Poor sales force closure of Jack

Jack: revamps were not enough

Jack magazine has been closed after sales failed to meet targets, despite two revamps and a change in format.

The title broke new ground when it launched as the first men’s magazine to sport the small pocket-sized A4 format in April 2002. It was the second title to launch from James Brown’s magazine venture I Feel Good, but despite its original cartoon-style covers, sales struggled and the title was sold as part of IFG to Dennis Publishing for £5.1m last year.

Michael Hodges took over as editor, a new team was put in place and Jack was given a bigger format, increased pagination and cover price in a bid to attract readers outside London.

Staff, who were told about the move last Thursday, were said to be “gutted”.

Jack is expected to put out an ABC of about 38,000 next month, but sources said news-stand sales were around 20,000 and it needed 60,000 paid-for sales to break even. The December issue, which had a DVD on the front, sold well and the final straw is believed to have come when the recent issue recorded poor sales with a DVD covermount. “If you’re not going to sell it with a DVD on the front, what are you going to sell it on?” an insider said.

Sales are also believed to have been hit by the launch of weeklies Zoo and Nuts, which have dominated space on the news-stand with marketing budgets each in excess of £8m. Dennis Publishing managing director Alistair Ramsay said Dennis and IFG had spent nearly £3m on Jack. “Editorially, it’s great. It’s very, very frustrating, but I just don’t think there is a market.”

By Ruth Addicott

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