Ex-staff launch rival to What Digital Camera

Launch: Total Digital Photography

The founding editor and former journalists from What Digital Camera magazine have joined forces to launch an independent rival and are hoping to clinch market leadership by Christmas.

Total Digital Photography is backed by more than £200,000 of investment and is due to launch on news-stands nationwide at the end of next month.

The 100-page monthly, published by Archant Specialist, will target beginners and enthusiasts, offering advice on technique, workshops, choosing hardware and software and how to use the latest technology. Editorial will also feature reader portfolios and interviews with top photographers and digital imaging experts.

Simon Joinson, founding editor of What Digital Camera, is editor, and he is joined by former IPC colleagues deputy editor Gavin Stoker, technical editor Doug Harman, and news editor Stephanie Krahn. The title has also signed up a number of former What Digital Camera contributors.

Joinson said he was approached by Archant Specialist in May when he quit What Digital Camera with the rest of the team after IPC decided to bring the magazine in-house. Previously it was produced under contract by Joinson and his team. "We fell out for business reasons," Joinson said. "Archant contacted us immediately as it wanted to produce a companion to Photography Monthly – it is able to launch a magazine in a fraction of the time it would take IPC or Emap."

What Digital Camera reported a 51 per cent sales rise to 24,938 in the latest ABCs.

Joinson said there were two reasons why the launch could take market leadership. "One, we have dealt with the readers over the past five or six years and know exactly what they want to read about. Two, Archant has put a lot of money behind the launch in marketing, so it will be very visible."

While there will be some cross-over with What Digital Camera, Joinson claimed it would be more of a direct rival to Emap’s Digital Photo and Paragon’s Digital Photography Made Easy. "Obviously there is stuff in there which will be very similar, because that is what we are good at, but it would be commercial suicide to launch a competitor that was exactly the same as What Digital Camera," he said.

Publishing director Warren Parkinson added: "With a £200,000 investment in the first year of launch, a well-known and well-respected editorial team and a wealth of photographic publishing experience, we have in Total Digital Photography a powerful opportunity to dominate this fast-growing area of the market."

The first issue will have a cover price of £3.40 and a print run in excess of 60,000.

By Ruth Addicott

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