Spectator sets sights on India and Australia

Spectator chief executive Andrew Neil has revealed that Press Holdings Media Group is looking to launch versions of The Spectator magazine in India and Australia.

From 1 September, Neil will take up the title of chairman, with a newly instated managing director in the form of former Emap executive Ben Greenish, who will oversee the day-to-day running of the commercial side of the company.

Talking to Press Gazette after the announcement, Neil, who will retain his role as editor-in-chief of all Press Holdings’ magazines, said that it was time for The Spectator brand to break into new territories.

He said: ‘The Spectator has been a fantastic brand, but it has never quite been exploited, partly because it’s been owned for vanity reasons or reasons or prestige.

‘We see The Spectator as a very powerful brand that should be extended into other markets, into other magazines and into other territories. We’re looking at Spectator India and Spectator Australia.”

Neil said that although the regulations in place for publishing companies to set up in India are ‘quite daunting”, he’s keen to break into the market.

‘It’s a country with a big English speaking elite with ties to London, in which newspapers and magazines are very popular. And it’s a democracy; it would be pretty hard for The Spectator to survive anywhere that wasn’t a democracy.”

Press Holdings has claimed advertising revenues are 10 per cent up year on year at The Spectator, paid subscriptions up six per cent, and newsstand sales up five per cent.

Neil said that the change in focus from core display advertising to supplements played a key part in the rise in revenue, as well as sponsorship of events such as its 180th anniversary party.

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