The move is likely to result in eight editorial job losses, but Pauline Haldane will continue to oversee TV Hits! as editorial director.
Insiders said Attic was concerned about the overlap with TV Hits! when CD:UK launched in April 2001. TV Hits! relaunched in July to distance itself and was repositioned as Britain’s only celebrity teen lifestyle magazine, focusing on the lifestyles of pop stars, TV and film celebrities.
This week publishers were said to be surprised by the move because rivals’ estimates showed recent issues of CD:UK have outsold TV Hits! and Smash! Hits.
Sources said the merger had more to do with the thousands of pounds Attic had to pay the TV company for the name. CD:UK was the result of a joint licensing agreement with Blaze Television, a division of Zenith Entertainment, producer of the TV programme.
Other journalists suggested the magazine was hit by changes to the TV show. "The brand name has lost a lot of equity since Ant and Dec left. The humour, music, tone and everything about it was their baby and it has lost a lot of cred among teenagers," a source said.
CD:UK reported a debut ABC of 138,122 in August, below its estimated target of 150,000. TV Hits! came in slightly higher at 143,289, but was down 18.4 per cent year-on-year.
Other publishers claimed the move would result in growth for the whole sector. Top of the Pops magazine publisher Alfie Lewis said the teen market had been rejuvenated by Gareth Gates and added: "The merger should help all of us because it is one less teenage magazine on the shelves. When CD:UK came into the market, we all lost around 10,000 sales a month and it didn’t grow the market. Everyone should pick up sales now."
In a statement, Vivien Cotterill, managing director of Hachette Filipacchi UK, said: "The merger of CD:UK with TV Hits! sees Hachette Filipacchi UK consolidating its share of the highly competitive teen pop market, which has suffered a further decline of 20 per cent this year.
"It also affords Zenith the fantastic opportunity of continuing its unique relationship with teen magazines, which we have built up over the last year and a half, while continuing to offer readers exceptional added value."
Hachette has said it will find new jobs for all the staff affected on its other titles such as Elle, Elle Decoration, ElleGirl, Red, B, Sugar, Inside Soap and All About Soap.
The December issue of CD:UK will be the last.