Show launches daddy of all fatherhood titles

Dad: a paternity handbook

Former Esquire editor Peter Howarth has set up his own publishing company, Show Media, and launched three magazines, with two more planned in the next six months.

A surfing magazine funded by French Connection, a fashion supplement for Business Week and Dad – a glossy for men who are about to become a father – have launched.

A food and drinks title called Lizard and a magazine for the advertising industry, called Zag, are also in production.

Howarth said: “The whole idea behind Show was to launch with a portfolio and do contract work as well as consumer titles. Having worked with Nick Logan [founder of The Face and Arena], I know the risks of launching consumer magazines, you just have to look at the news-stands and it’s war. Everyone has got three pairs of sunglasses, CDs and books and they are shouting louder and louder.”

Howarth has tried to bypass the news-stand with Dad, targeting men who are about to become fathers for the first time. Edited by Jack O’Sullivan, former associate editor of The Independent, and backed by government charity Fathers Direct, the 56-page title will be published twice a year and distributed largely via maternity wards, as well as WH Smith.

“If you look at most men’s magazines out there, you’d imagine that none of the men reading them has children or would even consider it, but there are something like 20 million men of fathering age in the UK – it is hugely important,” he said.

Tony Parsons and Miriam Stoppard are among the contributors and the first issue features interviews with David Beckham and Pierce Brosnan.

The launch also coincides with changes in paternity rights. The first edition of Dad will have a print run of 20,000 and increase to 125,000 for the second issue.

The next new title, Zag, is due out at the end of next month, edited by Howarth’s former deputy editor at Esquire, Joanne Glaseby. Howarth said it will be for and about the advertising industry and like Lizard, it will be published twice a year.

Lizard will be distributed in bars, restaurants, clubs and fashion stores across the UK and will have a print run of 100,000. It will carry the strapline “where the rat pack meets back pack” and is edited by Katie O’Neill, former deputy editor on Wine and Spirit magazine. “It is for people who go to The Player and The Elbow Room in their designer suits and wear a leather thong around their wrists,” said Howarth.

It features a piece by chef Antony Bourdain as well as articles on travel and money.

Howarth said the aim is to keep overheads low and he is working with a number of freelances and several members of his former team on Esquire, including art director Ian Pendleton, senior writer Bill Dunn and lifestyle editor Maria Paggetti.

By Ruth Addicott

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