Magazine publishers

(IFG to PSP Publishing)

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/customer magazine publishers.


I Feel Good (IFG) - now part of Dennis

I Feel Good was founded by former Loaded and GQ editor James Brown and launched its first title, Hot Dog, in May 2000. Dennis Publishing was an investor and had a member on the IFG board, so it was no surprise when Dennis took over in 2003 (reports said it paid £6.4million for the titles). Brown had left GQ after controversy over listing WWII German field marshal Erwin Rommel in an article on stylish dressers of the 20th century. However, this was probably only the final straw, with his laddish approach not fitting Conde Nast's culture. IFG had bought consumer titles Bizarre, Fortean Times and Viz from John Brown (no relation) in October 2001. In January 2002, IFG sold Hot Dog to Paragon and announced expansion for Viz from 6 to 10 issues a year. Brown had credited Viz as an inspiration for Loaded. Plans to concentrate on men's lifestyle with Jack failed. Brown had been criticial of formulaic men's magazines and their concentration on semi-naked women. Brown now spends his time writing and in 2006 wrote and fronted a TV series I Predict a Riot.
  • Bizarre (M) 1997 launch by John Brown. Focuses on the extreme. Now run by Dennis. Bizarre profile
  • Fortean Times 'Journal of strange phenomena' bought by John Brown in 1991. Now run by Dennis.
  • Hot Dog Film review monthly launched in May 2000 and sold to Paragon in 2002
  • Jack (closed) Launched as quarterly in spring 2002 in 'handbag’ format. ‘An orgy of war, animals, fashion, genius and cool.’ ‘Another great British men’s mag with lions instead of lager.’ Used illustrated covers, the first of which was closely based on a poster for 1958 US science-fiction film Attack of the 50ft Woman. Relaunched in larger format in November 2003 after being bought by Dennis, but closed in summer 2004
  • Leeds, Leeds, Leeds Official magazine of Leeds United football club
  • Viz (10 a year) Irreverent comic founded by former social security clerk Chris Donald in 1979 in Newcastle (aged 19). Now run by Dennis.

Imagine Publishing Ltd Back to top

Based in Bournemouth. 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. Imagine originally aimed for a quality feel to appeal to older, more experienced computer users. By late 2008, it ran 20 magazines and 23 websites covering videogames, computing, entertainment and photography. Launches included SciFi Now, Digital Camera Essentials and High Definition Review. In December, Imagine established a motoring division by buying Porsche monthly Total 911 from 9 Publishing. In mid 2009 it launched a gaming portal, NowGamer.com.

Launches in autumn 2005:

  • Go Play: digital magazine for the Playstation Portable games console. Originally launched as a magazine by Highbury in late 2005. Last print issue was in January 2007
  • Mac Creative (M). First issue August 2005. For advanced users (£6)
  • 360 (M) First issue September. Dedicated to the Microsoft Xbox 360 videogames console (£4)
  • Cheat Machine (M). For Sony Playstation. First issue September (£3.99)
  • Photoshop Creative (M). First issue September (£6)
  • Digital Video Techniques (M). First issue October (£5.99)

Immediate Media (was BBC Magazines) Back to top

In August 2011, BBC Worldwide agreed to sell or license its magazines to Exponent, a private equity firmfor £121m and offload its joint venture in India. Exponent merged the BBC titles with Magicalia to form Immediate. Essentials of the deals included:

  • Exponent buys all non-BBC-branded magazines – including Radio Times;
  • Exponent to publish BBC titles under licence or as contract magazines;
  • Exponent to take subscriptions and distribution businesses, Dovetail and Frontline;
  • BBC stake in Bath-based Origin also to go to Exponent;
  • Bennett, Coleman & Co, owner of Times of India, buys BBC’s half stake in Worldwide Media, a joint venture in India.

IPC Media (was Magazines) Back to top

Second-largest UK consumer publisher, with about 22% of the market (lost prime position to Bauer, which took over Emap in 2008). Locked in battle with Bauer (Emap) for leadership of men's and women's weekly markets. Has history page.

In November 2009, the company underwent a restructuring, with just three divisions covering men, mass-market women and upmarket women. In April 2010, it set out to review its 80 specialist titles, which was seen as a forerunner to selling some smaller titles. Four months later, it sold the iconic lad's magazine Loaded to Vitality Publishing, publisher of gay lifestyle title Attitude, though doubts were raised as to whether Vitality had the resources to revive the struggling lads' mag. Other titles IPC sold included: Cage & Aviary Bird,Aeroplane, MiniWorld, Ships Monthly and Park Home & Holiday Caravanto Kelsey; Classic Boat to Chelsea;.

