Business hopes relaunch as magazine will fill gap in market

The Business will launch as "Britain's first weekly international business magazine"

in October, as part of its publisher's aim to build a portfolio of quality niche titles.

The new magazine will take the place of The Business newspaper, which has struggled commercially for most of the time since it launched in 1996. The title will be printed as a newspaper for the last time on 1 October.

The new full colour, 72-page magazine will be on sale every Thursday and will be part of the new Press Holdings Magazine Publishing Group, along with The Spectator and arts and antiques magazine Apollo. Andrew Neil will be chief executive of the new group, owned by the Barclay brothers, who also own the Telegraph Group.

Neil told Press Gazette that the company was looking at a number of other niche acquisitions. "They're not the kind of magazines that would interest multinationals,"

he said, "My aim is to build up a boutique of high quality magazines."

He added: "This is the age of magazines.

Magazines are doing well — they're more accessible than newspapers and they're less susceptible to the internet."

His comments are an echo of remarks made at the PPA magazines conference in May last year, where Neil urged papers to become "more like magazines"

to survive.

Neil said that the impetus for the format change came from overwhelming competition on the Sunday newsstand and a desire to get the magazine into people's hands before the weekend. He added that there was a gap in the market for a British business magazine with an international outlook.

"We were getting crowded out in a market full of giants. By becoming a magazine, coming out on a Thursday, we're moving to a space which no one else occupies at the moment," he said.

"There is no British business magazine — the big ones that are doing this are all American: Forbes, Fortune, Business Week. The Economist is a geopolitical magazine, not a business magazine, and the Investor's Chronicle is really for smallto medium-sized shareholders, while we're for the top 50,000 businessmen in London and the Southeast."

The publisher said it would aim for a circulation of 50,000 once the magazine launches on 12 October.

The Business has built up its circulation by sending out free copies to readers in the AB demographic, some of whom the company now hopes to turn into paying subscribers.

The paper had a circulation of 136,620 in June, according to ABC.

Of this figure, about 20,000 were paid for copies.

The Business weekly magazine will continue to be edited by Ian Watson, and will be staffed by the existing editorial team. Paul Woolfenden will be the managing director. The title will share commercial operations with The Spectator, moving into its new offices in Westminster.

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