Men's magazines: an A to Z

Men's magazines, lads magazines, glamour magazines, pin-up magazines and top-shelf magazines covered alphabetically. This page addresses T3 to Zoo Weekly via Town, Tit-Bits and Viz. On other pages:

Introduction
  1. 3D titles to Boys Toys
  2. Carnival to Cut
  3. Deluxe to Esquire
  4. Fable to Front
  5. The Gentleman's Magazine to The Humorist
  6. Ice to London Opinion
  7. Man to Maxim
  8. Mayfair to Monkey
  9. Nine to Playboy
  10. Razzle to Stuff
  11. T3 to Zoo Weekly (this page)

T3 men's magazine first issue
T3: first issue of the men's magazine that focuses on gadgets

 

T3 Back to top

Future, November 1996-
T3 - 'Tomorrow's Technology Today' - was launched in the same year as Dennis gave up on Stuff and sold it to Haymarket (a move Felix Dennis has since regretted, saying he sold it too cheaply).
Future profile


Tit-Bits weekly men's magazine cover Dec 3 1955
Tit-Bits from December 3 1955 in a tabloid newspaper format when it was at a peak, selling about 1.2m copies a week
Tit-Bits weekly men's magazine cover
Tit-Bits from December 16 1961. The style of cover had hardly changed, though the paper quality was better and printing had shifted to Sun Printers in Watford
Tit-Bits weekly men's magazine cover
Titbits - note the subtle name change - from 13 January 1973. By this stage it had adopted colour covers and looked more like a magazine than a newspaper
Tit-Bits weekly men's magazine cover
Titbits from May 1984. This issue carried an advert for Parade - with raunchy nudes, local girls and readers' wives

 

Tit-Bits/Titbits [closed] Back to top

George Newnes/IPC. October 1881-1984
Tit-Bits was launched by George Newnes and established a model of rewriting material from many sources, using cheap newsprint and selling in volume. It was quite open about this - the masthead proclaimed 'From all the most interesting books, periodicals and contributors in the world.' The strategy can be seen today in The Week from Dennis.

It was the first popular paper to sell 1m copies a week and its circulation peaked in 1955 at 1,150,000.* Contributors included Alfred Harmsworth (later Lord Northcliffe) and Winston Churchill. Titbits ran a contest in the first world war for a song that could be sung by soldiers at the front: Ivor Novello won it with 'Keep the Home Fires Burning.'

Tit-Bits spawned many imitators, including Harmsworth's Answers. It specialised in 'human interest' snippets with short stories and full-length serials by authors such as Rider Haggard. Pin-ups appeared on its covers from 1939.

  • In the 1950s, George Newnes was at Tower House, Southampton St, Strand, London WC2. Tit-Bits was printed by W. Speaight, Exmoor St, W10. It came out on Mondays. In 1959, it was selling about 904,000 copies.
  • By 1961, it was printed by Sun Printers, Watford & London.
  • Newnes became part of IPC Magazines at Kings Reach Tower, London. It took over rival Reveille. In the 1980s, it was published on Thursdays.

Titbits was taken over by Associated Newspapers' Weekend on 18 July 1984 with sales of 170,000 copies. The last editor was Paul Hopkins. Its main competitors were not other magazines but popular daily papers such as the Sun. Ron Chilton, chief executive of IPC Magazines, said the popular tabloids were 'just daily Titbits with a bit of news added on to the front'.

In reporting the closure, the Financial Times* described Titbits as 'the 103-year-old progenitor of Britain's popular press'. It went on:

'The ploys used by newspapers today to boost circulation - even Top People now have bingo with their current affairs - were nearly all pioneered by Titbits. Titbits was running competitions, with what were then fabulous prizes, decades ago; Titbits was first to put a glamour girl, albeit with clothes, on the front page; Titbits serialised H. Rider Haggard's 'She;' and it was Titbits that first thought of launching a national treasure hunt.'

The FT also reported: 'Chilton made it clear that Titbits would never again come out as a separate publication. Apart from anything else, IPC would not wish the old logo to fall in to the hands of pornographers.' However, Titbits was later sold to Sport Newspapers, which then sold it on. The name lives on as a glossy adult monthly Titbits International.