Late 2006 and early 2007 saw a focus on websites: Now; whatsontv.co.uk; InStyle; a homes portal, www.housetohome.co.uk to add to three existing homes websites based on specific titles; and the appointment of several digital executives.

IPC was formed in the 1960s by the merger of Britain's three largest magazine publishers: Newnes, Odhams and Amalgamated. It was known as the 'Ministry of Magazines' but its core weekly titles - including Woman, Woman's Own and Tit-Bits - saw big sales declines in the late 1950s and again in the 1970s, with steady declines inbetween and since. For example, Woman fell from almost 3m sales a week in 1958 to a tenth of that in 2010.

IPC's position 2000-11
Sept 2000 'UK's leading consumer publisher' 'almost 100 brands 350m copies sold every year
2001 Taken over by Time Warner
Sept 2005 'UK's leading consumer publisher' 'unrivalled portfolio of brands' 'over 28m UK adult readers'
Sept 2007 'UK's leading consumer publisher' 80 magazines 'over 28m UK adult readers'
2008     Loses top spot to Germany's Bauer, which took over Emap's consumer titles
Sept 2008 'A leading magazine publisher in the UK' 80 magazines 'almost 27 million UK adult readers'
Oct 2009 'A leading magazine publisher in the UK'' 80 magazines 'almost 26 million UK adult readers'
Oct 2010 'A leading magazine publisher in the UK' 'over 85 iconic media brands' 'almost 27m UK adult readers'and '20m [digital] users every month'
May 2011 'A leading magazine publisher in the UK' 'over 60 iconic media brands' - 59 magazines and 6 web portals (Housetohome; Yachting and Boating World; Goodtoknow.co.uk; Mousebreaker; ShootingUK; TrustedReviews) 'almost 26m UK adult readers'and 'over 20m [digital] users every month'
       
Source: IPC; Magforum calculations

Part of US media group Time Warner since 2001. Several titles and online properties closed in advance of takeover. Changed name to IPC Media in May 2000. Formed in December 1997 by management buyout from Reed worth £860m, which was funded by Cinven venture capital. Had been expected to float on the stock market by 2001, but rumours of sale began at end of 1999. Invested £25m to launch big web initiative IPC Electric at end of 1999, including women's portal Beme (closed 2001). Major extension of branded goods during 1999 to Mizz and Home & Gardens. Company divided into limited companies. Formed strategic alliance with South African publisher Caxton, allowing the latter to use IPC content from 14 titles. Future seen to rely on international and digital strategies. Women's weeklies under pressure from celebrity launches and newspaper supplements aimed at women, such as the Mail's You and the Mirror's M launched in October 1999. Female managing director Sly Bailey took over October 1999 but left in 2003 to head up Trinity Mirror newspaper group. Led focus on brands and 'media neutral' publishing. Relaunched 1960s iconic fashion magazine Nova in May 2000 - but it closed a year later. Part of the failure for this blamed on Cinven preparing the company for sale. Jeremy Langmead, brought in to relaunch Nova, said in a 2003 interview: ' ...they were getting ready to sell. And they needed a tidy bottom line.' IPC changed face of men's magazine's worldwide with Loaded in 1994, only to see its sales eclipsed by Emap's FHM a couple of years later.

Corporate website has data on titles. Distribution and marketing division Marketforce. Structured as limited companies based on publishing groups. Back issues and subscriptions from www.mags-uk.com.

IPC Connect Ltd. Marketed as 'the voice of women in Britain'. Publishes women's weeklies with sales of about 2.7 million a week, and readership exceeding 12 million (half the female population). Annual revenues of over £88 million. Launched Eva in 1994 and Now in October 1996. Now took over Here! from Gruner & Jahr in April 1997. Woman (1937 launch) and Woman's Own (1932) are general interest; Woman's Weekly aims at 40+ market; Woman's Journal 'celebrating family values' was closed in 2001, as was its replacement Your Life; Woman's Realm is dedicated to 'the appreciation of the individual'; Now (1996) is celebrity-driven; Chat (1985) features real life stories and puzzles. Mizz is a lifestyle title for 10-14-year-old girls. Active in brand-extension. Includes Chat's Juicy Fiction. Chat Moral Dilemmas masthead TV deal announced with Flextech's Living cable channel in July 1999. On August 9, 1999 launched Women's Weekly Fiction Special as a bi-monthly

