Sorted folds as backers pull out

Beckham edition fails to come out

Sorted, the new monthly magazine for teenage boys, has folded after just four issues.

The 14-strong team were warned of cutbacks last week, but only found out on Tuesday that the magazine was to close. Issue five, which was at the printer, was stopped mid-press.

Staff are believed to be owed six weeks’ wages and are considering taking legal advice.

Editor Piers Townley said the team had been told that financial backer, Transact, had pulled out following disappointing sales. However, he blamed Sorted’s founder and publisher, Russell Church.

Townley said the first two issues had large print runs of 200,000, which he described as “commercial suicide” for a launch. He also said Sorted had nearly £1m backing at its launch and attacked Church for spending thousands of pounds on refurbishing the magazine’s offices.

Staff were warned last week that the editorial budget would have to be cut, but had no idea the axe was about to fall. Townley said the team were angry and disappointed because Sorted had clinched an exclusive interview with David Beckham for issue five. “We’d finished a whole 100-page issue on deadline, then found out no one was getting paid and it wouldn’t hit the shelves,” he said.

The Brighton-based title launched in January, branding itself the first monthly lifestyle magazine for 12- to 16-year-old boys. It gained notoriety for its problem pages, which offered advice on shoplifting and taking ecstasy.

Church was unavailable for comment.

By Ruth Addicott

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