Mapping the male in magazines

Authored by: Bill Osgerby

The Routledge Companion to British Media History

Print publication date:  September  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415537186
eBook ISBN: 9781315756202
Adobe ISBN: 9781317629474


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The launch of Arena in 1986 heralded a seismic shift in British magazine publishing. General interest magazines targeted at women were a long-established market sector, but in Britain the idea of a popular ‘lifestyle’ magazine geared to men had long been thought unfeasible. Arena, however, defied industry skeptics. Produced by Wagadon, a small, independent publishing firm, Arena was an instant hit, successfully wooing male readers with a combination of features on clothes, music, movies, food, sport, travel and books. Arena’s achievement was subsequently emulated and exceeded by rival publishers who launched ‘men’s lifestyle’ titles of their own. During the late 1980s and 1990s newsagents’ shelves bulged with glossy general interest magazines targeted at men and by 2000 their overall monthly sales topped 2 million.

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