may have been too small a niche for Emap, which has developed radio stations around Kerrang!, Q and Mojo.
Development Hell profile
Emap profile

Zoo front cover
Zoo: big on boobs

Zoo ridicules ASA

Zoo publisher Dan Cotton has ridiculed the Advertising Standards Authority's criticism over the magazine running a 'boob job competition'. Retail Newsagent quoted him saying: 'This kind of thing is entertaining for our readers'; 'Our readers could not give two hoots about the ASA'; and 'Hopefully this will drive readers to the news-stand.' The ASA listed a dozen complaints about the Emap magazine's competition.
ASA website
Emap profile

Vogue cover July 1932
July 1932: the first photographic cover, shot by Edward Steichen for editor Alison Settle

Vogue puts covers on website

Condé Nast has put some British Vogue covers since its launch in 1916 on its website as part of a celebration of 10 years of Unfortunately, it is a limited selection and some have been heavily cropped
How to find cover images
The secrets of cover design
Condé Nast profile

O: fashion supplement by Tank Fashion supplement by Tank for Observer

O: Observer Fashion Supplement by Tank

Winter. Tank/Observer (GMG). Free with Observer newspaper. 100pp. Ed-in-chief: Masoud Golsorkhi. Art dir: Nina Lawson
The Sunday Observer presses ahead with its free supplement strategy. This fashion quarterly – produced by photography-led Tank – follows sport and music monthlies, in addition to the weekly magazine. Large format (266mm by 320mm) enables O: to show off the photography and it is thick enough with perfect binding to feel like a real magazine (26 pages of ads, including a four-page advertorial for Getty Images/Cointreau).
Observer profile

Uncut DVD first issue cover
Clint in his Dirty Harry days is the cover icon

Uncut DVD

Nov/Dec. IPC Media, London. £3.99. 148pp. Ed: Allan Jones. Pub dir: Andrew Sumner
IPC Ignite has launched a quarterly spin-off from Uncut, its film and music title, which will cover films on DVD. The first issue features Clint Eastwood and has a history of The Sweeney. With an editor's letter that starts 'The last time I essayed this sort of introduction...', it could do with better subbing.
IPC profile

Crime Confidential

Oct 25-Nov 7. Hachette Filipacchi, London. 70p (£1.40). 68pp. Ed: Nick Chalmers
Hachette Filipacchi's Crime Confidential has a 70,000-90,000 sales target. The fortnightly will be sold alongside women's weeklies. Cabal tied to launch Crime Weekly in 1999 but this never appeared after IPC put out a 'spoiler', Chat Crime and Passion.
Hachette Filipacchi profile

Rolling Stone cover January 22 1981
The best US magazine cover in past 40 years: Rolling Stone from January 22 1981

Best US covers of 40 years

Oct 17. The 1980s was a low point for magazine covers in the US, according to The American Society of Magazine Editors. The decade threw up just three covers from the past 40 years, whereas the years 1965-1969 alone produced 11 (including four from Life, three from Esquire and two from Time).Overall, Rolling Stone’s January 22 1981 cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono was named the top cover, with Vanity Fair’s cover featuring a naked, pregnant Demi Moore (August 1991), ranked second. In third place was Esquire’s April 1968 issue depicting Muhammad Ali as St Sebastian with six arrows in his body. The Economist made the list with its September 10 1994 cover showing two camels copulating and the words: 'The Trouble with Mergers'. The ASME tried to pick the top 40 US covers of the past 40 years – but ended up choosing 41! The total included four winners from Esquire, Life and Time; three from The New Yorker; and two each from Harper's Bazaar, Newsweek, National Geographic and People. The most recent cover was Vogue's May 2004 cover of Nicole Kidman.
ASME press release (Web Archive)

Another Man first issue 2005
Joaquin Pheonix talks about portraying Johnny Cash in Walk the Line

Another Man

Autumn/Winter. Another Man Publishing. £4.50 322pp. Ed: Jefferson Hack
Jefferson Hack and Rankin Waddell – the people behind Dazed and Another Magazine – have produced a picture-fest tomb of men's fashion. It includes a 10-page shoot of Kate Moss modelling Dior Homme's autumn clothes. It begins: 'She sells beer, she sells cigarettes and clothes...' She is also Hack's former girlfriend and mother of their daughter. The issue probably went to press before the 'Cocaine Kate' scandal broke in the Daily Mirror because it carries Burberry advertising with Moss (the company has since dropped her).
Dazed profile

She relaunch cover
Old name; new mag

She relaunches

November. National Magazine Co, London. £3; 84pp. Ed: Matthew Line
This is more than a relaunch: NatMags got rid of all the old staff, so this is a new magazine under the same – 50-year-old - name. Line has been developing the title for 18 months, before which he was editor of Homes & Gardens. Before that he worked on contract titles at Redwood. Cover lines:

50 secrets and solutions to everyday dilemmas

Beautifully simple meals with no washing up
One colour scheme to transform any room
Are you using the wrong painkiller?
Fashion classics that really flatter

Discover how to
– Download music
– Use the real da vinci code
– Create a firework display
– Read palms...& teach your dog tricks!

Free pull out and keep health chart, cookery cards and decorating guide.
National Magazine Co profile

Flush first issue cover
Joining the gambling bandwagon


November. Flush Magazine. Dennis, London. 99p (£1.50); 84pp. Ed: Steve Muncey
Another gambling title a month after Poker Player. The website says 100,000 copies of this online gambling guide, covering sports as well as poker, will be distributed. The first three issues are to be sold in WH Smith with copies (presumably free distribution) also going to airport business lounges and private members clubs. The publishers must have had a hard time with advertising though, because the promise of 'minimum 100 pages' is not met. Ex-footballer, film actor and airline-rager Vinnie Jones is on the cover.

Mood magazine cover (France)
From the Psychologies stable

Mood for French teens

October. SNC Selma (Hachette), Paris. €2.50; 148pp. Directrice de la rédaction: Cécile Lestienne.
Publicité: Fabien Livet
Fun feel for a teen magazine from the team that launched Psychologies in 1988 – Jean Louis Servan-Schreiber and Perla Servan-Schreiber. Compact format (185mm by 224mm). Print run is 400,000. Hit the streets 21 September. Used special advertising rate card for the first three issues. Backed by a €3 million (£2m) marketing budget through radio, poster, online, press, viral and 'street' marketing. The website seen as an important part of the package, with a spread on pages 10 and 11 promoting the online element. The home page features a counter giving the number of days since the issue came out, which changes to the next issue countdown a week in advance.

Poker Player first issue cover
Poker showman Dave 'Devilfish' Ulliott on Dennis' latest launch

Poker Player

October. Dennis, London. £1 (£1.50); 68pp. Ed: Dave Woods
Dennis has never been slow to spot a trend and on the back of Total Gambler, distributed free with September's Maxim and other Dennis titles, comes monthly Poker Player. The launch is backed by a TV advertising campaign through agency BLM and creative services company Flint. It is shown alongside poker programmes and aims to give viewers interested in poker the chance to sample three issues of the magazine through interactive TV. At 68 pages, the magazine feels thin, but the launch price is held at £1.
Future has Online Gambler, a free monthly launched in March with a print run of 500,000. It is distributed with Future's titles that have an audience of men aged 21-45, such as PC Format, PC Gamer and T3.
Seymour is the distributor for Total Gambler, with the second issue due on sale 20 October priced £1.50.
Dennis profile

360 first issue cover
Project Gotham Racing 3 cover for Xbox title

360 from new publisher Imagine

Not dated (on sale 18 August). Imagine, Bournmouth. £4; 132pp. Ed: Mark Denton
360 is dedicated to the Microsoft Xbox 360 videogames console and aims to piggyback on the games hype that starts in the run-up to Christmas. The magazine comes in a sealed cardboard case with a quality feel that is reminiscent of a Future launch. It aims at gamers aged 25-34 who see the console as a 'digital hub' for music, film, etc. But it is not without competition: XBox 360 Official from Future and existing XBox titles from Highbury are on the shelves also. Beware confusion with Threesixty, a bodyboarding magazine. Publisher Imagine is based in Bournemouth and was formed in 2005 by the former directors of Paragon, which was sold to Highbury in 2003 for £32m. The company is backed by venture capitalists and corporate financiers. It has also launched Mac Creative for advanced users and plans more launches. Seymour is the distributor, with the second issue due on sale 29 September.
Imagine Publishing profile

Styling Lard first issue Gongs
Larded with awards

Gongs issue of Styling Lard

Summer (biannual). Mark Denton Design, London. £10; 80pp. Ed: Mark Denton
For the self-glorification of awards-obsessed advertising creatives. 'The first magazine to give mediocre advertising a wide berth.' Lists both the top 50 copywriters and top 50 art directors. Two covers: one for Gongs, the other (upside down) for Styling Lard.

men's vogue first issue George Clooney
Craving for the Old World

Men's Vogue (US)

Fall (20 September UK on-sale date). Condé Nast, New York. £4.30/$4.95); 300pp. Ed-in-chief: Jay Fielden
Rare Italian wine, Geneva, Sotheby's, Julian Opie, Berkel meat slicers, Fiat's Gianni Agnelli, Panerai watches, tailor-made suits, Barker Black shoes, pilot bags, Bentleys, picture framers, Swiss watches, English furniture, a Hamptons golf club, GPS phones, $1,400 desk lamps, Paul Smith suits, English shooting parties, Roger Federer. The contents of this launch issue scream that the New Yorkers who produce this magazine (the editor came from The New Yorker) want to be anywhere but the US at the moment. Old World Europe is the place to be. They aspire to James Bond glitz (that of the books with their supercharged Bentleys, not the films) and they are aiming their magazine at people they believe can afford such trappings – men aged 34 and up who earn $100,000 a year or more. Half of the 400,000 printed in the US were sent to men fitting the target profile, with the remainder going to newsagents. However, the paper feels surprisingly thin and the launch unambitious. Of three Soho newsagents where I tried to get a copy, there was only one left and one owner bemoaned only being sent 10. Clearly, the magazine has to differentiate itself from stablemate GQ , though that has to some extent been dragged into Maxim territory. Some reviews have compared Men's Vogue with the Esquire of yesteryear, and it's certainly no Maxim, but stepping back in time is no option and a glance at the cover shows it is no Esquire . More like the FT's How To Spend It.
Magazine publishers profiles
Men's magazines case study

