IPC and Emap close struggling men's mags

A cull in the men's magazine sector has seen the closing of two

struggling titles within 24 hours. IPC Ignite's declining mature men's

title, Later, and Emap Elan's recently repositioned Sky both ceased

publication this week.



The closure of Sky followed an attempted repositioning as a quality

unisex title last October. However, in a letter to advertisers, Sky's

publishing director, Lisa Wightman, confirmed the change in direction

had failed to arrest a circulation slide. "There has been little to no

uplift in sales," she said. "The audience remains confused as to the

validity of a unisex product, in what is now a highly competitive

marketplace, saturated with choice."



February's ABC figures saw Sky's circulation drop 35.2 per cent year on

year to 65,080, although the magazine did post a small period-on-period

increase of 6.6 per cent.



Later, launched as a title to which "lad's mag" readers could graduate,

saw circulation drop 22.4 per cent year on year in February's ABC

figures.



A circulation figure of 70,267 also represented a period-on-period

decline of 8.8 per cent.



IPC Ignite's managing director, Mike Soutar, confirmed that the magazine

had failed to establish a viable readership at the senior end of the

sector.



"The past two years have shown us that this sector is simply not large

enough to support a commercially viable mainstream title," Soutar

said.



The demise of Later is likely to give a boost to The National Magazine

Company's own mature men's title, Esquire. The title's circulation is

reported to be stabilising, while the April issue brought in record ad

revenues.



The closures come as sources close to John Brown Publishing's Bare

indicate that the health and beauty title will close unless a buyer can

be found within the next few weeks. The company's founder, John Brown,

insisted that a sale or a joint venture remained valid options for the

title.



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