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March 30, 2015

Loaded becomes latest lads’ mag to close after sales drop from 300,000 to 10,000 in a decade

By Dominic Ponsford

The original lads’ mag, Loaded, is to close some 18 months after it was acquired by Simian Publishing in a management buyout.

Sales of the monthly title have declined from 350,000 in 2000 to 34,360 at the end of last year (according to ABC). When free bulk distribution is taken away, the magazine was selling less than 10,000 copies a month.

The title had moved away from its previously bawdy image under the current owners to become “more in line with the modern man by concentrating on fashion, music, entertainment and sport”.

In July last year current editor Aaron Tinney said the title, which launched in 1994, had adopted a “zero nipple” policy.

The last edition of the magazine, which featured an interview with Noel Gallagher and Irvine Welsh, came out yesterday.

Simian Publishing confirmed the latest edition would be the last.

James Brown, who edited the magazine in its heyday, said the news was "a pity".

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He said: "The last team seemed to have made a real go of it"

Loaded advertising director Jason Calder-McClaren led a management buyout of the title in October 2013.

The title was previously owned by Paul Baxendale-Walker's Blue Publishing but went into administration in June of that year and passed over to Loaded Media Ltd.

Previous owner Vitality Publishing went into administration with debts of more than £1m in April 2013. Vitality bought Loaded from IPC Media in 2010.

Loaded is the latest of a series of men's magazines to close as the once booming sector has declined.

IPC Media closed weekly title Nuts in April 2014 after sales declined from 300,000 in 2005 to just over 50,000.

Front closed in February 2014 and Maxim’s UK edition and Arena both halted publication in 2009.

Looking at some of the surviving men's titles: weekly title Zoo has dropped from 260,000 sales in 2005 to just over 32,000 and FHM has fallen from 560,167 in 2005 to 79,189.

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