Games Machine (Italy)
Italy's oldest games title

Future buys Italian and French titles

20 September. Future has spent €3.7m (£2.5m) on a clutch of computer games magazines in Italy and France. Italy's longest-running games title The Games Machine was bought from Milan-based Xenia Edizioni Srl for €3.5m. The deal also includes smaller titles PC Action, PC Action Games , Videogames and the website In France, Consoles Plus from Emap France cost €0.2m. It is one of the leading multi-platform titles in France and was founded in 1991. It is a strategy the company has used before. In August 2004, Future bought Computer & Video Games – regarded as the UK's oldest games title – with its website. It closed the magazine but kept the website
Future profile

Attitude cover September 2004: Jordan
Jordan on the cover of Attitude in September 2004

OK! set to sell a million

Richard Desmond's OK! has printed about 2 million copies of the first part of Jordan & Peter Andre's wedding. Only about 20,000 of them were returned early by retailers, suggesting it will sell in excess of a million copies, but probably not the 'nearly 2m' that Desmond's Express has suggested.
Northern & Shell profile

Newsquest buys Exchange & Mart

United Business Media is to sell Exchange & Mart and Auto Exchange to Exchange Enterprises, a subsidiary of local newspaper group Newsquest, for £50.25m. The titles turn over about £35.8 million a year, and trade sources had suggested a sales multiple of up to three (which would have fetched £100m). The Exchange & Mart website gets about 5 million page impressions a month. Exchange & Mart started in 1868 and sells almost 90,000 copies a week. Auto Exchange is free on Fridays from supermarkets and petrol stations
Exchange & Mart
UBM profile
Newsquest profile

Living, etc, October 2005 cover
Set for the small screen

Living, Etc expands into TV

IPC's home and interiors magazine Living Etc, is to front a cable TV series. Discovery Networks International has commissioned a 15-part series of 30 minute programmes on modern home design 'through the eyes of' the magazine. The series, which will use the magazine's name, is to be broadcast on the Discovery Travel & Living network in late 2005. Several members of the editorial team will contribute to the series.
IPC profile

Guardian Berliner format dummy cover
Dummy for Berliner

Guardian switches to Continental size

Monday, 12 September. The Guardian newspaper switches to full-colour and a Berliner format, which is smaller than a broadsheet but larger than a tabloid. Ironically, the specialist sections (Media on Monday) get bigger, from tabloid to Berliner. However, the G2 section goes down to a half-Berliner, feeling very insubstantial. Paper's redesign in 1988 by Pentagram's David Hillman was a watershed in British newspaper design, bringing in the concept of white space to newspaper pages, though it met a mixed reception at the time. It marked the start of the domination of modular layouts, larger pictures and fewer words to a page in English papers. However, although these look clean in design terms, they lack dynamism in many readers' eyes. The often-intriguing 'briefs' that were used to fill in the bottom of columns on papers such as the Telegraph disappeared, losing an easy way in to reading papers, particularly for younger readers. The Berliner Guardian goes further down that route.
Guardian article on redesign and front page gallery
Guardian profile

Wonderland magazine first issue cover
Luxury glossy for men and women

Wonderland seeks luxury buyers

Sept/Oct. £4.95; 295pp. Visual Talent, London.
Ed/pub: Huw Gwyther
A thick first outing for the luxury magazine that came about as a result of a TV programme, BBC2's The Dragon's Den, to find young entrepreneurs – though positively skinny compared with the same month's Wallpaper at more than 400 pages. The bi-monthly's print run set at 140,000 copies with target sales of 100,000, about half of which are expected in the UK.
Glossy throughout but cover marred by marks – work will be needed in post-press handling. Huw Gwyther, who had been a studio manager for photographer Mario Testino, received 175,000 in backing from telecoms millionaire Peter Jones after appearing on TV, but the total launch budget was only £250,000. The launch PR was by Max Clifford Associates.
Wonderland website

Psychologies Meg Ryan cover
Meg Ryan fronts the magazine for 'third wave' women

Psychologies looks for 'third wave' women

October. Hachette Filipacchi UK, London. £2.50 (£3); 180pp. Ed: Maureen Rice; ad manager: Caroline Lawley
Psychologies claims to have identified a new market of 'third wave' women – 4.7m 30- to 55-year-olds who do not read a women's monthly. Furthermore, HFUK's research (by the Future Foundation) suggests a third of women in this age group have no interest in reading about fashion (HFUK publishes Elle and Red). Psychologies aims to open up this market, by offering 'positive living' and 'strategies for a richer life and better relationships' (dubbed 'self-help' in the trade press). Psychologies defines itself 'your personal coach'; 'accessible and useful'; 'an emotional and psychological toolkit for modern life'; 'mind-shifting and inspiring'; and 'about what we're [women] really like, not just what we look like'. The media pack shows editor Maureen Rice, beauty editor Delphine Lamandé-Frearson and features editor Rebecca Alexander all dressed in white shirts against a white background – very clinical, the sort of look adopted by Vision Express and Boot's for its opticians. A 28-page sample of Psychologies was distributed with the previous Sunday's Observer newspaper. The news stand sales target is 100,000 copies after a year. About 300,000 distributed for the first issue.
The research-based approach echoes the niche Emap and Hachette (who were then in partnership) proposed for the launch of Red in 1989: 'middle youth'. That term had been around at Emap for for several years, known as 'Project Miriam'. It described women who had grown out of Elle and Marie Claire but were not ready for 'middle-aged' Good Housekeeping. Red aimed for women aged 28 to 44, with a core audience of 30 to 39-year-olds. Kevin Hand was then Emap chief executive but lost his job over the disastrous purchase of Petersen in the US; now he leads HFUK.
is a top 3 women's magazine in France (launched 1970, sells 350,000 copies a month) and there are Italian (October 2004, 200,000) and Spanish (March 2005, 340,000 sold of first issue) editions. Hachette plans to launch the title in China, Russia and the US. Maureen Rice is a former editor of Options and 19.
It is the first launch by HFUK since it was formed by splitting off from a joint partnership with Emap and taking over Attic Futura in 2002, when it said it aimed to become one of the top three UK consumer publishers within five years.
*Third wave is a term relating to the development of feminism. The first wave was campaigning for women's suffrage. This was followed by 1960s demands for positive action. The third wave of the 1990s involves recognising gender diversity and involving men in social change (gender mainstreaming).
Hachette Filipacchi UK profile

How to be Better Off first issue cover
'Save £115,000' with the first issue

How to be Better Off

Autumn. BBC/FT Business, London. £3; 100pp.
Ed: Matthew Vincent
While Seven Publishing, below, goes straight for the Millionaire throat, the BBC and FT Business take a more laid-back approach: 'We deliberately didn't call this magazine How to be Rich '. The first issue has 'payback' boxes with each article listing the potential saving – a total of £115,303.

MacKenzie takes over at Highbury

Kelvin MacKenzie, former editor of the Sun tabloid newspaper and head of The Wireless Group, took over as executive chairman of Front to Popular Patchwork publisher Highbury House Communications this week. He had built up a 20% stake in the embattled publisher in the past month.
Magazine publishers profiled

Who Wants to be a Millionaire magazine cover
£1.50 for first issue

Who Wants to be a Millionaire

Oct (but no stated cover date, only off-sale 6 Oct). £1.50 (£1.95); 100pp. Seven Publishing/Celador, London. Ed: Sarah Giles
Chris Tarrant is on the cover and inside hugging the editor of this puzzle monthly spin-off from the TV show. The print run was 200,000. The programme's logo is carried on most pages, cementing the relationship with production company Celador. The first launch since Seven bought puzzle specialist Cottage Publishing a year ago. Puzzles supplied by Dilemma (UK).
Seven profile

What Car? Russia cover
Haymarket's What Car? now faces Evo and Top Gear in Russia

Car magazines open up new fronts in sales war

UK motoring monthlies Top Gear, What Car? and Evo this month find themselves competing for readers and advertising in a new marketplace – Russia.
Dennis has launched its fourth overseas edition of Evo magazine in a licensing deal with Mediasign Publishing House, a Russian publisher with a portfolio of titles from several UK publishers. The first edition featured a 3D image on the cover. Haymarket unveiled What Car? in August with Russian partner Open Systems, which publishes Haymarket's Stuff, Champions and Management Today under licence. Both will come up against BBC Magazines' Top Gear (which has 10 international versions, the latest being with Media Pulse in Thailand). However, Russia is the only country in which the three go head-to-head, though Top Gear and What Car? both appear in China, while Top Gear and Evo fight it out in the Philippines.
Top Gear Evo What Car?
China France (2005) China (2005)
Indonesia (2002) Greece India (2005)
Korea Italy Russia (2005)
Middle East Malaysia (2005)
Netherlands Philippines (2005)
New Zealand Russia (2005)
Russia (2005)
Car magazines case study
BBC Magazines profile
Dennis profile
Haymarket profile

