IPC’s Music and Sport division was last week hit by the resignation
of its managing director Andy McDuff and has subsequently been forced to
deny rumours that the stable might be up for sale.
McDuff’s resignation follows hot on the heels of two other senior
departures at the group’s flagship title Loaded. Editor Tim Southwell
and publisher Adrian Pettett recently announced plans to join an
The brain drain at Music and Sport follows a period of relatively poor
circulation figures across the portfolio. Loaded, once the
standard-bearer of ’new laddism’, is now bearing the brunt of some
overcrowding in what appears to have become a ’mature’ sector.
According to the latest ABCs, Loaded lost 85,000 copy sales year on year
for the July-December 1999 period. Rival titles like Emap’s FHM and
Dennis’s Maxim also slipped but Loaded was hit the hardest.
At the same time, IPC’s key music weeklies, NME and Melody Maker, have
both suffered a relentless slide throughout the 90s. Melody Maker has
fallen from sales of 70,000 in 1990 to just over 30,000 in the latest
IPC recently overhauled the title to target a younger pop
NME, while retaining its indie edge, has seen its circulation fall from
118,000 to 76,000 over the last ten years. The company’s dance music
monthly Muzik held its circulation at 44,000 in the latest audit, and
Uncut, which covers music and film, is also looking healthy.
Meanwhile, Q, Mojo and Mixmag - the monthly music titles from rival Emap
- all increased their circulations year on year.
The IPC division has succeeded in taking its key titles onto the web,
with Uploaded.com and NME.com both doing well, but that will not stop
rumours that Music and Sport will be offloaded to provide funds for the
burgeoning new-media arm IPC Electric, which has also suffered from the
departure of key staff.
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CAMPMB # 02:05:00
ANALYSIS: iSPY - www.newscientist.com
It might sound nerdy, but these days New Scientist looks positively
cool - like Wallpaper with enzymes - and its website is even
The home page is neat and compelling, with plenty of tempting headlines
containing words such as ’slime’, ’alcohol’ and ’T-Rex’, all of which
are enough to make your average overgrown teenager (ie bloke) reach
enthusiastically for his mouse.
There seem to be almost too many features to choose from and many of
them are perhaps over-long. However, one of the great things about the
net is that if you are bored, you can click away without worrying that
you’ve blown your pocket money.
And there is plenty to keep you occupied. For instance, did you know
that the tendency of people to choose occupations that suit their
surnames is called ’nominative determinism’? You might want to run that
one by your dentist, Dr Pain.
Even more interestingly, did you know that the term ’beer gut’ is a
misnomer? Apparently, that spare tyre around your waist might not be
linked to alcohol at all - it’s just ’fat carried where men carry it
best’, according to the New Scientist boffins. In fact, research has
shown that many people who drink moderate amounts of beer or wine weigh
no more than teetotallers. Good news, eh?
Of course, if you want to find out how the plankton that lives off the
coast of Chile is helping to tackle global warming - or how dolphins
avoid the bends - you’ll have to check out the site yourself.
Advertising consists mainly of jobs, a market that New Scientist’s
Publisher Reed Business Information seems to have covered well with its
TotalJobs.com brand. It has a phalanx of inhouse sales people standing
by ready to take those science job ads, with rates starting at around
pounds 25-pounds 30.