First editor search is on as Jane Johnson joins NoW

Emap has said it remains committed to First magazine, following news of the departure of editor Jane Johnson to become deputy editor of the News of the World.

First was launched in May 2006 with former Heat deputy Julian Linley at the helm. When he returned to the celebrity gossip weekly to work on its online proposition, Heatworld.com, Johnson was brought in. She took up an editorial director role across Closer and First with day-to-day editorial responsibility on the latter. Lisa Burrow is currently acting editor of Closer.

The magazine – originally billed as a newsy title for 30-something mothers – has reverted to a more traditional real life and celebrity agenda. A similarly targeted weekly launched by Bauer in August last year, In The Know, closed in May.

Emap’s ‘broader’celebrity weekly hit its revised circulation target of 100,000 in the last set of ABC figures.

Johnson’s move to the News of the World is a return to her tabloid roots. She was women’s editor at the Daily Mirror in the late Nineties and returned to an executive editor role at the Sunday Mirror before moving to Emap.

She leaves after five years, during which she launched one of Emap’s most successful titles, the real life/ celebrity hybrid, Closer. She is credited with bringing tabloid news sense to the weekly magazines market, whose reader the NoW may be keen to woo.

Johnson will take on the role of deputy editor and editorial director at the News of the World. Neil Wallis, the current NoW deputy editor will become executive

editor.

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