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?
The news that IPC are going to lay off 150, or 8%, of their staff as part of “organisational changes” definitely puts the titles over at Auton Towers on the watch list.
Although IPC defenestrated as many of its underperforming magazines as it could in 2010, even it was unable to find enough mug punters to take all of its lame ducks. Couple that with IPC’s heavy dependence on advertising (there seems to have been little diversification into additional revenue streams) and you have major problems.
Of course, Private Frazer could be very wrong (it is my default position after all) and the cuts might be entirely because the US parent company needs to make big savings and the incredibly profitable UK arm has to share the pain. Yeah, as they say, right.
Watch this space.
Sylvia’s email to the IPC infantry can be read in full here. This is also where any new news will find a home.
IPC staffers with stories to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org Anonymity guaranteed.
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.
After failing to get rid of all of their clunkers in the first round of their fire sale, it seems likely that IPC will have another go this year. They really are becoming a multiple personality company, with at least four distinct characters – TV listings and soaps, five titles here giving them 30% of their total ABC; cheap women’s weeklies (losing sales as are the cheapos from Burda and H Bauer); women’s glossies; and specialist magazines.
So the great IPC yard sale continues, with titles flying around the country to a variety of smaller publishers. This was obviously Sylvia Auton’s mission on her return from the states, but although we can see the results, we don’t yet have an idea of the overall strategic picture. (more…)
Euromoney reveals £41.8m loss
Euromoney Institutional Investor said trading would become worse before it gets better
BBC Magazines set to cut 30 staff
Publisher is looking to reduce its headcount by about 30 staff in a bid to cut costs and restructure its operations. (more…)
With strong rumours swirling around of a high profile closure in the ‘homes and lifestyle’ category, I thought it might be useful to pick the bones of last week’s ABC figures and see how the major titles are faring. (more…)
Shoot closes as weekly bid fails (Media Week)
You’ve got a title that’s just about surviving as a £3.10 monthly. It’s a kids’ title, so it’s not big in advertising although it’s got a few subscriptions. You relaunch as a weekly, so all your costs go up, but your advertising doesn’t. To sell as a weekly you have to cut the cover price so your per copy revenue goes down. But the kids (and their parents) who subscribed for a year as a monthly now find their subs running out and a bill for £65 turning up. What could possibly go wrong?
It also seems not to have had much attention from IPC. The ‘latest issue’ on the website is 14 March. If they can’t be bothered to update this in the closest finish to a premiership season either side of the border has seen in years, they don’t really seem to be trying.