Money Observer and Moneywise magazines to close in owner restructure

Monthly magazines Money Observer and Moneywise will close next month after 40 and 29 years in print respectively.

Parent company Interactive Investor said it had carried out a review of the personal finance magazines and decided they did not fit into its overall strategy as an investment platform.

Staff were told on a brief video call with Interactive Investor chief executive Richard Wilson that the August issues will be their last.

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A spokesperson for the company said: “We are simplifying our structure and operating model to focus on our core business as the UK’s second largest retail investment platform.

“As part of this objective, we have conducted an in-depth review of our magazine brands and advertising sales channels.

“Following the review, we have decided to close the magazines and their websites and to cease selling all advertising space across all Interactive Investor brands and channels.

“This will result in a simpler operating model, focused purely on the interactive investor brand, allowing us to restructure our team to provide content for II customers and II audiences.”

A member of staff at the magazines told Press Gazette the call with Wilson lasted just minutes with no opportunity for staff to speak.

“The call was quite curt and there was no apology or real explanation,” they said.

“Staff are very upset, and some have worked on the titles for 20 years.

“The reason given was that that there had been a review, and the titles did not fit well with II’s strategy. This includes a flotation and it is likely they have decided we are superfluous to that.

“They are making no effort to sell us, though did think about it a couple of years ago.”

Moira O’Neill, the firm’s head of personal finance who used to edit Moneywise, wrote to the company’s freelance journalists to tell them the news.

She wrote: “This is a decision that we have not taken lightly. Changes that impact our people are never easy and only ever proposed after deep consideration.”

O’Neill said there would still be a place for freelance editorial commissions on II’s own website, which will see its in-house team of journalists expanded.

“This will include content to help those at the start of their investing journeys, investors who are actively managing a portfolio of funds, investment trusts and passive investments, and investors who manage portfolios of UK and international shares,” O’Neill said.

“We will also continue to cover pensions and savings, including SIPPs and ISAs.”

Although the Moneywise and Money Observer will close online, their “most popular” content will be moved to the Interactive Investor website.

Money Observer, which launched in 1979, has a team of about four staff journalists according to its website, with a roster of regular specialist writers.

Moneywise, which launched in 1990, has an editorial team of about seven.

Interactive Investor made £90.2m in revenue in 2019, up 24% on the year before. Pre-tax profits grew by 35% to £23.2m.

Despite the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, net revenue for the first three months of 2020 grew by 61% to £31.1m.

Money Observer had an average circulation of 12,125 in 2019 following a 27% year-on-year drop, according to the latest available ABC figures.

Moneywise’s monthly circulation in the same period was 8,706 after a decline of 15%.

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Comments

2 thoughts on “Money Observer and Moneywise magazines to close in owner restructure”

  1. I was gobsmacked when I opened my latest edition of moneywise to find it will be the last one. There is no other magazine on the market to equal the content it consists of, not only informative but printed in such a way that it is interesting for the ordinary person to read. Very very disappointed that you have come to this decision.

  2. Very disappointing.
    At a time of financial turmoil, a good source of financial advice is being pulled.
    I am assuming one will be required to join the platform to get something on the world of finance.

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