Ailing leftwing weekly the New Statesman has turned to Vanity Fair’s PR
firm Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications to handle its relaunch.
New owner, millionaire Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson, hired HM last week
in time to handle the announcement of a new editor for the magazine -
former Independent editor Ian Hargreaves.
Apart from its experience on Vanity Fair and the launch of Prospect
magazine HM has impeccable left-wing credentials through its fundraising
work for the Labour Party. The agency has also worked with Hargreaves’
wife Adele Blakeborough, on a fundraising banquet for the Kaleidoscope
youth and community project.
HM director Julia Hobsbawm was reluctant to give details of its
programme for the New Statesman until Hargreaves takes the helm in mid-
April. The magazine, which was founded 83 years ago has seen sales drop
from a peak of 96,000 in 1966 to just 20,000 today and had been
accumulating debts at the rate of pounds 6,000 a week. It was put into
administration in January after main shareholder Philip Jeffrey withdrew
Robinson, who is reportedly putting in pounds 375,000, has promised a
redesign and a more ‘constructive’ approach to New Labour compared with
the often hostile attitude of former editor Steve Platt.