Media: Lifeline - Men's weeklies

The first year in the life of a sector that revels in sex, football and funny stuff. 15 January 2004: IPC Media gives away more than one million copies of its new men's weekly, Nuts. Backed with £8 million of marketing, Nuts breaks new ground as the first men's weekly to offer a mix of sport, news, TV and sex.

29 January 2004: Just two weeks after the IPC launch, Emap Consumer Media weighs in with its own general interest weekly aimed at men and offering 100 pages of "girls, football and funny stuff". Backed by a marketing budget of £8.5 million, Zoo expects to be selling at least 150,000 by the end of its first year.

August 2004: First ABC figures for the two titles are better than many expected. With joint sales of almost half a million (290,000 for Nuts, 200,000 for Zoo), it is clear that the two magazines are creating a whole new publishing sector. It is therefore no surprise to find H Bauer unveiling plans to launch its own men's weekly, Cut.

November 2004: Nuts confirms its leadership of this new sector as its editor, Phil Hilton, scoops the Launch of the Year prize at the British Society of Magazine Editors Awards, beating off competition from a shortlist including Zoo's editor, Paul Merrill. Nuts has also claimed the moral high ground in terms of content, arguing that it eschews the "tastelessness and vulgarity" of its rival.

December 2004: H Bauer announces Cut will face the unkindest cut of all - it closes, its unique digest of amusing and unusual stuff clipped from newspapers having failed to help it reach its planned circulation of 100,000.

Fast forward: April 2005 Having given his rivals plenty of opportunities to show him all their best shots, Richard Desmond blows them away with a new men's weekly that borrows heavily from the tone and content of the Daily Star plus the expertise of Northern & Shell's celebrity titles. The sector as a whole continues to grow, however, with weekly sales pushing on towards the one million mark.