Private Frazer’s Doomed Magazines

June 28, 2012

Firing Blanks

Filed under: Chair by the door,consumer magazines — privatefraser @ 4:34 pm
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Ping! An email arrives with news from inside Loaded headquarters talking about producing an issue with hardly any staff (“one full time writer working alongside a junior designer”), a lack of investment, and morale at, unsurprisingly, subterranean levels. My correspondent was particularly struck by the embarrassment that is the magazine’s latest cover.

You have to feel sorry for poor old Loaded. Once a title that sold nearly half a million copies an issue and which established a whole new category of publishing, it was dumped by IPC to the supremely dodgy Vitality Publishing whose own fire sale of assets passed the title to Paul Baxendale-Walker, a character for whom the epithet ‘colourful’ hardly does justice.

Whether you liked the content or not, the early Loaded was a product that had energy, wit, daring and flair. Unfortunately its later iterations, and the me-too publications that were spawned, failed to capture this spirit, each product chasing the others down to the bottom of the market.

And sales have followed suit. Down, down, down have gone the sales for FHM, Nuts, Zoo and the others; it’s a category in terminal decline.

The most telling fact is that whether Loaded survives for six months or six years longer is an irrelevance to almost everybody. Where once it was admired, hated, copied and discussed, it is now ignored or pitied, which is a tragedy of sorts.

April 23, 2012

Loss of Vitality

Filed under: closures,consumer magazines — privatefraser @ 4:47 pm
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It probably comes as no surprise to anyone to hear that Vitality Publishing called in the administrators on Friday.

As soon as Private Frazer heard that Attitude had been spun off to form a separate company, leaving Vitality with Loaded and Superbike, it was pretty obvious that something was up. The (ex) directors of Vitality have a certain amount of form in this regard.

And so it proves. The questions asked over the fitness of the company that IPC were in such a hurry to sell to remain unanswered. As does the fate of the magazines and of the employees.

For some reason the word ‘bastards’ springs to mind.

July 19, 2011

UnLoaded

Filed under: consumer magazines — privatefraser @ 8:34 am
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Loaded has axed publication of its “pint-sized” issue after just five issues, due to flagging sales. (from Brand Republic)

Interestingly, in recent weeks Vitality have sold Women’s Fitness to Dennis and their hair titles to Haversham.

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