Men's weeklies push Loxley to quit Maxim

Loxley: ‘not prepared to commit to another 12 months at Maxim’

Tom Loxley has defended Maxim’s sales and suggested it was the launch into the market of £8m weeklies Nuts and Zoo Weekly that led to his departure as editor-in-chief.

Loxley said: “For anyone to think I am throwing in the towel because the ABC has gone down is rubbish.

Maxim’s circulation is performing as well as anyone else’s in the market. It is about the future, not the ABCs.”

Loxley, who has edited Maxim for four-and-a-half years, said it would have to keep pace with launches and he was not prepared to commit to another 12 months. “I need to move on and do something else. I can’t reconfigure Maxim for 2004 and 2005 because I don’t want to be here in 2005, I’ve been doing it for long enough. The men’s market is in a constant state of flux and the weeklies are going to accelerate the changes that are happening,” he told Press Gazette.

The team was said to be saddened by his resignation as Loxley is known among staff to be “a great motivator”.

Since taking over, he closed the gap between Maxim and Loaded and secured Maxim’s highest sale to date of 328,000, repositioning it as a massmarket read for older men with longer reportage features and big-name Hollywood cover stars. Loxley also launched and edited Maxim Fashion, securing upmarket advertising from the likes of Prada. However, sources claim his vision was not in sync with the direction of Maxim’s publishing team to compete with the weeklies.

Emap and IPC are understood to have had their marketing strategies for FHM and Loaded in place for a long time and as one Maxim staffer said: “We’re not in that position at Dennis, its pockets are not that deep.” Maxim will also face problems with pictures – it could spend months securing an authorised fashion shoot, only to see an unauthorised version appear in the weeklies before it goes on sale.

A shortlist has been drawn up for his successor, which is believed to include Greg Gutfield, the former editor of Stuff in the US. Although there are known to be some top UK candidates in the frame, a senior source at Dennis pointed out that Stuff in the US sells 1.3m. “Greg’s used to running a big team. He’s professional but you have to counter that with would he understand the British psyche,” they said.

Dennis Publishing managing director Alistair Ramsay paid tribute to Loxley’s achievements but played down the impact of the weeklies. He claimed it was “business as usual” and there were no plans for a radical overhaul.

By Ruth Addicott

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