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
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.