Sex loses its appeal for new Cosmo editor

Baker: keen to “get the journalism back into women’s magazines”

Cosmopolitan’s new editor Sam Baker said sex will no longer be the focus under her editorship.

Speaking in her first interview since she got the job last week, Baker said the sex coverage was “too predominant” and she plans to place more emphasis on other elements such as campaigns and features.

“I am going to take an entirely different approach to the sex coverage.

Sex is a pillar of Cosmo. It is one of the key things but it is not the key thing for me,” she said.

“I want readers to be able to go in and pick and choose from the magazine.

At the moment, it’s too predominant.

It is important and will always be there but it’s not the only thing.”

Baker will steer a major redesign when she takes over from former editor Lorraine Candy on 5 July.

Baker increased Company’s sales by more than 100,000 during her editorship and it is hoped she will help Cosmo steal the number one spot back from Glamour.

“Cosmo has done well holding its own in the climate but I have some big plans. Our priority is to get Cosmo absolutely firing on all cylinders. We have got it all to play for and I think we are going to give them a shock,” she said.

Baker resigned from Company in December after she was offered a sixfigure book deal. She plans to write in Cosmo. “Whether it’s opinionated editor’s letters or interviewing Tony Blair, it’s important for the editor to be present in the magazine,” she said.

“Cosmo has always played a really important part in forming young women’s opinions so I think there is room for more issues. I have always been really big on getting the journalism back in women’s magazines, campaigning issues, news stories and reporting and that is something I will be focusing on.”

Baker said she wanted to make Cosmo the magazine that A-list celebrities want to be on the cover. But she was not interested in putting “a crap paparazzi picture of Victoria Beckham or whoever” rather than a model on the front.

Baker said it was too early to say if there would be changes to the team.

“My priority is to get in there and share all the exciting plans we have for Cosmo with the team. Nina [Ahmed, acting editor] doesn’t seem to be a woman heading for the door. She has been a fantastic deputy to Lorraine and I see no reason why we can’t carry on like that.”

Asked how she would feel about asking for maternity leave in light of managing director Duncan Edwards’ comments about Candy taking two periods of maternity leave during her editorship, she said: “I have absolutely no worries. I have always found Nat Mags a fantastic place to work. It’s irrelevant whether you have children or whether you’re planning to have children, it’s simply not an issue.”

By Ruth Addicott

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