News International poised for magazine launch

News International is poised to launch the monthly Sunday Times-branded home improvement insert, Inside Out, onto the newsstands in February 2006.

Camilla Rhodes (pictured), the former managing director of The Sun and News of the World who was placed in charge of News International’s magazine publishing division in September, is also recruiting teams for four weekly titles that will be launched in February.

Media buyers who have seen Inside Out describe it as “good quality and a good read” but one buyer warns: “Home improvements is a limited market in magazines, with little growth potential. That means Inside Out would have to take market share from the existing publications in the sector.”

Three of the weekly titles from News International’s stable are expected to be women’s magazines and the fourth a men’s.

The women’s titles are expected to include one focusing on real-life stories to compete against Bauer’s best-selling That’s Life. News International has trademarked three names, Treat, Love It and True Lives.

The company already publishes the Sunday Times Travel magazine and, in line with Rupert Murdoch’s strategy to diversify out of newspapers and into internet companies and magazines, the group is known to be planning further newsstand launches.

News International has not had major magazine ambitions since Murdoch sold Murdoch Magazines in 1991.

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