*Cameron, S., Fishlock, D. and Cottrell, R. (1984) 'The inevitable death of Titbits,' Financial Times,
30 June, p17

IPC profile


Town  men's magazine
Town, the quintessential men's magazine of the 1960s

 

Town [closed] Back to top

Cornmarket/ Haymarket -1968
Cornmarket bought Man About Town from Tailor & Cutter and abbreviated to About Town (and later Town). At one stage it became a quintessential 1960s magazine, under art director Tom Wolsey, helping to establish photographers such as Terence Donovan and Don McCullin. However, like IPC's ground-breaking women’s monthly Nova, it was not very profitable and closed in 1968.
Man About Town case study
Haymarket profile


Trace 2006
Trace, was originally launched in London as True

 

Trace (was True) Back to top

True Inc., New York, 1995- (as True in London)
Having changed the name ito Trace a year after the 1995 launch, Claude Grunitsky moved his base to New York in 1998. Trace sees itself as a transcultural magazine about style and ideas. Coverage includes music, fashion, film, art and politics with an emphasis on urban street culture. Trace is published six times a year. In September 2003, a French edition was launched.
www.trace212.com
www.trace.tv (French and English)

 



True grew out of a protest about a lack of hip-hop coverage in The Face

 

True [now Trace] Back to top

True Magazine Ltd, Jul/Aug 1995
Founder Claude Grunitsky starts his editorial by saying that he wrote a letter to Sheryl Garratt at The Face in 1993 about its lack of hip hop coverage. True was about him putting his belief on the line with hip hop as an agent of social change. It covered music, fashion and film. True changed its name a year later to Trace.



Untold magazine for black men

 

Untold [closed] Back to top

Untold Magazine, London.June/July 1998-?
Excellent editorial, design, cover - which used metallic inks - and production made this black male lifestyle magazine by editor/publisher: Peter Akinti stand out on the news shelves. Government minister Paul Boateng, comedian Lenny Henry, athlete Linford Christie, designer Ozwald Boateng and R & B producer were interviewed for the first issue, and four of them modelled for the cover. Untold was distributed by Time Out but folded after a couple of years.
Time Out profile


UNzip CD-Rom box cover
Unzip CD-Rom magazine

 

Unzip CD-Rom [closed] Back to top

IPC/Zone, 1995-?
‘The UK’s first fully interactive magazine on CD-Rom’ was the claim for this product. The content was based on New Scientist (which was then an IPC title) and music magazines NME and Vox. Zone did the technical work. The image of the head divided into marked areas was used as the graphical interface for accessing parts of the content. The Unzip CD-Rom came in a box with a 15 age label at £9.99 as an introductory offer (usually £15.99). Zone's managing director was Raja Choudhury (interviewed in Creative Technology April 1995)


Upstreet Nov 2006
Upstreet in November 2006, the 18th issue

 

Upstreet Back to top

Westmag Ltd/Upstreet Artwall Ltd, London. July 2001-
Upstreet is an international cultural and urban men's magazine in English and French editions.
Upstreet website


Viz in 1979
Viz fifth issue
Viz in 1983Viz in May 1983 on its way to selling a million
Viz in 2006
IFG introduced colour to Viz covers

 

Viz Comic Back to top

Chris Donald/House of Viz/John Brown/IFG/Dennis, 1979-
This comic was founded by former DSS clerk Chris Donald in 1979 in Newcastle (aged 19). He started selling photocopies in pubs and describes it as 'puerile and inane'. It earned a position on the top-shelf for its foul language and humour, rather than naked women. Characters such The Fat Slags, Black Bag (a binliner that acts like sheepdog Black Bob, a former Beano hero), Billy the Fish, Johnny Fartpants and Buster Gonad became very widely known.

The fortnightly was bought by contract publisher John Brown. Distribution expanded when it was bought up as John Brown Publishing's first news-stand title. In 1989, sales peaked at a million before falling to about 200,000 by 2002. The magazine was sold to IFG - run by Loaded founder James Brown who had acknowledged Viz as an inspiration for the lad's mag concept. IFG improved the paper quality and repositioned the title alongside men's lifestyle magazines, rather than on the top shelf, where it had sat in most newsagents. It began to attract substantial advertising, such as for vodka. In 2001 IFG folded and sold the title to Dennis. Still produced by cartoonists in Newcastle
Dennis profile
Viz website


Wallpaper  February 2006
Wallpaper design awards special with four vertical layers on cover
Wallpaper Russia first issue
IPC licensed Wallpaper to Axel Springer Russia in 2005

 

