How did you get where you are today?
I spent five years training as a designer before moving to editorial. Primarily working for various video-game magazine publishers, I arrived at Egmont Magazines nine years ago. This was my first foray into both children’s publishing and licensed character magazines. After sharpening my skills on the likes of Lego Adventures and Max Steel, I began development of Toxic, now the UK’s number one lifestyle magazine for eight to 12-year-old boys. We’re celebrating our 100th issue this month, which is something of a milestone in an increasingly competitive market that sees original comic content being constantly squeezed out.
What are your main tasks?
Editorial championing, planning, budgeting, title and brand development, coaching, talent-hunting, and avoiding making the tea for the Toxic team.
What are your main challenges?
Understanding our target audience and finding the latest trends. Kids are incredibly smart and there is so much out there to attract and divert their attention. Our challenge is getting the package right for every issue of Toxic. There’s also the perception that children’s magazines are somehow less professional or legitimate because of who they’re aimed at. Every single gift, word and image in a children’s magazine has to earn its place, and it requires market knowledge and professionalism to achieve that.
What is the most important thing to know?
That it’s OK for you to be a bigger kid than your readers!