Of course the death of Loaded isn’t really the “end of an era” ((c) all newspapers). That ended ten or even fifteen years ago or, arguably, when the first “me-too” copy was rushed out by a rival desperate to emulate the magazine’s success.
The parallel is with Elvis: something genuinely new and different, rapidly absorbed by the system it originally seemed to stand outside; bought off, compromised and reduced to irrelevance.
Because the tawdry and constipated magazine that has just closed bears no relation (other than the title) to the original Loaded. Love it or loathe it, the 1994 incarnation was sui generis – gonzo journalism reborn for the ’90s – and not even its creators knew what made it work (as the less than fabulous subsequent career of James Brown shows).
Plenty of people tried of course – FHM, Maxim, Front, then the execrable Nuts and Zoo – but they lacked the wit of the original, reducing everything to the lowest common denominator. And Loaded went the same way – because no one knew what made it work, no one knew that they’d broken it – and we ended up with the dismal procession of sub soft porn content and the replacement of genuine humour with ‘banter’. (more…)
As Private Frazer mentioned last month, it isn’t a question of if, but when the “lads’ mags” category will finally be put out of our misery, and the latest inevitable closure is IPC’s Nuts magazine. IPC have form in flogging dead horses to any buyer with a smart suit and plausible manner, so the fact that even they couldn’t offload this turkey (I will mix whatever metaphors I choose, thank you very much) suggests that the pool of stupid, wannabe publishers is not as deep as previously.
Now that Nuts is toast, Bauer can presumably declare victory and shut Zoo without loss of face.
Corporate bollocks award of the day goes to Paul Williams, managing director of IPC’s Inspire division. “After 10 years at the top of its market [you know what they say about scum always rising to the top], we have taken the difficult decision to propose the closure of Nuts … IPC will provide impacted staff with all the support they need during the consultation process.”
“Impacted“? You mean “fired” Paul, or “redundant”, surely?
Have we reached peak craft?
One of the few growth categories over the past few years has been in the “make do and mend”/”weave your own shroud” area, bringing to mind thousands of “crafters” producing tat to sell on to other crafters in a closed loop of economic virtue.
But last year saw Immediate cut Cloth, MyTimeMedia (got to love that name) recently terminated Homemade with Love, and the latest closure from Practical Publishing is Crafty magazine which lasted just one year.
If rumours are true (which they seldom are, but that’s never stopped me repeating them in the past) we can look forward to a few more instances of unplanned recycling in the next few months.
Immediate Media have taken the clippers to the loose fringes of their list and cut off Your Hair (final issue will be 12 March) and Hair Ideas (closing on 27 March).
According to an email from Dominic Lobley, Immediate’s PR Manager (have they already dumped the publisher?): “We have made this decision due to the changing print market for all hair titles which recently has declined at an even greater rate than originally anticipated.” (I know, I know – and he also uses the word “impacted”, thus scoring double points in today’s crapspeak awards.)
January is the month when we all think of shedding a few pounds, but that seems to have been taken a wee bit too literally by Quorn House Publishing.
They have gone into administration owing “well under £1 million” which means the end of Rosemary Conley’s Diet + Fitness magazine.
Deep-fried Ferrero Rocher all round.
Yet another lads’ mag seems to have woken up to the fact that it’s not the 1990s any more and has called it a day, as Front magazine is reported to have ceased publishing.
Front has been through a succession of ever more obscure owners since its launch in 1998 and was selling fewer than 30,000 copies in the last lot of ABCs.
It’s not a matter of if FHM, Zoo and Nuts will close, just when.
It looks like the wheel’s come off Old Tractor magazine. A charming email from Steve Wright the CEO of Kelsey (that’s how you do it Mark; why do you never write?) informs Private Frazer that the current issue will be the last and the title will be folded back into Tractor & Machinery.
Mr Wright also assures us all that Stationary Engine is in rude health and he reckons it’s possibly more profitable than Marie Claire. Old, creaky and consuming large amounts of energy while not moving at all, Marie Claire is published by IPC.
Kelsey Publishing are saying Tata to Land Rover World as its being broken up for parts with immediate effect; the current issue will be the last.
Rumours abound on other Kelsey titles being eyed for closure (and anyone with any info on these should contact the usual address), but as long as Stationary Engine continues to be produced, Private Frazer will be happy.
Future have given Official Pokemon Magazine its cards after less than a year; the first issue appeared in March 2013, the final one is hitting the shops about now.
Gotta catch them all!
Dudes, Private Frazer has been hangin’ ten so missed the announcement that The Surfer’s Path bowed out with its hundredth issue at the end of December.
From Wikipedia (so it must be true) “the magazine [was] a bit of an anomaly in the surf-publishing world… low-key and philosophical” so presumably everyone is pretty chilled about its demise.
Old Tommy Gray said “Paths of glory lead but to the grave“, but I prefer the Surfari’s version “ha ha ha ha ha, wipe out.”