Media Lifeline: The Observer's magazines

Observer Woman will complete the monthly cycle and support the Berliner launch.

1964: The Observer follows in the footsteps of The Sunday Times by launching a colour supplement. Printed on glossy stock, it allows newspaper publishers to take high-quality colour advertising for the first time - colour printing is not yet possible on news print presses. The sexiest media innovation of the Swinging 60s, colour supplements also begin to showcase the best in reportage photography.

1995: Following Guardian Media Group's acquisition of The Observer in 1993, it is relaunched under its editorial director, Peter Preston, in four broadsheet sections (news, business, review and sports) plus two magazine supplements: Life and Preview. It also experiments with the bi-monthly fashion magazine Madame Figaro.

2000: The launch of Observer Sport Monthly, a 68-page colour magazine published on the first Sunday of each month. The Observer's listing section is replaced by Observer TV, a full-colour, 40-page guide. The publishers also begin work on Observer Food Monthly (a magazine to be published on the second Sunday of each month), which gets the go-ahead in 2001.

2003: Observer Music Monthly launches, published on the third Sunday of each month. Observer TV, which for several months has been in A5 format, is soon to be merged into a revamped Life magazine.

2005: The paper announces the launch of Observer Woman. the supplement's debut will coincide with the relaunch of The Observer newspaper, by its editor, Roger Alton (pictured), in Berliner format in January 2006.

Fast forward ...

2010: The Observer, by now a bagged-up package of ten A4 glossy magazines covering various lifestyle issues and specific areas of interest, from food to football (and backed by a digital masthead content operation), closes its last remaining news print section - a rather old-fashioned Berliner-sized product, known quaintly as The Observer Newspaper.

Become a member of Campaign

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to, plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events.

Become a member

What is Campaign AI?

Our new premium service offering bespoke monitoring reports for your company.

Find out more

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content