Jane Ennis is to make a shock return to the celebrity weekly market she helped spawn as she takes over at Emap’s First.
The ex editor of IPC’s Now, credited as the originator in the celebrity weekly market, is to return to the sector at rival publisher Emap.
Ennis left Now after 10 years on the title last December, one of a number of big name editors to leave IPC in the same period. She has spent the intervening period working at Associated Newspapers and was likely on a period of gardening period from IPC during which she could not work for a rival title.
At the time of her resignation, sources told Press Gazette she had been frustrated with IPC’s lack of investment in Now, particularly in the light of the imminent launch of Look magazine, which with its fashion and celebrity content, crossed into Now’s territory.
Ennis replaces Jane Johnson, who is leaving Emap to become deputy editor at the News of the World. She will be charged with turning Emap’s latest consumer title into a success as it struggled to hit its initial ABCs target of 150,00, which was later revised to 100,000.
Under Johnson, First has become a radically different proposition from its original concept of a newsy title for 30-something mums. It now is closer in style and content to Closer magazine, as Johnson boosted the celebrity content and grabby coverlines.
Ennis started her career on regional newspapers, before moving to magazines. She worked as a writer on the groundbreaking Nova Magazine and at editor level on Best, TV Quick and The Telegraph Magazine. She launched Here Magazine for G&J, which was later bought by IPC.
She has also had a successful newspaper career, working as features editor on the Sunday Mirror, and assistant editor, features, on the defunct Today newspaper.