New editor for Bella
Julie Barton Breck, editor of the Safeway Magazine, has been poached by IPC to edit Family Circle, replacing Gillian Carter, who left last week.
Following the abrupt departure last week of long-standing Bella editor Jackie Highe, Jo Sollis has been named as her successor by the magazine’s owner, H Bauer.
Carrie Taylor, editor of lifestyle one shots at IPC Southbank, is moving across to Essentials where she will be executive editor, working with editor Karen Livermore to strengthen the magazine’s practicals department.
All three titles suffered sales declines in the January to June ABCs. Bella’s circulation dropped 8.3 per cent to 444,622; Essentials by 9.4 per cent to 172,070 and Family Circle by 8.5 per cent to 155,807.
Bella publishing director Kathy Day said there would be no drastic changes to the magazine’s content, claiming: "It will be a steady hand on the tiller."
But sources say Bauer is determined for Bella to increase its lead over Best, its main rival. Best’s circulation was down just 0.5 per cent in the latest ABCs following a redesign earlier in the year and the introduction of an eight-page celebrity section.
New Bella editor Sollis has a background in women’s titles and TV listings magazines. She is a former deputy editor of What’s on TV and has been on the staff of Prima and Woman.
Sollis was unavailable for comment but sources said she was looking to strengthen the Bella team by appointing a new deputy.
"Staff are ready for some action. When you care about a title as much as they do and it’s going nowhere, it can be very demoralising," said one insider. "Bella has got a lot of brand recognition and was a maverick in its day because it broke the mould.
"I can’t see them radically changing it but if Bauer thinks someone can do the job they do get behind them – it’s not like other companies where most editors do what they’re told," the source added.
Barton Breck has worked for Redwood since 1999 and is credited with relaunching the Safeway customer magazine, which she transformed from a supermarket reward brochure into a glossy magazine.
She was previously associate editor of Prima and has worked on Woman’s Weekly and Woman. She will now oversee the development of Family Circle alongside publisher Kirsten Lee and editorial director Sue James.
Taylor has a similar background to Barton Breck, having been deputy editor on Essentials and features editor on Family Circle before working on the one-shots series.
Gillian Carter, Family Circle editor since 1999, was unavailable for comment.
By Ruth Addicott