More news on Blue Publishing who, until recently, were the publishers of Superbike and Loaded magazines. They’d acquired these from Vitality Publishing (which went bust in 2012) who, in turn, had bought them from IPC’s remnants sale in 2010. Blue Publishing (owner of which is the ridiculous Paul Baxendale-Walker/Paul Chaplin) recently launched then recently closed Zip magazine.
An email from Ray Kidd confirms that Blue Publishing is now insolvent and that the two magazines have been transferred to a new company, Loaded Media Ltd (i.e. the fourth business to own the titles in three years). Loaded Media was incorporated on the 25 April 2013. Presumably the debts for the Zip fiasco stay with Blue Publishing as, seemingly, does any recent unpaid work for Loaded or Superbike.
The company address of Loaded Media and Blue Publishing remains the same, as does the principal director (a Mr Paul Michael Baxendale-Walker).
For some reason Blue Publishing seems to be a particular favourite of Press Gazette, puff pieces appearing here, here, here and here. To date, Press Gazette has not published anything about the company’s demise.
Anyone with any further information (including whether freelances, printers, distributors and other creditors are actually getting any of the money they’re owed) is invited to contact the usual address.
Ping! An anonymous email arrives at the bothy (click here if you ever want to contact Private Frazer) with the obviously totally false, baseless and scurrilous allegation that “UTV Media are seriously considering the future of Sport magazine”.
Sport is the London-based freebie that was bought by UTV (owners of TalkSport radio) when the previous owners went bust in 2009. It has an ABC of 302,466 and its media presentation says “the majority of Sport copies are hand distributed outside busy commuter locations.” However, my correspondent claims “it’s been losing hand to hand distribution for a number of years… Time out reported a poll of just under 12% of londoners having read it, UTV’s research reveals far less.”
And it would seem that the Sport media claim might be guilt of a wee bit of statistical inexactitude. The ABC certificate shows that of the 302,466 distributed copies, just 94,632 are done by hand, the remaining 207,834 being put out in bulk at health clubs, hotels, offices and schools. (If you want to know the value of these copies, go and ask your circulation manager.)
Private Frazer is happy to publish official rebuttals – or further unattributable gossip. Emails to the address above.
So it appears that the termination of NorthEast Life by Archant wasn’t just a one off vindictive act against the Geordies, but part of a wider Archant pruning of their portfolio of county titles; six magazines in total are discovering that ‘Life’ doesn’t always go on. Letterboxes in Shropshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Herefordshire & Wye Valley, Wiltshire will now be spared estate agents’ press releases repackaged as a glossy magazine.
The surprise isn’t, of course, that these titles are folding, but that they’ve survived this long. Let’s see how many of Archant’s surviving titles make it into next year.
According to a post on Twitter (so it must be true) Archant’s North East Life magazine has waved goodbye to the Geordie shore and the current, June, issue will be its last.
Hadaway man, broons all roond.
Private Frazer missed this one last month, but Canals, Rivers and Boats magazine sank with all hands at the beginning of April.
Ocean Media’s Streetfighters, the magazine on “the world’s most extreme performance motorbikes” has obviously been suffering from performance issues of its own, as their blog announces it has published its last.
As Mick and Keith almost put it, “in sleepy London town there’s just no place for a street fighting magazine.”
When you boast that the launch issue of your new weekly has sold 6,000 copies, you really do have no idea and no hope of survival. And so it comes to pass that Zip, “sister title” (expressed without irony), to Loaded has closed up after just nine issues and will morph into a “digital product”.
Of course, far from being a monumental screw-up by a bunch of incompetent chancers, this is being spun as a natural progression as “the digital market where the real reader and advertiser action is”.
Zip was published by Blue Publishing, the company run by Paul Baxendale-Walker, which bought two brands from the now-defunct Vitality Publishing. Vitality went bust last year owing nearly £1 million.
On the basis of this Press Gazette interview, Baxendale-Walker could very well be the biggest tosser in magazine publishing – and that’s a highly competitive field.
There will be a bawlin’ and a greetin’ in Hammersmith if the news about Immediate Media proves to be correct.
Hot on the heels of Bauer casting out Pregnancy and Birth comes the word that Tom Bureau has come over all Richard III with regard to two of his little charges – Junior and Practical Parenting.
There has been no response to emails or tweets asking about the two titles, but they have been removed from the Immediate subscription site and banner ads on the individual title sites now lead to dead space.
This leaves a once-crowded category considerably thinner, with Immediate’s Prima Baby (last year’s buy-in from Hearst), Bauer’s Mother & Baby, and Media 10′s Gurgle, the last men toddling. Given that the year-on-year ABC performance of these three titles was, respectively -24%, -22% and -4%, Private Frazer wouldn’t put a great deal of money on any of them making it into long trousers.
Perhaps you can go broke by underestimating the intelligence of the public after all, as FeaturesExec reports that Full House magazine is being closed down by its owners Pep Publishing.
Even priced at just 55p the title lost nearly 20% of its circulation year on year, delivering a less than market-leading 138,158. Although perhaps I’m wrong about this as the magazine’s twitter bio says it is “Full House! the fastest growing ladies weekly mag”
Or perhaps the twitter page is updated by the same people who do Full House‘s website: the latest stories are from March, and the homepage splash is a Christmas gift guide.
News from the literary world courtesy of Media Bistro, as Granta magazine loses not only its editor, but also its deputy editor. And its associate editor. And its art director. Oh, and they’re also closing their New York office.
Ordinarily, this would mean that the odds on the title getting to its next issue would be very long indeed, but when you’re owned by a billionaire heiress the normal rules probably don’t apply – in all sorts of ways.
24/05/13 UPDATE: Ten days later the story has made it to the Grauniad: “The world of publishing was rocked to its foundations…”