The sale of BBC Worldwide’s magazine business has moved a step closer, says the Financial Times, after Exponent, the private equity firm, was confirmed as the preferred bidder – with analysts saying a half share of the business – including Top Gear, Radio Times and Gardeners’ World – is worth £80m-£90m.
Archive for May, 2011
Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon has been voted greatest album cover in a poll by Future Publishing’s musicians’ website, MusicRadar – with both the Floyd and the Beatles having two covers in the top 10:
- Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon (see Pink Floyd’s 1974 tour comic)
- Nirvana – Nevermind
- The Beatles – Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
- The Clash – London Calling
- Rage Against The Machine – Rage Against the Machine
- Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast
- The Beatles – The White Album
- Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
- King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King
- Pink Floyd – Animals
There’s neat link here with London Callingbeing the title of Barry Miles’s book on London underground movements, which has some great stuff on the early Floyd concerts. Also, Peter Blake, Sgt Pepper‘s cover artist with Jann Haworth, was inspired to use military uniforms by the shop I Was Lord Kitchener’s Valet, which in turn was inspired by Alfred Leete’s Kitchener cover from London Opinion magazine in 1914.
Strange, though, that the list gives no credit to the artists who did the covers – and where’s Led Zep’s Houses of the Holy???!!!
There was a surprise for me when I looked at my server logs for Sunday. One page had a thousand hits – when it would normally only rate a few dozen. Why? It was about the launch of Glasgow’s Sunday Herald newspaper in 1999. And the Sunday Herald was the paper that revealed that squeaky clean Ryan Giggs was the man who had taken out the super-injunction to stop a former lover spilling the beans about him.
And that’s not all I have to thank super-injunctions for. When US golfer Tiger Woods took out a super-injunction in 2009 to try and stop news of his shenanigans getting out, it was revealed that his middle name is ‘Tont’ – his full name is Eldrick Tont ’Tiger’ Woods. Not many people know that.
Having sold off several magazines – from Loaded to Cage & Aviary Bird to Aeroplane – last year, IPC is now turning to investing in its other titles. Woman relaunches tomorrow with a strategy ‘to exploit a gap in the market for a more positive and aspirational weekly magazine for women aged 35-plus’.
Amanda Holden (who turned 40 in February) is the cover celebrity of choice: ‘How Simon, Piers and girlfriends are helping her to get through’.
No figure is put on the cost. However, when sister title Woman was relaunched in May 2006, IPC spent £3.2m. When Woman’s Own was relaunched in April 2007, it spent £2m. The year 2007, saw the title repositioned from:
A modern mix of inspiring practicals, surprising real life and riveting celebrity reads combined with in depth advice you can trust.
Woman is a must-have weekly fix of hot celebrity news, juicy TV insider gossip, compelling real life stories and body confident fashion and beauty.
Overall, the latesst new look is cleaner – despite cramming in all those vital cover lines – and classier with the white background. Ultimately though, this is not about the magazine looking better, but arresting the long-term decline in its sales.
IPC may claim it is ‘market leading women’s lifestyle magazine’ but take out that word ‘lifestyle’ and its sales of 291,700 a week pale against Take a Break‘s 833,522. And in its its 1950s heyday it would have sold 2 million copies a week, at a time when rival Woman (they were then owned by separate companies) was selling 3 million. To think that owner Odhams launched Woman’s Realm in 1958 partly to take sales pressure off Woman – its sales were stretching the ability to print it!
Tyler Brule regards himself as a curator at Monocle. And Rick Poynor has chosen to entitle his talk tomorrow (Friday, May 6) at St Bride’s ‘Is Curating the New Editing?’ The founding editor of Eye has done enough writing and editing to perhaps shed some light on why the word has become topical.
He may also have an idea as to why ‘conducting’ died out as a term for the task of running magazines. It was used into the Edwardian era but disappeared from view. For example, the first issue of weekly Edwardian favourite London Opinion was ‘conducted’ by A. Moreton Mandeville.
Poynor is one of seven St Bride speakers at Graphic Design: History in the Making, which is moderated by David Crowley from the Royal College of Art and Teal Triggs from the London College of Communication (and author of Fanzines). The others are Christopher Burke, Sonia de Puineuf, Alston W. Purvis, David Reinfurt and Catherine de Smet.