Chat has set up a special team to develop its spin-off series and generate new launches.
Deputy editor Mary Bryce, who joined Chat in 1990, will become fulltime specials editor, overseeing and editing the spin-off titles.
Bryce will lead a team of eight freelances in a separate “specials” of?ce next door to Chat. The team could become permanent if standalone titles are launched next year. However, the immediate priority is Chat’s psychic special, It’s Fate, which is due to go bimonthly in 2004 and is now Britain’s biggest selling psychic magazine.
Bryce said: “I love it, it’s wonderful to have the time to think about it and bring it on.”
Chat associate editor June SmithSheppard will take her place as deputy. Chat editor Paul Merrill, who is editor-in-chief of the specials, said the whole series had been a runaway success with much of the credit going to Bryce for leading its expansion.
Previous spin-offs include the Chat Crime & Passion series and the Chat Lottery Special. There are a further 12 specials planned next year.
“We have got lots of plans to launch new spin-offs and we have got high hopes for It’s Fate. I think it has got potential to be a standalone magazine,” he told Press Gazette. “We have become victims of our own success and there was no way the Chat team could do any more. It is quite a radical move but the projects couldn’t have expanded any more as we were.”
Chat has put on more than 100,000 sales in the past three years, up a further 11.8 per cent in the latest ABCs to 575,585.
Barbara Copperthwaite, currently assistant features editor, has moved up to be deputy features editor and the magazine is in the process of recruiting a new assistant editor.
By Ruth Addicott