Media Profile: Living it up in a man’s world - Anthony Noguera, editor, FHM

A few years ago, mainstream opinion held that the vibrancy of the men’s magazine market showed just how poor women’s magazines were. Following a general ratings slump and the high profile departure of James Brown from GQ, the fashionable opinion is that it’s all over for the lads’ mags.

A few years ago, mainstream opinion held that the vibrancy of the

men’s magazine market showed just how poor women’s magazines were.

Following a general ratings slump and the high profile departure of

James Brown from GQ, the fashionable opinion is that it’s all over for

the lads’ mags.



Just don’t mention it to Anthony Noguera, new editor of FHM.



’I hate it when people say we’re a lads’ mag,’ says the normally affable

editor, who describes FHM as a mass market men’s magazine. ’We are about

giving men real information to help them with their lives.’



Noguera admits to looking at a change of direction for the magazine,

which sells an average of 750,000 copies an issue, but argues that this

is mainly to distinguish FHM from a rash of similar titles which have

flooded the market. ’We may laugh when we see Front selling just 10,000

copies, but that’s 10,000 people who aren’t reading FHM,’ he says.



Noguera’s passion doesn’t surprise his old boss Ed Needham, now

editor-in-chief of FHM special projects. ’Anthony has this appetite for

finding out what people think and feel about FHM,’ he says. ’He is

always the first with all the market news and gossip and inside

stories.’



Noguera was part of the Mike Soutar/Ed Needham/Grub Smith team that

relaunched FHM to become the best-selling monthly magazine in Europe of

all time when one of last year’s issues sold 936,000 copies. He has been

editing FHM since last November when Needham took over responsibility

for the potential launch of a US version of the magazine, although his

appointment was only announced in February.



It has been a long journey for Noguera, who began his career with his

own student fanzine called Blackout while at college in Birmingham in

the early 1990s. ’It was a two-man operation: my mate interviewed comic

book artists while I wrote about rock bands,’ he says. ’Of course, all

those comic book guys are directing Hollywood blockbusters while the

bands I interviewed have all split up.’



Following college, he freelanced for the music press, including the

short lived German-owned publication Indicator - ’I earned about pounds

15 for a band review and it cost me pounds 70 to get to and from the

gig,’ he moans - then worked for Sky until he decided he needed a proper

job and started at a PR agency for students which he is loath to name.

’I was there for one day, when Mark Ellen rang up from Emap and offered

me the FHM features editor job, so I left,’ he explains. ’The guy who

ran the agency is now a millionaire, so maybe I made the wrong

decision.’



But his brief experience working on the other end of the phone does mean

he is pretty sympathetic to PR people. ’I’m not one of those journalists

who doesn’t deliver cover promises,’ he says. ’I’ve been in charge of

every FHM cover since I joined and there’s only one shoot that didn’t

make it on to the mag in all that time, and that’s only because the

photos came out so badly. I’m someone you can trust,’ he beams.



HIGHLIGHTS

1993

Reporter, Indicator magazine

1995

Features editor, FHM

1997

Deputy editor, FHM

1999

Editor, FHM



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