The Times logo

Murdoch ends newspaper price war

3 September. The price of the Times has risen to 60p, the same as the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian , ending a price war that started in September 1993 when proprietor Rupert Murdoch cut the price of his paper from 45p to 30p (and 10p on Mondays). Within a month of that cut, sales rose 30%. In a front-page editorial, the Independent appealed for readers' support because 'The intention, as Times insiders are prepared to admit, is to drive this newspaper, the Independent, and the Independent on Sunday, out of business.' The move led to a crisis at the Independent that saw the company change hands several times. The Express, which like the Daily Mail cost 37p, was also hit. The Daily Telegraph was forced to cut its price, but even so saw the sales gap over its rival contract dramatically. The resulting financial decline played a part in the takeover of the paper by the Barclay brothers last year. Even so, complaints of predatory pricing were rejected four times by the Office of Fair Trading.
By June 2001, the Times's circulation had almost doubled and Murdoch increased the price to 40p. However, the Independent switched to its 'compact' format in September 2003, which resulted in a boost to its sales. The Times has since followed suit (and the Guardian in September).
In the year to June 2004, Times Newspapers (which also publishes the Sunday Times) lost £40m, up by a third from the previous year (£29m) and more than double the £16.3m loss of the year before that.
News International profile

GQ mens magazine first UK issue
Michael Heseltine – as featured on GQ's launch issue in 1992

Heseltine heads up distribution campaign

Lord Heseltine – former Conservative deputy prime minister and founder of Haymarket – is leading a campaign against changes to the magazine distribution system. The changes, proposed by the Office of Fair Trading, would see wholesalers such as WH Smith, John Menzies and Dawson News, and regional distributors lose their exclusive right to distribute magazines. However, the change would also end the guarantee of universal distribution of magazines and hence the livelihood of small newsagents. Magazine publishers have warned that 1,000 titles and 12,000 retailers are endangered. The industry also believes the supermarkets - whose share of magazine sales has risen from 4% to 27% in 15 years – would gain a stranglehold.

ABC figures: launches do well

Women's weekly launches Grazia, Reveal and Pick Me Up, listings title TV Easy and monthly Easy Living all met targets with their first audited sales figures:
  • Emap's fashion weekly Grazia – 155,000
  • NatMag's Reveal – 273,159
  • IPC's "real life" title Pick Me Up – 503,950
  • IPC's TV listings mag TV Easy – 340,000
  • Condé Nast's Easy Living – 171,000.
One disappointment was Dennis's Test Drive at 67,190. This has been relaunched and the price halved to £1.45 for September's issue. October's will be £2.99. No figures were released for Northern & Shell's monthly shopping title Happy (which is set to raise its price by 10p to £1.90 for September's issue) or its TV listings title Take 5, or Burda's women's weekly Full House.

ABC figures: economy hits sales

Falls in house prices and lower consumer confidence dented magazine sales in the motoring and home and interiors sectors. Most titles in both sectors saw falls. It was a different story in current affairs, with The Week up 14%, the Spectator and Economist up 5% and Private Eye up 2%.

ABC data: sales grow in men's market

Fears of the men's weeklies hitting sales of the monthly lads' mags have been confounded by the latest sales figures. Ten of 14 titles in the sector saw sales rise – weekly Nuts up 5% to hit 304,751 and rival Zoo leaping 30% to 260,317. Loaded jumped back ahead of Maxim – thanks to a relaunch and price cut – to regain second place among the monthlies. But there were casualties: FHM down 4% and Front and Bizarre both losing 12% (the former is owned by troubled Highbury House and the latter was recently redesigned).

Maxim China edition
Maxim – already in China, now to be used to brand nightclubs in the US

Felix Dennis rules out men's weekly in the US

15 August. Felix Dennis, founder of the eponymous company that publishes Maxim and The Week, has ruled out launching a men's weekly in the US. "It is interesting that no one has rushed to launch one in America and anyone who does will be utterly crucified because there isn't anywhere to sell it. There's not a supermarket in America that would touch [Emap's and IPC's weeklies] Zoo or Nuts," he told the Guardian. He also foresaw brand extension for Maxim in the US, and said Maxim steak houses and nightclubs were on the horizon. On Test Drive, launched last year, he said:
"This was a brilliant launch with a cocked-up editorial product which is now a brilliant editorial product ...We ripped up the gameplan which was obviously flawed. We did the necessary, put in new people and refused to walk away. [Rival] What Car has been around a long time ... When I see a whale hanging about in a lagoon getting fatter and fatter my immediate reaction is to reach for my harpoon."
Dennis profile
News magazines: 'I see a whale'

MacKenzie takes stake in Highbury

Kelvin MacKenzie, former editor of the Sun and, until recently, chief executive of Wireless Group, has built up stake of almost 15 per cent stake in troubled publisher Highbury House.
Magazine publishers profiled

Highbury retrenches

8 August. Highbury House has cut back its lifestyle division, selling Real Homes to Hachette Filipacchi UK for £500,000 and closing the loss-making Home and Inspirations , all of which had been relaunched in April. Male lifestyle title Front and Gardens Monthly are being retained, but the company is focusing on titles it gained in 2003 when it bought Paragon, which are mainly in the computer and games sector.
Highbury expanded in 2003 but got into problems in 2004. A £96 takeover by Future fell through this year but Highbury sold 38 UK titles and its US division to Future for £30.5m. Highbury is in the process of selling its South African division.
Magazine publishers profiled

Sodoku publisher 'could fetch £100m'

August 8. Press reports have speculated that Puzzler Media, which publishes puzzle magazines and sells sudoku puzzles to newspapers such as the Times and the Sun, cold fetch up to £100m in a trade sale. The buzz around the number puzzles has prompted private equity fund ABN Amro Capital - which bought the company for £36.7m in April 2002 - to look at strategic options including a sale.
Puzzler Media website

OK! US first issue cover Jessica Simpson
Pop star Jessica Simpson on the cover
OK!'s Michael Jackson baby cover
An example of OK! buying up picture rights
OK! australia cobver Jessica Simpson
How the Jessica Simpson cover appeared in Australia

OK! takes on People in US

August. Northern & Shell. $3.29; 100pp. Ed: Sarah Ivens; Publisher: Gaby Fireman
Richard Desmond's Northern & Shell plans to spend $100m (£57m) over six years to establish OK! in the US with $10m spent on the launch. Its Hola!/Hello!-like strategy of 'working with' celebrities by paying for exclusive access and offering copy and picture approval, puts it up against the more invasive People from Time Warner (which sells the 3.7m copies a week and is often seen at the country's most profitable magazine); Star and Celebrity Living. In the UK, OK! has been in a running battle of words and court cases with Hello!.
The print run was 1.3m copies and 110,000 shelf positions had been bought at retailers. The first issue carried interviews with actresses Tara Reid and Mariska Hargitay, others from Desperate Housewives and the OC, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. Advertising of 20 pages included copy from Estée Lauder and Hérmes at a page rate of $28,000. In comparison, People runs to 50-odd pages at this time of year.
UK women's weeklies
Northern & Shell profile

Zoo Sie7e first issue cover
Flesh goes weekly in Spain

Zoo launches in Spain

1 August. The first international edition of Emap's men's weekly Zoo has been launched in Spain. It is published in partnership with Focus Ediciones (part of Swiss publisher Edipresse), which publishes FHM in Spain under licence. Recently launched weekly Sie7e (Seven), has been re-branded as Zoo Sie7e. Emap and IPC are in a race to launch their men's titles internationally after they lost out when Dennis took Maxim, then a distant third in the UK to FHM and Loaded, in the US. FHM has 30 editions worldwide. FHM came in with its first audited circulation figure of around 250,000. The target circulation for Zoo Sie7e is 100,000 within 18 months. FHM sells 250,000 copies in Spain. The move follows the June launch of Closer in France.
Edipresse website
Emap profile

Test Drive cover Dennis
To halve price for one issue

Test Drive halves price

September. Dennis. £1.45 special price (usually £2.99)
Dennis is to halve the cover price of Test Drive for the September issue, which appears in August – a critical time for buying new cars. Test Drive was launched last year and had a first ABC sales figure of 109,880
Dennis profile

Grazia at £1 – ahead of 20p rise

11 July. Emap. £1 special price (usually £1.50); 116pp inc 16pp beauty section
Emap is to increase the cover price of fashion weekly Grazia by 20p to £1.70 after this week's special trial of £1. The cover story was of Kate Moss's plans to marry Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty, having split up with Dazed & Confused publisher Jefferson Hack.

Nat Mags' Reveal is also using price this week – 50p rather than the usual £1.

