Shocked: Lori Miles’ reign came to an abrupt and unexpected end
Lori Miles, the “queen” of Bauer and founding editor of Take a Break, left unexpectedly this week amid claims that she was being blamed for the performance of its newest launch, Total TV Guide.
Miles has an impressive track record at Bauer, having launched TV Choice, TV Quick and Take a Break – the UK’s biggest-selling women’s magazine.
Her sudden departure is said to have astounded staff who believe it was linked to Total TV Guide, which she launched in September, and its debut ABC which is due to be released next month.
Aimed at 10 million households with digital TV, it was the biggest launch to come out of Bauer since TV Choice in 1999.
However, insiders said there were concerns over sales arising from distribution problems and insufficient marketing.
A source said: “It’s crazy. She was the absolute golden girl of Bauer.
Instead of thinking this is a very successful editor who’s got a really sticky wicket, they are judging her on this project. It is the first thing she has touched that hasn’t turned to gold.”
According to one insider, Miles was called up to the managing director’s office first thing Monday and told to leave straight away.
“She went downstairs to pick her bag up and said, ‘I’ve been terminated’.
“Everyone was just astonished.
They said, ‘can we go for a drink?’ and she said, ‘Well no, we’re not allowed’.
So they just kind of waved her off in the lobby. They were all crying.”
Bauer MD David Goodchild refused to comment on sales of the Total TV Guide, saying only that it was “a damn fine magazine”. He also declined to expand on the reasons for Miles’ departure, adding: “There is no blame anywhere. It is a separate issue. We have our reasons and those will stay within the company and between us and Lori.”
Miles is one of the longest-serving staff members at Bauer, having taken sales of TV Choice to over one million.
She also launched Chat and became the first woman to edit a Londonbased daily newspaper when she was editor of the London Evening News.
There was a feeling at Bauer that the timing was significant. It was seen as the last act of outgoing MD Alan Urry, who handed over to Bauer’s new MD David Goodchild earlier this week.
One source described Urry as a kind of “avuncular figure” and Goodchild as more of “a bean counter”.
Goodchild is understood not to be a fan of “stroppy” editors, according to one insider, and prefers a more knuckle-down approach, as opposed to giving editors the higher status they might have enjoyed in the past.
Jon Peake has been appointed editor of TV Quick, TV Choice and Total TV Guide. He was previously acting editor of TV Quick and TV Choice since August 2003.
By Ruth Addicott