IPC Electric. Set up as digital trading arm based on building e-commerce networks around readerships, rather than on-line versions of magazines. Strategy ultimately failed. Titles grouped in subject areas. Major launch Beme for women was based on six moods or channels: news (provided by Press Association); consumer; home life; culture & trends; entertainment; and My Beme (careers, advice, etc). High profile marketing included £1.5m sponsorship of US series Ally McBeal on Channel 4. Also promoted through CD-Roms on covers of women's monthlies (eg March 2000 Essentials). Unmissable TV related to listings magazines. Music (NME, Melody Maker, Uncut) and men's lifestyle (Loaded, Later, sports titles) were other areas for development. Beme, Unmissable and UpLoaded closed in 2002. Strategy reverted to magazine-based approach, with 16 sites active in 2003. (Compare with Conde Nast

tx Ltd. Claims half of the TV listings market, with 2.7 million copy sales a week. What's on TV is Britain's best-selling weekly magazine. Before the listings magazine market was deregulated in the mid-1980s, TV Times and BBC's Radio Times formed a duopoly. The BBC's title has always been more upmarket, and was the best-seller until deregulation. TV & Satellite Week covers over 100 satellite, cable and terrestrial channels. Film & TV Week, 1998 launch in TV & Satellite Week format, failed 

Southbank Publishing Company Ltd. Has 18 women's magazines, which it claims are read by a third of all women each month. Closed Women's Journal in 2000 and Options in early 1999, which had produced a men's strap-on in 1984, OM. Magazines grouped into interest sectors: 

  • Fashion and beauty: Marie Claire; Marie Claire Health & Beauty; Woman's Journal (revamped September 1999 to halt sales slide) compete for 'prime time' readership. Marie Claire founded in France in 1937 by industrialist Jean Prouvost. One of France's leading up-market women's magazines published by Marie Claire Album SA. The first international edition was launched in Japan in 1982. After a slow start in the UK in 1988, it grew to challenge Cosmopolitan as the top women's monthly. US edition began as a bi-monthly in March/April 1995 and went monthly in September 1995 
  • Home-interest: six titles claim highest market share. Ideal Home; Homes & Gardens; Country Homes & Interiors; Homes & Ideas; Living etc; and 25 Beautiful Homes, a bi-monthly 'voyeur's guide to beautiful homes'. In May 2007, Southbank launched a homes portal www.housetohome.co.uk to add to the three magazine-based websites it already ran.  
  • Women's general: Woman & Home; Essentials and Family Circle 
  • Women's special interest: Wedding and Home; Hair; Practical Parenting and Expecting Our Baby (was Our Baby until Sept 1999) 
  • Young women: Mizz and 19, which sent SMS mobile phone broadcasts based on gossip and horoscopes sent to readers who registered in 2000 
Country & Leisure Media (CALM). Diverse 37 titles in 16 markets; turnover exceeds £60 million: aviation (Aeroplane Monthly), angling, birds, caravaning, collecting, country pursuits, equestrian, gardening, photography, rail, wine (Decanter), yachting: 
  • Country lifestyle: Country Life founded 1897. The Field launched in 1853 claims to be the 'world's oldest country magazine'. Shooting Times (W) launched in 1882. The Countryman. Sporting Gun. Angler's Mail (W). 
  • Equestrian: Horse & Hound launched 1884, oldest equestrian journal. Website since Nov 2000. Horse Magazine. Eventing. Horse Exchange 
  • Boating: Practical Boat Owner Britain's largest selling yachting magazine; Yachting World; and other six titles covered by YBW and International Boat Industry website sinces 1997
  • Sport: World Soccer and two titles for younger football fans, Shoot and Soccerstars. Rugby World is 'the biggest-selling rugby magazine in the world'. Golf Monthly. Women and Golf. Cycling Weekly; Mountain Bike Rider. IPC's Link House Motoring Group publishes eight titles for enthusiasts, such as Mini World and VolksWorld 
  • Special interest: 17 titles including Amateur Photographer (W); What Camera; Amateur Gardening (W) launched in 1884, Britain's oldest gardening weekly; New Eden modern gardening magazine launched 1999 in square A4 format but failed; Decanter; Cage & Aviary Birds 
Ignite! (lifestyle and music). 29 magazines, turnover £55 million. Male interest lifestyle, music, football, rugby, golf, cycling, motorcycling (Super Bike), motorsport and cars: 
  • Lifestyle: Loaded reinvented the men's market of fashion-based Arena, GQ, FHM and Esquire, when it was launched by former NME deputy editor James Brown (see IFG) in April 1994. The 'inside story' was recounted by Tim Southwell in Getting Away with It (Ebury 1998). Website Uploaded.com launched in December 1995 but closed 2002. Loaded Fashion launched in 1998 as a bi-annual. January 2000 Loaded had 100 different covers. Later aimed at 25-40 year-old men launched in 1999 but closed in 2001 
  • Music: New Musical Express (one of the first magazines on the web), Melody Maker (closed in 2000), Muzik, Uncut, The Guitar Magazine, Hi-Fi News & Record Review, Music Business. NME and Melody Maker weekly tabloids were nick-named the 'inkies'. Other launches in 1980s and 90s (mainly from Emap) resulted in steady sales decline. Relaunch for MM (founded in 1927) from tabloid to A4 glossy in summer 1999. This failed and MM was merged into NME at end of 2000. High profile spin-off Vox in October 1990 ultimately failed against Emap's strength in the area

