The National Magazine Company has become the latest publishing
house to venture into contract titles with the launch of a specialist
NatMags Contract Publishing is headed by joint directors Julian Downing
and Carey Sedgwick, who have joined from rival Citrus Publishing.
The decision to branch out into contract titles has been prompted by the
rapid growth of this sector. Last year Conde Nast Publications created a
contract titles publishing arm.
NatMags, responsible for titles such as Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping,
Esquire and Harpers & Queen, claimed there were plenty of new business
opportunities despite the economic uncertainty. The new venture will be
part of NatMags Specialist Media, a group of wedding titles acquired
last year from publisher AIM.
Downing said the contract business was one of the most profitable
sectors in publishing, with a healthy outlook.
'Historically, contract publishing is a recession resilient industry.
When times are bad, companies tend to turn to their existing customer
base to drive more business,' he said.
'We are already working on a number of opportunities, quality accounts
that fit well into the portfolio of titles published by NatMags and that
have the right proposition. I am sure companies that have not considered
having customer magazines before will look at us because of our strong
experience of selling titles on news-stands.'
Downing, who was communications planning director at Citrus, will be
joined by his former colleague, editorial and design director Sedgwick
Both were responsible for relaunching Citrus to become a leading player
in web and print contract publishing.
Downing said all market sectors were being considered, adding that the
division was in the process of hiring creative and editorial teams.