Paragon is relaunching What’s Online to broaden its appeal to women
and ’grey’ web surfers and is slashing its cover price from pounds 3.95
to pounds 2.99.
The laddish approach is to be ditched and a lifestyle and shopping focus
will aim to win advertising from the proliferation of e-commerce
Current advertising is predominantly for ISPs, computer games and porn
The magazine is also looking to extend its brand into new areas. ’We
will be more active in the market and will be going after completely
different advertising,’ promised group ad manager Peter Cleall. ’There
will be quite a few spin-offs.’
The print run of the magazine, whose latest ABC is 12,028, is to be
substantially increased to 31,000 for the 25 November launch issue. It
will include celebrity interviews and features on how the internet can
help with Christmas shopping, cooking the festive feast and planning
The 116-page first issue will be slimmer than recent issues, which have
run at 132 pages.
The lads’ niche has not been successful and sales have been stagnant for
New editor Karl Foster said: ’We aim to be a family friendly read across
both sexes. The web demos show a 50/50 male/female split with lots of
users in the 50-plus age bracket. The net isn’t just for adolescent porn
surfers; people are using it for legitimate purposes, increasingly
New advertising sales staff who can sell across both print and online
are being sought for What’s Online and other Paragon titles. Paragon
recently acquired a number of IDG Media titles including PlayStation
Pro, N64 Pro, Planet PlayStation, PC Home and PC Basics.
What’s Online’s change in direction is a result of a re-appraisal
following the management buy-in led by Mark Simpson - backed by Venture
Capital company, 3i - in May this year.