Other price changes this week include Cosmo Girl! up 10p to £2.10; August's Future Music up a whopping 74p to £4.99; Heat up 5p to £1.55; Private Eye up 10p to £1.40; Rolling Stone up 30p to £3.50; and Top of the Pops up 10p to £2.10. Going the opposite way is Bauer's weekly Full House, from 70p down to 60p.
Emap profile

Albion comic first issue cover
Robot Archie features on the first cover
The Steel Claw
The Steel Claw, as it appeared in Valiant

Lion and Valiant heroes reappear in Albion

Characters such as The Steel Claw, Robot Archie, Captain Hurricane and The Spider that appeared in Lion and Valiant comics in the 1960s are to re-appear in Albion, a six-part monthly series, published by DC Comic's WildStorm imprint. Albion is plotted by Alan Moore and features covers by Dave Gibbons, who together created Watchmen. The characters have been licensed by IPC to the US company, both of which are divisions of Time Warner.
IPC profile
Profile of The Steel Claw at International Hero
Lion history at Comics UK
Profile of Robot Archie at International Hero

FHM with Pamela Anderson in 3 sizes
Pam Anderson on the usual size cover

FHM bigger – and smaller

August. Emap, London.£3.40; 244 pages. Ed: Ross Brown; art director: Dan Knight; managing director: David Pullan
FHM is being published in three sizes this month:
  • a 'compact' edition measuring 230 x 170mm;
  • the usual, slightly wider than A4; and
  • a 'big as a house' version (350 x 257mm).
The company claims the move as a world first and hopes to increase copy sales by 30%. It has tried the giant size in Russia in June 2004 and Spain in April 2005. Pamela Anderson is on the cover, in a heavily touched-up image. The same image, not so touched up but reversed, was on the front of FHM US in July. The content was the same, apart from a section of images of very large things (in the big and usual sizes) or very small. The compact version was unable to carry some loose inserts; a bound-in insert for Sony Ericsson (neither was the big version); and two tip-on sachets. All carried a 16-page advertorial 'Better Bible' section for Heineken on heavier paper.
NB: FHM no longer carries a month in its dateline. Given that the August/8 issue is on sale at the end of June, does Emap plan to increase the number of issues a year?
Emap profile

TES for sale

3 July. News International, publisher of the Times and Sunday Times, is to sell the Times Educational Supplement and two other specialist titles in an auction for an expected £250m. It would be the first newspaper disposal by the group since Rupert Murdoch bought the Times group of titles in 1981 (for £12m!). The weekly TES , its higher education sister, THES, Nursery World and Times Literary Supplement (not included in he auction) form one of the UK's most profitable specialist newspaper publishers.
News International profile

Radio Times backs Live8

Radio Times has published eight different covers to celebrate the Live 8 concert in London's Hyde Park on July 2. Coldplay, Bob Geldof, Annie Lennox, Paul McCartney, REM, Joss Stone, Sting and U2 are on the different covers.
BBC Magazines

Cooler first issue
For girls who surf


Summer. Action Sports Media, London. £2. 132pp (plus gatefold). Ed: Cathy Struthers
The 'first boardsports lifestyle magazine' for women aims to pick up on a trend for the 'macho, guys-only line-ups' of the surfing world to be shaken up. Features cover spas, zen, beauty and 'The sexiest men in surf' as well as fashion and beauty. Has a very US feel, possibly down to the advertising and small A4 format. Front cover has a a reverse gatefold, which is rarely used because it does not stand up well to the treatment it gets in shops. Published in English, French and German. Company also runs Surf Europe and Kingpin (skateboarding).
Extreme sports publishers profiled

Fleet Street in 2004
Fleet Street in 2004 looking west. The Express building is on the right with the Telegraph beyond. On the left is the sign of the Old Bell pub, which is in front of St Bride's church (picture from David Flint's History in Focus)

Murdoch reads last rites on Fleet Street

15 June. News Corp chief executive Rupert Murdoch returned to Fleet Street for a church service to remember the area's association with the national press. It was sparked by the move by Reuters – the last major news organisation with headquarters on Fleet Street – to new headquarters in Canary Wharf.

The irony was that Murdoch broke the back of Fleet Street - and the powerful print unions – in 1986 when he moved News International, which included the Sun and News of the World tabloids and Times and Sunday Times broadsheets, to Wapping to the east of Tower bridge. Within four years, the other dailies had fled Fleet Street, though their names still grace the buildings.

The street runs between St Paul's cathedral and the Strand, so it was close to the law courts, the City and a hop away from Westminster. But the name covered the whole area (some papers, such as the Times, were never on the street).

Banker Goldman Sachs moved into the Telegraph's old headquarters and another bank took over the iconic Art Deco Daily Express building (known as the 'Black Lubjanka'). The move from hot metal typesetting to computer-based technologies meant newspaper owners were able to make fortunes selling the properties, which included huge print plants, and move into smaller offices in cheaper areas. Reuters has sold its building, designed by Edwin Lutyens, to developers.

However, St Bride's, the journalists' church where the service was held, remains. Alongside is St Bride's Printing Library , which traces the roots of printing and publishing back 500 years. It began when William Caxton's apprentice Wynkyn de Worde, who was later buried in St Bride's Church, brought the printing press to the area. The newspaper tradition began in 1702 with the Daily Courant.

Agence France-Presse and Scottish group DC Thomson remain on Fleet Street. As do the pubs, such as the King and Keys, haunt of Telegraph hacks and renowned for its fights, the Tipperary, favoured by the News of the World, and El Vino's. Aficionados of such pubs should read Alan Watkins' chapter on Fleet Street watering holes in Secrets of the Press: Journalists on Journalism, edited by Stephen Glover (1999).
Reuters website

Downsized Essentials
New for old

'Convenience size' for Essentials

July. IPC, London. £2.40; 180pp. Ed: Julie Barton-Beck; publisher: Ilka Schmitt
The price is about the only thing that's the same on this one: smaller, 'convenience size' format; new logo, typefaces and cover style; and colour-coded sections. The target reader is a 32-year-old suburban women – the realm of Hachette Filipacchi's Red and Haymarket's Eve – and 'life support' is the theme of the revamped title. A 16-page, perforated section of ideas, 'Essentials to go', is designed to be torn out and kept. The title saw a 14 per cent drop in circulation in February's figures. Julie Barton-Breck was editor of IPC's Family Circle, but swapped jobs with Karen Livermore last October.
IPC profile

Covermount madness

July issues. It's that time of year again when the women's magazines lard their cover with free gifts to jack up the sales figures towards the end of the first-half accounting period. Kit yourself out with:
  • sunglasses – Tatler
  • cotton vest – In Style
  • sarong – Company
  • designer bag – Eve
  • beach bag – Marie Claire
  • beach mat – New Woman
Once you are suitably settled on the beach, take out:
  • Red for a free copy of weekly OK! and anti-ageing cream
  • She for a copy of weekly Reveal
  • Harper's & Queen for its supplement on the 100 most beautiful women, and skin cream
  • Cosmopolitan for its male centrefolds
IPC's Woman & Home took a different strategy: it is selling special issues of Ideal Home and 25 Beautiful Homes in a bundle for £4.90 at WH Smith.

Performance Bikes relaunch

July. Emap, Peterborough, London. £1.99; 140pp. Ed: Tim Thompson
'Free of tawdry gifts. Buy it for the mag' – that's the coverline in contrast to the women's glossies on this relaunch. What's immediately different is the special price, almost halved (was £3.70). It does have a four-page, fold-out trackday planner as part of a poster, though. The title's sales fell 19 per cent sales drop in the latest audited figures. Press Gazette reported new editor Tim Thompson as saying the focus was on information "for people who actually own sportsbikes and who want to improve or modify them." Also, the title had decided to cut the number of naked girls in its pages. The other bike mags do have covermounts, including Emap's other titles Bike (a DVD) and Ride (a kit guide), IPC's Super Bike (book and poster) and Haymarket's TWO (tyre pressure gauge).
Emap profile

Morgan to buy Press Gazette

June 6. Former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan is to buy the 40-year-old newspaper industry trade magazine Press Gazette this week from Quantum Business Media. Quantum's owners, ABN Amro Capital, have already sold off the company's other titles, including Media Week, which was bought by Haymarket. Morgan is backed by celebrity PR Matthew Freud. website

Essential buys TV Hits

June 1. Hachette Filipacchi has sold teen entertainment title TV Hits to Essential for an undisclosed sum. The title has seen a slide in sales. Hachette also announced a cover-mounted book for All About Soap, which also has sales problems. Essential bought fortnightly Real last year from Bauer.
Magazine publishers profiled

VNU tests 'compact' Personal Computer World

July. VNU, London. £2.75; 230pp (includes gatefold cover). Ed: Rob Jones; publisher: Richard Wilson
It was once king of the computer monthlies with a pedigree going back to 1978, but PCW's editorial confidence was knocked in late 1989 by a damaging strike, which lasted six months and saw many top journalists leave. This opened the way for upstarts Future, Dennis and Ziff. Furthermore, changes to the market and increasing specialisation of titles led to PCW's sales falling from 142,000 in 1999 to 93,000 last year. The new 239mm by 169mm version, which is being tested for four issues in selected retailers, has all the content of the A4 version but no cover DVD (at £4.99) or CD (£3.25). Publisher Richard Power hopes the lighter, cheaper version will attract younger readers.
VNU profile

Scrapbook Inspirations first debut cover
Expert and friendly

Scrapbook Inspirations

June. Future, Bath. £3.35; 100pp. Ed: Jenny Dixon; group publisher: Katherine Raderecht
Computers, knitting, fast cars, scrapbooks – is there no keeping the people in Bath down? 'Anorak' publishing is alive and well at Future. The company does well when it sticks to its knitting and only becomes unstuck when it tries to go mainstream, such as the music title Bang. This launch is full of practical ideas for making scrapbooks for weddings, father's day and so on. It comes with transparent stickers to use with pictures and a scrapbook kit with a dozen sheets of special papers and graphics. Subscribers get a mini paper trimmer. It was a popular craft with the Victorians – take a trip to the Fishermans' Reading Rooms in Southwold to see some examples – but has taken off in the past decade with the growth of craft retail warehouses around the country. Scrapbook Answers is being developed at Future USA.
Magazine publishers profiled

J-Tuner first issue
Has first drive of Mitsubishi Evo 9 as a cover scoop


June. Future, Bath. £3.99; 164pp. Editor: Steve Chalmers; publisher: Mike Lamond
The free cover-mounted DVD Japanese Power 'blasting out of your screen' sums up the street-racing, power-hungry nature of this mag. For lads who tune their own hot-rods based on Japanese cars with a 26-page technical section
Magazine publishers profiled

OK Zeta Jones and Douglas wedding
The 'official' pictures
Hello! JOnes and Douglas weddding
Hello!'s spoiler

Hello! wins spoiler legal case against OK!

