In the wake of Andy McDuff’s resignation as managing director, IPC
has denied rumours that its Music and Sport division is up for sale.
The departure of McDuff follows hot on the heels of the defections of
the two most senior executives from the division’s flagship title,
Editor Tim Southwell and publisher Adrian Pettett announced last week
that they are leaving to join internet start up Switch 2.
McDuff, who is thought to have no job to go to, is scheduled to leave in
July. However, a replacement has already been lined up and contractual
negotiations are taking place.
The Music and Sport division also includes Later, Melody Maker, Muzik,
Rugby World, Shoot! and Mountain Bike Rider, as well as websites such as
NME.com and UpLoaded.com.
The portfolio’s sales performance has been generally disappointing in
recent times. Men’s magazine Later, which launched last year, is
currently being repositioned towards an older audience.
The music titles are very much second best to the Emap Metro magazines,
and football magazine Shoot! declined by nearly 30 per cent in the last
figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
There have been persistent rumours that IPC is willing to dispose of all
or part of the portfolio to fund launches and digital expansion.