Mag giants gear up for launch bonanza

BBC Magazines, Emap and IPC have pledged to spend millions of pounds on launches this year and are on the lookout for top journalists.

The BBC plans to launch three titles in the teen/youth market and one major consumer title, while IPC has secured a £2m launch fund from parent company Time Inc.

Emap – keen to fill the gap left by Red and Elle, which were lost when the joint venture with Hachette Filipacchi collapsed last year – has three music projects under way. They hope to repeat the success of Kerrang! and boost the music division, which has seen Mixmag lose sales recently.

Dawn Bébe, managing director of Emap Elan, said: “Emap is definitely in launch mode. There are a number of ideas we are looking at – launches are on their way.”

IPC plans to renew its focus on launches this year, opening up half of the 17th floor of its Kings Reach Tower HQ in London. Mike Soutar, former editor of FHM and US Maxim, will head the development, having moved from managing director of IPC Ignite last month to become editorial director across the group. He said the launch activity would involve “the cream of talent from within IPC”, claiming it was a place where any magazine editor, designer or journalist would “give their right arm to work”.

Journalists already working on new concepts include former Chat and Loaded editor Keith Kendrick.

Meanwhile, BBC Magazines managing director Peter Phippen has said the corporation is aiming to “conquer on all fronts”. There will be a number of small launches by August, when one or two major titles will be announced in time for autumn. The main launch will receive a similar amount invested in women’s lifestyle title Eve, which was backed by a £2m ad campaign. “Having got our house in order, BBC Magazines is returning to the pace of growth we enjoyed during the Nineties, when we were the fastest-growing company in the industry,” said Phippen.

By Ruth Addicott

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