A cull in the men's magazine sector has seen the closing of two
struggling titles within 24 hours. IPC Ignite's declining mature men's
title, Later, and Emap Elan's recently repositioned Sky both ceased
publication this week.
The closure of Sky followed an attempted repositioning as a quality
unisex title last October. However, in a letter to advertisers, Sky's
publishing director, Lisa Wightman, confirmed the change in direction
had failed to arrest a circulation slide. "There has been little to no
uplift in sales," she said. "The audience remains confused as to the
validity of a unisex product, in what is now a highly competitive
marketplace, saturated with choice."
February's ABC figures saw Sky's circulation drop 35.2 per cent year on
year to 65,080, although the magazine did post a small period-on-period
increase of 6.6 per cent.
Later, launched as a title to which "lad's mag" readers could graduate,
saw circulation drop 22.4 per cent year on year in February's ABC
A circulation figure of 70,267 also represented a period-on-period
decline of 8.8 per cent.
IPC Ignite's managing director, Mike Soutar, confirmed that the magazine
had failed to establish a viable readership at the senior end of the
"The past two years have shown us that this sector is simply not large
enough to support a commercially viable mainstream title," Soutar
The demise of Later is likely to give a boost to The National Magazine
Company's own mature men's title, Esquire. The title's circulation is
reported to be stabilising, while the April issue brought in record ad
The closures come as sources close to John Brown Publishing's Bare
indicate that the health and beauty title will close unless a buyer can
be found within the next few weeks. The company's founder, John Brown,
insisted that a sale or a joint venture remained valid options for the