The brainchild of former FHM editor Mike Soutar, ShortList was launched on 20 September last year via Soutar’s media start-up, Crash Test Media. He secured the services of a clutch of top magazine industry executives, including Karl Marsden, who resigned as commercial director of News International's News Magazines, to join as managing director, and Matt Phare, formerly creative director for Emap's men's portfolio, who was hired as creative director.
Reflecting on the title’s first year, Soutar said ShortList is ahead of track in terms of profit and that the title should break even by the start of its third year of operation. Previously, the title was targeting break even at the end of year three. He also highlighted how ShortList is increasing the number of pages given over to display advertising in each issue, peaking at 22 a few weeks ago.
ShortList, whose backers include GLG Partners, a UK hedge fund, and film producer Matthew Vaughn, has established itself as the title with the highest circulation among all UK men’s lifestyle titles, thanks in part to a distribution push into cities outside London.
During the first half of 2008, according to the latest magazine ABCs, ShortList averaged 481,320 copies per issue, up 4% from the October to December 2007 period, and higher than rival Sport magazine, which averaged 315,406 copies. Soutar insists that the title is on track to hit half a million copies by the end of this year.
The first birthday edition features Manchester City’s new signing Robinho on the front cover, a look back at ShortList’s first year and specialist advice tips from Gordon Ramsay and Calvin Harris.