More weekly titles to hit UK market within a year

By Alyson Fixter

At least three new weekly magazines are planned for the UK market in
the next year, according to industry insiders, despite mixed fortunes
for the current crop of launches.

It is thought that IPC and Emap, publishers of Nuts and Zoo
respectively, are each planning to launch a second men’s weekly by the
year end, reportedly with a film and listings emphasis.

And
Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell, which launched weekly listings
title Take 5, is also believed to be developing a men’s weekly,
although sales of Take 5 are thought to be disappointing just five
weeks after launch.

The titles will follow on from a
launch-packed first half of 2005, which has seen weekly women’s glossy
Grazia hit the shelves from Emap and real-life titles Pick Me Up arrive
from IPC and Full House from Burda.

While Pick Me Up is believed
to be a hit, with rumoured sales of above 500,000, it is thought Grazia
sales could have fallen below the hoped-for 150,000 copies a week.

But
an Emap spokeswoman said: “Grazia sales are in good shape. We are ahead
of where we expected to be prior to launch in terms of quality and
quantity of readers.”

Paul Merrill, editor of Emap’s Zoo which,
along with IPC’s Nuts, kickstarted the current weekly craze, said: “All
the major publishing houses have realised that growth and long-term
profits come from launching weeklies, rather than propping up existing
titles or acquisitions.

“I expect many more launches in the next couple of years, and a couple of high-profile casualties.

“I
can’t see Full House working in its present format because they’ve got
their covers so wrong,” added Merrill, who came up with the original
idea for Pick Me Up while at IPC. “If they put cover girls in, and
stopped messing around with D-listers like Gail Porter, then they’d be
more successful.”

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