HEADLINER: Pollard’s goal of an intelligent woman’s guide to being Chic - The ubiquitous ex-Sunday Mirror editor takes on the ’greys’

It has been the Holy Grail of publishing for so long that most people have got fed up with the wait.

It has been the Holy Grail of publishing for so long that most

people have got fed up with the wait.

Nevertheless, the search for the ’intelligent’ women’s magazine still

goes on and this time it’s Eve Pollard’s turn to find it.

After nearly a decade concentrating on Fleet Street editorships, Pollard

is going back to her magazine roots by becoming the editor-in-chief of

Chic, the Northern & Shell title aimed at worldly-wise but not

world-weary AB women of 40-plus. Despite what seems like a low-profile

role for journalism’s most talked-about diva, the magazine’s anonymity

belies a job that could suit Pollard down to the ground.

Niche it may be, but Northern & Shell appears to have big ambitions for

its first and only female monthly title. Like OK before it, Chic is to

be backed with decent resources to compete with titles such as Woman’s

Journal, Good Housekeeping and, to a lesser extent, Red. What’s more,

success is about more than just profit, as the company continues to try

to distance itself from its tits-and-arse heritage. In other words,

there is a serious job to be done.

For Pollard, the two-day-a-week job will fit neatly into her portfolio

of other media commitments, from regular appearances on This Morning to

writing novels. And Pollard is a perfect echo of the kind of audience

Chic wants to attract. She talks about the need for a magazine with the

humour and wisdom that can only come with age, and then tells you: ’I’m

200 years over 40.’ But she is not ashamed of her middle years. ’Today’s

women of 40 aren’t giving up. They still have babies, wear great clothes

and look good,’ she adds, with the conviction of someone determined to

inject a bit of blonde into the grey market.

The decision to bring Pollard’s heavy-hitting style of management to

Chic is part of a major revamp for the magazine which, surprisingly, has

been on the newsstands for nearly five years. Bought originally by

Northern & Shell from Hamerville Magazines in 1995, it went monthly in

March with a new editor, Ruth Corbett, who was told at the time to

expect a high-profile boss. Pollard’s move from being the magazine’s

star columnist to head honcho is something Corbett says she is looking

forward to, adding: ’Eve’s name was mentioned from the start.’

For Pollard, the move is a trip down memory lane to her early days in

journalism. Her first jobs included fashion and beauty stints at

Petticoat and Honey magazines in the 60s and 70s, taking her to the

editorship of the Mail on Sunday’s hugely successful You magazine

between 1986 and 1988.

It was her sure touch with this that helped her to the editorship of the

Sunday Mirror between 1988 and 1991 and, later, to the Sunday Express,

from which she resigned in 1994.

In some ways, moving back to women’s magazines will be a relief after

the grinding deadlines and hackery of Fleet Street and the period in her

career where she received unprecedented amounts of flak for everything

from her management style to her cleavage. She admits: ’Women’s

magazines are politically a lot easier to work in and rather nice places

where you make lifelong friends. I worked with Lynne Franks and Janet

Street-Porter on Petticoat and we still meet for lunch.’

But Chic cannot afford to become too cosy as the older women’s market

begins to smarten up its act. Even that stalwart of middle-aged good

taste, Woman’s Journal, has recently recruited the former Cosmopolitan

editor, Marcelle D’Argy Smith, to spice things up. On top of this, Chic

is professional but slightly worthy. Pollard’s style might be too glitzy

for some, but a touch more glitz would not go amiss on Chic.

Fortunately, Pollard is nothing if not commercially minded - a fact to

which Bill Jones, deputy chairman of MediaCom, can testify. Back in the

days when he was the assistant media director at BMP and Pollard was on

the Sunday Mirror, the two met over lunch and Jones was persuaded to

spend pounds 50,000 he did not have on an ad for the Spanish Tourist

Office. ’I had a hell of a job selling it to the client afterwards,’ he


It is an anecdote other media buyers would do well to remember as

Pollard begins to sell her newest baby to the trade. ’In the past, the

grey market has not been taken very seriously by advertisers and it

would be wonderful if Chic could help change that,’ she explains. You

have been warned.


1962 Honey, fashion editor

1970 Observer magazine, fashion editor

1971 Sunday Mirror, section editor

1981 Sunday People, assistant editor

1983 TV-am, features editor

1985 Elle US, editor

1986 Sunday magazine, editor

1986 You magazine, editor

1988 Sunday Mirror, editor

1991 Sunday Express, editor

1998 Chic, editor-in-chief