IPC has appointed Karen Livermore as editor of Woman’s Own, which the former Family Circle editor said was bringing her back to the ‘heartland of a fast-paced way of working”. Livermore began her career as a fashion writer before moving to the Daily Star as women’s editor. She joined IPC as editor of practical women’s monthly Essentials and in 2004 she became the final editor of Family Circle, delivering the magazine’s first-ever male cover star, Jamie Oliver, as well as launching the Kids Deserve Better campaign, aimed at getting non-essential additives removed from children’s food.
Livermore replaces Elsa McAlonan, who announced her departure from the magazine in September.
She said: ‘Woman’s Own is an iconic brand with huge awareness and it’s thrilling to be part of that. For me personally, I joined IPC to work in monthlies and until then I was in newspapers where I was always used to the cut and thrust of daily deadlines. I probably stayed too long on monthlies, despite working with great teams, so this is really going back to my heartland of a fast-paced way of working.’Family Circle closed in December last year, partially because its housewife heritage had fatally dented its modern day appeal. Livermore denied that Woman’s Own as a traditional women’s magazine, might suffer from the same stigma and said the magazines were ‘totally different’in this respect.
Instead, she said, Family Circle had a massive loyalty and its readers’ age was lowering [by the time it closed] but it struggled as a mass market monthly.
She said: ‘The problem was in being a mass-market title and trying to do a mass-market title on a monthly basis with such long lead times was horrific when our readers were, in essence, weekly ones.’Woman’s Own was down 13.3 per cent to 367,729 in the last ABCs – a trend that hit most of the traditional women’s weeklies in the face of competition from flashier, younger facing titles such as Pick Me Up.
But Livermore said she would not have taken on the job if ‘there was not an opportunity to grow or stabilise a magazine’and that the title enjoyed good Christmas sales to build upon. Woman’s Own’s only online presence at the moment is a dieting website, but Livermore said IPC was looking at creating a full online version of the magazine.