Hearst Magazines offloads Coast and Psychologies

Hearst Magazines UK is selling Coast and transferring its licence to publish Psychologies in the UK to Kelsey Publishing, the Kent-based publisher that acquired several IPC magazines in 2010.

Hearst titles: acquired by Kelsey Publishing
Hearst titles: acquired by Kelsey Publishing

After a short period of consultation, the Psychologies and Coast teams will move to the Kelsey headquarters in Kent. There will be no interruption to the publishing schedule of either title.

Coast, the monthly title about the British seaside, joined Natmags, Hearst Magazines' forerunner, in 2005.

It was acquired from Boat International to sit alongside Country Living in the group's portfolio.

Its circulation has grown from 20,366 copies in 2005 to as much as 42,268 in the first half of 2011. Its current circulation is 40,464 and it is edited by Clare Gogerty.

Psychologies UK is also published monthly. It was launched in 2005 by Hachette Filipacchi UK, which merged with Natmags to form Hearst Magazines UK last year as part of an international acquisition by Hearst, which owned Natmags.

The licence to publish Psychologies in the UK is granted by France's Groupe Psychologies, a subsidiary of Lagardere.

It has a circulation of 104,491 copies in the UK and is edited by Louise Chunn.

It was deemed a success at launch, growing from a debut circulation of 96,012 to a peak of 150,112 in the first half of 2008, but has since drifted.

While Psychologies is the first former Hachette title to be deemed surplus to Hearst’s requirements, the monthlies section of the larger Natmag portfolio has been extensively pruned.

Coast’s sale follows that of You & Your Wedding and Prima Baby & Pregnancy to Immediate Media in January, and She and Cosmopolitan Bride were closed just after the merger in August.

Arnaud de Puyfontaine, chief executive of Hearst Magazines UK, said today's move was "part of our overall strategy to focus on our core print titles and digital expansion".

Kelsey Publishing, a family-owned business based in Kent, publishes specialist magazines and books including Period Home and Interiors, Jaguar World Monthly and Grow it!

Last week it bought Trucking and Truckstop News from Future and in 2010 it bought a raft of specialist titles from IPC Media including MiniWorld, Ships Monthly, Cage & Aviary Birds, Park Home & Holiday Caravan, and Aeroplane.

Steve Wright, managing director of Kelsey Publishing, said: "We are proud to take on these two upmarket publications.

"Coast complements our portfolio of home interest magazines, while Psychologies, which is a prestigious international brand, will be our biggest title.

"This is a new and major strategic step in the development of Kelsey Publishing."

Follow Daniel Farey-Jones on Twitter @danfareyjones

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