The editor of IPC SouthBank's Woman and Home magazine, Sarah Kilby, is leaving the company this month after her position was made redundant.
In her place, Sue James is to take day-to-day charge of the flagship title as part of a restructure.
Currently publishing director of the women's lifestyle group, James has become editorial director of three monthlies: Woman and Home, Essentials and Family Circle. The latter two will retain their editors - the company emphasised that James would merely 'offer guidance' to them, although she will actually edit Woman and Home.
IPC SouthBank managing director Tim Brooks conceded that the last time James edited a title was 'several years ago'.
The move is part of the continuing fallout in the women's magazine sector following the National Magazine Company's acquisition of Gruner and Jahr last July (PR Week, 21 July).
NatMags now owns Prima in addition to its traditional mainstay, Good Housekeeping. Between them, the titles sell 780,000 copies per month.
IPC made the change in order to strengthen its own position, Brooks said.
'There is considerable competitive intensity in this sector,' he continued.
'To have asked Sarah to continue on Woman and Home with Sue coming in over her would have put her in an untenable position. We didn't feel we could have two editors of a title.'
Neither Kilby nor James were available for comment. Brooks denied that the changes Kilby signalled any major change in direction for IPC. 'This is not about changing the formula on any of the three titles, it is about fine-tuning. Demographically, this sector is growing and if we get it right there is more to get.'
James will also be responsible for the development of new products in print, on-line and broadcast. Woman and Home has an ABC of 275,000, with Essentials at 253,000 and Family Circle 200,000.