Observer Food Monthly to launch as issue-led glossy

The glossy Observer Sport Monthly has been so successful it has set a trend for Observer magazines. The paper is to launch a new title early this summer called Observer Food Monthly.

To be edited by Lucy Cavendish, currently a feature writer at The Sunday Telegraph, the magazine will take a broad look at food. Cavendish said it would be issue-based – it would for example have covered the BSE crisis -as well as being "witty and fun and collectible".

The 68-page tabloid colour magazine will launch in early summer, on the second Sunday of every month. It will combine features on subjects from gourmet travel to food scares, plus interviews, regular columns and celebrity-led items "offering readers the world through the filter of food and drink", said The Observer.

It is another major investment in the paper by its owners Guardian Newspapers.

Cavendish, who joins The Observer in April, has been at The Sunday Telegraph since 1997. She has also been the features editor of ES Magazine, the Evening Standard’s companion publication, worked for the now closed internet magazine Options and freelanced. While at The Sunday Telegraph, she briefly edited the RX section before it folded.

Observer editor Roger Alton very much liked ES and RX when she was on them, she said, adding: "I think he was looking for somebody of proven editorial skills but not necessarily with a history in food journalism".

She met Observer deputy editor John Mulholland to discuss a dummy for OFM. "We wanted a magazine that was not just solely about food and ingredients," she explained. "We want it to be issue led.

"I’m absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity to edit a magazine that will be a new concept in the Sunday market."

Alton commented: "OFM will be an original, stylish and innovative addition to the world of food journalism, tackling the subject matter in its broadest sense that I hope will be a delight for all."

Marc Sands, marketing director, said: "The launch last year of OSM was a major part of the turnaround the Observer has undergone in the last 18 months. OFM will be lifestyle meets food meets celebrity."

The Observer’s sales were up 0.7 per cent in February to 443,198.

By Jean Morgan

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