20 jobs lost as the Nova revival ends in failure for IPC

Nova: more edgy than mainstream

IPC has closed Nova less than a year after reviving the Sixties style and fashion bible. The move has resulted in 20 job losses and sparked fears of further closures in the women’s lifestyle sector.

Tim Brooks, managing director of IPC Southbank, said the first few issues of Nova had been "more edgy" than people were expecting and advertisers had failed to come back on board despite attempts to make the magazine more mainstream.

Editor Deborah Bee quit two issues after its relaunch and was replaced by Jeremy Langmead, former editor of The Sunday Times’s Style section.

At the time insiders accused IPC of being unprepared to take risks. Senior management were said to be annoyed that Nova differed from the dummies that had been produced. Questions were also raised about its fashion coverage which was thought to be not sufficiently "mainstream".

One magazine editor said: "If they had made it more mainstream it would not have been Nova; if they had kept it fringy it was not going to sell and IPC needs to sell."

Brooks said: "It is a decision we’ve taken very reluctantly. A lot of people sampled the first few issues and didn’t like it. Even though we believe it has improved a great deal under Jeremy, it has become clear we were going to struggle to maintain sales."

He said the launches of In Style and Glamour had made an impact and suggested more journalists’ jobs could go.

"The market has never been as competitive. Nova won’t be the only magazine to close. Unless publishers have something that is very secure, they are going to find it very tough."

Nova gained a final ABC of 75,142.

by Ruth Addicott

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