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
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
Profile: 48.9% female; 86.7% ABC1; 58.8% under 45.
’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
Profile: 46.9% female; 85.9% ABC1; 48.4% under 45.
’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
Profile: 52.4% female; 84.3% ABC1; 58.7% under 45
’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
Profile: 52.4% female; 83.9% ABC1; 34.3% under 45.
’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
’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.’