Style bible Vogue has been named consumer magazine of the year and Mark Frith of celebrity weekly Heat magazine editor of the year in the PPA Magazine Awards.
Frith’s award follows months of negative press and extreme pressure from Emap as Heat battled with sales and faced possible closure a year ago. Frith, who has remained editor since its launch, repositioned Heat to attract a wider female audience.
Its circulation shot up 137 per cent in the latest ABCs, soaring to 172,000 from an all-time low of 60,000.
The judges praised Frith for refining the formula, developing contacts and securing exclusives. "Emap got it wrong originally and he has to take the credit for getting it right in a high-pressure position," they said.
Vogue was singled out for maintaining sales on its editorial strength alone, without resorting to cover-mounted free gifts. The judges said it combined "the best of contemporary style with enthusiasm and authority". They added: "Vogue rises above fashion. It is creative and directional and has become a ‘must-buy’ magazine." Reed’s Computer Weekly won the editorial campaign of the year award for its investigation into the Chinook helicopter crash.
The other winners were: Mixmag (Emap Performance), consumer specialist magazine of the year; Sarah Fisher, Mizz (IPC Connect), publisher of the year; Liverpool Official Matchday (Haymarket Customer Publications for Liverpool FC/Granada Media), customer magazine of the year; Tony Chambers, GQ (CondÅ½ Nast), designer of the year; Wallpaper (Wallpaper Group), international magazine of the year; Guy Procter, Trail (Emap Active), writer of the year; Rosie Green, Elle (Emap Elan Network), specialist writer of the year; NME.com, IPC Media, interactive magazine of the year.
The awards were presented on Wednesday night, following a two-day conference. The winners in the B2B categories will be published in Press Gazette next week.
by Ruth Addicott