The court battle between the two celebrity titles over snatched pictures taken at the wedding of Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas took a new turn on May 18. The appeal court over-ruled the decision to award £1 million in damages to Northern & Shell's OK! over Hello! sneaking a photographer into the wedding, held in New York in 2000, for which OK! had paid to gain exclusive access. Hello! will still have to pay the Hollywood couple £14,600 damages. OK! can appeal to the House of Lords.
Northern & Shell profile

Total 911 cover
Nothing but 911s

Total 911

June. 9 Publishing, Matlock. £4.25; 116pp. Publishing editor: Philip Raby
This certainly has a focus – the Porsche 911. 'Nothing else matters.' Total 911 is looking for an international readership from the start. It has appointed editors in the US and Australia, and is being distributed in the US by Borders and Barnes & Noble. Some 25,000 copies are going out in the UK. Written and photographed by and for the sort of men who like nothing better than impressing their girlfriends by drifting 911s. The company also publishes Total MG.
Total 911

Newsweek: Koran apology
Apology: May 16 issue

Is it Newsweek's reputation down the toilet?

When Newsweek alleged in its May 9 issue that US interrogators at Guantanamo Bay had flushed a copy of the Koran down the toilet, it was reported as sparking protests in Afghanistan that left 17 people dead and many more injured. The magazine apologised in its 16 May issue, but the Guardian said the magazine 'came out fighting in a double-edged apology buried inside'. BBC Radio 4's PM programme ran a trailer for its report that ran: 'Is it Newsweek's reputation that is down the toilet rather than the Koran?'
The Guardian
John Simpson's view

TV Easy first issue
Pared down in size and content to fit on the arm of a chair

TV Easy

April 7-13 May. IPC tx, London. 30p (35p); 116pp. Ed in chief: Colin Tough; ed: Richard Clark; creative dir: Andy Cowles
Launch of the A5-sized listings weekly after last week's sampling exercise brings the total to 8 titles in a sector selling about 5 million copies a week. This magazine is pared down to the listings with no added features. IPC is clearly trying to segment the sector further:
  • TV Times (80p) and TV & Satellite Week (90p) IPC's premium titles up against the BBC's Radio Times at 93p – one of the most profitable titles – and Bauer's Total TV Guide (85p);
  • What's On TV, the best-selling magazine in the UK, with an ABC of 1.6m, at 40p, up against Bauer's TV Quick at 65p;
  • Bargain basement TV Easy at 35p and Bauer's TV Choice (30p).
First 12 spreads cover: welcome; peek at the week; drama (3pp); true life (2); entertainment (1); soaps (7pp); films (4pp). Then 6 spreads devoted to each day with the pages tagged in the same day colour (Saturday to Friday): picks; terrestrial listings; digital; films; factual and sports; at-a-glance summary from 7pm. Three pages of advertising in first third (Orange; KFC; mail order for charm bracelet; ) plus back cover (The Mob music downloads).
TV advertising started on May 2, the day before the magazine appeared, which runs until May 29. They drive home the title's main innovation, its compact size, this being 'perfect for the arm of a sofa' and describe it as 'your handy quick-flick TV guide'. Intriguingly, website with TV listings already exists, but appears to have nothing to do with IPC.
IPC Media profile

Empire Darth Vader cover
Star Wars promotion

Empire's 'breathing' cover

June. Emap East, London. £3.90; 196pp. Ed (acting): Will Lawrence; art editor: Ian Stevens
The film magazine's latest wheeze is a collector's card inside the front cover; when the cover is opened, the card emits the sound of Star Wars villain Darth Vader breathing. The card is in subscribers' copies and those sold with a special sticker at large multiples. Release of Revenge of the Sith will probably spark the magazine's biggest sale of the year. The cover is embossed and there is a big subscription drive based around the film.
Emap profile

Future to pay £30m for Highbury titles

Future has agreed to buy 38 titles from Highbury for £30.5 million. The titles include Fast Car, Fast Bikes, DJ, DVD Review, the What Video magazines, the company's puzzle magazines and Highbury's five US titles. The deal follows the abortive bid to buy the whole company, which was queried on competition grounds in the computer games sector. Future said its likely future revenue split would be: games 38%; entertainment 34%; and computing 28%.
Magazine publishers profiled
Past news:
Future pulls out of Highburyacquisition
Archant buys Highbury division
Future to buy Highbury to jump into top 3
Highbury House offloads trade titles
Buyer stalks Highbury House

Fresh first issue cover debut
Foody lifestyle


June. Naked Media, London. £2.80; 164pp. Ed: Fiona Shoop; publisher: Neil Presland
Food and lifestyle magazine on-line that focuses on recipes that use the freshest seasonal ingredients. Cover has blueberries as a brain food, Mediterranean delights from Ed Baines and 93 recipes. Website includes a programme to free a battery chicken by sponsoring her.

Computer Upgrade first issue cover
How to add hardware and upgrades

Computer Upgrade

May. Future, London. £3.49; 132pp. Ed: Adam Evans; publisher: James Binns
Future has found yet another niche to develop in the PC magazine marketplace. Markets itself on its coverage (every upgrade), use of plain English and step-by-step guides.
Magazine publishers profiled

Fresh Start

May. Fresh Start Media, Brighton. £2.99; 132pp. Ed: David Creffield
For people seeking to relocate overseas. Feels more like a show catalogue than a magazine. Promoted the show of the same name. Website ( failed to work

TV Easy trial issue cover
Sample issue free with three women's weeklies

TV Easy launch in free trial

April 30-6 May. IPC tx, London. Free (35p); 116pp. Ed in chief: Colin Tough; Ed: Richard Clark; creative dir: Andy Cowles
A5-sized listings weekly backed by a £10 million marketing campaign. More than 1.5m copies of the 35p title to be given away with the company's Woman, Now, and Pick Me Up weeklies. First 12 spreads cover: welcome; peek at the week; drama (3pp); true life (2); entertainment (1); soaps (7pp); films (4pp). Then 10 pages devoted to each day with the pages tagged in the same colour: picks; terrestrial listings; digital; films; satellite and sports channels; at-a-glance. Three pages of advertising in first third (Northern Rock loans; mail order for Shapely bras; KFC). The magazine will sponsor of the British Soap Awards on ITV in May.
Ahead of the launch, Bauer halved the price of Total TV Guide to 45p and it carried an extra half cover stressing it was 'best for digital TV' (23-29 April). IPC also announced that the price of What’s on TV would revert to 40p from 31 May 'in line with the long term strategy for the tx listings portfolio', having been cut in January.
IPC Media profile

Top of the Pops goes fortnightly

27 April-10 May. BBC Worldwide, London. £2; 62pp. Ed: Peter Hart; publisher: Alfie Lewis
Ten-year-old TV spin-off TotP is going head-to-head against Emap's Smash Hits by adopting a fortnightly frequency. The change is backed by a shoulder bag and an A1 sheet of posters.
BBC Worldwide profile

Loaded cover: Lucy Pinder and Michelle Marsh
May's Loaded has a DVD of Lucy Pinder and Michelle Marsh; June's DVD will show Abi Titmuss with a cover price of £2.50

Loaded relaunches – and announces price cut

May. IPC Ignite!, London. £3.40 (with DVD); 188pp.
Ed: Martin Daubney; art editor: Craig Brooks
IPC has put £2 million in marketing behind the relaunch of the iconic men's magazine, which saw a mauling in the last round of sales figures. Most of the money seems to be going on top-shelf-style DVDs, which – with a classification rating warning of 'nudity, strong sex references and language' – mean the magazine cannot be sold to anyone under 18. The company seven months of research and development led to 'a comprehensive rethinking of the contents, design and navigation'.
The June issue of Loaded – which will be 90p cheaper at £2.50 – will again have a cover-mounted DVD, this time of Abi Titmuss (on sale 4 May).
IPC Media profile

Bella redesign cover
New look for Bella

Relaunches: Bella and Marie Claire

  • Bella: 26 April. Bauer, London. 70p; 68pp. With front and rear half-cover promoting coverage: real life; beauty; celebrity fashion; recipes; and your home
  • Marie Claire: April. IPC Southbank, London. £2.50; 364pp. Ed: Marie O'Riordan. With 'talking advert' based on a chip embedded in a bound-in card. Sandra Bullock on cover
  • Others: BBC Gardeners' World; IPC Homes & Gardens; Highbury trio Real Homes, Inspirations and Home; Emap's New Woman

TV Easy logo
Compact's masthead
What's on TV cover
Biggest TV seller

IPC to launch compact TV Easy

IPC Media is to launch TV Easy, an A5-sized TV listings weekly backed by a £10 million marketing campaign with TV advertising. More than 1.5m copies of the 35p title will be given away with the company's Woman, Now, and Pick Me Up weeklies from Tuesday, April 26. The first paid-for issue goes on sale on Tuesday, May 3. Colin Tough, editor-in-chief for What's on TV, will take the same role on TV Easy also, with Richard Clark, editor of Web User, moving to editorship of the new title. The prices of both What's on TV and Bauer's TV Choice were cut in January, ahead of the launch of Northern & Shell's Take 5.
IPC Media profile

Future pulls out of Highbury bid

Future has pulled out of the near-£96m bid to buy Highbury. The announcement followed the surprise decision by the Office of Fair Trading's to refer the deal to the Competition Commission. The OFT was concerned that 'the combination of the largest supplier of computer games magazines in the UK with its largest competitor may be expected to lead to a substantial lessening of competition'. Had the deal gone through, Future would have leapfrogged the BBC and Bauer to become the UK's third-biggest magazine group (after IPC and Emap). Highbury – which has had a challenging past two years and instigated a strategic review as well as selling off magazines – was hit with crisis as its share price fell by more than a third.
A statement by issued by Future said: '15 April 2005 – Following Future plc's statement yesterday, noting the Office of Fair Trading's announcement that it had referred to the Competition Commission the anticipated acquisition by Future plc of the issued ordinary share capital of Highbury House Communications plc ('Highbury') and that, consequently, the offer for the issued ordinary share capital of Highbury dated 11 March 2005 had lapsed in accordance with its terms, Future plc believes that it would not be in the interests of Future plc's shareholders to pursue further a possible acquisition of the issued ordinary share capital of Highbury. Future plc will accordingly approach the Competition Commission to seek a cancellation
of the reference.'
Magazine publishers profiled

House and Home Ideas cover

House and Home Ideas

May. Giraffe Media, Taunton. £2; 212pp.
Ed: Rachel Harries-Darke; art editor: Rob Bennie
It seems every sector has a niche for a 'compact' title, so along comes this one. As always though, these A5 titles have a hard time shouting from the shelves. To overcome this, Giraffe, which also publishes Wedding Ideas, provided display boxes holding two copies of this title alongside each other.

