Undaunted by the number of women’s magazine on newsstands, Emap believes
there is yet another a niche to exploit.
Next month it will launch Minx, a monthly title aimed at girls in their
mid to early twenties who have grown out of Just 17 and More!. It has
been described by industry observers as a cross between the irreverent
lads’ magazine Loaded and Minx’s main rival Company.
Toni Rogers, who as a former editor of Just 17 kept tabs on these girls
when they were in their teens, has spent the last year finding out what
they want and has taken on the role of editor. At 32, Nottingham-born
and Chester-bred Rogers is a decade older than her Kookai-wearing, Sea
Breeze-drinking target readers, but she says there are enough elements
of her lifestyle which help her keep in touch with her readers.
Single, but with a boyfriend who owns a camper van, Rogers says she
‘loves to go shooting off on weekends’. She’s lazy about cooking but
loves eating out. While currently not an ardent clubber - ‘I work most
nights on the launch until ten then go home and watchTV’ - she has done
her fair share in the past. She says the Minx reader is likely to be
pretty much the same - ‘cool but stylish’.
After bilingual business studies in Germany and studying fashion at
Manchester Polytechnic, Rogers moved to London where her first jobs were
‘helping out’ at PR agency Barrington Marketing Services and writing
supplements for Broadcast magazine.
A friend’s introduction to the editor of Girl about Town helped her
secure a job as staff writer there. A year later she moved to Elle as
arts editor for two years before joining Sky magazine as features
editor. After six months she landed her ‘dream job’ as editor of the
weekly teenage girls title Just 17 at a time when the magazine’s sales
figures were in the doldrums.
Rogers, who picked up on the ‘valley girl speak’ successfully used in US
magazines to give their readers a sense of belonging to a club, applied
the same formula to Just 17 to help give the magazine an identity. Just
over a year ago, after three years as editor, Rogers moved to special
projects at Emap to research the feasibility of a new young women’s
‘Working on a weekly like Just 17 really takes it out of you. My
background was in grown-up magazines and I wanted to use my brain more.
David Hepworth, our editorial director, said ‘there’s a girl out there
not being catered for’. He asked me to find out who she was and how to
cater for her,’ says Rogers.
Her solution is one that is increasingly being adopted by other titles.
Rogers, like Mandi Norwood on Cosmopolitan, wants to move away from
playing the agony aunt, doling out advice on how to cope when your
boyfriend leaves you to a more optimistic ‘celebration of life’.
‘We will certainly not be offering a cut-price therapy centre. The
layout and the look will be clean, this is not an in-your-face approach
although the writing will be spirited,’ she says.
With the latest round of magazine copy sales figures released last week
showing mixed fortunes for young women’s titles, Rogers may find it hard
to hang on to that ‘eternally young’ feeling in this increasingly cut-
1996 Launch editor, Minx
1995 Special Projects editor Emap Elan
1992 Editor, Just 17
1990 Arts editor, Elle
1989 Writer, Girl about Town