JF Media Back to top

JF Media took over KYN and Golf Punk, its sole title, in December 2006. The company is run by Phil Babb, the former Liverpool footballer who was one of the founding investors in Golf Punk. The company plans to expand into sports and lifestyle titles and to launch more international editions. Southwell left and founded Mind How You Go Media, leaving travel editor Owen Blackhurst to step up as editor. Golf Punk had an ABC circulation figure of 16,644 in the second half of 2007.

In May 2009, the company launched Football Punk with Liverpool and England midfielder Steven Gerrard on the cover. The first issue of 160 pages had a print run of 50,000 sold only through WH Smith shops at £2 cover price and came with a 24-page nostalgia supplement, Retro.


Kelsey Publishing Group Back to top

Publisher based in Kent and Cambridgeshire of specialist magazines and books for enthusiasts. Magazine arm comprises three divisions:

  • Motoring: 16 titles devoted to classic vehicles and marques such as Jaguar, Mini and MG;
  • Agricultural: 7 titles about tractors and farm machinery;
  • Rural and lifestyle: keeping reptiles and poultry, homes, kitchens and fitness.

In 2010, Kelsey bought several titles from IPC :

  • Cage & Aviary Bird, Britain's only weekly bird-keeping magazine and a famous title in its industry;
  • Aeroplane monthly;
  • MiniWorld;
  • Ships Monthly;
  • Park Home & Holiday Caravan.

KYN (Keep Yourself Nice) Publishing Ltd

Taken over by JF Media in 2006. Founded by Tim Southwell (former editor of Loaded) in 2003. Genesis Investments led a venture capital syndicate with Hotbed (£625,000) and the Arbib family to invest £1.25 million in the publisher. Launched six-a-year Golf Punk with Beyoncé Knowles on the cover of April 2004 issue. Described as 'the golf mag for the rest of us'; aimed at golfers aged between 17-40 who were not being served by existing titles. Staff included Steve Read, former creative director of Jack, and Iestyn George, former features editor of GQ.Went monthly with March 2005 issue. Plans for men's lifestyle launch in 2005 never came off. However, Golf Punk launched Italian, German, Indonesian and Swedenish editions.

Magicalia Back to top

Magicalia was founded in 1999 by founded by joint managing directors Jeremy Tapp and Adam Laird to run community-based websites. It is based in Orpington, Kent. In July 2006, it was bought by Exponent Private Equity and in August that year, it moved into magazines, buying up Encanta Media (the company formed from nine specialist interest titles that were sold off when Highbury House collapsed). Magicalia calls itself a ‘cross-media publisher’ and ran 45 websites by 2008 – some for other publishers - covering topics such as mountain biking, golf, surfing, gardening and parenthood.

In a Financial Times interview (December 2006), Peter Harkness (who had led Encanta) was unashamed about the extreme specialisation of Magicalia's consumer magazines and websites. ‘You've heard of B2B. Well, this is G2G,’ he said. ‘That's geek to geek.’ The article added: ‘Magicalia has an acquisition fund from Exponent in the region of £100m. It has just agreed to acquire a group of magazines for more than £10m and made a "modest" deal for two leisure magazines predicted to add £2.5m in sales.’

The company's deals include:

  • Practical Parenting from IPC in January 2008;
  • Junior, Junior Pregnancy and Baby, and Pregnacy, Baby and You from Future in July 2007 (it already owned thinkbaby.co.uk);
  • Good Woodworking from Future Publishing (April 2007);
  • Two Wheels Only from Haymarket (in January 2007) and Visordown.com, a motorcycling community website set up in 2000 (bought in April 2007).

