Going to press: Skelton, right, and Carr put email publication in print
An irreverent style, news and current affairs magazine is due to launch this summer which is hoping to fill a gap between Private Eye and The Week.
The London News Review is the debut launch from publishing venture Hangingday, founded by journalists Paul Carr and Charlie Skelton nearly two years ago.
Published fortnightly, it will be aimed at “cynical” consumers aged 25 to 45, disillusioned with what they read in the current press. It promises to offer a round-up of domestic and international events and to cover everything from films to sexually transmitted diseases and scientology with comment and “attitude” throughout.
If it proves a success, the frequency will increase to weekly.
Carr claimed it was a magazine “intelligent Britain has been crying out for” and described it as filling a gap between humour magazines such as Private Eye and news digests like The Week. It will target Hangingday’s current database, which includes subscribers to its weekly online news service The Friday Thing, claimed as the first business-to-consumer e-mail publication to make a profit from subscriptions.
“The magazine is a natural progression. The Friday Thing has been so successful we thought there was definitely a market for a proper magazine,” Carr told Press Gazette. “People are being hit with an enormous amount of news and more people are becoming aware that it’s not necessarily the truth because of all the spin.”
The London News Review will appear in a newsprint format and the cover will feature a news story rather than a picture.
Skelton, who has written comedy for Channel 4 and co-wrote the bestseller Once More with Feeling with Victoria Coren, is creative director. Former The Word TV presenter Alan Connor is features editor and more contributors are expected to be revealed in the next few weeks.
Carr has edited The Friday Thing for the past year and a half and is looking for a replacement while he takes on the role of managing editor.
The title will have a print run of 35-40,000. At least a quarter of the copies will be sent to database subscribers. Carr is also in talks with distributors to sell the title on news-stands and in a number of other outlets including bars, shops and restaurants.
“Rather than trying to get it on the news-stands and having to pay newsagents a lot of money which we can’t afford, we are going to try to get it into other places,” he said.
The fortnightly will be complemented by an online edition which will be updated daily and available to paid subscribers only. “It will be funny, thought-provoking, opinionated, influential and absolutely unput-downable,” Carr added.
By Ruth Addicott