The Hotline – November 2018

Shortlist has announced that it will be closing down the print magazine with the last issue due to be published on the 20th December this year. The publication circulated just over 500,000 free copies a week according to ABC figures for the first six months of 2018. This makes the free weekly the biggest men’s magazine in the UK, with distribution taking place in nine cities across the country. Shortlist will continue with an online presence whilst the group Shortlist media will move forward with a rebrand as ‘The Stylist Group’ to focus on its free women’s magazine Stylist. Across the wider print market men’s magazine circulations have seen a large decrease in recent years with the Men’s Health in particular suffering the most, seeing a 16.4% YoY.


Channel 4 has announced its intention to move its national HQ to the city of Leeds alongside two smaller new production hubs in Bristol and Glasgow. The new HQ has been described as a “broad-based centre” that will entail commissioning, production and digital content. The broadcaster will keep a headquarters in the capital, however 200 out of 800 staff will be moved to Leeds. The Northern city was chosen above contenders Birmingham and Greater Manchester with the aim of capitalising on talent in wider parts of the UK. Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon said she wanted to “supercharge the impact we have in all parts of the country”. The chief executive of Screen Yorkshire, Sally Joynson has commented that the move would be “transformational” for the TV industry in the city and North of England.


Despite a recent 13% dip in its global audience, the Mail Online is set to hit record revenue levels – overtaking levels achieved by its print counterparts, The Daily Mail & The Mail on Sunday, for the first time. The online news site trumped the print titles’ combined revenue of £119m by 3% – bringing in a cool £122m in revenue for DMGT. With print circulations continuing to decline, publishers are needing to expand their portfolios and take advantage of the broadening use and capabilities of digital platforms and technologies. Although web traffic to the site suffered, due to a decline in indirect visits from social media platforms, after Facebook’s decision to deprioritise news appearing in users’ feeds, the time spent on the site reportedly increased to a daily average of 145 minutes, with the majority of that coming from direct traffic.


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which can only mean one thing…the battle of the Christmas ads is in full swing. Arguably the most anticipated ad is the notorious efforts bought forward by John Lewis each year. However, they’ve had stiff competition from Sainsbury’s, Iceland & Aldi. Despite pulling in the big guns (Elton John), John Lewis’s ad failed to reach the top-spot in Marketing Week’s survey of their readers’ favourite Christmas ads, coming in 4th after the aforementioned brands. 20% of Marketing Week readers voted Sainsbury’s’ “Big Night” as their favourite festive ad of 2018, with Iceland’s emotionally charged partnership with Greenpeace coming in 2nd – despite it being banned from airing on TV – and Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot in third.