Private Frazer’s Doomed Magazines

June 24, 2013

Done Deal

Filed under: Bauer,closures,consumer magazines — privatefraser @ 3:29 pm

That curious smell of Bostick wafting around Peterborough is because Bauer have despatched Horse Deals magazine to the knackers yard.

(Although keep it quiet, the staff think it’s gone to live on a farm.)

Freemium Lunch Over?

Filed under: Chair by the door,consumer magazines — privatefraser @ 9:00 am

One of the few apparent ‘success’ stories of publishing in the past few years has been ‘freemium’ (or, to give it the correct term ‘free’) product.

These are the mags pressed into your hands by be-anoraked minimum-wage earners as you fight your way into the tube station (sorry rest of UK, this is a London-centric post, notwithstanding the claimed distribution outside the English capital by some of the publications). There are now morning and evening newspapers, magazines for virtually every day, and seemingly new ‘tests’ of new free products every week.

A series of emails to Private Frazer’s bothy over the past week suggest that the gilt may be coming off this particular gingerbread. Obviously as these missives are anonymous they may be the product of untrustworthy bletherskites; and, because they are uncorroborated and Private Frazer has no wish to read dull letters from media owners’ legal scuddlers, the publications that they mention have to remain veiled in secrecy, but the picture they paint is one of increasing costs, reduced ad revenue, falling readership and more random distribution. (more…)

June 18, 2013

Blue remembered bills

Filed under: Chair by the door,consumer magazines — privatefraser @ 12:52 pm

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.

June 16, 2013

Sport’s Games

Filed under: consumer magazines,free magazines — privatefraser @ 6:16 pm

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.

Game on!

June 5, 2013

Reduced Life Expectancy

Filed under: closures,consumer magazines — privatefraser @ 12:34 pm

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.



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