Management blamed as seven quit Love It! since launch

Love It! has lost seven of its original team, including a number of senior editors, since its launch in February, with former staff blaming the management style at News Magazines for the departures.

Features writers Ella Buchan and Clare Thorpe are the latest staff to leave. Six weeks after launch, deputy editor Samm Taylor left, followed by features editor, Pilar Canas, commissioning editor Sally Windsor, picture editor Deborah Davis and Lucy Bryant, a designer on the title.

Davis is now associate editor at rival IPC title Woman, while a number of the staff are moving to national newspapers or freelancing.

News Magazines refused to comment on the allegations that the title was not just experiencing normal conditions in its launch period, and that it had driven staff to leave the title.

One former staffer said: "Look at Pick Me Up, Full House or Real People — people just don't leave in the first six months.

"To lose people like that is because they [editorial management] demand the impossible, and work you into the ground.

"It's not just high turnover — people at the other titles say they have long hours and too much pressure, but the crucial thing is that there is no support at Love It!"

Another told Press Gazette: "It's not normal at all that your entire features desk leaves in six months. It's a problem with management style, basically.

"They had an absolutely fabulous team and a lot of those people went there out of loyalty to Karen [Pasquali Jones, Love It! editor ].

"You can't deny that Love It! was a hugely creative and innovative launch.

But people have left purely because of the way they have been treated since."

The former staffer added: "I don't think you can damn an editor for wanting to make a great magazine, but they have totally lost sight of having to protect their own staff. It is telling that people have been leaving the best magazine rates behind to go freelance, to nothing — it's so miserable that they're going."

Pasquali Jones has a lot to prove with Love It! after leaving IPC's Pick Me Up, alongside Liz Jarvis, now Love It! associate editor, in December 2004, weeks before the title was launched.

At the time, IPC's editorial director Mike Soutar said that he and Pasquali Jones had encountered "artistic differences".

Love It! is under pressure to make its August target of 400,000 sales, but sources within the magazine say this is on track, aided by heavy promotion in newspapers and cover price slashing.

The women's weekly was launched in February as the first foray into standalone magazine publishing from News Magazines, an offshoot of News International, which publishes The Sun, News of the World and The Times.

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