Phil Johnson, the award-winning group editor of Reed Business Information’s flagship health titles Doctor and Hospital Doctor, has quit after 18 years to edit rival magazine Pulse.
Johnson will take over on 1 September from Howard Grif?ths, who has been promoted to the newly created post of editor-in-chief.
Johnson joined Doctor as a trainee sub-editor in 1985 and eventually became editor of sister title Hospital Doctor in 1996 and group editor of Hospital Doctor and Doctor in 1998. In 2002, he picked up a PPA award for Editor of the Year.
Although he held the post of group editor, he was responsible for the day-to-day editing of Doctor, and it is thought Reed will be looking to replace him as soon as possible.
Johnson said his team were “shocked and surprised, but pleased for me” when he broke the news to them on Monday. “It’s a big step but I’m looking forward to new challenges,” he said.
“It’s the same audience and my readers will be the same but I think Pulse has a very different feel to Doctor. It has a different relationship with its readers, it’s less brash and noisy and less humorous, but it really does understand its readers very well. It really is a trusted friend.
“I think Pulse is a fabulous brand that has a huge amount of untapped potential,” he added.
During his time on Doctor, Johnson took the title’s readership to record levels. He also made the news in June by dropping the traditional format and designing a special front page to mark GPs’ landmark decision to accept a new contract.
Instead of the usual four stories and a picture, the cover of Doctor featured 38 words of display and 17 of text to underline the importance of what was believed to be the biggest change for general practice in nearly 40 years.
Pulse was established in 1960 and is the market leader in its ?eld and one of CMPi’s biggest titles, with a circulation of 43,000.
CMPi also publishes The Practitioner, the 155-yearold monthly which offers more in depth clinical information to GPs.
By Ruth Addicott