MEDIA: IPC Media review leads to website closures

IPC Media is scaling back its online operation just as some of the

group's more traditional products are clawing back ground.



IPC Media, recently bought by AOL Time Warner, is closing three

websites - Loaded magazine's online offering uploaded.com,

celebrity-focused BEME.com and unmissabletv.com - with the loss of 90

jobs.



NME.com, the online version of IPC Ignite!'s weekly music paper NME, is

among six websites that came out of an internal review favourably.



IPC has pledged to concentrate resources on this, as well as

countrylife.co.uk, decanter.com, web-user.co.uk, yachting site ybw.com

and horseandhound.co.uk.



The emphasis will be on online activity that is sustainable and which

supports established IPC brand names, said group strategy director

Julian Drinkall. 'The performance of some of our online activities has

not met original projections,' he added.



IPC Media chief executive Sly Bailey said: 'Two years ago, investment

and confidence levels in the net were over-inflated. Now media

organisations are adopting greater commercial realism in their forward

plans.'



Although the circulation of IPC Ignite!'s weekly music paper NME dropped

eight per cent year-on-year in this month's ABCs, the brand's other

music titles, Muzik and Uncut, recorded increases. Despite this, Chris

Elwell-Sutton, who had edited Muzik for just a year, has left to be

replaced by Conor McNicholas, the editor of Emap dance title Mixmag.



IPC insisted it was still committed to developing non-print platforms

for its products, despite the trimming of its online ambitions.



NME Radio, an internet broadcasting venture with Virgin Radio, launched

earlier this month. Available online at nmeradio.com, it will be rolled

out across satellite, digital and terrestrial.



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