Magazine publishers

(Dazed to Emap)

This is one of six pages about consumer magazine publishers, listed alphabetically, and their magazines. List of publishers on this page to the right.

Other pages cover trade and business magazine publishers and contract magazine publishers.
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Dazed Group

Fashion-based group with gallery and book publishing arms (latter published book versions of launch issues of Another Magazine and Intersection):
  • Dazed & Confused: bi-annual fashion journal co-founded by Rankin and Jefferson Hack in 1991. Launched digital facsimile subscription in 2007  
  • Another Magazine: luxury bi-annual fashion with near equal male/female readership. Each issue sells more than 100,000 copies, about 40 per cent overseas
  • Another Man: quarterly men's fashion. Launched autumn/winter 2005 with 10-page shoot of Kate Moss after the 'Cocaine Kate' scandal broke in the Daily Mirror
  • Intersection: car culture quarterly treating cars as mobile living rooms. Hardback book version called issue 0. US version launched in 2006  
  • Rank: site for photographer Rankin
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Dennis Publishing

One of  the largest independent magazine publishers (though sold off US arm in 2007). Has consumer arm and contract publishing arm. Founded in 1973 (website has short history and company poem!). Success in 1990s built on Maxim with 11 editions selling 3.5m copies a month around the world by 2002. Before that, launch of Computer Shopper had taken computer magazine market by storm in late-1980s. Founded by Felix Dennis (who was prosecuted in the infamous 1971 obscenity trial over Oz, an underground magazine). Took over James Brown's IFG in 2003. In early 2003, integrated mobile picture messaging with Maxim and Evo websites, based on technology from the Mobile Entertainment Corporation. Users could download pin-ups and pictures of cars as mobile phone screen-savers. Dennis foresaw brand extension for Maxim in the US, and said Maxim-branded steak houses and nightclubs were on the horizon; Las Vegas hotels were announced in May 2006. Ruled out launching a men's weekly in the US because "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," in summer 2005.  Instead, in late 2006, it launched Monkey, a groundbreaking men's weekly digital magazine. This was followed by iGizmo and iMotor in 2008. January 2008 saw the advent of Dennis Communications, a contract arm specialising in branded editorial content, which also provides expertise to The Big Issue. In October 2008, Dennis bought Digital SLR Photography from Halo Publishing in Peterborough, its first photography title. In 2010, it launched Voucher Finder, a website for discount schemes.
  • Auto Express (W) Franchise from Springer Verlag group in Germany of Auto Bild (see Auto Plus for French version from EMAP) 
  • Computer Shopper (M) Very successful import of US concept launched in March 1988 
  • Digital SLR Photography (M) bought from Halo in October 2008
  • Evo (M) Glossy car monthly devoted to fast cars. Bought from independent publisher in 2001 (launched in 1998). By 2007, published in 7 countries: UK, Italy, Greece, France, Malaysia, Phillipines and Russia
  • iGizmo (F, digital) free, fortnightly digital publication delivered by e-mail. Launched in March 2008 using Monkey technology. Target market is ABC1 men, aged 25-45, with Dennis promoting the digital magazine to its 'database of 1.5 million technology and lifestyle readers'
  • iMotor (F, digital) July 2008 launch for free, fortnightly digital publication delivered by e-mail.Target audience ABC1 men aged 25-54
  • Inside Poker (13/year) for more expert players
  • Maxim (M) Closed. Men's monthly from May 1995. Carried CD-Rom on cover in August 1995 issue. Very successful  US launch in 1997 (strapline: you know you want it). Re-launched website in 2003, claiming it to be the most targeted online offering for advertisers, with 430 demographic and lifestyle packages. Also launched 'Bar shots' competition for mobile picture messaging
  • Men's Fitness (M) Bought in 2001 from Mollin when closed in UK. Licensed by US publisher Weider
  • Micro Mart bought from Trinity Mirror in June 2006 (launched in 1985)
  • Monkey (W, digital) men's weekly digital magazine, launched in 2006
  • Octane (M) for classic sports car enthusiasts. Launched by independent company in July 2003
  • Padder (F, iPad app) magazine app about the iPad (July 2011)
  • Poker Player (M) Guide to gambling online; covers sports as well as poker. Launched November 2005
  • PC Pro (M) Target market is technically experienced business users. Nov 1994 launch. By 2017, was subsumed into Alphr.com technology brand
  • Shape (M) Aimed at 30-something women. Bought from Mollin when closed in UK. Licensed by US publisher Weider. Sells about 2.5m copies a month in nine countries (www.shape.com
  • Stuff (for men)  Gadgets with women on the cover. Launched as a bi-monthly in November 1996 (strapline: what's hot and where to get it). Went monthly, but failed to reach 80,000 sales target. Sold to Haymarket in 1999. However, launched in US (as 'new from Maxim') 
  • Test Drive (M, closed) November 2004 launch for title based around mainstream car reviews. Disappointing first ABC sales figure of 67,190 led to relaunch a year later. Felix Dennis told the Guardian: "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." Price cut to £1.50 in 2005 to try to boost sales. Closed in August 2006
  • The Week (W) Weekly 44-page digest of news
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Development Hell Ltd

