Emap turns up heat on rivals with new celebrity title

Closer: "found a new niche"

Emap’s long-awaited showbiz launch is a women’s weekly that combines celebrity gossip with real-life stories and TV listings.

Closer will sit alongside Emap’s Heat on the news-stands and is aimed at "a broad range of women". Target sales are thought to be around 300,000.

Editor is Jane Johnson, former Sunday Mirror executive editor, and other members of the team include deputy editor Sarah Pyper, former editor of Sugar and celebrity editor of New Woman; features editor Lesley Gibson, previously with the Daily Mail’s Femail section; TV editor Tom Benedict, from the Evening Standard; and specials and lifestyle editor Frances Sheen, formerly of NW and Smash Hits in Australia.

Johnson said: "It’s going to have a real newsy element and we’ll be breaking big newsy interviews – that’s why we’ve combined the newspaper and magazine backgrounds."

IPC Media’s Now also carries real-life stories with celebrity gossip but Johnson denied Closer was pitched against any existing title.

She said: "We are inventing a new kind of magazine. The celebrity market is growing and we think we have found a new niche."

Editor-in-chief is Ian Birch, editor-in-chief of Emap’s women’s portfolio, and publisher is Louise Matthews, managing director of Heat.

Closer goes on sale on 25 September, priced £1, and the launch will be supported by a multimillion pound television and news-stand advertising and marketing campaign.

 

By Mary Stevens

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