Happy launch cover
100% shopping

Happy from Northern & Shell

May. Northern & Shell. £1.80; 196pp.
Ed: Eilidh Macaskill; creative dir: Mark Hayman
A magazine devoted to shopping in the belief that fashion, style, beauty and interiors are all it takes. Unusually for a N&S title, production values are high with very glossy, heavy cover. Reminiscent of Dennis's failed attempt at home shopping magazine PS in 2000.
Northern & Shell profile

Health Plus spin-off from Emap

May. Emap Esprit, London. £2.40; 132pp.
Ed: Colette Harris; art Ed: Angela Cheung; head of advertising: Sarah Lawrence
Health Plus had been marketed as a special for Emap's Yours, which aims at women over 60. It was published every two months. The relaunch – backed with £1m in marketing to reach the UK's 7m 40+ women – sees it go monthly, pitching it against Emap's own Top Santé, which sells about 142,000 copies (1993 launch), and NatMags’ Zest (111,000; 1994 launch). Both of these saw sales rises of 7-8% in the latest figures, although Emap's Here’s Health and Dennis's Shape closed. Health Plus sold about 82,000 copies per issue and the new print run is 215,000 copies. The front cover shows Holby City actress Sharon Maughan, who first came to fame in romantic encounters in coffee adverts with Anthony Head (who went on to do Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The ads were for Gold Blend in the UK (1987 to 1993) and Taster's Choice in the US (1990-97). In Love Over Gold , a novel developed from the ads, Sharon's character was a features editor on a glossy London magazine. The book was a bestseller in 1993.
Emap profile

Location Location Location cover
Channel 4 presenters on the cover

Location, Location, Location TV spin-off

May. Brooklands Media. £2.80; 180pp.
Ed: Martyn Hocking
The magazine of the Channel 4 house-buying series with the presenters, Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer, on the cover and acting as associate editors.
Magazine publishers profiled

GQ Sport cover
Sponsored supplement

GQ gets sporty

May. Condé Nast, London. £3.40; 272pp.
Ed: Dylan Jones; art dir: Paul Solomons; publishing dir: Jamie Bill
'Three for the price of one' is the selling proposition on the back of this month's bagged issue. Along with the mag comes the 56-page GQ Sport, a supplement sponsored by BMW cars, and a best dressed men supplement (TAG Hauer). The lead sports piece is about 4,000 words long, dishing London's bid for the Olympics (under the highly unoriginal 'Bored of the rings' headline).
Magazine publishers profiled

Woman & Home South Africa cover
'New attitude' to age
Woman & Home UK cover
May edition in UK

Woman & Home South Africa

April. Caxton (CTP), Johannesburg. R17.50; 164pp.
Ed: Frith Thomas
Frith Thomas promises 'a brand new attitude' that means 'it's not your age that matters it's how you live your life' from Woman & Home. The title is aimed at upmarket women (Living Standards Measure groups 7-10) aged 35+. It is the second magazine Caxton has licensed from IPC (the first was Essentials in 1995). The publisher is South Africa's largest with 12 other titles, including Bona, which has a readership of more than 2m, and the weekly People. It is the first international edition of the 78-year-old IPC title. Caxton has had an agreement to use material from IPC magazines since 1995.
Woman & Home SA website
CTP/Caxton website
IPC Media profile

Simply Knitting from Future

April. Future, Bath. £3.95; 100pp (+double-sided A2 poster). Ed: Debora Bradley
Future has made itself a success by adopting an 'anorak' approach to publishing. It started with computing but quickly moved to hobbies such as needlecraft and mountain biking, so knitting – which is making a big comeback among younger women – is right up the company's street. Magazine has extra-thick cover, suggesting it will collected, and the poster is designed for club noticeboards.
Magazine publishers profiled

Witch TV spin-off from BBC

April. BBC Magazines, London. £1.85; 50pp.
Ed: Vincent Vincent
Based on a Disney television series and merchandising. Middle section is a 30-page manga-style comic (the second half of which was of poor printed quality – may have been lifted from previously printed material). The name is formed from the initials of five girls, each of whom has control of a different element with a duty to protect the earth from evil from a parallel dimension. With a cover gift of a lockable notebook and pen.

You Are What You Eat

May. Brooklands Media (under licence from Celador). £2; 164pp. Ed: Francis Cottam
A magazine "inspired by" the Channel 4 television series and licensed from producers Celador. Launch coincides with the second series of the nutrition show. Contents cover diet, fitness and leisure; lead cover feature is 'Sexier in seven days'.
Magazine publishers profiled

Sales of new launches

It's too early for official sales figures, but trade sources suggest the following:
  • Grazia: Emap has set a target of 150,000 copies as a settledown figure for the glossy fashion weekly. Industry rule of thumb suggests a settledown of about 70% of the first issue sales. So the figures are on the low side:
    • issue 1: 200,000-220,000
    • issue 2: 170,000 – 175,000
    • issue 3: 140,000 – 150,000
    • issue 4: 130,000 – 140,000
  • Full House (Burda): 1.5m print run, sales about 650,000 for first issue, though many retailers have expressed concern about its low price (40p) devaluing the weekly sector. Retail Newsagent reported owner Dr Herman Burda flying to the UK to see for himself
  • Take 5: if retailers expressed concern about Full House, some were positively hostile about Northern & Shell's latest low-quality effort. Initial reports suggested a 250,000 run, but it may have been 100,000. Sales of first issue look as low as 20,000 against a target of 150,000
  • Pick Me Up IPC may have a hit on its hands, possibly as good as Emap's Closer, with sales as high as 500,000
  • Easy Living: first issue of this monthly estimated at 300,000 against publisher target settledown of 150,000-200,000
  • Reveal: The Guardian has reported industry estimates of fewer than 200,000 copies a week, which would be disappointing for NatMags

Cricket monthly Spin

April. Highbury Lifestyle, London. £1.50 (first issue); 116pp. Ed: Duncan Steer
Spin aims to cover world cricket, building on the success of the new style Twenty20 Cup, recent success of the England team and extensive coverage of recent Test matches on Channel 4 and Sky TV. Also adopts a more modern approach to sport already seen in golf particularly. Well known names writing include Channel 4's Simon Hughes, Pakistani legend Imran Khan, and Indian pundit Navjot Singh Sidhu. Main interview with Phil Tufnell (recently seen in TV's I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here). As well as reporting on games, a masterclass section aims to show readers how to play better. Will compete with statistics-driven The Wisden Cricketer and national press coverage.
Magazine publishers profiled

Nuts cover Lucy Pinder
Lucy Pinder on the beach for Nuts

Nuts switches to Tuesdays

11-17 March issue. IPC Media, London. 60p (usually £1.20); 108pp. Ed: Phil Hilton
Nuts, which saw its lead over Emap's Zoo cut to just 30,000 in the most recent sales results, has brought its publication day forward to Tuesday and halved its cover price for the week. It came straight up against a 124-page Zoo, including a 16-page 'investigation' into bikini babes. Despite the move, the Nuts TV advertising campaign is still based on the theme: 'Girls, don't expect any help on a Thursday'.
IPC Media profile

Esquire cover with Amber Valletta
Amber Valletta is hidden behind the Michael Caine film
New Scientist in the Ipcress File
Leading role for New Scientist in the hands of about-to-be-kidnapped Dr Radcliffe

Esquire gives away Ipcress File DVD

April issue. National Magazine Co, London. £3.95; 174pp. Ed: Simon Tiffin; art director: Alex Breuer; publisher: Tess Macleod Smith
Esquire has decided to use DVD covermounts as its selling point and jacked up the price by 50p in the process. The Ipcress File, the 1965 spy thriller that made a superstar of Michael Caine, is the second choice for Esquire's DVD collection. Look out for the opening scenes, which use an 8 October copy of New Scientist to establish part of the plot. Len Deighton's book is even better, introducing home-ground coffee and Italian cooking to swinging London in the early 1960s. Note that Caine's boss looks down on him for shopping in a new-fangled 'supermarket'.
National Magazines profile

Noir magazine For black women


March/April. Brownstone (address unclear). £2.80; 116pp. Ed: Victoria Thomas
Black lifestyle magazine. Has the feel of a magazine put together on the cheap in terms of editorial and design, though with good paper quality.

Wallpaper Russia first debut cover
Alabaster complexion's on the cover

Wallpaper* Russia

March. Axel Springer Russia, Moscow. 150 roubles; 228pp. Ed-in-chief: Yulia Korsounskaya; publisher: Philipp Georgi; associate publisher: Anton Krasovsky
A confident debut with alabaster-skinned cover models for the magazine that gives 'access to the best the world has to offer'. IPC has licensed the first national edition of the London-based title. The magazine, with a print run of just 25,000 copies, aims to attract 15 to 40-year-old members of a 'new Russian bourgeoisie'. The target readers are younger and earn more than those of competitors such as local editions of AD, GQ, Harper's Bazaar, Officiel and Vogue. The gender split should be about 60/40 male/female.
IPC profile
Axel Springer

Full House debut first cover
True life weekly

Full House from Burda

8 March. Hubert Burda Media, London. 40p (usually 70p); 68pp. Ed: Carl Styants
The German group has again set its toe in the UK waters, after the failed launch of Amber in 2003. A package of true life stories, celebrity, prizes and puzzles sets Full House against Bauer's bestseller Take a Break , and recent launches of ACP/Natmag'sReveal and IPC's Pick Me Up. Reported as having £9m launch budget. Backed by a nationwide TV campaign.

