Time Warner’s talks to merge its magazines with those of Meredith have broken down. Intsead, the Time Inc and IPC magazines are to be spun off as a new public company by the end of 2013.
Archive for the ‘IPC’ Category
Reports in the US early today suggested Time Warner was in talks to sell some of its magazines to Meredith Corp. The sale would probably include IPC Media, the UK’s second-largest magazine publisher, with titles such as Marie Claire and NME. IPC has sold about 20 titles over the past few years and announced job cuts of 150 staff last month.
Meredith publishes 14 magazines, including Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal and Better Homes & Gardens, as well running TV stations.
Time, the largest magazine publisher in the US, with titles such as Time, Sports Illustrated and People, could fetch $2bn-$3.5bn.
IPC has sent our press releases pushing the latest issue of NME, with the following at the bottom:
Please note, conditions apply to using the NME covers; the photographer and NME must both be credited, along with the copy ‘NME, on sale now’.
The company is on dodgy ground with such an approach. Who’s going to use the picture with that proviso? What happens next week when the issue’s no longer on sale?
The attitude of IPC was held up to ridicule after it claimed copyright over images of Hitler’s house from Homes and Gardens‘ November 1938 edition that the Guardian’s Simon Waldman had written about. IPC’s claims were exposed as spurious. The 1938 article, ‘Hitler’s mountain home’, by Ignatius Phayre describes the Berghof as ‘quite a handsome Bavarian chalet, 2,000 feet up on Obersalzberg amid pinewoods and cherry orchards’ with the funds coming from Hitler’s ‘famous book’ Mein Kampf, a ‘best-seller of astonishing power‘.
Ignatius Phayre wrote 5 pieces for the Catholic Herald in 1938-9 and did a profile of Edgar Wallace for Pictorial Weekly (‘Edgar – the amazing! A Henry Ford of fiction’, 16 Feb 1929). Amazon lists 6 books by that author, dating from 1911-33, with one being reprinted this year, America’s Day Studies in Light and Shade. The British Library gives his real name as William George FitzGerald.
Philsp.com has Phayre writing ‘War-Work of the King and Queen of Spain’ in The Girl’s Own Paper and Woman’s Magazine in Oct 1916.
A company like IPC has commerical rights to protect, but its business is built on journalism – and the rights of journalists need protecting too.
Catching up on reading at the weekend and this FT Magazine looked so familiar:
And then I remembered this one:
Must be something about the eyes, the position on the page and that shade of red!
It was part of a 5-page skit on women’s magazines by Norman Mansbridge in Punch. Perhaps not an everyday name now, but he was a Punch cartoonist before and after the war, a navy war artist, and later cartoonist for the Daily Sketch. He retired from there to add another string to his bow – cartoon trips for Fleetway and IPC comics, some of which ran for 20 years – among them ‘Fuss Pot’, ‘Tough Nutt and Softly Centre’ and ‘Mummy’s Boy’.
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!
Surveys of the best magazines are done pretty regularly, but they are usually limited in scope and time. But what happens when you open things up to ask who and what are the great names and titles of the 20th century?
Names pop into the frame that you will never have heard of.
How many hands would go up for Stefan Lorant? Even two of the titles he founded – Weekly Illustrated and Lilliput – are now relatively unknown, despite being bestsellers in their day. You will have heard of Picture Post though, which he founded and ran for two years before going to the US where he disappeared without trace as far as magazines are concerned in 1940.
Mark Boxer will be more familiar. The PPA has an award named after him. He learned the design trade on Lilliput, before transforming Queen into a sixties swinger, launched The Sunday Times Colour Supplement and London Life, before dying young in harness as editor-in-chief at Conde Nast. And even his sideline as cartoonist Marc puts him in the frame of fame.
Tom Hopkinson took over from Lorant at Picture Post and, for a while, Lilliput. But did he ever launch a magazine? What did he do after Picture Post?
As magazine supremos, Alfred Harmsworth (Lord Northcliffe), with Answers and Home Chat; George Newnes with Tit-Bits, The Strand and Wide World; and C. Arthur Pearson with Pearson’s Weekly and London Opinion, all belong to the 19th century.
And what about William Ewert Berry? Who’s he? Lord Camrose. Who? He controlled Amalgamated Press, which published 73 magazines in 1951, with a total circulation of more than 14 million. But then most of that – Answers, Home Chat, Weldon’s Ladies Journal, et al – was bought from Northcliffe’s estate in 1926. And he would probably want to be known for his stewardship of the Daily Telegraph.
But these men left the magazine editorial floor for newspapers and created the world of press barons.
How about cartoonist Alfred Leete? Another new name? But his front cover for London Opinion is probably the most famous ever penned. Or Bruce Bairnsfather, whose Old Bill from Bystander lives with us today as the nickname for a policeman.
Another magazine title – London Life. For 10 years running up to WWII this was the apogee of art deco cover design for a weekly and it seems to have spawned every sexual fetish going, from high heels to maids’ costumes to artificial limbs – in its letters pages. Who was the editor? Haven’t a clue.
