The former editor of a lifestyle magazine closed by Trinity Mirror in the summer is launching a new glossy title.
Until July, Kathryn Armstrong, left, was editor of upmarket monthly North-East Exclusive, one of six titles closed by Trinity subsidiary ncjmedia in a round of cutbacks.
Now Kathryn has secured independent funding to launch a new title, Luxe, which she has set up with Room501 Publishing.
The new bi-monthly title, out this week, will be delivered directly to 18,000 AB1 households in the North-East and North Yorkshire, and will also go on sale at £5.
Kathryn, who is also a former features editor of the Evening Gazette, Teesside, described the magazine as “deliberately upmarket and aspirational.”
She said it was a response to calls from the North-East business community wanting “a contemporary, luxury publication to appeal to their market.”
“There will be some who believe it is a strange time to be launching a magazine like this but in our opinion niche publications which have credible editorial, quality design and a strong vision are the way ahead. The response we have had with Luxe certainly supports this,” said Kathryn.
“Luxe is as gorgeous as it sounds. The magazine is not a ‘flick-through-and-forget freebie.’ It is full of quality editorial from brilliant columnists and journalists in the North East and a magazine that people will want to settle down with for a really good read.”
The magazine, below right, has secured year-long sponsorships from six high-profile businesses in the North East.
Other former newspaper journalists involved in the venture include Jane Pikett, a former assistant editor at ncjmedia who was the launch editor of North East Exclusive in 2002, former Newcastle Evening Chronicle sports editor Allan Boughey, and former Sunderland Echo feature writer Laura White.
Joanne Bannatyne, wife of ‘Dragon’s Den’ Duncan, will write an exclusive social diary column for the magazine. Her first one includes insider details of parties with Elton John, dinner with Gordon Brown and awards and charity work with Gordon and Tana Ramsay.
The first edition also features an exclusive interview with Northumberland-born interior designer Fiona Barratt, fiancée of footballer Sol Campbell. The Luxe team photographed her at home in Chelsea as she talked about her forthcoming wedding in Northumberland.
Tanya Garland (24/11/2009 08:11:13)
I have seen the first edition of Luxe and it’s really brilliant. Kathryn is an excellent journalist with a really warm and approachable personality which means that people love her and she has a contacts book second to none. She’s well known in the north east for having a great eye for the very best in design, food and lifestyle and all of that’s represented in Luxe. Kathryn is sure to make the mag one of the best regional lifestyle titles in the UK. Now pass me that first edition and a cup of tea…!
Onlooker (24/11/2009 08:48:18)
I hope the magazine is a success but Tanya’s gushing praise is surely worthy of a Private Eye OBN.
MRSAD (24/11/2009 10:05:02)
I wish the guys all the luck in the world. Not like they will need it with the team they have.
Mr Nobody (24/11/2009 12:22:00)
£5 a copy? It’s hardly American Vogue, is it? I’ll give it six months.
cynic (24/11/2009 13:10:14)
Judging by the comments from a well known PR practioner at the top no doubt we can look forward to lots of puffery, free plugs and gushing positive spin. I sincerely hope it succeeds but can’t see how
Stevie D (24/11/2009 13:44:09)
Knowing Kath like I do, and having seen first hand how she operates in the NE, and without any shackles, it’ll be a soaraway success. Well done K, and very best wishes.
Nikki K (24/11/2009 14:51:48)
I’m sure Ms Armstrong is a competent journalist but this venture has failure written all over it. However, I really do wish her all the very best of luck.
Julie M (24/11/2009 15:40:49)
Good luck Kathryn, it looks fantastic! I hope it’s a roaring success, can’t wait for the first copy to drop on my doormat…
Murray (25/11/2009 17:05:15)
I’ve also seen the first edition and it looks great. Being familiar with Kathryn Armstrong’s work in the NE and as mentioned above, the fact that this venture is independent and shackle-free will help Luxe fly.
JB07 (26/11/2009 10:34:10)
I love this magazine. The editorial, information and photos are charming and high class. I personally have no problem with the £5 price as it’s a great print and in my opinion will make a great coffee table feature in home or office.
People who appreciate the nicer things will have no problem paying the £5 asking price for such a high quality piece.
Keep up the good work.