Monday, February 13, 2006

Rupert does "small"

In today's Independent media section Camilla Rhodes gives an ever-so-humble insight into News Magazines Ltd, the new offshoot of News International. The company launched its first mag, love it! , last Tuesday. This addition to the weekly real life sector ticks all the standard boxes for this genre, with some strong as-told-to stories from "ordinary" folk and a sprinkling of celebrity, including Michael Barrymore, Jordan - and Cilla Black figure-heading their problem page. Ignoring the fact that new launch letters and problem pages are always a fix, there can, of course, be no doubt that Cilla reads every single plea for help which arrives and answers them all herself. Just as Kerry Katona would have done had she accepted the gig (see Max Clifford's column in Press Gazette for more details of why she didn't).
Ms Rhodes is very keen to emphasise that this is a lean operation: "We are a very, very small start-up company ... We are low cost publishers ..." Well, up to a point Lord Copper. love it! has an advertising and promotion budget of £8.5 million, according to Media Week, which is not exactly small potatoes even if some of this figure is accounted for by house ads in News International titles.
Plus, the first issue has a nice varnished cover with some tasy flouro, and the main paper stock seems a cut above what you might expect. This is slightly surprising but perhaps there's a reflection of Rhodes's previous magazine incarnation; she helped to launch Elle in the UK.
More launches are promised over the coming weeks, the next linked strongly to the Sunday Times brand (to add to ST Travel then).



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