Love It! editor, publisher and art director made redundant

The editor, publisher and art director of Love It! magazine have all been made redundant as part of the buy-up of the magazine by Burda.

News International has been trying to sell real life weekly Love It! since it announced in June that it was closing its loss-making News Magazines venture. The sale to Hubert Burda Media UK was announced on Thursday.

Chief executive of HBM UK Luke Patten confirmed that editor Karen Pasquali Jones, publisher Augusta Barnes and art editor Mark Setchfield have all been ‘made redundant’as part of the process in changing owners.

He told Press Gazette: ‘They didn’t leave voluntarily. It was part of the deal. It was a strategic decision. There are lots of economies of scale within the business, and when we buy something we have our own ideas.”

Editor Pasquali Jones has been on maternity leave for the past eight months, although was still writing her editor’s letter which featured in the magazine each week. She has been with the title since launch in January 2006, having previously worked on the launch team of IPC’s weekly rival Pick Me Up. According to one source staff are shocked by the nature of her departure.

Her deputy Joely Carey has been acting editor in her absence, and is still with the company.

In a further blow for the remaining staff, the magazine’s showbiz writer Amy Brookbanks is understood to have resigned on Friday.

Love It! recorded a circulation of 372,247 for the first half of 2008, down 7.1 per cent year on year, according to ABC, and Press Gazette understands that the title’s circulation has dropped further in recent months.

New owner HBM UK is part of the German publishing giant Hubert Burda Media Group, which publishes 260 magazines worldwide.

In April 2006, HBM UK bought Colchester-based Essential Publishing, which publishes titles including Full House, Your Home and Health & Fitness.

Patten said that there were no plans to merge Love It! with any HBM UK titles.

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