Shortlist: 'No imminent plan' to launch women's magazine

Mike Soutar, the chief executive of free weekly men’s magazine Shortlist, has denied it is poised to launch a women’s magazine.

A report in advertising trade magazine Campaign this morning suggested that a women’s Shortlist, aimed at women aged 25 to 40 and with a focus on celebrity and fashion, would launch later this year.

Soutar told Press Gazette a number of ideas were being considered, but nothing was decided.

“It’s a rumour that’s been kicking round,” he said. “I was first phoned about it a couple of weeks ago, but our position is we have no imminent plan to launch.

“We’re only 18 months old, trading well in very difficult economic conditions.

“It’s very flattering the industry thinks, after 18 months, we’re in a substantial enough position to think about launching something new.”

He added: “We are constantly in research and development, but there is nothing imminent.

“We’re in development in a number of different areas – we certainly haven’t got to the point of prioritising which idea we’re going to pursue next.”

Asked what those different areas were, Soutar said: “Things are in such an early stage of development. It would be unfair to shine the bright light of reality on them.”

Soutar also denied reports that he had credited Shortlist for the demise of men’s magazine Arena.

He said: “It’s the last thing I think. I don’t think one magazine ever puts another out of business – and that would be to ignore to ignore the biggest thing that’s happening in the world at the moment [the economic crisis].

“I think Arena has been in trouble for a long time. The thing that’s pushed it over the edge is the luxury end of the market is tightening its belt.

“It’s really sad to see magazines go out of business.”

According to ABC, Shortlist’s distribution was up 5.1 per cent to 505,970 in the second half of 2008.

In the financial year ending in August 2008, Shortlist Media made a £2.9m operating loss, from revenue of £3.1m.

Despite the loss, the company said its first year was “very successful”, and the business plan was on course.

According to accounts filed at Companies House, Shortlist Media has 26 staff, with 15 in editorial, six in advertising, and five in management.

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