Loaded magazine publisher goes into administration

Blue Publishing, the publisher of Loaded magazine, has gone into administration months after plotting mass expansion into the magazine market.

Loaded, along with Superbike magazine, is now being printed under a new company, Loaded Media Limited.

Loaded Media Limited is also in discussions to sell Formula 1 lifestyle magazine Formula.

Press Gazette understands a number of staff across owner Paul Baxendale-Walker's titles have been axed by the publisher.

Companies House is unaware that Blue Publishing Limited has gone into administration at this stage - but companies are given 15 days to notify. Baxendale-Walker is listed as a secretary and director of the company.

Loaded Media Limited was encoporated on 25 April this year, and lists Baxendale-Walker as its director.

Earlier this year Blue Publishing launched men’s weekly Zip magazine before scrapping it after nine issues.

Press Gazette was told that Zip would continue to exist in digital form. It appears that no new content has been uploaded on to its website since 24 May.

Last month, former News of the World journalist Ian Edmondson stood down as editor of Loaded.

Press Gazette understands he is now in charge of PR for Loaded Media Limited.

The new Loaded editor, Jamie Wallis, was appointed after initially being one of around ten journalists and photographers made redundant from Zip magazine.

In an interview with Press Gazette earlier this year, owner Baxendale-Walker unveiled plans for a number of new titles, including a Loaded magazine for women.

When asked about the risk of investing in the magazine market so heavily, he said: "What's the risk in having fun?"

He was also dismissive of the suggestion that his ventures might not work out, saying: "We've got such a low cost of operation it's very difficult for that to happen."

Managing director Ray Kidd, who sat in on the second half of the interview, said: "When you look at back the back of Nuts and Zoo you see 35 people putting that magaizne together. Bauer or IPC with their costs.

"And you look at us, and we’ve got a fraction of that. We’ve got like six people that are on permanent staff and then pool in the talents from the other team members. Our overheads are nowhere near."

Kidd was listed as a secretary and director of Blue Publishing until 1 May this year.

Kidd could not be reached for comment, but Edmondson sent Press Gazette the following statement: "Over the past twelve months the Loaded team has worked hard to bring new life to the quintessentially British men's lifestyle magazine.

"Loaded - which next year celebrates its twentieth birthday - now looks forward to the next chapter in its exciting history.

"This transition has resulted in the restructuring of the company which is now called Loaded Media Ltd and sees the formation of a new team.

"The next challenge is to embrace the opportunities of publishing in a digital age. Loaded magazine will continue as a printed magazine but the team will start the transition to digital platforms whilst capitalising on all commercial opportunities."

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