Private Frazer’s Doomed Magazines

June 19, 2018


Filed under: magazines,PPA — privatefraser @ 10:45 pm

Several years since I finished posting anything on this blog, time for a coda.

Look around you – count the titles that still exist, look at what’s closed, consider how the Pisspoor Publishing Association is now gutted and enfeebled – and tell me that all those years ago I wasn’t right.

The epitaph is Robert Conquest’s (as retold by Kingsley Amis): “I told you so, you fucking fools”.

February 7, 2013

House Rules

Filed under: consumer magazines,PPA — privatefraser @ 2:35 pm
Tags: ,

If any more indication was needed that next week’s ABC figures are going to be brutally bad. it can be found in the news that the PPA are going to release combined print and digital figures on the same day as the official returns.

Of course this will be entirely unbiased, objective and beyond reproach. How could a set of figures produced by a body funded by the industry and designed to prop up advertising revenues for titles that are struggling to survive fail to be otherwise?

Prepare yourselves for the good news PR onslaught as every single UK publisher trumpets their great success.

Oh, the joy of being in an industry that is doing so, so well!


February 20, 2012

Downhill nearly all the way

Filed under: figures,magazines,PPA — privatefraser @ 8:50 am

Private Frazer was away last week, knocking over wee bairns on the slopes around the pretty Austrian village of Schadenfreude, so missed the publication of the latest ABC figures.

It seems that as I sipped the gluhwein, the UK publishing industry has been experiencing black runs of its own, with descents so precipitous they would make Franz Klammer blanch.

There are stand out performances across the board, and it seems almost unfair to single out individual companies. Almost.


February 28, 2011

The Sky is falling in

Oh dear, how is the PPA going to be able to spin the next set of ABC results?

This time round they used the free circulations of customer magazines to claim “continued growth in the demand for magazines”, even though the demand for magazines that people actually buy continues to decline precipitously.

This morning’s news is that Sky is to axe Sky Sports Magazine and Sky Movies Magazine (with a combined circulation of nearly eight million copies) and reduce the frequency of Sky magazine (ABC of 7.3 million) from monthly to quarterly. (more…)

October 30, 2009

From our PPA correspondent

Filed under: PPA — privatefraser @ 6:42 pm

Another email from our person on the inside regarding the sweetness and light that currently surrounds ‘our’ industry body…

“The announcement of the impending departure of Chief Operating Officer Sarah Tunstall after barely 15 months in the job gives us another glimpse into the increasingly surreal world of the PPA. Not that Ms Tunstall’s departure was unexpected, given her role as wing-man to former PPA Top Gun Jonathan Shephard. (He, you will recall, was shot down in flames last month following 18 months of re-structuring PPA in the image of his former domicile, The Independent Schools Council.) Even the wily Tunstall would (more…)

October 14, 2009

Clear as mud

Filed under: PPA — privatefraser @ 7:38 pm

A lovely email from the fragrant Eric Verdon-Roe arrives in Private Frazer’s inbox:

Dear PPA member,

I am contacting you today in order that you are aware of a news story published in the print version of this week’s issue of Media Week, which stated that certain PPA members were to “sever ties” with the organisation. The story relates to ongoing negotiations PPA is conducting with APA and AOP.

The publication has since acknowledged that the story in print is incorrect […] Subsequent liaison … resulted in an amended version of the story being published online (…

Talks are progressing with both APA and AOP but the situation is not yet fully resolved. We will provide a full briefing at the earliest possible opportunity.

It seems a little over the top to feel you have email the entire PPA database to deny a story in a magazine that few of us bother to read, so let’s see what comes out in the next couple of weeks. Even with the PPA sanctioned amendments to the Media Week article it seems quite clear that AOP is seeking to distance itself from its host.  (“The two bodies are negotiating over plans for the AOP to have control over its own finances and corporate governance.”)

Given the PPA’s troubles, is this the AOP making sure it won’t get dragged down with the ink on paper guys?

September 22, 2009

Man the lifeboats

Filed under: PPA — privatefraser @ 9:42 pm

So, one week on from the defenestration of Johnathan Shephard, what have we learned?

If it was up to the PPA itself or the public pronouncements from the PPA Board, the answer would be naething much at all. The PPA ‘News‘ section is devoid of, well, news. It doesn’t even have the press release announcing Shephard’s departure (though to give them their due, they did manage to airbrush all references to him from the site within 12 hours). (more…)

September 15, 2009

Man overboard!

Filed under: PPA — privatefraser @ 8:14 am

Now then, what’s this all about?

Jonathan Shephard, chief executive of the Periodical Publishers Association, has left the magazine industry trade body with immediate effect. [The Guardian]

Ill-informed speculation welcomed.

19:30 update: The following email dropped into Private Frazer’s inbox this afternoon… (more…)

May 14, 2009

And the winner is…

Filed under: PPA — privatefraser @ 8:09 am

Further signs of the strength of magazine publishing are shown in the list of companies who are sponsoring the PPA awards next month. Out of 22 categories the PPA has so far managed to get just six of them sponsored.

Flush with the cash I saved by not buying RBI, I might look into taking my own category, although ‘Magazine most likely to close in the next 12 months’ is likely to have such a long list of nominees that the lovely Dara O’Briain might still be reading it out at the end of July.

Create a free website or blog at