In January 2008, its websites were grouped in five sectors:

  • lifestyle: AVReview, ThinkBaby, ThinkCamera and Gardening;
  • cycling: Bikemagic, RoadcyclingUK, LondonCycleSport, LeTourGuide and SheCycles;
  • outdoors: Outdoorsmagic, Golfmagic, Surfmagic, Fishingmagic and TheMainSail;
  • hobbies: ModelFlying, MilitaryModelling, ModelBoats;
  • motorcycling: Visordown.

Media 10 Ltd Back to top

Media 10 was founded in November 2002. Specialises in home and design titles, including two titles based on Channel 4 television series.

  • 4Homes (monthly): launched in 2006. Based on Channel 4 TV series
  • Icon (monthly): aims to promote the most inspiring buildings, interiors, furnishings and fittings. Launched in April 2003
  • Grand Designs (monthly): launched in 2004. Based on Talkback series for Channel 4
  • M (Q); published for the MCPS-PRS Alliance, which manages music performing and recording royalty payments
  • On Office focuses on workplace design and architecture
  • The Self Builder: for people undertaking a self-build, renovation, conversion, extension, remodelling or home improvement project.
Also runs Grand Designs Live exhibition and Design and Decoration Awards.

Media Cell Publishing (closed 2004)

Part of The Media Cell, which has a media sales division and a creative agency
  • Adrenalin: English, German and French versions of this surf, skate and snow lifestyle title
  • Battle of the Belfry: golfer Arnold Palmer's guide to the Ryder Cup
  • Bogey: golf and designer lifestyle combined in 2003. Won best designed launch from Press Gazette
  • Hale Irwin: for affluent golfers, named after American golfer

Metropolis Back to top

Metropolis has an eclectic mix of consumer titles, mainly founded by Diamond Publishing, and business titles based on part of Quantum list, which closed in 2005. Consumer list:

  • Adrenalin: surf, skate and snowboarding quarterly first published in 1999. Has English, German, French and Italian versions
  • Record Collector established in 1980 by Diamond
  • Book & Magazine Collector established in 1994 by Diamond
  • Family History monthly established in 1996 by Diamond

Business list:

  • The Landscaper A5 monthly established in 1998
  • Building Products established in 1977. Bought from Quantum
  • Laboratory News monthly established in 1972. Bought from Quantum

Contact: Metropolis International (UK), 140 Wales Farm Road, London W3 6UG, UK. Tel: +44 (0)870 737 8080


Mind How You Go Media

Content developer set up in 2007 by Tim Southwell, former editor of lads' mag Loaded, and John Dean after KYN was sold to JF Media. First project was a social networking website called isporty.com. Next was a customer magazine for Sony with Simon Kanter at Haymarket's customer publishing arm. Former Loaded and Golf Punk writer Ben Marshall was features editor of Sony Magazine. Southwell was reported to be working on a men's lifestyle magazine and website.

Mollin Publishing (closed 2001) Back to top

With funding from US millionaire Harold Mollin, bought rights to titles from US Weider Publications, which specialises in healthy living (Fitness Online). Weider claims distribution in 35 languages 
  • Jump October 1999 launch for teenage women's title taking on EMAP's J-17. Sent out 250,000 sample copies before news-stand launch. Closed 2001 
  • Men's Fitness July 1999 launch. Looks like Rodale's Men's Health, but has anti-six-pack approach with motto 'get fit or feel sh**'. Taken over by Dennis
  • Shape Women's health and fitness. April 1999 launch. Taken over by Dennis

National Magazine Co Ltd (now Hearst UK)

National Magazine is a wholly owned subsidiary of US group Hearst and adopted the parent's moniker as its trading name in 2011. In January 2011, Hearst agreed to pay £559m to buy the Hachette Filipacchi magazine division (Elle, Marie Claire editions worldwide) from French group Lagardere and merged the UK arm into NatMags. Was also known as NatMags or NatMag. National Magazines was set up in 1910. Its website has links to facts and descriptions of all its magazines. In 2009, NatMags was voted the second-greenest company in the UK by the Sunday Times (it has beehives on the roof). NatMags has 14 titles and three joint venture companies:

  • NatMag Rodale Ltd : equal joint venture with US group Rodale to publish Men's Health, Runner's World under a long-term licence along with their websites and Fetcheveryone.com;
  • ACP-Nat Mag: in March 2008, NatMags bought Australia's ACP out of the UK joint venture set up in December 2004 to publish women's weeklies (Best, Reveal and later Real People). NatMags had taken over Gruner & Jahr's UK portfolio in July 2000;
  • Comag: distribution company formed in 1977 between The National Magazine Company and Condé Nast Publications.

NatMag also owns the Hearst Digital Network, which publishes websites such as Handbag.com and Netdoctor.com.

