News International is to shut down its three year old News Magazines division. It is understood that negotiations are now underway to sell its weekly title Love it while the contracts for BSkyB’s SkyMag and the Sunday Times Travel may be taken in-house.
News Magazines was launched with great fanfare in February 2006 under chief executive Camilla Rhodes, previously managing director of The Sun and News of the World.
The launched of Love it! and Insideout, a home interiors magazine, were backed with sizeable advertising campaigns developed by Euro RSCG and Killer Creative. The former had a recorded debut ABC circulation figure of 405,441 but sales have since fallen. Insideout was closed in January 2007 after falling sales.
The original News Mags team included former IPC Ignite group commercial director Karl Malden as commercial director. Former IPC Southbank managing director Sandy Whetton joined as managing director in May 2006 and Simon Hills later took the commercial director role. Marketing was headed up by Scott Williams, who left last year.
The decision to shut down the division is thought to have been taken by News Corporation chief executive James Murdoch following a strategic review of News International’s businesses.
A spokesperson said that it was hoped staff would go with the existing magazines to their new publishers.
No-one was available for comment as to whether Rhodes will stay with News International.