IPC media

IPC Media
Parent company Time Inc.
Founded 1958
Country of origin United Kingdom
Headquarters location London
Publication types Magazines
Official website
This is about a British publishing company. For the American publisher affiliated with the Communist Party USA, see International Publishers.

IPC Media Ltd (formerly International Publishing Corporation),[1] a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Inc., is a consumer magazine and digital publisher in the United Kingdom, with a large portfolio selling over 350 million copies each year.

History

Origins

The British magazine publishing industry in the mid-1950s was dominated by a handful of companies, principally the Associated Newspapers (founded by Lord Harmsworth in 1890), Odhams Press Ltd, George Newnes Publishers, C. Arthur Pearson, and the Hulton Press, which fought each other for market share in a highly competitive marketplace.

Fleetway

In 1958 Cecil Harmsworth King, chairman of a newspaper group which included the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Pictorial (now the Sunday Mirror), together with provincial chain West of England Newspapers, made an offer for Amalgamated Press. The offer was accepted, and in January 1959 he was appointed its chairman. Within a few months he changed its name to Fleetway Publications, Ltd. after the name of its headquarters, Fleetway House in London's Farringdon Street.[2]

Shortly thereafter, Odhams Press absorbed both George Newnes and the Hulton Press. King saw an opportunity in this to rationalise the overcrowded women's magazine market, in which Fleetway and Newnes were the major competitors, and made a bid for Odhams on behalf of Fleetway that was too attractive to ignore. Fleetway took over Odhams in March 1961.[3]

International Publishing Corporation

In consequence, King controlled publishing interests which included two national daily and two national Sunday newspapers (the newspaper interests being informally tagged The Mirror Group), along with almost one hundred consumer magazines, more than two hundred trade and technical periodicals, and various book publishing interests. This included the combined business interests of Fleetway, Odhams, and Newnes.

All of the companies involved had been acquired without any significant change in management, save for the appointment of Mirror Group directors as chairmen. In 1963 all the companies were combined by the creation of a parent (or "holding") company called the International Publishing Corporation (known informally as IPC). All of the existing companies would continue to exist, but as IPC subsidiaries.[1][4]

Reorganization

IPC then set up a management development department in 1965, to rationalise its holdings, so that its various subsidiaries would no longer be in competition with each other for the same markets. This led to a reorganisation of the Group, in 1968, into six divisions:

  • IPC Newspapers — including The People and The Sun (soon sold), as well as the Daily Mirror and Sunday Pictorial
  • IPC Magazines — consumer magazines and comics
  • IPC Trade and Technical — specialist magazines (later known as IPC Business Press Ltd.)
  • IPC Books — all book publishing (headed by Paul Hamlyn, whose own company had been acquired by IPC).
  • IPC Printing — all non-newspaper printing operations (headed by Arnold Quick, whose own company had also been acquired by IPC).
  • IPC New Products — launching pad for products which used new technology (headed by Alistair McIntosh).

All the divisions were headed by chairmen who originated in Mirror Group, except for Hamlyn, Quick and McIntosh.

Also in 1968, a boardroom coup replaced Cecil King with his deputy chairman, Hugh Cudlipp, a former newspaper editor.

Reed International takeover

Cudlipp had no interest in management, and was uneasy both with his new role and with IPC's diversification into computerised publication and other new technology. In 1969 he therefore proposed to former Mirror Group director Don Ryder, who was then chairman of the Reed Group, in which IPC had a 30% shareholding, to mount a reverse take-over of IPC by Reed.

IPC-Mirror Group was thus itself taken over in 1970, by the paper-making company Albert E Reed, which then renamed itself Reed International.[5] In 1974, part of the publishing interests of Reed International were separated into IPC Magazines Ltd (comprising the magazine and comics holdings) and Mirror Group Newspapers (comprising the newspaper holdings). The latter was sold to Pergamon Holdings Ltd, a private company owned by Robert Maxwell, in 1984.[6]

In the early 1990s IPC launched Loaded, which began a wave of "lad's mags".

In 1992, following a merger with Dutch science publisher Elsevier NV, Reed International underwent a further name change, becoming Reed Elsevier.

Sale of Fleetway

Main article: Fleetway

In 1987, part of the comics holdings of IPC Magazines Ltd (comprising those comics and characters created after 1 January 1970, plus 26 specified characters from Buster, which was then still being published) were placed in a separate company, Fleetway Publications, which was sold to Pergamon Holdings.[4][7]

In 1991, Egmont UK purchased Fleetway from Pergamon, merging it with their own comics publishing operation, London Editions, to form Fleetway Editions. The latter was absorbed into the main Egmont brand by 2000, having sold off the continuing titles (such as 2000 AD), and continued with only reprint and licensed titles (e.g. Sonic The Comic). IPC had retained the other comics characters and titles, i.e. those created before 1970 (except the 26 characters from Buster), including Sexton Blake, The Steel Claw, and Battler Britton[4] One character, Dan Dare, was sold separately and is currently owned by the Dan Dare Corporation.

Time Inc. takeover

In 1998 IPC Magazines Ltd was subject to a management buyout financed by Cinven, a venture capital group, and the company was renamed IPC Media. Cinven then sold the company to Time Inc., the magazine publishing subsidiary of Time Warner, in 2001.[8] In January 2009 the company's chief executive became Evelyn Webster, replacing Sylvia Auton who had run it since 2001.

Professional Publishers Association Award

In April 2012 IPC Media scooped an award for Best Production Team of the Year at the Professional Publishers Association Production and Environment Awards 2012.[9]

Current publishing divisions

IPC Media groups its current titles under three magazine divisions each focusing on a core audience.[10]

Connect

Targeting the mass market for women.[11]

Southbank

Targeting upmarket women.[12]

Marie Claire
InStyle
Look
Woman & Home
Feel Good Food
Feel Good Home
Essentials
Ideal Home
Homes & Gardens
Livingetc
Country Homes & Interiors
25 Beautiful Homes
Beautiful Kitchens
Style at Home
Wallpaper

Inspire

Targeting the market for men.[13]

Country Life
The Field
Shooting Times
Shooting Gazette
Sporting Gun
Horse & Hound
HORSE
Eventing
International Boat Industry (IBI)
Practical Boat Owner
Yachting Monthly
Yachting World
SuperYacht Business
Motor Boat & Yachting
Motor Boats Monthly
Rugby World
World Soccer
Golf Monthly
Nuts
New Musical Express (NME)
Uncut
Cycling Weekly
Cycling Active
Cycling Sport
Mountain Bike Rider
Decanter
Amateur Photographer
What Digital Camera
Amateur Gardening
Angler's Mail

See also

  • List of Fleetway and IPC Comics publications

References

External links

  • TimeInc website

Template:Media in the United Kingdom

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