NatMags is best known for women's monthlies Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping. The former was for many years the UK's best-seller, but NatMags failed to halt the rise of Condé Nast's Glamour, and in fact copied Glamour's 'handbag' format for Cosmopolitan.

NatMags tried to establish a new publishing model for digital magazines with Jellyfish launched in 2007. Initially, this was focused on the upper teen market served by Cosmo Girl!, but when the magazine closed in June 2007, the digital switched its target market to 18-24-year-olds. Jellyfish itself soon closed.

  • Coast. Quarterly aimed at owners, or would-be owners, of houses near the sea

  • Company (1978). Tight focus on 'freedom years' for women between starting work and having a family
  • Cosmopolitan Started in US in 1886 as a fiction magazine. Recreated by Helen Gurley Brown. Came to UK in 1972. Experimented with general interest men's magazine as long ago as winter 1984 with a Cosmo Man strap-on. Cosmopolitan Hair spin-off in October 1999. Also has Real Life Stories
  • Cosmo Girl! launched in US September 1999; closed in 2007. Major web focus and four inserts: Playboy-like 'hot centrefold'; calendar; college guide and stickers. 
  • US Cosmopolitan 
  • Country Living UK version of US title 
  • Esquire (M) UK version of US title 
  • Good Housekeeping UK version of US title. Also has 'Buy the best' and 'Having a baby' brand extensions 
  • Harper's & Queen Created in late 1970 by takeover of Queen (founded 1861) by Harper's Bazaar. Titles were both then fortnightly 
  • House Beautiful UK version of US title
  • Jellyfish (closed): free weekly digital magazine for registered readers launched in early 2007 (see also Monkey from Dennis). Initially for teenage girls aged 11 to 19, then older 18-24 market. (Known internally as Project Celia). The 'magazine' was sent electronically every Tuesday to people who sign up. Celia Duncan was the editor. Viral marketing and advertising in other NatMags titles were used to promote the title. Jellyfish used Ceros technology from Applecart, a UK e-publishing consultancy, to give the appearance of pages being turned over (also used by Emap for Digital Living and for Dennis Publishing's Monkey). Dennis uses the term 'eMag' for Monkey. Jellyfish focused on fast fashion, celebrity videos and postings from readers, with most of the content drawn from websites. Products on the fashion and shopping pages could be bought online using a click-and-buy system. As the website said, 'If it moves, click on it.'  
  • She (M): 1955 launch  
  • Zest (M) : Started as a band-on to Cosmo. Initially a quarterly. Went monthly in April 1996. In 1997, became a masthead TV programme.

Hearst Corporation is one of the world's largest publishers of monthly magazines, with 16 US titles and 97 international editions distributed in more than 100 countries. It is also a newspaper publisher and broadcaster; syndication company includes rights to Hagar the Horrible. Hearst owns a quarter of women’s portal iVillage since the latter bought rival Women.com, along with HomeArts.com, in 2001.

Hearst has many versions of its magazines internationally (Cosmo is published in more than 30 countries from France to Indonesia). Imported Glenda Bailey, editor of UK Marie Claire (a title owned by Hachette of France and published with IPC in the UK), for US launch of the title. Hearst joined with film group Miramax to launch high profile monthly Talk in September 1999 with Tina Brown as editor. Brown, with her husband Harold Evans, were leading members of British contingent in New York. After a successful career in London on Vogue, she went on to revive Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Talk closed in 2001. Brown revived links with Conde Nast, taking on editorial advisory board role for their contract launch Tate.


News Magazines Ltd Back to top

News Magazines is the consumer magazine division of Rupert Murdoch's UK publishing arm, News International. The division was set up in 2005 with a brief to capitalise on the growing market for weeklies - the group's Sun daily has lost readers to the weekly lad's magazines Zoo and Nuts. NI already had two monthly spin-offs from the Sunday Times newspaper: Travel (a contract title by River since 1993) and Inside Out (though this 2006 launch closed in 2007).

The women's weekly Love It! mixes celebrity with real life stories. It was the first launch by News Magazines in February 2006. The company was reported to be developing another weekly for launch in early 2007 under former Hello! editor Maria Trkulja. However, this - and a rumoured news magazine called Spectrum - have both gone quiet since the division won the contract to publish Sky for its sister company BSkyB.

The company has a website but all it carries are the terms and conditions for advertising in the magazines.

