Hello! magazine is making a “fundamental” shift away from “downmarket weekly celebrity titles” and aligned itself with the likes of Grazia and Stylist.
The shift was outlined in a letter sent to the trade press, in which publishing director Charlotte Stockting attacked former rivals in the celebrity sector.
As part of the shift Hello! is no longer to be bracketed by ABC in the flagging celebrity sector but in the better performing women’s lifestyle and fashion group.
“This move better reflects the core editorial attributes of Hello! with its upmarket editorial, strong lifestyle content, stunning photography and excellent print production,” said Stockting.
“It also reflects a move away from the celebrity sector, and its obsession with made-up stories, scurrilous gossip, poor production values, real-life stories and low cover price.”
Instead, said Stockting, Hello! will compete with weeklies such as Grazia and Stylist and monthly titles Glamour, Marie Claire, Elle and Red.
The company has worked with retailers to ensure Hello sits alongside these titles on the newsstand.
“This is a fundamental, important, and strategic shift to the placement of Hello! magazine in the minds of our many publics: news trade, advertisers, client and – most importantly – our loyal readers.”
The most recent ABCs show circulation of the UK edition of Hello! title fell 14.6 per cent in the first of the year to 352,985.
The figures also help explain the logic behind Hello! magazine’s strategy: circulation on the celebrity sector fell 10.9 per cent on average but just 5.1 per cent in the lifestyle sector.
And some of the title’s former rivals suffered significant declines in the first six months of 2012.
Northern & Shell’s OK!, for example, was down 24.8 per cent to 355,969 and Star fell 28.9 per cent to 288,533.