MEDIA: the net refocuses on internet-literate

the net magazine has switched focus to concentrate on older, more internet-literate readers - and as a result its editor has left the 66,000-circulation monthly.

the net magazine has switched focus to concentrate on older, more internet-literate readers - and as a result its editor has left the 66,000-circulation monthly.

It is a radical shift for the title, which was launched in 1999 as a younger men's interest magazine. the net, which is owned by PRWeek's publisher Haymarket, has also redesigned.

It will retain a woman on its cover, however. Publisher Sian Rees insisted that it was 'not a magazine for net nerds'.

Former editor Matthew Bingham, who joined from FHM, has gone 'by mutual consent', the company said. It is not known whether he has found another job.

Rees said: 'We have changed the audience completely to net enthusiasts.' Research found that readers had more internet knowledge than had been assumed, she added. 'We need to make it more technical. (The magazine) helps you do things on the net - for example, building your own website - which the average surfer is not interested in.'

the net had been aimed at 20 to 35-year-olds before; now it is targeted at 25 to 45-year-olds. It will also be more news-driven, Rees promised: 'Readers want more than website listings, particularly in terms of technology. It is a reaction to quite dramatic changes in the market. The premise we have taken is that the net is for people who enjoy life and enjoy using the net, but are not complete net geeks.'

Mark Payton is acting editor of the title while a replacement for Bingham is found. News is overseen by deputy editor Robert Jeffrey.

The title's online presence, thenetnow.co.uk, is also being revamped and its editor, Matt Chapman, is moving to IPC.

Rees said that the magazine's What Website section will be more selective, again in line with reader research.

It would also place emphasis on testing online products and services.



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