John Brown Publishing has increased its presence in the US and won two more publishing contracts, including a new magazine for sports retailer Nike.
Much Respect is to be edited by Ekow Eshun, former editor of Arena and current editor of Hot Air. Andy Harris, who previously worked for Vogue Entertaining in Australia, is editor-in-chief.
The title will have a print run of 80,000. John Brown has also signed a deal with US retailer Wegmans to launch a new magazine in September.
The move follows the announcement of the proposed £6.4m sale of JBP Holdings, which publishes Viz, Fortean Times and Bizarre and associated websites, to James Brown’s company, IFG.
Speaking to Press Gazette, owner John Brown said: "I never looked to sell the titles but when James approached me it made sense. I was becoming anxious that the consumer division was stagnant because we were concentrating on the contract magazines." JBP has recently set up an office in New York. "I would like to see one other launch by the end of the year. I’d be thrilled with two," Brown added.
Around 30 staff are expected to transfer to IFG’s offices.
Backed by Felix Dennis, James Brown said he hoped to increase the frequency of Viz. "Viz has elements of the original Loaded and it allows us to take our position as a men’s magazine publisher," he said.
IFG is currently working on the launch of a new men’s lifestyle magazine, due out at the end of the year.
Brown has been in talks with a number of high-profile journalists about the venture, including John Wingfield, editor of the Paris-based fashion magazine Numero and men’s fashion magazine Numero Homme.
Wingfield met Brown in London to discuss new magazine concepts. He has been editor of Numero for two years, having previously worked for Eat Soup magazine, The Times and The Daily Telegraph.
Numero is described as a cross between ID and Dazed & Confused. Numero Homme has a circulation of around 50,000. Speaking from Paris this week, Wingfeld said: "He [Brown] was obviously interested in fashion. There is definitely a market there for a men’s fashion magazine. There is still a massive readership to be found for a magazine that is a step above Loaded and not quite GQ, for men who are interested in more highbrow stuff like art and fashion."
Wingfield said there could not be two magazines further apart than Numero and Loaded but suggested there was a "middle ground" to be found.
By Ruth Addicott