EMAP Maclaren


EMAP Maclaren
   EMAP Maclaren is one of the largest publishing concerns in the UK. It originated in a postwar merger of four newspaper publishers. East Midlands Allied Press (EMAP) moved into magazine publishing from the 1960s onward, and expanded greatly in the 1980s. It has been successful because it has been prepared to accept and promote innovative ideas and to seize opportunities in the youth culture market through publishing (magazines like FHM and Empire) and television at home and abroad. Its London base is EMAP Metro, which produces publications aimed at young people and was set up following the phenomenal success of a range of EMAP’s youth publications including Smash Hits, Just 17 and Q. Smash Hits is the world’s best-selling popular music magazine. It appears fortnightly and, in 1995, had a circulation of 274,005 with an estimated readership per edition of 899,000. The idea came from Nick Logan, former editor of New Musical Express (and later founder of The Face), in 1978. Its initial print run was 150,000 and its simple aim was to supply readers with the words to popular songs, and accompanying posters. It sold well from the start, partly because of its promotional giveaways of stickers and sticker albums, and it soon became a bi-weekly.
   Just 17 was set up in 1983. Aimed at young girls, its ‘preview’ edition was given away free with Smash Hits (69 percent of whose readership were female). ‘Jump-starting’ it in this way gave it an initial circulation of 200,000, which by 1995 had become a weekly 242,603.
   Metro published Q magazine in 1986. The editor and editorial director of Smash Hits, Mark Ellen and David Hepworth, were behind it. They had previously presented the BBC television rock programme Whistle Test and television coverage of the 1985 Live Aid concert. They and EMAP brought to Q a professionalism and quality finish— glossy paper, slick presentation—which were not then characteristic of the rest of the music press, which mainly consisted of looseleaf broadsheets unconcerned with style and finish. With Q, the editors felt that readers would want to keep the magazine rather than discard it as they would a newsprint/newspaper format. Q’s monthly circulation in 1995 was 174,995. More recently, EMAP has expanded into local radio stations, such as London’s Kiss FM, and has moved into Europe (in 1998 it was the third largest magazine publisher in France, with almost one-fifth of the market).
   Further reading
    Riley, S.G. (ed.) (1993) Consumer Magazines of the British Isles, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press (a useful compendium of essays on the provenance and personnel of magazines).
   MIKE STORRY

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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