News Magazines has put all new business on hold while it waits to find out if it has won the contract to publish the listings magazine for sister company BSkyB. A decision is expected imminently.
The division, which is part of News International, is known to have delayed the launch of several new titles that are ready to go to market but will be scrapped if it wins the contract for Sky: The Magazine.
The listings magazine, which is sent to all Sky TV subscribers, is the UK’s biggest magazine with an Audit Bureau of Circulations figure of 6,798,495.
Industry insiders say that if it wins the magazine, the division would have to make drastic changes to the business. This would include new staff, office space and distribution. One source says that winning the contract would “dominate the business for the next six months”.
The incumbent publisher, John Brown, which won the contract from Redwood four years ago, is repitching for the title and Condé Nast is also involved.
News Magazines launched amid hype that it would be flooding the market with several titles in its first year but, to date, it has only launched real life weekly Love It! and monthly homes and interiors title Inside Out.
Publishers pitching for the Sky contract were asked to come up with a magazine that would predominantly target women and take more of a lifestyle approach.