Two independent publishers are planning to counter the slump in the men’s magazine market by launching new titles – Ice and Code.
Ice Publications is believed to have ploughed £750,000 into the launch of Ice and signed a major editorial deal with a Sunday tabloid.
Targeting men aged 18 to 30, the magazine is due to launch next week with a print run of 200,000 and settle-down sales of around 100,000.
Jonathan Richards, former managing director of Penthouse and founder of the gay magazine Attitude, is editor.
Richards worked for Northern & Shell until 1999 as group managing editor across Attitude, OK! and the Liverpool FC magazine. He said he wanted to get away from the "incipient cloning" of men’s magazines that "either carry pictures of vomit or men in designer cuff links".
"We are not going to ghettoise our readers and force them into a corner. A lot of the feedback we have had is that some magazines are offering too much and people are overwhelmed. Ice will be a punchier, pacier and sharper read," he said.
The first issue contains features on the demise of the Essex girl and a new recreational drug used in Thailand. The 15-strong editorial team includes Paul Anderson, ex-picture editor of OK! and Chris Hunt, former editor of football title Match.
Ice will be followed on 4 October by the launch by Cornwall-based company Surcutus of Code, led by an 18-strong editorial team. It will target men aged 25 to 38 and have a print run of 90,000. The team comprises Aidan Stevens, previously head of international sales at Surcutus, as editor; Nigel Pengelly, ex-Daily Mail & General Trust, deputy editor; Ian Vince, production editor; and Holly Whitelaw, ex-Sun, picture editor.
By Ruth Addicott