Contact: News Magazines, 2 Chelsea Manor, Chelsea, London SW3 5PN. Tel: +44 (0)20 7198 3031; email: karen.pasqualijones@newsmagazines.co.uk


Newsfield Publishing Ltd [closed]

Newsfield was founded in 1983 and based in Ludlow, Shropshire. It published mainly computer games titles, the best known being Crash for the Sinclair Spectrum and Zzap!64 for Commodore micros. It attempted to expand into other areas, such as role-playing games and film, with mixed success. It lays claim to having published an early lad's mag in LM. The company ran into financial problems and sold off its titles and closed down in 1991.
Wikipedia entry on Newsfield
Computer magazines


Northern & Shell plc Back to top

Company founder Richard Desmond Desmond launched International Musician in 1974, but it was producing the UK edition of US adult magazine Penthouse that made his first fortune. More pornographic magazines made the fortunes of the company, which had 15 titles in 1994. However, it was also trying to move into more mainstream publishing in the 1980s with varying degrees of success, buying Venture UK from Redwood and Running. Biggest title is Hello!-like OK! Originally launched as a monthly, OK! went weekly and bought up a series of exclusive photographs, such as Michael Jackson's baby, and media weddings, such as footballer David Beckham and 'Posh' Spice Girl Victoria Adams. Sales figures in mid-1999 challenged Hello! near the half-million level. Running battles with Hello!, which accuses OK! of copying its ideas and designs. OK! settled legal case out of court in November 1999 over its claims to have sold more than Hello!

Rivalry increased when owner Richard Desmond took over Express newspaper group. OK! was given away with paper, controversially boosting sales figures until ABC changed the rules. Hello! linked up with Express's great rival Daily Mail to run similar promotions. In 2002, Hot Stars celebrity and TV listings A4 title included with OK! The two gossip rivals also fought legal battles over photographs taken at the wedding of Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas. In July 2010, Desmond, took control of Channel 5, which broadcast the Big Brother reality TV series, for £100 deal. In March 2011, there were reports that Desmond wanted to sell his magazines. These were denied, but the company sold the US edition of OK! to American Media, publisher of the National Enquirer and Playboy, for $23m three months later. Then, Desmond launched a competitor to the National Lottery.

  • Hot Stars (weekly; 2002): 'OK!'s cheeky little sister', a celebrity and TV listings A4 title included with OK!
  • New! (W; Mar 2003): celebrity magazine at 60p, compared with Emap's Heat at £1.45. Initial print run of 800,000 copies. Sample copies given away with Hachette's Sugar in May 2004
  • OK! (W; Apr 93): celebrity weekly. Market leadership in the UK established through exclusive deals on weddings such as those of Catherine Zeta-Jones/Michael Douglas, the Beckhams, and Britney Spears. Also published in the US (8th version in 2005) - though this was sold in 2011 to American Media - Germany, Russia, China and Australia 
  • Star (W; Nov 2003) A5 format based on the celebrity-driven strategy of the company's daily newspaper of the same name

Orca Publications Back to top

Based in Newquay, Devon, Orca publishes three surfing magazines:

  • Carve: surfing magazine published eight times a year. Launched 1994
  • Surfgirl: quarterly with Carve. Launched in 2002
  • Threesixty: specialises in bodyboarding.

For details, see: Extreme sports publishers


Origin Publishing

Founded in 1998 in Bristol. Taken over by BBC Magazines in early 2004. Had 13 consumer specialist and 16 contract titles, including HMV Choice and Waterstone's Books Quarterly, supported by seven websites. Following a refocusing of the BBC magazine strategy in December 2004, the company was sold to management buy-out team led by Origin managing director, Andy Marshall in April 2006. The BBC moved its branded titles to a new subsidiary, Bristol Magazines. The BBC cherry-picked Origin's list, keeping its own branded titles, some others (such as Focus) that were owned by Origin and Origin's contract titles. Origin was left with: 
  • Blonde Hair, Hair Ideas and Your Hair
  • Cross Stitch Crazy, Cross Stitch Gold, Cross Stitch Card Shop, DMC Cross Stitch Favourites, DMC Spring Favourites and The World of Cross-stitching
  • Card Making and Papercraft, Quick Cards Made Easy and Beautiful Cards
  • Koi
  • 220 Triathlon

The company's Living History was closed after the BBC takeover in favour of BBC History. It was a March 2003 launch based on practical, hands-on approach with 32-page section covering places to visit.


