Dirty Des has unplugged TV Pick after just five months, after the price war it initiated failed to grind out sufficient market share from Bauer and IPC’s TV listings weeklies for it to be sustainable.
Might it be that the finances at Northern + Shell overall are starting to look a little weak? The last ABCs showed a descent for New, Star and OK! that was rapid enough to cause blackouts, and OK! has cut its price to £1 in an (ultimately futile) attempt to shore up its circulation. This will be making a sizeable hole in N+S’s revenue, and it might be that they don’t have the stomach (or the war chest) for a long fight.
At the launch of TV Pick, Northern & Shell’s group editorial director Paul Ashford, said: “The launch of TV Pick underlines our commitment to the magazine sector.” Presumably its closure underlines allows us to conclude that N+S might be retreating from it.
The longest-lasting effect of this woeful venture will probably be on the finances of independent newsagents, who have had to endure months of price cuts in one of the few newsstand markets that was relatively robust.