Set up by ex-Emap executives David Hepworth, Jerry Perkins, Mark Ellen and Andrew Harrison. Business plan to launch three magazines over six years. First launch, in March 2003, was Word, focusing on music and entertainment: 'New! Something to read!' screamed the cover. Interview with Maxim publisher Felix Dennis. Edited by Ellen. Bought clubbing magazine Mixmag from Emap in November 2005. The Guardian Media Group took a 14% share in the company in July 2004.

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Dig BMX is a BMX biking title based in Glasgow. Taken over by 4130 in October 2005. Message to readers said: 'Dig is still going to be Dig, only we're going to have better circulation, better distribution (especially in the USA) and a better magazine because of it.' Relaunch planned for issue 50 (January 2005, £2.95). Also carried on Network 26 extreme sports magazine portal
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Diplo Magazine

Monthly, international current affairs magazine features original graphic design, illustration and photography. Launched in July 2004 by graduates from Central St.Martin's college in London. Prides itself on its international approach, with a typical issue getting its cover from Germany, opening spread from the Britain and contents from Korea. The publisher is Charles Baker and the editor Mark Hudson. In the 1980s, students launched style magazines, such as Blitz, now it's geopolitics!
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DMG Events

DMG Events (formerly DMG World Media) is an international exhibitions and publishing company, which runs 300 trade exhibitions and related magazines, newspapers, directories and market reports. The company was founded in 1989 as a subsidiary of the Daily Mail & General Trust (profile), owners of the Daily Mail. Its business media division publishes 17 trade titles. Daily Mail Ski and Snowboard Magazine is published from its Harrow offices
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Emap Publishing (broken up in 2008)

Emap was the second largest magazine publisher in UK with about 18% of the news-stand market by revenue (to IPC/Time Warner's 20%). However, in July 2007, the company announced a strategic review. The result was that the company was split up and sold off in December:

  • the business-to-business magazines were sold to Guardian Media Group and private equity firm Apax - which owns Incisive - for £1bn. The new company is to be called Incisive-Emap.
  • its consumer magazines and radio arm, including Kiss and Magic, went to Bauer for £1.14 billion - making the German magazine publisher the largest in Britain.

Emap's 2007 accounts listed 200 brands: 50 consumer titles; 42 local and 8 national radio stations; 50 licences for FHM and other consumer titles worldwide; 400+ B2B events worldwide.

Emap's dismemberment became an option in May 2007, when chief executive Tom Moloney resigned. This followed 4 years of poor results. The company announced a continuing focus on digital properties, with launch of Heat website (Heat World), and said its 25 Australian consumer magazines and French exhibition businesses were under review. It sold its large French operation to Mondadori in June 2006. In September 2007, sold its consumer magazine business in Australia to ACP Magazines for £38 million, though it continued to receive revenues from licensed titles, including Zoo, FHM and Empire. Its overseas ambitions were then limited to FHM in the US and licensing - but the US edition gave up the fight with Maxim in late 2006. However, the start of the company losing its way was the disastrous acquisition of US publisher Petersen for £1bn in 1999 - Emap sold it on for just £366m two years later to Primedia. Chief executive Kevin Hands lost his job as a result (though he was to take revenge in 2002 as head of the UK arm of leading French publisher Hachette Filipacchi Medias, by breaking up the jointly owned company with Emap that published Elle and Red).

In the UK, Emap has been locked in battle with IPC for men's weekly market with its Zoo Weekly up against Nuts (see Contents breakdown). Is also trying to establish two new markets in the women's sector with glossy fashion weekly Grazia (licensed from Italy's Mondadori) and news weekly First - which Bauer closed in 2008. In November 2006, launched ‘The Inside’, a research panel of 10,000 readers aged 15 years and over, which is surveyed each month.

