MEDIA: J-17 editor Wilson to leave teen mag

Sophie Wilson, editor of J-17, the monthly style bible for

adolescent girls, is to leave at the end of the month.

Wilson, who has been in the role for two years, is to concentrate on

freelance writing. Emap Elan, which publishes J-17, was not available

for comment on her departure.

Deputy editor Kate Finnegan and features editor Annabel Brog are

potential candidates for Wilson's job, although it is not known who is

in the frame for the job.

The latest ABC figures were disappointing, with J-17 dropping 13 per

cent year-on-year to 200,000 between July and December 2000. Its

performance was far worse than the young magazines sector as a whole,

which dipped just 2.1 per cent.

As a result J-17 lost significant ground on its Emap Elan stablemate,

the 300,100-selling Bliss, which outperformed the market to grow by more

than four per cent. Sugar, published by Attic Futura, remains way ahead

of the pack with a circulation of 422,000.

J-17 was originally a weekly, Just 17. It changed its name and went

monthly in May 1997 to respond to teenagers' demand for a glossier

product. It now has a pounds 2 cover price and remains targeted at

'girls with attitude' aged 12 to 18.

Wilson has been with Emap for eight years, working on some of its most

high-profile titles. Starting as a staff writer on Just 17, she moved to

Sky, which closed last week, as assistant editor. Her most recent post

was as acting editor on more!

At 32, Wilson acknowledged she is the 'oldest teenager in town', but

said she would continue to concentrate on youth and entertainment

writing in her new career while expanding to take in newspaper features.

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