Work ethos sends Emap careering into glossy launch

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Even outside the office nine-to-five it seems you just can't escape from work these days, and the bad news for non-workaholics is that it's about to get even harder.

Emap, the troubled media group recovering from its American adventure, will this month announce plans to launch a new concept in the crowded men's magazine market, with a glossy publication focusing on work, career and lifestyle issues.

Provisionally dubbed "Project Floyd" the title is expected be Emap's big launch of the autumn, bringing memories of the group's previous brave forays into unknown territory, such as Heat and Q. The title has been under consideration since last year, and Emap is known to have sounded out potential advertisers for the would-be launch.

Expected to be similar in style to magazines such as Fast Company, Red Herring and Arena, the new title will focus on a variety of work and work-related issues. Plans have yet to be confirmed, but provisional features include profiles of movers and shakers, a look at theories behind big business and more lifestyle features.

Development of the project ultimately comes under the auspices of Barry McIlheney, chief executive officer of Emap Elan, Emap's lifestyle brand business which also houses such well-known magazines as FHM, Empire, New Woman, Elle, Red and More!

Sources close to the company suggested that an official announcement about Project Floyd is imminent, possibly as soon as next week.

However, while he admitted that the project was "progressing", Tom Maloney, chief operating officer of Emap, denied that the company was planning to make an announcement in the coming week.

Mr Maloney declined to comment on the budget for Project Floyd, but Emap has earmarked around £23m for new launches this year.

It has been an unhappy year so far for Emap. In May the company lost chief executive Kevin Hand who resigned over the group's ill-fated foray into the US market. He was replaced by Robin Miller, who had stood down from the role two years ago.

Earlier this month the company finally offloaded US magazine group Peterson to Primedia for $515m (£360m), a significant markdown on the $1.2bn price it paid for the group in 1999.

"Emap is targeting a significant level of launch expenditure – just over £20m for this year. This suggests it is charging ahead with that," said Simon Baker, a media analyst at SG Securities.