Sells subscriptions through own website (Great Magazines).

Emap history: originated in 1947 with the merger of four newspapers in Peterborough, Kettering, King's Lynn, Bury St Edmunds and Market Harborough to form East Midlands Allied Press Ltd, based in Peterborough. In 1953, it launched weekly newspaper Angling Times and bought Motor Cycle News in 1956. By 1970, it had 9 magazines and 19 newspapers. Early user of market segmentation techniques. Built up trade titles and computer magazines (Sinclair User, PC User, Educational Computing), and expanded through acquisition in 1980s. By mid-1980s had four divisions: national; computer and business; EMAP-McLaren technical publishing; and Telemap, an electronic publishing group headed by the Micronet bulletin board system (accessed by computers over phone lines). The foundation of its consumer success was Smash Hits, brainchild of  Nick Logan (who went out on his own to launch The Face). From this, Just 17 was spun off in October 1983: the first issue was a 48-page preview strapped to Smash Hits. Later relaunched as J-17. This sparked launches by DC Thomson and IPC to boost the young women's market.

In 1986, the turnover for East Midlands Allied Press was £101 million and it ran:

  • five weekly, two fortnightly and 31 monthly consumer magazines in three main markets: youth; hobbies, such as motorcycling, gardening and photography; and outdoor pursuits such as riding, shooting, fishing and ornithology.
  • business magazines. Six weekly and 47 monthly titles for specialist sectors or general markets such as vehicle and plant management, baking and computers.
  • a 40 per cent interest in Telemap, which ran Micronet 800.
  • newspaper publishing and printing. This included three evening, one twice-weekly and 31 weekly papers in the East Midlands, East Anglia and East Yorkshire. It printed all its own papers; The Independent and IPC's weekly New Musical Express were numbered among its contract clients. It owned shares in some other newspaper groups, which included a small holding in a radio station (Hereward Radio).
  • 21 exhibitions and conferences related to its magazines.

In late 1980s, Emap accelerated its magazine launch programme and established a near monopoly of monthly music magazines through launches, Q (1986) and Mojo (1993), and acquisition, Select and Mixmag (sold to Development Hell in November 2005). However, closed Select in November 2000 with sales having fallen to 50,534: blamed on indie market being absorbed into mainstream. Also failed with Kingsize in 2001. In March 2004, announced closure of J-17 and The Face, as well as Internet Magazine and Here's Health.

Great success when it bought FHM in 1994 (then selling 60,000 copies) and relaunched it with raunchy lads formula against IPC's runaway success Loaded to knock the latter into a cocked hat with sales of 700,000. Began licensing in 1997. Singapore FHM since 1998 (strapline: it's a man thing); France July 1999. US FHM in February 2000 (closed 2006). Had 15 editions by 2002 and double that by 2007. Bought out the once rising star of style Wagadon in July 1999 (the Face, Frank and Arena, the first men's magazine). Heat led celebrity magazine market in 2000. 

High levels of growth in magazine sector since papers sold off. Its French division accounted for 16% of the French consumer market with 50 magazines. Invested heavily in web and new launches. Disastrous move into US when bought US group Petersen in 1998 for US$1.5billion - sold in 2001 for half the price. Chief executive Kevin Hand lost his job as a result (now running Hachette UK). Has Australian division. Magazine business structure of Active, Metro, Elan and Choice divisions. Has run consumer magazines as four 'branded channels' since November 1999: 

  • automotive
  • music
  • lifestyle
  • health

The aim being to create 'media neutral' brands combining magazine, radio and web products, so encouraging 'cross-media' advertising income. Claimed £2m new revenue from cross-media deals in 99-00 results (May 00). BT's Getoutthere an early client. Strong web strategy for business-to-business with more than 100 sites. Radio division (owns London station Kiss FM) expected to launch digital stations based on titles such as Q. Kiss Mix dance music TV channel to launch in 2000, combining Kiss radio brand and Mixmag. by 2017, part of Planetradio.co.uk. June 2000 deal with Channel 4 to create digital services for the youth market. Closed Minx in July 2000, despite sales of 120,000 a month, possibly because of limited online potential and low profitability due to weak advertising base (Guardian Media, 3/7/00, p4). Very active in advent of SMS text messaging to support magazines in youth and music sectors. In 2005, launched FHM TV and radio stations.

