MEDIA: SATURDAY MAGAZINES - Now Sunday is coming a day earlier/Newspapers have caught on to the fact that people want more entertainment on a Saturday, and are developing magazines to broaden their reader base

In the world of newspapers, Saturday is the new Sunday.

In the world of newspapers, Saturday is the new Sunday.

Changing lifestyles have meant that people increasingly do not have the

time to settle down for hours at a stretch with the Sunday supplements,

and, as Sundays have got busier, leisure-oriented and other supplements

have started to appear the day before.

Hence the past decade has seen a huge increase in the size of Saturday’s

papers, with both magazines and entertainment and listings guides

becoming part of what readers expect their newspapers to include at the

start of the weekend.

The launch this month of a weekly Saturday magazine from the Financial

Times underlines the trend, with publishers looking to meet demand for

glossy advertising space as well as keep up with what the competition is

offering readers.

The FT’s new offering, The Business, aims to be more accessible than the

rest of the paper, attempting to broaden the newspaper’s appeal by

adding younger, more aspirational readers.

According to Julia Cuthbertson, editor of the weekend FT, the new

magazine was designed to expand the FT’s readership. ’We are looking for

a slightly younger readership, maybe more middle management than senior


The weekend FT is quite cerebral - the magazine is about core FT

subjects, such as entrepreneurs and business trends, but more based on

people than the very intellectual pieces in the rest of the paper.’

Traditionally, magazines have appealed to women readers, but this may be

changing, as the new FT magazine, along with other Saturday magazines,

targets a new, wider readership.

’Arguably, subjects such as interior decorating are just as much of

interest to men as women now,’ says Laura James, press director at the

media agency New PHD.

It is certainly true that the Saturday magazines are read by the vast

majority of a Saturday newspaper’s readership.

The Daily Mail, for example, had an estimated Saturday adult readership

of 6.5 million in the most recent National Readership Survey (July

1998-June 1999) - of which 96 per cent read its magazine, Weekend.

Of the quality papers’ the Telegraph magazine has the highest readership

at 2.4 million, reflecting the newspaper’s high circulation of 2.7


The Times magazine has the second largest readership at 1.7 million,

having grown significantly in the past year.


Editor: Charlie Burgess

Readership: 1,159,000

Profile: 48.9% female; 86.7% ABC1; 58.8% under 45.

Frequency: weekly

’Other magazines are more simple glossies, and do not attempt as much

proper investigative journalism. The lifestyle features have been

revamped recently. We have made the shopping, lifestyle and cookery

sections much brighter and more accessible.

’It has much more of a lively feel now. I definitely feel we are

competing with the Sundays as well as the other Saturdays. Saturday

papers have a different feel. Sunday’s papers have to reflect on the

week’s news, Saturdays can carry more real news.

’The Saturday papers are fantastic value today. People often say there

are too many sections to the weekend papers but every time we add one

the circulation goes up.’


Editor: Gill Morgan

Readership: 1,700,000

Profile: 46.9% female; 85.9% ABC1; 48.4% under 45.

Frequency: weekly

’We are the only Saturday magazine that offers the same range of subject

matter that you would get in a monthly. It is full of intelligent

writing and not afraid to do big pieces. We take areas like food, drink

and lifestyle and do it properly. We want to produce a magazine you

might buy. We try to reflect what people are thinking on Saturday - like

’what am I doing tonight?’.

We also have the same high level of production values and contributors

as you get on a monthly magazine. Our paper quality is higher than other

Saturdays, so we attract really good photographers.

’Our readership is growing all the time. The new readers are often

younger than our average reader.’


Editor: Andrew Tuck

Readership: 555,000

Profile: 52.4% female; 84.3% ABC1; 58.7% under 45

Frequency: weekly

’I don’t think female Independent readers are very different in their

tastes from male readers. We try to present a mix of subjects:

reportage, foreign stories, arts, historical, lifestyle and quirky looks

at what it means to be British.

’There was a makeover a year ago and we took out a lot of things like

book reviews which we did not need. We gave it a glossy cover and

slightly changed the shape.

’Magazines should be visual treats, we are spending time and resources

getting the best photographic stories available. We also give at least

one story a week to an illustrator. We go after different stories (from

the competition). We do not, for example, have big celebrity



Editor: Emma Soames

Readership: 2,446,000

Profile: 52.4% female; 83.9% ABC1; 34.3% under 45.

Frequency: weekly

’The readership is broad, 18 to 60, but I am focusing on the younger

end, and generally on women. I see the magazine’s role as adding

something younger and shinier.

’We do more style and beauty and have 14 pages on the home every


We are always expanding. We have had consistent growth year on year,

this year we are the biggest ever, we will be 132 pages for the next

four weeks.

’We cover a lot of bases. This is the last bastion of the general

interest magazine. We mix hard news with glamour, real people and fine


Standards have improved dramatically in recent years. I try to produce a

magazine that women like, rather than a women’s magazine.’

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