Seven savours victory to launch glossy food title

By Ruth Addicott

Australia’s biggest-selling glossy food magazine, Delicious, is about to be launched in the UK by new magazine venture Seven Publishing, set up by the co-founder of Redwood.

Mike Potter, who has quit as Redwood chief executive, has teamed up with former BBC and Redwood publisher Seamus Geoghegan, who is the new company’s managing director, and editorial director Jo Sandilands, former editor of Woman magazine. Mitzie Wilson, former editor-in-chief of BBC Good Food, has quit BBC Magazines after 13 years to edit the launch.

Delicious will be published monthly in the UK under licence from FPC Magazines and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The Australian title was launched in October 2001 and has a 100,000 circulation.

It is understood BBC Magazines also pitched for the contract.

Sandilands said: “We worked really hard and had a really good presentation. It is interesting in this David and Goliath situation that we have come out on top.”

Although the concept will be based on the Australian edition, the UK title will have different content.

“I was fascinated to find that BBC Good Food was the only food magazine on the news-stand,” she said. “I think there is a tad more room for another.” Backed by private investors, Seven plans to launch two more consumer titles next year – both will be monthlies in the women’s lifestyle sector. The company is recruiting about a dozen journalists to form a full-time team on Delicious, including a chief sub, features editor, sub-editors, art editor, editorial assistant and freelance writers. Once the other launches are under way, there will be vacancies for more journalists.

The launch signals a return to publishing for Sandilands, who quit magazines for broadcasting. As well as Woman, she edited Honey magazine and the Kilroy TV show and was associate editor on The Observer Magazine. She was programme director of Capital Radio and was responsible for signing Chris Tarrant. Geoghegan was director of the lifestyle group at BBC Worldwide until March 2002. He has overseen the launch of Eve, Gardeners’ World, Homes & Antiques and Good Homes.

Potter, who has launched titles for clients such as Marks & Spencer, Harvey Nichols and Boots, said Seven could bring a fresh approach to consumer publishing.

“Lifestyles have changed and yet some mainstream consumer titles haven’t moved with the times at all,” he said. “Delicious is exactly the right title to launch the company with.” Potter has been made chairman emeritus of Redwood in an advisory capacity.

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