'No surprise' to colleagues as Brown quits IFG

Brown: resigned on Monday

James Brown quit his publishing venture I Feel Good within hours of its official takeover by Dennis Publishing on Monday.

Staff were called into a meeting with IFG managing director Tom Gleeson on Tuesday and told of the resignation of Brown and company directors Rodger Sargent and Chris Akers. Brown was not present.

IFG and its titles Jack, Fortean Times, Bizarre and Viz were sold to Dennis subsidiary Choice Publishing in May for £5.1m. It followed concerns over Jack’s circulation which had sunk to between 30,000 and 40,000.

Sources said staff were not surprised at Brown’s departure, given that his role as chief executive and editor-in-chief would have had to change.

A source close to Brown said: “He’s picked up a pretty substantial sum of money from this and doesn’t want to work five days a week full time. I don’t think it came as much of a shock. People were aware James was cashing in his shares and it was clear he wasn’t going to stay around. Jack was his baby but you sell your baby and, unfortunately, things change.”

Another insider said: “It was inevitable. There was no way he was going to join another company after running his own company. He’d have gone from employer to employee.”

Some IFG journalists are understood to be nervous about their jobs and fear a shake-up. Jack is looking for a new editor and discussions are underway about IFG moving into Dennis’s offices or transferring Dennis titles such as Maxim to IFG’s offices.

Brown will have some involvement in a consultancy role.

By Ruth Addicott

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