From the 1960s and 1970s. Town – Clive Labovitch and Michael Heseltine gave Tom Wolsey his head in designing a great-looking magazine, but it never made any money. Nova, another title that burned bright but leaked money. Harry Fieldhouse launched it and art editor Harri Peccinotti was there throughout in some capacity; David Hillman made his name on it; Dennis Hackett edited both Queen and Nova. Oz tried to blow the system apart and came pretty close – it gave Felix Dennis his first taste of magazines and he went on to launch the world bestselling Maxim. With Honey, Audrey Slaughter showed the way for the teen market and went on to edit Vanity Fair (where she was so outraged over the launch of Cosmopolitan that she went off and launched Over 21) and later Working Woman.
Ruari McLean – he designed the Eagle – and wrote Magazine Design, the world’s first book on the topic according to OUP, in 1969. John Parsons was art director of Vogue from 1948 to 1964, and had a stint at Queen.
And talking of Town, what about the magazine it was created from, Man About Town. John Taylor launched it as an offshoot of the trade journal Tailor & Cutter. He spent 24 years in charge of T&C and made it “the most quoted trade paper in the world”, according to The Times. Now, most great editors will receive such lauding at some stage in their careers, but how many have a portfolio of such quotes from the Daily Mail, the Guardian US weekly Time and The New Yorker!
More recent great names: James Brown certainly set the agenda when he moved from NME to launch Loaded, but he didn’t work out at GQ, and Jack and Hotdog never flew. Mike Soutar took FHM by the scruff of the neck – with a ‘funny, sexy, useful’ mantra – to murder Loaded in the sales stakes, did similar things with men’s magazines in the US, and came back to the UK to launch Shortlist. All that and a former beauty editor on women’s magazine Secrets to boot!
Dylan Jones has proved his credentials at The Face, i-D, Arena and GQ.
But what about the face itself; Vogue (1916 launch in UK); Woman (1937); Tatler (1903); Cosmo (1973); Dazed & Confused; Grazia (one of my favourites for its all-encompassing excellence from paper to design to the editors’ A-team); I’m going to have to stop here! It’s like the song lyric – And those I miss you’ll surely pardon. Your thoughts?
IPC Media has confirmed the sale of Loaded, Superbike, Prediction and Hair to Vitality Publishing. Describing Loaded as a ‘niche and specialist title’, the company described Vitality as ‘a great new home’ for the iconic magazine.
Two events to mention, though one was last Friday. Tonight, Suzanne Sykes, creative chief of Marie Claire USA, is interviewed by Michele Lavery of the Telegraph Magazine for a BSME event. Venue is the Courthouse Hotel, 19-21 Great Marlborough Street, London, W1F 7HL. Tickets £20; 6.30 start.
Last Friday’s event (Iwas in Switzerland discussing The Savoy reopening and Kempinski hotel launches!) was the opening of Q Forum, a former textile warehouse in Soho now devoted to the art and culture of the book. It’s hosting The Garden Party, an exhibition by Maurizio Anzeri, a member of tthe Vauxhall Collective. Then there’s a bookshop, an editions gallery and reading room. The exhibition runs until the end of October and Q Forum is open Mon – Fri, 11-7.
Sykes was launch art director of Marie Claire in the UK under Glenda Bailey, then art director of M magazine for the Mirror, launch art director of Grazia before moving to New York to take on the creative director role for Marie Claire USA (which Glenda Bailey launched after moving across from the UK before she went to Harper’s Bazaar).
The post before this mentioned a Marie Claire TV programme. This was the 1995 Channel 4 documentary Absolutely Marie Claire, which although it looks like a character assassination of Bailey did her no harm at all. It’s hilarious at times and instructive most of the time. I have it on tape somewhere (but no VCR any more); anyone know if it’s available online?
There has been a steady stream of TV programmes that feature magazines in recent years, from Jackie to The Lady, from Marie Claire to Front. They are rarely about the magazines themselves, but the working environment is a great background to the goings-on in what is presented as a rather bitchy world.
Next to hit the fan airwaves is BBC2′s High Society Brides (Wednesday, 20 October 9pm), which examines 50 years of the ‘girls in pearls’ page from Country Life (which was founded by Edward Hudson as Country Life Illustrated in 1897). The programme tracks five society debutantes from this page, which is the first editorial after the initial run of house-for-sale adverts. It comes across as Page Three for aristos, or ‘the girls for sale page’ as Miss October 1960 puts it.
It was all done ‘with the expectation to find a good husband and get married’ and one girl had been ‘sent off to Lucy Clayton [a finishing school/modelling agency whose alumi include former Avenger and Gurkha activist Joanna Lumley] to be tidied up and taught how to get in and out of a sports car without showing my knickers’.
Country Life has taken to campaigning in recent years, railing against officialdom discouraging children from playing with conkers or touching livestock. A 2008 manifesto called on the government and public to support 10 points:
- Give children more freedom
- Label food by county of origin
- Eat a rare breed
- Reduce Britain’s deer population by 30%
- Drink English ‘champagne’
- Clean up our verges
- Learn to love GM crops
- Only eat ethically produced chicken
- Save protected rural areas from flight paths
- Plant a tree
Best watched with a glass of port after Downton Abbey.
IPC’s Wallpaper as launched a free iPad app with a short film by David Lynch and a selection of Robert Wilson film portraits of Brad Pitt, Willem Dafoe, Dita von Teese and Wallpaper cover star Isabella Rossellini.
Wallpaper.com saw a record five million page views in September and reaching has more than 211,000 followers on Twitter. The magazine’s iPhone app has had 110,000 users since its launch in April.