IPC prepares to close Nuts after 10 years

IPC: prepares to close Nuts after 10 years
IPC: prepares to close Nuts after 10 years

IPC Media is preparing to close its weekly men's magazine Nuts, and its accompanying website, 10 years after its launch shook up the UK newsstands.

In a statement today, IPC Media confirmed it has entered into a 30-day consultation with staff "about the potential closure of Nuts and Nuts.co.uk".

IPC Inspire’s managing director, Paul Williams, said: "After 10 years at the top of its market, we have taken the difficult decision to propose the closure of Nuts and exit the young men’s lifestyle sector. IPC will provide impacted staff with all the support they need during the consultation process."

IPC Media launched Nuts on January 22nd 2004 as the UK’s first mainstream men's weekly. It entered a market previously dominated by men’s monthlies, including FHM, Loaded, Maxim and GQ.

The magazine's sexualisation of women and photos of topless models for teens and young males drew strong criticism from many quarters, while the rise of the internet and readily available soft-porn left it searching for a point of difference.

Last summer, Nuts rejected the Co-operative's ultimatum to hide explicit images on their front covers with modesty bags. The Co-op had given Nuts as well as Zoo, Loaded and Front magazines a deadline to introduce modesty bags or be withdrawn from sale.

Williams called the Co-op's attempt to restrict access to lads' mags a "knee-jerk" reaction that was "clearly wrong".

Nuts' popularity peaked in the second half of 2005, when it recorded an average weekly circulation of 306,802. In the last six months of 2013 – its last official audit – the magazine's circulation had dwindled to 62,118.

The arrival of Nuts and Zoo had a significant impact on the monthly men's magazines focusing on similar naked shots of women, notably Esquire, FHM, Maxim and Loaded.

The weeklies, coupled with the internet, forced Esquire and later FHM to refocus coverage on the more upmarket men's lifestyle sector, dominated by GQ. Loaded was sold to an adult film producer, Paul Baxendale-Walker, in April 2012.

Dennis Publishing, home of Maxim, was among the publisher's affected by the arrival of the weeklies. The publisher responded by launching one of the world's first digital-only men's brands, Monkey, in November 2006 - so called because it "hates the Zoo and eats Nuts".

In April 2009, Dennis Publishing announced it was closing the print edition of Maxim in the UK. At the time, owner Felix Dennis told Media Week: "As soon as the weeklies Zoo and Nuts arrived [January 2004], that must sound alarm bells for a monthly. Not in the online arena, but for a monthly ink-on-paper magazine this must be a very serious sheet anchor to blue water sailing."

Nuts did get to celebrate its 10th anniversary in January 2014, which it marked with a charity calendar, featuring a rundown of "the best moments in its history". The Nuts editorial team turned the tables – and cameras – on themselves and stripped off for a calendar in aid of Breast Cancer Care.

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