THE BOX: AN EXPERT’S VIEW: Is a men’s mag dedicated solely to TV really going to appeal? Paul Parashar asks

The first thing I’d like to say about the Box is that I couldn’t put it down. This magazine obviously had me in a focus group when it was in its development stage, without me even realising I was there.

The first thing I’d like to say about the Box is that I couldn’t

put it down. This magazine obviously had me in a focus group when it was

in its development stage, without me even realising I was there.



It is reminiscent of some of my other favourite reads - FourFourTwo,

Goal and Empire. What’s it all about? No, not football. It’s about

television.



The Box, from Haymarket Publishing, publishers of Campaign, uses the

classic formula of the above titles to combine gossip, soundbites and

features with a healthy smattering of nostalgia.



The editor, Paul Simpson, in his opening letter of the first edition,

emphasises that the Box won’t rest until BBC2 gives Jerry Seinfeld the

decent time slot he so richly deserves. The magazine, he writes,

represents ’us’ rather than the broadcaster.



The trouble is that the ’us’ it represents are going to have to be heavy

TV watchers, or those very interested in TV. What worries me about this

is that those people are not the sort who are going to spend pounds 1.95

on a glossy magazine that is targeting ABC1 men.



The Box does not have the credibility or fashionability associated with

Loaded or FHM - but the distinct feel of its editorial content indicates

that this is the type of reader the publishers want to attract.



The magazine staff assure me that they will have no trouble reaching

their target of 50,000-60,000 (settledown of 50,000).



But I have a sneaking suspicion that as soon as the special-offer pounds

1 cover price creeps up, the Box may start to struggle.



However, I wish the magazine lots of luck and I hope that I make my way

on to its mailing list.



Paul Parashar is broadcast director at New PHD.



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