The BBC has signed up former Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times journalist Nigel Horne to be the new editor of Radio Times.
Horne, 50, will take over from Nicholas Brett, deputy managing director of BBC Magazines, who has been acting editor since the departure of Sue Robinson six months ago.
Brett said Horne was a "big-hitting" editor with a bulging contacts book. He told Press Gazette: "I have known Nigel a long time. I first came across him when I was features editor of The Times and he was commissioning editor on the Telegraph. I’d begin the day reading competitors’ pages and his were always superb."
Horne has recently been working in Toronto as editorial director of magazines for the Globe and Mail. He oversaw the redesign and relaunch of two magazines, including the weekly Globe Television listings title.
Horne has been a freelance magazine publishing consultant for the past six years. Prior to that, he spent six years as editor of The Daily Telegraph’s Saturday magazine.
The Radio Times, which in the past has been criticised for being stuffy and having a ‘Middle England’ image, had a £1m revamp in March and dropped some of its best-known columnists.
At the same time, Alison Graham was promoted to TV editor, The Times’s chief radio critic Peter Barnard joined as radio editor and Shem Law, former creative director of the Sunday Express magazine, was recruited as art director. Features are now more directly related to TV and radio programmes.
"We have stuck our standard in the ground and said, ‘we are a broadcast magazine, not a women’s magazine or a frothy offering’," said Brett.
Radio Times, with a circulation of almost 1.3 million, remains Britain’s second biggest-selling TV listings title behind IPC’s What’s On TV. It also claims to be Britain’s most profitable magazine.
Horne, who was named Editor of the Year in 1990 by the British Society of Magazine Editors, said: "I was flattered to be asked to head the team that produces the guide to the best thing on TV and radio. With the dazzling variety of programming and the exciting advances in technology, there couldn’t be a more interesting time to be involved in the broadcasting world."
He is due to take over on 30 July.
By Ruth Addicott