‘Wholesome’ men’s mag with a Christian slant bucks the trend of circulation decline

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The circulation of men's magazines such as Loaded, Nuts and Zoo have been in freefall in recent years – but a title with more "wholesome" content claims to be bucking the trend.

Sorted, a men's title with a Christian slant, comes out six times a year and has doubled its circulation over the last year from 20,000 to 40,000.

Launched in 2007, it has a newsstand sale of 2,000 and 3,300 subscribers with the remainder circulated via bulk distribution deals to outlets including bars, gyms and health clubs. Business backers pay for the title to be distributed for free into UK prisons and to the armed forces

The title covers usual men's mag fare of science, football and movies – but also deals with "faith".

Publisher and editor Steve Legg says he was inspired to launch Sorted after talking to a dad: “He was telling me how his 11-year-old son's mates were bringing in lads mags and he was complaining at the lack of something more positive and wholesome in the marketplace.”

Director of publishing Duncan Williams said Sorted is a more mature, upbeat and wholesome magazine than other men's titles, with more in-depth content.

He says: “It’s something for men to identify with in a positive way…A lot people buying it are women as presents [for men] as it’s not derogative.”

Each publication features an in-depth interview with a male celebrity. He said that big names who have spoken to the title include Will Smith, Steve Carrell, Denzil Washington, Anthony Hopkins and Michael Caine.

Williams says: “We try to ask in-depth questions that aren’t the usual PR fair…which produce interesting interviews. Asking that key question about faith is rewarding.”

The magazine is next published on 18 February priced £4.

It has a full-time staff of three, with six freelances, and revenue comes from a mix of subscribers and advertisers such as Apple and David Beckham’s deodorant brand. Regular editorial contributors include TV adventurer Bear Grylls.

Williams said: “Advertisers are very keen to be associated with a more wholesome and mature publication.”

There are plans to expand the title into New Zealand and Australia.

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