August 2002 saw leading French publisher Hachette Filipacchi Medias break up the jointly owned company with Emap that published Elle. This followed Hachette announcing its intention to buy Attic Futura, the UK arm of the Australian publisher PMP. As well as losing the fashion glossy, Hachette took back Elle Decoration and Elle Girl. In an auction between the two, Hachette also outbid Emap for the rights to Red, launched by the joint company in 1998. This left Emap with just the monthly New Woman - which Bauer closed in 2008 - in the important women's glossy sector and the quarterly fashion title Pop, a Face spin-off.

In 2003, took over Excelsior for £62 million, a French publisher owning Biba and Science & Life. Made Emap second-biggest magazine group in France. Also, announced low-level investment in the US, based on expansion with FHM, the only title it retained after selling off Petersen. Results for 2003 showed FHM US accounting for 14% of consumer division's revenue (equal to the men's dividion in the UK). Had 50 titles by mid-2005

Distributes magazine through Frontline, owned with BBC and Haymarket.

Emap revenue sources by type (%)
  1993* 2003** 2007**
Consumer magazines
56.7
65
46
Business magazines
10.8
12
32
Exhibitions
15.0
7
-
Newspapers/printing
15.7
-
-
Radio / TV
1.8
16
22
Emap revenue sources: geographical (%)
UK
95
66
France
5
29
US
-
5

*Smith New Court; Operational Gearing and Prospects in the Media Sector (Dec 93)
** Emap annual reports

EMAP Active The biggest division with 48 titles based at sites in Peterborough and London. Mostly consumer special interest and hobby titles, but some trade. Includes: Car (M); Internet Magazine (M - closed 2004); Parkers (M) price guides; Garden Answers (M); Match (W); Max Power (M); and Motorcycle World (M). High profile launch of Carweek in 1993 failed at an estimated cost of £7 million. Horse & Pony, a well-established fortnightly, was relaunched as a monthly H&P in August 1999, complete with a horse and rider generated by computer (Bonnie Rider and Taemgod)

EMAP Choice Two monthlies in Peterborough, Choice and Yours, aimed at retired readers.

EMAP Elan Women's group. Trying to establish two news sectors: £12m launch for news weekly First (May 2006); and £14m budget glossy fashion weekly Grazia (February 2005; licensed from Italy's Mondadori). Grazia bears comparison with Carlton/IPC's 1988 attempt at a glossy weekly in Riva. High profile launch of celebrity-led weekly Closer in 2002; since hailed by company as its most successful launch. In 2005, launched Closer in France backed by a £12m budget. Lost flagship Elle (M), Elle Decoration, Elle Girl and Red to Hachette (UK arm of Lagardere, world's largest magazine publisher) with end of joint venture in 2002; kept control of New Woman and Top Sante. J-17 closed in 2004 (M, was Just Seventeen); (Minx, M; launched 96, closed in 2000); More! (F); New Woman (M); Period Living (M); and Top Sante (M). Escape Routes launched autumn 1999; closed 2002. An interesting strategy is the cycle of titles covering pregnancy, baby to toddler, back to pregnancy: Pregnancy & Birth (Bi-M); Mother & Baby (M); and Parents (M).

EMAP Metro Lifestyle and music group based in London. Titles include: Empire (M); FHM (M); Mixmag (M); Mojo (M); Q (M); Select (closed in Dec 00); Sky (M; closed); and Smash Hits (F; closed 2006). FHM, the leading men's title, reported sales of a million copies in June 1999, but has seen sales fall since as the market came off the boil and was hit by the launch of the weeklies. Weekly Heat launched on 1 February 1999, but had a disappointing first ABC figure, well below target of 100,000, raising doubts about its viability - losses estimated at £12m in first year. However, switch to celebrity formula saw big sales increase and praise in 2001. Publishes Arena (strapline: lip-smacking, straight talking, street fighting, scene stealing men's magazine) 'on behalf of Wagadon Ltd'. Arena celebrated 100 issues in July

EMAP France Sold in 2006 to Mondadori, the Italian publishing group that licenses Grazia to Emap. This came after two years of disappointing results caused by its failure to protect its big TV listings titles from aggressive launches that benefited from the government removing a ban on advertising by media companies. Emap had become second-biggest publisher in France with £62 million purchase of Excelsior in April 2003, whose titles included 20 Ans, Biba, Max and Science & Vie. Launched FHM in summer 1999. In 2005, launched Closer in France backed by a £12m budget. Publishes Auto Plus  with Springer Verlag of Germany.