MEDIA: PROFILE; Flirting with female experience: Toni Rogers, launch editor, Minx

Undaunted by the number of women’s magazine on newsstands, Emap believes there is yet another a niche to exploit.

Undaunted by the number of women’s magazine on newsstands, Emap believes

there is yet another a niche to exploit.



Next month it will launch Minx, a monthly title aimed at girls in their

mid to early twenties who have grown out of Just 17 and More!. It has

been described by industry observers as a cross between the irreverent

lads’ magazine Loaded and Minx’s main rival Company.



Toni Rogers, who as a former editor of Just 17 kept tabs on these girls

when they were in their teens, has spent the last year finding out what

they want and has taken on the role of editor. At 32, Nottingham-born

and Chester-bred Rogers is a decade older than her Kookai-wearing, Sea

Breeze-drinking target readers, but she says there are enough elements

of her lifestyle which help her keep in touch with her readers.



Single, but with a boyfriend who owns a camper van, Rogers says she

‘loves to go shooting off on weekends’. She’s lazy about cooking but

loves eating out. While currently not an ardent clubber - ‘I work most

nights on the launch until ten then go home and watchTV’ - she has done

her fair share in the past. She says the Minx reader is likely to be

pretty much the same - ‘cool but stylish’.



After bilingual business studies in Germany and studying fashion at

Manchester Polytechnic, Rogers moved to London where her first jobs were

‘helping out’ at PR agency Barrington Marketing Services and writing

supplements for Broadcast magazine.



A friend’s introduction to the editor of Girl about Town helped her

secure a job as staff writer there. A year later she moved to Elle as

arts editor for two years before joining Sky magazine as features

editor. After six months she landed her ‘dream job’ as editor of the

weekly teenage girls title Just 17 at a time when the magazine’s sales

figures were in the doldrums.



Rogers, who picked up on the ‘valley girl speak’ successfully used in US

magazines to give their readers a sense of belonging to a club, applied

the same formula to Just 17 to help give the magazine an identity. Just

over a year ago, after three years as editor, Rogers moved to special

projects at Emap to research the feasibility of a new young women’s

title.



‘Working on a weekly like Just 17 really takes it out of you. My

background was in grown-up magazines and I wanted to use my brain more.

David Hepworth, our editorial director, said ‘there’s a girl out there

not being catered for’. He asked me to find out who she was and how to

cater for her,’ says Rogers.



Her solution is one that is increasingly being adopted by other titles.

Rogers, like Mandi Norwood on Cosmopolitan, wants to move away from

playing the agony aunt, doling out advice on how to cope when your

boyfriend leaves you to a more optimistic ‘celebration of life’.



‘We will certainly not be offering a cut-price therapy centre. The

layout and the look will be clean, this is not an in-your-face approach

although the writing will be spirited,’ she says.



With the latest round of magazine copy sales figures released last week

showing mixed fortunes for young women’s titles, Rogers may find it hard

to hang on to that ‘eternally young’ feeling in this increasingly cut-

throat market.



HIGHLIGHTS



1996 Launch editor, Minx

1995 Special Projects editor Emap Elan

1992 Editor, Just 17

1990 Arts editor, Elle

1989 Writer, Girl about Town



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