Future Publishing and Haymarket Consumer Publications have brokered
a deal that will see titles recently axed by each publisher merged into
the other's rival magazine.
The agreement centres on Future gaining the subscriber and masthead
usage rights to Haymarket's suspended web title the net. Issues of
Future's surviving magazine .net will signpost the inclusion of the
Haymarket title in a bid to maximise potential gains in news-stand
The deal hands Haymarket equivalent rights regarding Future's Total
Football, which closed its doors on Friday. Haymarket will have the
option of leveraging its options on the defunct soccer title for the
benefit of its own Four Four Two.
Four Four Two, the market leader in the specialist football publishing
sector, suffered a 6.8 per cent year-on-year drop in the latest ABC
figures, but still managed to outperform a shrinking market.
The net finished as the top ABC performer in the catastrophic web
sector, outperforming the rest of the market. However, a 22.6 per cent
year-on-year and 2.4 per cent period-on-period drop was enough to
persuade Haymarket to pull the plug.
Future's title consequently becomes the sector's official market leader,
with a circulation of 40,161. However, this is likely to change when IPC
Media's Web User, unofficially audited at more than 90,000, publishes
its first ABC figure in February.
"The closure of the net shows that the market is not as easy to break
into as other publishers had believed," .net's publisher, Dave Taylor,