Angling Times is working on its biggest relaunch to date in a bid to hit 100,000 sales by the end of this year.
Emap is investing £500,000 in the title, and the radical new look is expected to be unveiled this summer. The investment will also bring in more staff, including the title’s first-ever art director as well as extra writers and section editors to be recruited over the next few months.
Editor Richard Lee has been working on dummies in secret since the start of this year, alongside freelance designer Bill Spurdens, who helped redesign the Daily Mirror.
Lee said the aim was to attract more readers and move away from the old-fashioned image of Angling Times’s audience being known as “beards”. He hopes to increase circulation from 70,000 to 100,000 by widening the magazine’s coverage and placing more emphasis on news and subjects such as carp fishing, which is growing in popularity.
“It’s the biggest thing we’ve done in 50 years,” he said. “It is amazing how things can go stale on a weekly and we are looking to move things on. We are looking at lots of investment and a completely different product.
“Fishing has got quite sectionalised with lots of new styles of fishing coming through that have become really popular, yet Angling Times is so traditional it has not really embraced the new styles of fishing, so we are looking at ways to do that.”
Angling Times will monitor feedback from focus groups for several months. Lee said format, cover price and pagination would also be reviewed, but were unlikely to change.
By Ruth Addicott