Emap acquires licence to publish Italy's Grazia in the UK

Emap is gearing up for its next major launch in the weekly sector and has acquired the licence to publish Italy's leading women's magazine, Grazia, in the UK.

In Italy the title, owned by the country's largest consumer magazine publisher, the Mondadori Group, is the equivalent of a weekly version of Vogue and is aimed at upmarket 25- to 34-year-old women.

There has been speculation about women's launches from Emap's Elan division, which is headed by Dawn Bebe, since the publisher lost control of two of its flagship women's glossy titles, Red and Elle, to the French publishing company Hachette Filipacchi in 2002.

Fiona McIntosh and Nicola Jeal, the former Elle editors, were believed to be working on the launch of a glossy title, but in April Emap Elan said that this project had been put on hold.

Emap has been talking to advertising agencies about the launch of a title in the first half of next year and it is expected to allocate a budget of close to £10 million, the same as the launch of its men's weekly, Zoo.

In Italy, Grazia was launched as the country's first women's magazine and now has an average circulation of 245,000.

Last week, The National Magazine Company revealed its intention to become a major player in the weekly magazines market when it announced the launch of a joint venture - ACP-NatMag - with Australian Consolidated Press to produce weekly consumer magazines in the UK.

Emap and the Mondadori Group were unavailable for comment on Grazia's launch as Campaign went to press.