FHM editor David Davies is moving to a new post just weeks ahead of a £2.5m revamp of the magazine and publication of its latest ABC results.
Davies has been appointed acting managing director of sister company Emap Elan, which includes women’s titles Bliss, More, New Woman and Top SantÃ©, while existing managing director Dawn Bebe is on maternity leave.
FHM publisher James Carter said Davies had wanted to return to a management role and he will begin the search for a new editor in the next few weeks.
Carter said staff had been working on a revamp since September and denied it was a kneejerk reaction leading up to the ABCs next month, in which sales of the men’s monthlies are expected to be hit by the launch of the weeklies Nuts and Zoo.
He said the FHM team had been split into two, with one half “on the defence”, designated to the revamp, and the other half “on the offence”, focusing on FHM.
“We were unsure about what impact the weeklies would have, so we put a plan together to contend with any issues,” Carter told Press Gazette.
“Over the past eight months, staff have been talking to readers in pub groups across the UK. If anything came through, it was a recognition that the weeklies have a certain role in delivering much more topicality, less depth and much less useful information.”
FHM, he said, was seen to be “more lavish”, with greater breadth of content.
Backed by a three-month marketing campaign, the revamp will include a bigger logo and a stronger emphasis on usefulness and interactivity. The front section, Reporter, has been replaced with Incoming, featuring news and an ‘FHM Wallplanner’ – a four-page perforated pull-out highlighting the events of the month.
A new style section, Insider, will feature fashion, cars and technology with celebrity photo shoots. The music, film and book reviews section has been swapped with the FHM Book of Lists, including top 10 “must haves”.
Davies has edited FHM for three years. Prior to that he was editor of Q and managing director of FHM, Arena and Arena Homme Plus.
By Ruth Addicott