Sky unveils plans for revamped magazine

Sky is relaunching its customer magazine next month with a new name, skymag, and a more affluent target audience, following an overhaul to put it on par with news-stand monthlies.

Skymag has been repositioned towards ABC1 women and has secured advertising from new clients including Renault and Jeep.

The new magazine will use the strapline "Britain's No 1 entertainment magazine ... every month!" alongside "Make more of your Sky".

It will be promoted through 30-second ads on Sky channels from September, supported by a trade print campaign later this month and a national press campaign next month.

There are also plans to start looking at its online strategy.

The September relaunch issue features an exclusive interview with Billie Piper talking about her role in the ITV2 drama Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

New celebrity columnists include Ben Fogle on the environment, Mariella Frostrup on arts and culture, Gok Wan on style and beauty and Tim Vincent on LA gossip.

The TV guide has been redesigned by genre, highlighting the best viewing for the week ahead.

Sky Perks will be a new feature, offering readers exclusive deals, such as on Eurostar discounts and at Nicky Clarke hair salons, and DVD programme tie-ins.

Editor Lysanne Currie said it was vital that skymag offered a balance of information about all channels so that it became a must-read resource for customers.

Sky director of customer communications Christian Cull said it was opening up a number of opportunities by moving upmarket, offering a broader set of brands an advertising platform.

He added: "A typical reader is serious about her career and her family. She's an avid TV fan with a passion for celebrity news and is always looking for ways to improve her home and entertainment lifestyle."

Cull also refused to rule out taking skymag to the news-stand in the future.

The magazine is published by News International's News Magazines, which took over the contract from John Brown in May.

The September issue will be mailed to Sky customers from 28 August.

Last week, Sky recorded an ABC for its customer magazine of 7,034,310 for January to June 2007.

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