Media: Lifeline - Heat

A succession of sales increases and brand extensions have followed the Emap brand's unexceptional beginnings.

February 1999: Emap launches Heat, a weekly entertainment magazine for both men and women, edited by Mark Frith. Despite a £5 million marketing blitz, its debut Audit Bureau of Circulations figure is a distinctly underwhelming 65,522.

February 2000: With the magazine still underperforming one year on, Emap suits give Frith three months to turn it around - and he relaunches it as an irreverent weekly celebrity gossip magazine aimed solely at women. It works. The ABC rises to 172,311 for the July-December 2000 period, but issues with Big Brother-related content peak at well above 200,000.

February 2002: The latest ABC figures reveal that Heat has risen to the head of the celebrity magazine market, its 355,304 circulation enabling it to leapfrog OK! and Hello!. Frith starts to become a celebrity himself, appearing regularly on TV, not least as a presenter of BBC3's Liquid News. Heat cements its relationship with the medium by sponsoring shows such as Back to Reality and the British Comedy Awards.

October 2006: Following the success of Get That Celebrity Look, the Heat brand is further extended into the book world with the launch of an annual containing gossip, fashion and relationship advice, edited by Heat's deputy editor, Jo Carnegie.

September 2007: Having launched, a web version of the magazine, in May, Emap announces the addition of Heat Radio on DAB and Freeview. Run by the Magic 105.4 team, headed by its managing director, Andria Vidler, Heat Radio will be a predominantly music-based station, but it will also run breaking celebrity news. Its revenue model is based around promotions and a small number of sponsorships rather than traditional ad breaks.

Fast forward ...

February 2009: Heat celebrates its tenth anniversary by announcing that it is forming a joint venture with the ailing Daily Star newspaper to produce a daily celebrity tabloid called Star Heat. It is produced in full colour on decent quality newsprint with a diminished emphasis on football and nipples. But when initial sales figures prove underwhelming, its editor, Frith, is given three months to turn it around.