Publishers pitch to revamp Sky the magazine

Publishers are lining up to pitch for the biggest magazine publishing account in the UK, Sky the magazine.

BSkyB has asked the incumbent, John Brown Citrus Publishing, Conde Nast and News International to pitch for the business. A decision is expected imminently.

Publishers have been briefed to devise a magazine with more of a lifestyle focus than its current listings title, one that is targeted at a largely female audience.

The revamp is part of a new strategy BSkyB has been planning all year. It will sit alongside new Sky-branded sport and movie titles being launched by Haymarket Network and Future Plus.

John Brown has been on alert since the beginning of the year, when BSkyB asked it to present alternative ideas to Sky the magazine. The publisher has held the account since 2002, when it won it from Redwood.

Speculation about whether or not the contract would be moved into News International - also owned by BSkyB's owner, News Corporation - emerged earlier this year when it launched its magazine division. News Magazines launched with the real-life weekly Love It as its first title.

Sky the magazine, which has the largest circulation of any UK consumer magazine, had an ABC figure of 6,798,495 for January to June 2006.

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