Wallpaper Back to top

Wallpaper Group/Time Inc/IPC Media, September/October 96-
For men who saw themselves as even more upmarket of Arena, Wallpaper appeared in London, the brainchild of Tyler Brûlé. Its Canadian founder sold it to Time Inc in June 97. Time backed Brûlé in two launches: sports gear fashion magazine Line in 2000, and fashion quarterly Spruce in 2001. However both failed. Brûlé left after Wallpaper was put under the control of IPC, which AOL-Time Warner had bought in 2001, to concentrate on his consultancy, Wink Media, and freelance writing, including a column in the Saturday Financial Times. In 2006, he announced plans for an international business title, Monocle.
IPC profile
Wink Media website
Axel Springer website
Wallpaper Russia website


Weekend 4 Sept 1974

 

Weekend [closed] Back to top

Northcliffe House, London EC4. - 1989?
Weekly collection of news, stories and pin-ups. In the 1960s, published as a tabloid newspaper with a colour cover. Ran a 'Pop Spot' feature each issue with the lyrics for a chart single. Later adopted a magazine format. Took over Titbits in 1984.


Wide World last issue
Final issue of Wide World in 19655

 

Wide World [closed] Back to top

George Newnes Ltd, Tower House, Southampton Street, WC2. 1898-December 1965
After 67 years and 807 issues, Wide World was incorporated into Geographical magazine. Del Cooper was the last editor. The title described itself as 'The true adventure magazine for men.' The final issue included:

  • Passage to Cartagena by Harry Reisberg about searching for underwater treasure trove;
  • Catalina flying boats;
  • Industrial espionage;
  • The musclemen of Iran;
  • Archimede, the French bathyscape that explored 5 miles below the Atlantic;
  • 'No place for men' by Peter Mulgrew. Part 3 of a book serialisation.

Wonderland men's magazine
Wonderland: a luxury men's magazine focusing on contemporary visual culture

 

Wonderland Back to top

Visual Talent, London. Sept/Oct 2005-
This luxury magazine that came about as a result of a TV programme, BBC2's The Dragon's Den, to find young entrepreneurs. 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 the show, but the total launch budget was only £250,000. The launch PR was by Max Clifford Associates. The bi-monthly's print run was set at 140,000 copies with target sales of 100,000, about half of which were expected in the UK. The content was based on contemporary visual culture - art, film and design - for both men and women.
Wonderland website


X-net men's magazine
X-Net caused a stir with its CD-Rom full of links to adult websites

 

X-Net [closed] Back to top

Instant Access Ltd, London. Jan/Feb 1997
A bi-monthly, which came with a CD-Rom and a cover price of £7.95 for 100 pages. It featured the popular pin-up Jo Guest and carried hundreds of addresses for pornographic as well as sport, comedy and car websites. It claimed to have sold more than 30,000 copies of the first issue, even though some retailers refused to stock it. There was no age warning on the cover. The CD-Rom held more than 300 links to websites and used the sales line: 'Babe Fest! Interview the girls, then watch them strip.' It caused a furore, to which its editor, Dominic Handy, responded in the Guardian*: 'We did not go out to publish a porn mag, we wanted to publish Loaded for the internet.'
*Millar, S. (1997) 'Anger over net 'porn' magazine,' Guardian, 8 April: 5


Xtreme April 1997
Xtreme was for ‘men who live on the edge'

 

Xtreme [closed] Back to top

Xtreme Publications. April 1997-?
Editor Jerome Smail aimed for ‘men who live on the edge’ with this extreme sports title.


 

 

ZM [closed] Back to top

National Magazines, Autumn/Winter 1998-?
Paul Colbert was editor of this men's health title with the selling line 'For the man with everything'. (NatMags had launched Zest, a Cosmopolitan health and beauty spin-off in Autumn 1994).
National Magazines profile


Zoo men's weekly magazine
Zoo went head-to-head with Nuts to gain leadership in the weekly men's magazine market

 

Zoo Weekly Back to top

Emap, 24 January 2004-
IPC's Nuts beat Emap's Zoo to the news-stands by a week. The latter made more use of female flesh - far more of it, including bare nipples. Emap's 'Project Tyson' had pinched Chat editor Paul Merrill from IPC in December. Both publishers claimed investments of £8m. Emap sought to attract initial sales of 150,000 by targeting 16-30-year-olds. Emap had a stranglehold on the monthly men's market with FHM selling more than twice as many copies as IPC's Loaded. Both monthlies suffered at the hands of the weeklies.
Breakdown of Zoo first issue
Emap profile



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