New owner takes Business Age fortnightly

Business Age magazine is to boost its investigative coverage and be repositioned as a fortnightly.

The move follows the acquisition of the monthly and its former owner, Sales Zone Publishing, by Banter Media Group.

The new company has secured £1.6m of investment which will be used to relaunch Business Age, Private Client and Sales Director. Chief executive Chris Butt, who created the agency Zenith Worldwide, said he was hoping to raise more than £5m in the next 12 months and double the size of the company by the end of the year.

He intends to launch three or four contract magazines by the end of 2003 and a number of consumer titles, including an upmarket gay and lesbian consumer magazine. There are also plans to move into broadcast, conferences and events.

"We don’t just want to be a two or three magazine business; we are looking to develop substantially in the next five years," he told Press Gazette. "We want to float the business by the end of this year or early next year and to grow by acquisition or merger."

Business Age will relaunch as a fortnightly with a new design and logo at the end of April, the aim being to increase its circulation from around 50,000 to 70,000 by the end of the year.

Butt wants the business coverage to be "more aggressive" than Management Today, Forbes and Fortune and he is now seeking an editor with a current affairs and broadsheet background.

"Business Age has always been good at calling a spade a spade and rolling out the more investigative pieces. We want to be a little bit more assertive, a little more aggressive.

"If business is being performed badly we like to call it like it is – on the flip-side, we want to be reporting about some of the better stories in British business," he said.

"Fortune and Forbes are excellent but they have a US feel to them. We think there is a strong gap in the market for a fortnightly business title, predominantly UK, but with a European feel to it."

Butt also said he was hoping to put some "clear water" between Business Age and its colourful past under previous owners such as Tom Rubython and Anil Bhoyrul.


By Ruth Addicott

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