IPC TV boss criticises rival's move to pooled content

LONDON - IPC Media has attacked TV listings rival H Bauer for duplicating the listings between its two magazines, after Bauer restructured its in-house TV operation with the loss of 10 jobs.

Bauer's managing director David Goodchild confirmed that listings were now being shared across TV Quick and TV Choice, which previously had separate departments.

A number of job losses are believed to have resulted following the decision to share listings.

Philippa Brown, IPC TX managing director, hit out at Bauer's move to create a centralised department producing the same listings for its TV Quick and TV Choice magazines.

"I never thought I would see the day that the same content is being marketed as two separate titles at two different prices. We don't produce facsimile magazines," Brown said.

However, Bauer's TV guide publishing director Julie Lavington said that the comments were unfair.

"TV Choice and TV Quick are totally different in editorial content," she said.

She explained that the listings changes were made because Bauer had redeveloped the digital TV section and felt it worked so well that both magazines should use it.

Bauer's titles TV Quick and TV Choice do battle with IPC's What's on TV and its recently launched TV Easy in the ultra-competitive TV guide market.

IPC went on the offensive at the beginning of the year, cutting What's on TV's price from 45p to 35p, with Bauer responding by cutting news and reviews-focused TV Choice from 40p to 30p. Bauer's TV Quick, which offers celebrity gossip, has stayed at 65p.

IPC then launched the pocket-sized TV Easy in May at 35p, and then upped What's on TV's price to 40p.

The magazine ABC figures out tomorrow are expected to show TV Easy selling around 340,000 copies a week, causing the circulations of TV Quick and IPC's own TV Times to fall by 10%. The BBC's Radio Times and another Bauer title Total TV Choice are believed to have been affected to a lesser extent.

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