Former News of the World news editor Ian Edmondson is set to become the new editor of lads’ magazine Loaded.
The move comes less than a month after the magazine was sold to former lawyer and adult film producer Paul Baxendale-Walker, after former owners Vitality Publishing entered administration with debts of almost £1m.
After the buying the magazine Baxendale-Walker, a millionaire talkshow host and tax adviser who runs the adult film company Bluebird Productions, said he planned to run more page-three-style content in the magazine.
Edmondson told the Evening Standard that he wanted to take the magazine ‘back to the glory days”.
‘I want to get Loaded back to the glory days of the Nineties,’he said. ‘I want it to re-establish its ‘bad-boy’ image, when it used to put Liam Gallagher on the cover.
‘It’s all very well having pretty girls on the front but people can get that for free on the internet. I’d love to have Joey Barton on the front cover. I’m also going to introduce politics because I think men are interested in it.”
Edmonson launched a claim for unfair dismissal against his former employer News International last September following his sacking in January 2011, after evidence allegedly emerged linking him to phone-hacking.
Edmondson was arrested in April 2011 on suspicion of conspiring to intercept voicemail messages while working at the defunct Sunday tabloid
When he appeared at the Leveson Inquiry in February he claimed former editor Colin Myler oversaw a culture of bullying at the newspaper, repeatedly claiming that ‘everything emanates from the editor”.
Edmondson first joined the paper in 1995 as a reporter and left in 2000 to join its Sunday tabloid rival the People, eventually working his way up to news editor.
He rejoined the NoW in 2004 as number two on the newsdesk and a year later was made news editor.
Former Loaded publishers Vitality went into administration after running up a bill of almost £1m with creditors, when Cooper Young was appointed to sell off Vitality’s publishing assets.
The most recent ABC figures for Loaded show circulation was down 30 per cent to 34,505. In common with most other Lads’ Mag titles, circulation has collapsed in recent years. In 2000 it had a monthly sale of over 350,000.