New! team sets sights on leading market

Editor Kirsty Mouatt has revealed the team behind the launch of celebrity weekly New! and plans to clinch the market leadership, writes Ruth Addicott.

The team, based at Express Newspapers, includes deputy editor Ceri Roberts (former features editor on More!) and features editor Alex Reece (ex-features editor on 19). Senior writer and beauty editor Catherine Woods, commissioning editor Dominique Hammond and picture editor Emma Georgiou all worked on Hot Stars. Production editor is Deanne Pearson (ex-Express S2 Magazine) and art director is Nigel Jones (ex-OK! and Punch). A fashion editor is expected to be announced shortly.

Targeting women in their 20s and early 30s, New! has already rattled rivals with its cover price of 60p.

“We are hoping to be the leading celebrity title, but I wouldn’t say we are going directly after anyone’s readers,” Mouatt said. “We think New! will shake up the celebrity market. There is definitely room for a magazine with an extremely high-quality mix of exclusive stories and it has a clear advantage over the others because of its price.”

Now slashed its cover price to 50p and added a 16-page section of A-list celebs to coincide with the launch of Closer last October. Likewise, Closer cut its cover price last week in anticipation of New!.

Although Closer is said to have sold more than 300,000 on some issues, it has a long way to go to catch up with Now’s ABC of 630,212 and Heat’s 554,644.

Now editor Jane Ennis said her magazine was likely to adopt a more “added value” approach than embark on a price war. She also reiterated concerns in Press Gazette last week that the celebrity bubble would soon burst due to the flood of celebrity “clones”.

“It will impact on the whole sector and as it’s cheap, it may even impact on the cheaper end of the market such as Woman’s Own, Chat, Best and Bella,” she said.

Ruth Addicott

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