To add spice to the competitive equation, Burda's UK division is headed up by Alan Urry, until July last year managing director of German rival H Bauer. Also, editor Carl Styrants is a former deputy editor of Take a Break. Simon Hesling, ex- Take A Break publisher, worked as a consultant for the launch of Amber and Full House, and becomes managing director.
Magazine publishers profiled

Take 5 from Northern & Shell

11-17 March issue. Northern & Shell, London. 60p; 24pp.
The production values of a cheap newspaper supplement hit the magazine shelves with this Northern & Shell effort. The print run is 250,000, with a sales target of 150,000. Some sources blamed the price cuts of What's On TV and TV Choice in February to 35p and 30p respectively, on this coming launch, which devotes 24 pages to TV listings. Take 5 had been reported as a Sunday supplement for Daily Star Sunday. Other commentators saw it as prickly proprietor Richard Desmond trying to annoy ACP/NatMags by taking the name of one of APC's biggest sellers in Australia.
Northern & Shell profile

Time Out Chicago cover
Dramatic cover: issue 7

Time Out Chicago

March 3-10. Time Out Chicago Partners LLLP. $2.50; 132pp. Ed-in-chief: Ed Schlegel; art dir: Michael Coleman; ad dir: David Garland; senior marketing manager: Eva Penar
Sets out its stall as 'the where-to-go what-to-do weekly'. Covers highlight the number of free events listed each week: 152, 151 and 161 in the first three issues. A subscription deal offers 51 issues for $19.99. Ownership split between Time Out Group and Joe Mansueto, founder of Morningstar, an investment research firm. Mansueto lost out to Tribune, owner of the city's paper, in trying to buy Chicago Magazine in 2002. He has been quoted as saying: 'I'm a magazine junkie.'
Time Out Chicago
Time Out profile

Condé Nast launches Easy Living

April. Condé Nast, London. £1.90; 306pp. Ed: Susie Forbes
Colour-coded sections mark this title out from the competition. It also feels hefty at 306 pages. About 20 pages each devoted to: real life; fashion; emotional intelligence; beauty & health; food & entertaining; home life; and tried & tested. The title is Condé Nast's first launch since Glamour in 2001. It aims to attract women aged 30-50, with a massive marketing budget of £15m to set it up against NatMags' Good Housekeeping. The target sales figure is 150,000-200,000. Printed about 600,000 for the first issue. Ran a sampling exercise with the Daily Mail in the last week on sale.
Magazine publishers profiled

Archant buys Highbury division

10 March. Regional newspaper group Archant has bought six monthly lifestyle magazines from Highbury for £6.1 million. The glossy A4 titles – Southwest, The Hill, The Guide, Living South, The Green and Northwest – are distributed through estate agents, garages, supermarkets, and by door-to-door delivery, with a total circulation of nearly 400,000. They are aimed at upmarket homes in north, west and south London.

The sale continues the splitting up of Highbury, which has agreed to sell its consumer titles to Future and sold its trade titles in February. In the same month, Archant bought Romsey Publishing Group, owner of nine magazines, including The English Garden, The English Home and Canal Boat.
Magazine publishers profiled

Loaded cover with Sophie Howard, Charlotte Marshall and Lucy Becker
It may take even more than Sophie Howard, Charlotte Marshall and Lucy Becker to revive Loaded's fortunes

Zoo closes sales gap on Nuts but Loaded fades

19 February. Six-monthly audited sales figures released today show the damage done to monthly sales by the launch of the weekly duo, IPC's Nuts and Emap's Zoo . The former saw its sales fall slightly to 275,459 compared with Zoo gaining to 240,215. The gap between the two has narrowed from 90,000 to 35,000 copies. But it was Loaded that appears to be the main victim, falling 16% year-on-year to 220,057 and being overtaken by Maxim and Men's Health. Front – which looks set to come under the control of Future in the takeover of Highbury – was another faller.
The big titles among women's monthlies and celebrity titles all saw rises.
Top 10 men's lifestyle magazines
(Aug 2004)
Title (publisher) Sales
(Jul-Dec 2004)
1 (1) FHM (Emap) 580,027
2 (2) Nuts (IPC) – weekly 275,459
3 (6) Zoo (Emap) – weekly 240,215
4 (4) Maxim (Dennis) 234,183
5 (5) Men's Health (NatMag-Rodale) 229,116
6 (3) Loaded (IPC) 220,057
7 (7) Q (Condé Nast) 125,016
8 (9) Bizarre (Dennis) 85,852
9 (8) Front (Highbury) 84,093
10 (10) Stuff (Haymarket) 74,570
Source: ABC

Grazia launch issue cover with Kate Moss
Kate Moss: secrets

Grazia on the news-stands

21 February 2005. Emap Elan. £1.50; 124pp. Ed-in-chief: Fiona McIntosh
'Kate Moss: the secret reason she'll never marry' is the cover story gracing the first issue for sale of the glossy weekly. The cover layout is identical to last week's free sample issue . The flatplan was pretty near identical too, with content devoted to: news – 'Bree kisses off those gay rumours' – with a trend piece ('Why everyone wants to look Chav') and real lives (to page 59); fashion (to page 85); beauty, leading on brunette as the look of the week (to p94); health – 'Were you born to be healthy' (to p103); Living – food, interiors and travel (to p116); events guide (to p1210; the last inside page is a charity-based competition. Lots of pictures, light on text, plenty to dip into and the essential horoscope. The big question is whether the mix is right: enough fashion for the fashionistas; and gossip for the celeb-watchers. One thing you won't find is the sort of heavy feature that Marie Claire was lauded for in the early 1990s.
Emap profile
Picture gallery of preview issue at Media Guardian
Glossies cut prices ahead of Grazia launch

Hello! royal wedding souvenir
Charles and Camilla special issue

Hello! goes big on Charles and Camilla

22 February. Hello! Ltd. £1.85; 156pp + 116pp separate style guide. Ed: Ronnie Whelan
The original celebrity weekly went back to its royal roots with a 56-page souvenir section within five days of news of the marriage. The issue was bagged with a spring/summer fashion special
Magazine publishers profiled

Future to buy Highbury to jump into top 3

15 February. Future has made a bid to buy Highbury House in a deal worth £96m. The deal would see the Bath-based group leapfrog over the BBC and Bauer to become the UK's third biggest publisher, after IPC and Emap. With Highbury's 70 titles, Future will have bought 100 special-interest titles in two years. The purchase will take Future into new sectors, such as men's glossies with Front; Fast Cars will strengthen its motoring portfolio – only created in January when it bought A&S's 11 titles; and give it a near monopoly in the computer games and consoles niches. With a series of deals, Future has greatly expanded its product breadth and buying power for materials such as paper and print. The only problem is that few of the magazines it has bought are market leaders.
Magazine publishers profiled

Take 5 Australia
Big in Australia but no relation to OK!

OK! publisher plans Take 5

13 February 2005. OK! and Express newspaper publisher Northern & Shell is planning to launch a Sunday newspaper magazine supplement aimed at women called Take 5, according to The Observer. It is set to appear on 28 February as a free supplement with N&S's tabloid, the Daily Star Sunday. The title chosen is the same as that of one of the top 10 magazines in Australia, a women's weekly published by APC, and would have been a potential choice for ACP-NatMags, the UK joint venture set up to launch weeklies with National Magazines last year.
Northern & Shell profile
APC-NatMags company launch

Pick Me Up launch cover
Life in pink and yellow

Pick Me Up selling well

The first two issues of IPC's new real-life weekly Pick Me Up may have sold as many as 800,000 copies each, with the third – at the full price of 60p – falling just short of 600,000. Audited figures from the ABC will not be released until August, but with one unofficial source estimating 75% of copies distributed being sold, IPC may have underestimated demand for the launch.
Women's weeklies
IPC profile

Fast Car cover March 2005
Highbury wants more like this

Highbury House offloads trade titles

Highbury House has sold its business division, BCom, for £12.5m to US company Ergo Science. The sale covers 45 magazines, including Motor Trader, World Fishing Magazine, Export Times, World Travel Guide and Electronics World . The deal should be completed in April. Highbury has been trying to offload the division for more than a year to concentrate on its consumer magazines, such as Front and Fast Car. The company, which publishes 200 titles and bought up Cabal last year, has said it received an approach from a potential bidder last month.
Magazine publishers profiled

Grazia preview cover with Jennifer Aniston
Grazia and Jennifer Aniston

Grazia launches with free preview

14 February. Emap Elan, London. Free (£1.50); 116pp. Ed-in-chief: Fiona McIntosh
650,000 free preview issues of Britain's 'first weekly glossy' were distributed through WH Smith on Tuesday and backed by TV advertising on the day. The cover led on a Jennifer Aniston (ex-Friends) interview with health and real-life features also pushed on the cover. 'Hot buys' included fashion, beauty and property. The first 46 pages were tagged as news, many based on party photographs. There were 15 pages of advertising and a spread of advertorial. The surprise of the issue was the paper – a silky matt used for the inside pages with lots of use of fluorescent yellow ink. The paper also held the distinctive smell of gravure printing (by Polestar Purnell in Bristol). However, the stapled spine on many copies in the shops were showing signs of wear. The magazine included a 75p voucher for money off the launch issue. Grazia is published 'under license' [sic] from Italian company Mondadori with 51 issues a year and a £16m budget.
Emap profile
Page-by-page picture gallery at Media Guardian

Fancy eating a magazine?

