Downturn? We're doing fine says publisher launching Wired UK

As Condé Nast announced the launch of a UK edition of American technology magazine Wired – the title’s publisher has said the economic downturn was an ‘opportunity not a threat”.

The monthly magazine is to launch early next year, accompanied by a website. Publisher Jamie Jouning, who has been associate publisher of Condé Nast’s upmarket men’s monthly GQ since 2004, said: ‘We’ve done a lot of research into this launch and genuinely feel there’s not a better time to launch.

‘Technology is playing an increasingly important role in contemporary civilisation and I think people have a genuine desire to engage at the moment. The advertisers that we’ve spoken to, and we’ve spoken to lots, are very excited about the launch, and we see the uncertainty about the economic climate as an opportunity, not a threat.”

Jouning said that after announcing the launch he was contacted by a number of other publishing companies expressing their excitement about it and the prospect of new jobs.

The final number of new staffers will not be finalised until the magazine’s editor, The Jewish Chronicle’s editor David Rowan, joins the title, but Condé Nast says the figure will be ‘in the teens”.

The news comes weeks after rival publisher IPC Media announced a temporary recruitment freeze and River Publishing axed monthly women’s title Shape after just three issues, both publishers blaming the economic downturn.

Jouning said: ‘From my current role at GQ we don’t see any downturn at the moment, and I know other titles at Condé Nast are doing very well.”

The US edition of Wired launched 15 years ago, was bought by Condé Nast in 1998 and claims to highlight ‘the role technology plays at the heart of the world we live in today”.

The US title has been nominated for a number of National Magazine Awards and

according to Jouning is ‘performing exceptionally well’both commercially and editorially, with a paid-for circulation in excess of 700,000.

A UK version of Wired was launched briefly in the mid-1990s by Guardian Media Group, but failed to take off. Jouning said that it was an issue of timing. ‘I’m not sure back in 1995 the UK was ready for a magazine along the lines of Wired. Email was fairly new in the work place and home, and not everyone had mobiles.”

Specialist publisher Future has also announced a launch into the technology sector, a bi-monthly user guide called Quick & Easy Guide, which focuses on a different topic each issue. The first issue, out this week, is Quick & Easy Guide to Windows Vista.

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