MEDIA Profile: Luring parents into lifestyle trap - Chris Taggart, publisher and editor, Junior

It’s hard getting to talk to Chris Taggart, the publisher and editor of Junior. I finally track him down at the children’swear show at the Birmingham NEC. Publishing Junior is going to be that kind of job for him. He’s aiming to do as many things for the magazine as possible - partly because, for Taggart, magazines are not just a job, they’re a lifestyle.

It’s hard getting to talk to Chris Taggart, the publisher and

editor of Junior. I finally track him down at the children’swear show at

the Birmingham NEC. Publishing Junior is going to be that kind of job

for him. He’s aiming to do as many things for the magazine as possible -

partly because, for Taggart, magazines are not just a job, they’re a

lifestyle.



Taggart is fortunate in that his career has pretty much fitted in with

his lifestyle. After graduating, he edited the national student

magazine, before freelancing and finally landing a job on The Face.

Eventually he moved on to Arena before heading for Australia to learn

how to surf.



On arrival, though, he got himself a job as managing editor of Attic

Futura, overseeing a movie magazine, a magazine about TV soaps and - of

all things - a heavy metal magazine.



’I owe much of that part of my career to The Face and Arena’s founder

Nick Logan,’ says Taggart. ’He not only got me the Australian job, but

he taught me about the commitment and energy needed to publish high

quality magazines without huge overheads.’



Despite this, it still took Taggart six years to get around to launching

his own magazine under these terms. Junior, published by Beach

Magazines, is the first upmarket parenting magazine in the UK, and it’s

no coincidence that Taggart had his first baby in March 1997. ’I found

there were a lot of excellent baby magazines for women who read Bella or

Best, but not for women who read Tatler and Vogue,’ he says. ’I couldn’t

see why. The market is growing faster and faster, so I decided to launch

one.’



The magazine will be a perfect bound, glossy bi-monthly, on sale from 24

February for pounds 2.80. Targeting ABC1s over 26, it covers the obvious

areas of child development, health, relationships, books, childcare,

nurserycare and early learning. And the not-so-obvious such as travel

and restaurants.



’Just because you are a parent doesn’t mean you suddenly want to eat in

Happy Eater,’ Taggart explains. ’This magazine will cover good places to

eat that take children. It covers long haul travel to places like Los

Angeles for people who still want to go there even though they have a

child.



’It’s the quality of the readers and the magazine that means we can

attract photographers like StefanoAzario. He’s one of the best baby

photographers in the world but he’s never been in a British magazine

before because the quality isn’t high enough. He’ll be shooting our

launch cover.’



To that end, Taggart has been weeding out advertisers that he thinks

could lower the title’s image. ’If they don’t have the right image,

they’ll damage the magazine long term,’ he says. ’We’ve got Volvo, Osh

Kosh, Jigsaw Junior and so on, so you need to have ads that look good.’

For Chris Taggart, having a baby doesn’t mean the end of lifestyle.



HIGHLIGHTS

1992

Editorial director, Attic Futura

1993

Chief operating officer, Attic Futura Europe

1995

Development director, North South Publishing

1997

Managing director and publisher, Beach Magazines



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