Magazine sector is braced for battle of charity titles

Charity Week and Third Sector are poised to launch on the same day

A war is expected to break out between magazine publishers in the charity sector next month following an unexpected announcement by Haymarket that it is about to launch head to head against new title, Charity Week.

Both magazines are recruitment-based and will be distributed to 20,000 senior managers and fund-raisers in the UK’s top charities.   Perspective Publishing revealed its intention to launch Charity Week earlier this month. But staff were taken aback when they discovered Haymarket also had plans to launch a rival on the same day.

Haymarket has acquired the fortnightly title Third Sector from Arts Publishing International and is planning to relaunch it as a weekly.

The company plans to invest more than £1m in the magazine between now and Christmas. It will be produced by a team of 20 and Stovin Hayter, who launched Revolution, is editor-in-chief.

Perspective Publishing has been involved in the charity sector for eight years and is known for the flagship title Charity Times and the annual UK Charity Awards.

Charity Week will be produced by a team of 10 and edited by Francesca Fabrizi, a former editor of Real Money.

John Woods, managing director of Perspective Publishing, said he was surprised by the news of the Haymarket launch, which he sugg-ested might be over ambitious.

"Perhaps they see it as an easy market," he told Press Gazette.

"We are very confident that Charity Week will be successful because we are specialists in the charity sector and  we know the size of the market."

But insiders are doubtful whether there is room in the market for two weeklies.

"My only recent experience of Haymarket has been Media Business," Woods added. "We were talking to some recruitment agencies and they were doing some very cheap deals, so potentially they may undercut us.

"However, we are offering a high- quality product at very competitive prices so we do not feel we will need to discount."

Rufus Olins, publishing director at Haymarket, said Third Sector would fit in with the company’s public sector titles such as Planning and Regeneration and Renewal.

"It is a sector full of really interesting organisations," he said. "Far from being downtrodden, they are professional and influential and we want a magazine that will reflect their status."

Olins said Haymarket had been working on a potential title for six months but the plans had accelerated as soon as the acquisition became available. "We have done a hell of a lot of work on it. This is not a knee-jerk reaction. That is not the way Haymarket works," he said.

"Haymarket has got a strong track record and we will make sure we reach all the people in the UK’s top charities."

By Ruth Addicott

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