The prospect of eating magazines has been raised after a chef modified a printer to put flavoured inks on to edible paper. New Scientist quotes Chicago chef Homaru Cantu: 'Just imagine going through a magazine and looking at an ad for pizza. You wonder what it tastes like, so you rip a page out and eat it.'

Red March 2005 cover
Price cut to £2

Glossies cut prices ahead of Grazia launch

Cover prices on the March issues of Hachette's Red (to £2), IPC's Woman and Home (£2) and National Magazine's She (£1.90) and Company (£1.90) have been cut ahead of the launch of Emap's fashion weekly Grazia on February 8, with IPC's Marie Claire (selling at £2.50 since September 2004) and Hachette's Elle bundled with bags as cover gifts. In an Independent Media Weekly interview (February 7), Grazia editor-in-chief Fiona McIntosh identified Elle and Marie Claire as titles from which she might pinch readers, but said the main target would be women who had no loyalty to any particular title. The new fashion weekly, which is licensed from Italy's Mondadori, is priced at £1.50 and aims to sell 'in excess of 150,000 copies weekly in its first year', suggesting an initial print run of 250,000 copies. Emap has said it will invest 'up to £16 million to take the title to breakeven' and recruited a host of editorial talent. Retail Newsagent quoted Emap as saying a retail sales value of £17m in the first year was 'realistic', equating to average weekly sales of about 218,000 copies, or an increased cover price of £2.20 at the target sales figure. The original Italian version sells for £2.50 in the UK. A glossy fashion weekly has been tried before under editor Sally O'Sullivan (now a director at Highbury) who launched Riva in 1988 at Carlton, then a sister company of IPC at Reed. It was closed after only six issues in October, having lost £4.5m and running almost 200,000 below its projected 350,000 circulation. Also, magazines such as Vogue were published twice a month for much of the year until the 1970s.
Emap profile

Wallpaper cover January 2005
Arriving in Moscow

Wallpaper* launch in Russia

31 January. IPC Media is to launch of a Russian language edition of Wallpaper*. The magazine will be published under a 10-year licence agreement with the Moscow-based affiliate of Axel Springer, Germany's biggest newspaper publisher. Articles will be translated from the English language edition, as well as copy being written for the local market. The first Russian language copy will be the March edition of Wallpaper* on sale from February 28. Axel Springer Russia already has editions of Newsweek and Forbes. The editor of Forbes Russia, US journalist Paul Khlebnikov, was murdered in Moscow in July last year.
IPC profile
Axel Springer

Buyer stalks Highbury House

The share price of Front and Fast Car publisher Highbury House rose by a quarter after the company confirmed that an approach had been made that might lead to a bid. IPC and Emap have been talked about as potential buyers, as has Future, although with a market value of £30m a private equity buyer is also a possibility. The company has tried, unsuccessfully, to sell its business arm and instigated a strategy review at the end of 2004. It bought two specialist consumer publishers, Cabal and Paragon, in 2003.
Magazine publishers profiled

TV Choice matches IPC price cut

27 January. H Bauer has cut the cover price of TV Choice by 10p in reply to IPC's similar ploy with What's On TV . At 30p, TV Choice is once again 5p cheaper than What's On TV.
Magazine publishers profiled

TV bestseller

What's On TV cuts price to 35p

26 January. IPC has cut the price of What's On TV – the UK's bestselling magazine – by 10p to 35p. It sells about 1.6m copies a week, comfortably ahead of BBC's Radio Times (1.1m at 90p) and Bauer's TV Choice (almost 1.1m at 40p). However, the latter has been creeping up. Price is being used increasingly by publishers as a competitive tool, particularly by the celebrity titles and the women's monthlies – sparked by Glamour's £1.50.
IPC profile

Fast Ford magazine, February 2005
TV bestseller

Future buys 11 motoring titles for £6m

25 January. Future Network has further extended its magazine portfolio by buying A&S for £5.95m. The company publishes 11 specialist motoring titles, including Fast Ford, Retro Cars, GoMini (launched in 2003) and Trucking. A&S also runs eight motoring shows.
Magazine publishers profiled

Pick Me Up – '600,000 sales target'

27 January. IPC. 30p (usually 60p); 60pp. Launch editor: June Smith-Sheppard
The first issue was true to the free sampler of a week earlier. The marketing blitz with TV advertising was backed by PR, with Smith-Sheppard profiled in Press Gazette, and IPC chief executive Sylvia Auton the cover interview in the Independent's media section (over four pages on Jan 24). The Auton interview gave a sales target of 250,000 copies a week; however, Retail Newsagent quoted a target retail sales value of £20m a year – working out at weekly sales of 600,000, about the same as Chat (which Smith-Sheppard also edits). Although Smith-Sheppard described the newcomer to PG as 'completely different to Chat ', the main point of difference appeared to be the design: 'We're giving readers more of what they love, but presented in this new way that is totally satisfying.'
Women's weeklies
IPC profile

Eve first issue cover
Eve at launch in 2001

Haymarket buys BBC's Eve

11 January. The BBC has sold its glossy monthly Eve to Haymarket after deciding it was not linked to any of the corporations programmes. A women's glossy marks an expansion for Haymarket, which is controlled by former Tory minister Michael Heseltine and has specialised in men's interest and trade magazines. Nothing has been announced about the magazine's quarterly spin-off, What to Wear. Eve has sales of about 150,000 a month. It was launched in 2001 and after a shaky start saw off Bare, Aura and Nova to compete with Emap's Red for the 'middle youth' market. The title claims to be the 'Britain's fastest-growing women's monthly'.
Magazine publishers profiled

Pick Me Up magazine logo
Real life mag's logo

Pick Me Up marketing blitz

11 January 2005 (dated 20 Jan). IPC Media. Free (usual price 60p) with Woman (cover date Jan 17); 60pp. Launch Ed: June Smith-Sheppard
The sampling issue for IPC's traditional women's weekly Take a Break – known as Project Spitfire – was focused on real-life stories. The 'True..' strapline was barely broken except by Health SOS (four pages) and nine consecutive pages of puzzles – with hunk Puzzlin' Paul offering £7,000 in prizes and the chance to win a holiday in Mexico.

The true stories included a shocker – 'Death by chips'; heartache; mystery – a boy psychic; triumphs; crime – serial killers; and 'true-ly hilarious'. Naked and semi-naked readers' husbands featured in articles and the centre-spread was a sex therapy column as part of the health section. There were 5 pages of advertising (Clairol hair colour, Vaseline Intensive Care, a DPS for Niquitin and Woolworths) and a house advert for Chat.

The January 13 Take a Break – Bauer's runaway market leader in women's weeklies – cost 72p for 72 pages. Its real-life formula has made it the world's 'fourth biggest women's magazine'. It includes a couple of pages on travel and fashion in the mix. The IPC offering was glossier with a heavier cover compared with Bauer printing in Germany and relying on self-cover gravure paper.

IPC Media aims to 'redefine' the women's weekly sector with Pick Me Up. More than 3.5 million copies will be given away with Woman, Now, Chat and What’s on TV, in what the company claims is the biggest sampling exercise yet seen in the UK. The first paid-for issue goes on sale on Thursday, January 20.

The company claims £6 million has been committed to marketing Pick Me Up in 2005 with a national TV campaign. National Magazines said it had put £16m into marketing Reveal, which sold more than 300,000 copies of its first two issues, according to figures released by the company as part of a move to monthly sales figures rather than the six-monthly ABC figures.
Women's weeklies
IPC profile

New Crane's Sainsbury's Magazine in 1993
Catherine Zeta-Jones on the cover of Sainsbury's Magazine in 1993

Seven buys up New Crane

10 January. Seven publishing has bought New Crane, the company set up to publish Sainsbury's Magazine in 1993 by Michael Wynn-Jones and his wife, television chef Delia Smith. Seven also took over puzzle publisher Cottage Publishing in September and was reported as saying the two deals would cost up to £13.6m; reports said the New Crane deal had cost £7.5m.

Wynn-Jones had been editor of the closed magazine Lloyd's Log and written for many others, including IPC's Nova. He was credited with persuading Sainsbury to license their name to a magazine, which was at first only sold in its supermarkets. Smith – then a high profile figure on TV who had sold 5m books – appeared on the covers of the early issues. Seven will double in size and move to New Crane's premises.

Sainsbury's Magazine website
Seven profile

Reveal magazine
2004 launch adds to NatMags portfolio

Weeklies set to be battleground for 2005

The news that IPC had chosen 'Spitfire' as the codename for a new, traditional women's weekly suggests a Battle of Britain spirit has taken hold in the company once dubbed the 'Ministry of Magazines' because of its stranglehold on the UK's magazine marketplace. And well it might, with National Magazines having launched Reveal in a £16m campaign to add to its Best and Prima titles inherited from Gruner & Jahr, and formed a partnership in the UK to produce weekly magazines with Australian Consolidated Press, there would be plenty to worry about, even without Emap entering the UK arena with Italian fashion weekly Grazia.

NatMags has also strengthened its war chest for the men's sector, signing a partnership with Men's Health publisher Rodale. Could a men's weekly health title be on the cards? Will Bauer return for another round after the failure of Cut ? And then there's more – with porn-baron-turned-newspaper-and-celebrity-magnate Richard Desmond reported to be planned KO!, a men's weekly, and a shopping title B Happy to add to his stable of OK!, New! and Star at Northern & Shell. Will Emap and IPC have the strength left to go another 10 rounds over a weekly film magazine? Only 2005 will tell...
Magazine publishers profiled