Loaded co-founder and former editor Tim Southwell plans to shake up the men’s magazine market with the launch of a lifestyle title next year.
Southwell’s company Keep Yourself Nice Publishing (KYN) has secured £1.4m backing to launch two magazines over the next three years. The first, Golf Punk, debuted this week.
He said the monthly men’s title would have a bigger launch budget than Golf Punk and would target a similar audience – men aged 17 to 45.
“We’re looking at acquisitions and all manner of stuff. Our aim is to be the best and the most creative publisher of men’s magazines in Britain,” he told Press Gazette.
Southwell said the men’s title would need to have global brand potential and extend its distribution to the US, Europe and Scandinavia.
He has poached Jack art director Steve Read to be creative director and the pair will begin working on dummies in July.
Southwell set up KYN three years ago but the launch of Golf Punk was put on hold when the investment fell through after September 11. The company is now funded by a consortium of Premiership footballers and media agency boss Chris Ingram.
The Golf Punk team has a solid background in the men’s market. It includes co-founder Gavin Newsham, currently Maxim sports editor, as editorat-large, Tom Cox, Ben Marshall, Lawrence Donegan and former GQ features editor Iestyn George.
Golf Punk will target the new younger generation of golfers and feature celebrity players.
Southwell, who has always wanted to launch a golf magazine, said: “I have been playing golf for 20 years and haven’t read a golf magazine for 19 and a half because they are all obsessed with swing mechanics and how to get your handicap down.”
Southwell, who launched Golf Punk on a “hunch”, attacked the magazine industry for its increasing dependence on research. He believes focus groups are the “death of creativity”, “totally misleading” and a “waste of money”.
He added: “Publishers hide behind them and they keep average people employed in average jobs they don’t deserve to have. It’s spineless publishing.
If KYN succeeds, it’ll succeed on its own merit, because we are not PRled.
We are creating our own agenda.”
He said he wanted to follow in the footsteps of James Brown – who launched Loaded with Southwell 10 years ago and later sold his publishing company I Feel Good to Felix Dennis for £5.1m.
“He walked away with over £1m in his pocket. If I do that I’ll be pleased,” he said.
By Ruth Addicott