Paragon Publishing Ltd (closed) Back to top

Company sold to Highbury in 2003, which then foundered and sold off all titles, mainly to Future and Remnant/SMD Publishing. Paragon had been founded in 1991 by two ex-Future employees, Dianne Tavener and Richard Monteiro. First title was console magazine SegaPro. May 1999 saw company sold to a management team funded by venture capitalists and led by Mark Simpson. Then bought computing specialist IDG Media. Published more than 30 consumer specialist magazines, mainly in videogames, PC, web and DVD/home entertainment sectors, often backed by websites. It also used the 'Made Easy' brand. However, it showed a more innovative side, with titles on puzzles and football. In 1996, it licensed Uri Geller's Encounters; in 2000, Shop@Home claimed to be the first monthly internet shopping magazine; and it acquired Hot Dog from IFG in 2002. Active in licensing overseas. Based in Bournemouth (website was www.paragon.co.uk). Taken over by Highbury House in August 2003, in a deal said to be worth £32m. Between them, Highbury-Paragon and Highbury-WVIP owned all five titles in ABC's home entertainment sector (sales 10,000 to 36,000). Also, H-P had three of the nine titles in Playstation sector, although this was dominated by Future with five titles and the runaway bestseller, Official Playstation 2 - which tripled the sales of nearest rival, H-P's Play. Titles included: 
  • Hot Dog Film review magazine bought from IFG in 2002
  • Total Games Network 
  • Carol Vorderman Puzzle Challenge 
  • Internet Access Made Easy one of the 'Made Easy' range
  • Powerstation (M, 1996) Sony Playstation magazine is one of its biggest earners, though overshadowed by Future 
  • Practical Internet 
  • What's On-line 
  • DVD Review bestseller in home entertainment sector

Panini Group

Italian publisher founded in 1961 that is best known in the UK for its sticker books. So it seemed an odd move when the company bought fortnightly teen title Mizz from IPC Media (10 March 2006). However, Panini is a large publisher of teen and children's titles, particularly comics, across Europe. Doctor Who, Postman Pat and the Marvel range are part of its portfolio in the UK. It has subsidiaries in the UK, Spain/Portugal, France, Holland, Germany/Austria, Brazil and Chile but its products are distributed or licensed in many more countries. Based in Modena.
Panini's UK comics


Parkhill Publishing Ltd Back to top

Set up by former Sunday Express editor Eve Pollard. Launched mature women's magazine Aura in May 2000 at £2.50 for women in their 'Jaffa Cake years' ('the juciest bits in the centre of our lives'). As the launch issue said: 'We were the ones who read Honey, wore loons and Biba T-shirts, screamed at the Monkees, had the Che Guevera poster... We were groovy. We still are.' Failed to make progress and closed within a year. See IPC's Nova, Hachette/Emap's Red and BBC's Eve.
Women's monthly magazines

Permanent Publishing Ltd (Factory Media)

Extreme sports magazine publisher based in Abingdon, near Oxford, that was part of a merger that formed Factory Media in December 2006. Titles included:

  • The Surfer's Path“green” surf magazine'. Published six times a year
  • Sidewalk: monthly for skateboarders
  • Urban Climber: bouldering, sport and and gym climbing. Six times a year
  • Whitelines: for snowboarders. Published six times a year

For details, see: Extreme sports magazines


Pro Publishing Ltd Back to top

Company set up by publisher Mario Kyriacou for May 2007 launch of Utopia, a kitchen and bathroom monthly aiming to be the Vogue of the market under editor Becky Rushmer. Target readership is AB, 30-55 year olds, including homeowners with a high disposable income, professional women, ladies who lunch, interior designers and architects/specifiers. Contact: 15 Rainbow Road, West Mersea, Colchester, Essex CO5 8RE. Tel: 01206 384148


PSP Publishing (was Pro-Sports Promotions)

Scottish specialist consumer and contract publisher established in 1995. Has a stable of its own and contract titles, based around outdoor sports and tourism. Leading title is golf magazine Bunkered. In March 2006, PSP Publishing Ltd branched out with No.1- ‘Scotland’s answer to Hello! and OK!’. PSP Publishing runs two events each year for past few years at the SECC in Glasgow: the Girls' Day Out and the Scottish Golf Show. Other magazine titles include:

  • Bunkered: published eight times a year. Covers all aspects of golf. Scotland's best-selling golf title with an audited circulation of more than 26,500.
  • Scottish Club Golfer: free from golf outlets in Scotland six times a year.
  • English Club Golfer: distributed free to golf outlets in England six times a year.
  • Welsh Club Golfer: distributed free to golf outlets in Wales four times a year.
  • The Scottish Mountaineer: sent by post four times a year to the 10,000 members of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland.
  • Nationwide Bowler: February 2006 launch. Sent four times a year to UK bowls clubs.
  • Golf Societies Guide: golf courses that accept golfing societies.
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