17 jobs saved as BBC sells Good Homes magazine

BBC Worldwide has found a buyer for Good Homes, the property magazine it was planning to close at the end of this month, saving 17 jobs.

Family-run magazine group Kelsey Publishing has agreed to buy the title for an undisclosed sum. The first edition under new management will be the August issue.

All staff working on Good Homes will transfer to the new owner under Tupe (transfer of undertakings and protection of employment) law.

But the saved magazine will no longer carry BBC branding and will be completely independent of the corporation.

BBC Magazines, a division of the BBC’s commercial arm Worldwide, announced the closure of Good Homes last month, blaming the decline in the property market.

It said it could not justify running a loss-making title when BBC Worldwide’s remit is to generate profits which are then reinvested into core BBC content.

Managing director Peter Phippen said today: “Good Homes Magazine is a trusted, quality magazine and it was with great regret that BBC Magazines announced its proposal to close the title last month.

“We are therefore delighted that following discussions with a number of interested parties, we have found an ideal buyer in Kelsey Publishing.

“I am confident that this family business will be able to develop the magazine beyond its current remit and I wish them every success.”

Kelsey Publishing owns 26 leisure magazines including Custom Car, Modern Mini, Practical Poultry, Total BMW and Running Fitness.

Its managing director Steve Wright said: “Good Homes Magazine has an outstanding reputation within the industry and we look forward to incorporating it into our business.”

Good Homes was launched in May 1998 and reached a circulation peak of 151,763 a year later.

The title held its ABC figure at about 130,000 from 2004 until last year, when it dropped to 117,466.

In the latest set of figures, covering the second half of 2008, the magazine’s ABC fell 23 per cent year on year to 97,725.

Last week, BBC Magazines announced up to 30 job cuts across the business, with children’s magazines thought to be the hardest-hit.

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