Team Talk relaunches in bid to score with readers

 

Football magazine Team Talk has changed its name as part of a £25,000 relaunch in a bid to prevent sales being cannibalised by its sister publication, The Non-League Newspaper.

Now renamed The Non-League Magazine, the montly has increased its pagination and cover price and changed its size to a wider, taller format. The editorial will take a more in-depth look at stories in the paper.

The redesign, led by Dave Shad (ex-Daily Star), includes eight extra pages, a new masthead and logo. The title is expected to place a bigger emphasis on lifestyle with profiles, interviews, quotes of the month and more in-depth news as opposed to out-of-date match reports. David Emery, editor-in-chief of Non-League Media, said the potential audience was huge, with 44,000 clubs and three million people involved in non-league football.

Emery, a former sports editor at Express Newspapers, said Team Talk had become out of date and the newspaper was cannibalising sales.

The magazine, which was acquired from Tony Williams Publications last year, sold around 17,000 in its heyday he said, but sales had fallen to a low of 7,000 last season. "We’re hoping to get them up to between 10,000 and 15,000," he told Press Gazette.

As the Football Association’s official non-league magazine, the title will go on sale with a print run of 20,000. But Emery hopes to extend the circulation further by targeting the clubs. "We think that with the FA’s backing, we could push the magazine out to 44,000 clubs as well, within the next four months, so we could have a circulation of 50,000 plus," he said.

Among the contributors are Sunday Times freelance Richard Rae, Neale Harvey and former Mail on Sunday freelance Colin Mafham. Harvey and Mafham are regular contributors to The Non-League Newspaper.

Andrew Warshaw, former sports editor of The European, and cartoonist Graham Allen, a regular on the Daily and Sunday Express, are on board. Tony Williams, Team Talk’s founding editor, is also expected to write a monthly column. The title is currently edited by footballer Stuart Hammonds.

By Ruth Addicott

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