MEDIA: G&J’s ’Florence’ on ice after sale

Gruner and Jahr’s planned launch of a magazine aimed at older women, codenamed ’Project Florence’, has been delayed following the publisher’s acquisition by the National Magazine Company.

Gruner and Jahr’s planned launch of a magazine aimed at older

women, codenamed ’Project Florence’, has been delayed following the

publisher’s acquisition by the National Magazine Company.



Despite reports last week that G&J was to be bought by IPC, the

German-owned publisher was snapped up by NatMags last weekend.



The launch of ’Project Florence’ was planned for this autumn, and most

senior members of the editorial team have already been recruited.



The magazine would have been in head-to-head competition with the BBC’s

new title Eve and Parkhill Publishing’s recent offering Aura.



NatMags already owns She, a monthly glossy aimed at women over 30, and

Good Housekeeping, aimed at those over 40.



Managing director Terry Mansfield said no decision had been taken about

whether to go ahead with the launch. ’There is always room for a good

magazine that has a point of difference. There has never been a better

time to take grown up women seriously.’



On a more sceptical note, his deputy Duncan Edwards added: ’We are

puzzled about this supposed gap in the market because with Good

Housekeeping and She we have the number one titles for women in their

30s and 40s.’



Mansfield said he intended all G&J publications to survive the

acquisition, and the G&J building in London’s Docklands is being kept

on.



Areas where the publishers’ titles overlap include parenting and

interior decoration. NatMags has just started publishing Good

Housekeeping’s Having a Baby on a monthly basis. The title was

previously bi-monthly, like G&J’s Prima Baby.



The acquisition means NatMags adds Your Home to its portfolio, which

already includes House Beautiful. However, there is likely to be little

pressure to close one of the titles, as they are both among the top four

magazines in this market.



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