News Magazines has relaunched Sky’s customer magazine – the UK’s biggest circulation title – as an upmarket, glossy title targeting ABC1 women.
The magazines division of News International, home to real-life title Love it!, won the contract to publish the title in the UK from John Brown last year.
NI has shortened its name from Sky: The Magazine to Skymag and introduced a raft of TV personalities, including The Observer’s agony aunt Mariella Frostrup, as columnists in a bid to up the glossy ante on the title.
Skymag editor Lysanne Currie said: “It’s very important that a magazine of such an enormous readership should have a core reader at its heart, and ours is an ABC1 working mother.
But we don’t want to alienate the rest of the household in that.”
News Magazines has attempted to bring a real consumer title feel to the publication. “We wanted to provide the standard of some consumer magazines and hopefully better,” said Currie.
“We wanted to give our readers the sort of thing they’d be buying in to consumer magazines for – but they’re getting it for free from Skymag.”
Currie said the trend for contract publishers to recruit consumer editors show how keen they are to emulate the newsstand editorial. “The brands want their magazines to be like consumer magazines,” she said.
Julia Barry, head of customer communications at Sky, said: “Most important to Sky was that we had a newsstand-equivalent magazine, and the editorial was the most important part of that.”
Currie joined John Brown as editor of Sky: The Magazine, and moved to News Magazines when the company won the contract to publish the title. She has previously worked as consultant editor on Emap’s New Woman and on the launch of Psychologies at Hachette. Deputy editor Nick Charmers was previously behind the launch of All About Soap magazine.
Sky: The Magazine recorded an official ABC this week of 7,034,310, up 3.5 per cent year on year, making it the top title in the UK in terms of total average circulation.
The BSkyB contract included a portfolio of sister titles including Sky Movies and Sky Sports – which make up the top three titles by circulation.