Media Week recently asked four key media players (as in key people, not software) whether they agreed with reports that many publishers are now upscaling men’s mags to attract a more affluent reader and advertiser.
Three said ‘No’, while one said ‘Yes’. I’m still undecided. ‘Yes’, because more lower end readers are getting their fix online (hence the popularity of Dennis’ Monkeymag and IPC’s Nuts.co.uk and NME.com). But then I also say ‘No’ because there’ll always be an audience for men’s mags in the lower end. They perhaps just need to make them less embarrassing to read in public. The Sun, which is still going strong, is a perfect example.
So, if by upscale, we mean put less pics of bikni clad women on the cover a la GQ and Esquire, then I say ‘Yes – kinda’. I blogged about men’s mags upscaling a while back (and probably contradict myself).
Still on the topic of lads mags, great article by the Mirror’s Brian Reade today which pointed out the irony in Michael Gove MP blaming lads mags like Nuts, Zoo and Loaded for objectifying women. Brian wondered why Gove missed The Sun off the list, given that Page 3 was also a big offender. Surely nothing to do with Gove being a columnist for the Times, The Sun’s sister paper?
Maxim editor Derek Harbinson is leaving the Dennis Publishing magazine after just over a year in the job.
A former Loaded editor and deputy editor of Nuts replaced Greg Gutfeld last year, but has been unable to stop a fall in circulation, dropping to 107,687 in the first half of this year, down from 146,043 in the same period in 2006.
Is another redesign on the cards? What’s the bets Maxim will go up-market and glossier and ditch z-list cover girls as per its peers? This months cover features former WAG Danielle Lloyd.
Behold the brand spanking new email newsletter from GQ magazine. But wait – what’s that at the top?! A ‘quote of the day’ from GQ editor Dylan Jones:
GQ, the magazine we are the proud custodians of, is aimed at men who are proud to call themselves Alpha Males.
Hmm – would this be a cheeky reference to Alpha One, the code-name of the new free upmarket men’s title by Mike Souter, former editor-in-chief of Emap’s FHM?
It could be given recent media coverage of the men’s lifestyle market. An article on today’s FT.com pretty much confirms what the industry’s known for a while – the lower end of the market are shifting their efforts to the web, while the all the up market glossies like GQ, Men’s Health and Esquire are enjoying increases in readership. This explains FHM’s relaunch and move towards the Arena / GQ market.
Website to launch ‘this Autumn’ says the holding page at Esquire.co.uk.
Why flag this up? Well, Jeremy Langmead, the former editor-in-chief of Wallpaper who moved to Esquire in May, talks to today’s Guardian about his web strategy and how weekly mags like Nuts have created “a group of disenfranchised men,” which has, “opened up the upmarket end of the sector more than before.”
The Equire website details it’s plans for all to see. “We know,” it says. “It’s time Esquire had an all-singing, all-dancing, out-of-this-world, info-heavy, user-friendly, interactive website – one that will have all the high standards you’ve come to expect from the magazine and a whole lot more. Well, we’re working on it now. And it’s coming soon to a screen near you.”
Despite the website’s positive ‘coming soon’ notice, Langmead, observes The Guardian, appears cool on the internet, and notes that Esquire has delayed the launch of its new website.
“I think they [men] are reading newspapers and they are getting information online, but I don’t think that you get pleasure and enjoyment and a feeling of luxury online,” says Langmead. “Esquire should be information but ultimately a pleasure.”
…because he’s the editor. Of glossy magazine GQ. And that’s what editors of glossy magazines do. People in his office even make sure they get him out of the office when photographers visit.
Highlight: Dylan met David Bailey on a shoot. Was a bit snippy and called Dylan a name. So Dylan answered him back with a witty retort because “with Bailey, you have to give as good as you get.” Since then they’ve been THE BEST OF FRIENDS.
EMAP’s FHM magazine – relaunched today – is thought to be focusing on a content strategy described as ‘Arena meets Men’s Health’.
Relegating its traditional recipe of z-list babes and shock pics to EMAP’s web vehicles, new editor-in-chief Anthony Noguera is thought to be building on his success with niche interest and high end features in the likes of Arena magazine.
As well as gadgets, PC advice and technology, health and fitness will also feature following succcess with the increasingly popular Men’s Health magazine.
A new twist on the agony aunt – 100 year old men advising readers on the finer elements of life.
Arena is now thought to be changing its focus to go more high brow, targeting GQ audiences.
Noguera took over the reigns at FHM in February this year after editor-in-chief Ross Brown left after 10 years at the helm.
The new magazine features a cover which boasts of being ‘Under New Management’. By this, we assume this means Brown is not the only member of staff to no longer be with the magazine.
‘After three months of late nights that saw the destruction of 5,000 chocolate digestives and a 30% increase in shares of Nescafe, we’ve cracked it,’ reveals the FHM.com website.
A new broom if ever there was one. All eyes are on Noguera.