Friday, 24 January 2014

Sorted magazine : a revolution in media

A report by Carey Lodge of ChristainToday.com



Despite a decline in the publishing industry and a huge drop in sales for lads' mags, Sorted magazine – aimed primarily at Christian men - is celebrating, having doubled its circulation in the past year from 20,000 to 40,000.

Editor Steve Legg first came up with the idea of creating a wholesome magazine for men after chatting with another dad at the school gates and discovering that young boys were bringing inappropriate material into school.

He saw a gap in the market for a magazine that "stimulate[s] the mind rather than the libido" and set about creating something "more mature, upbeat and wholesome" for the men's market.

The end result was Sorted, which comes out six times a year and is sold in newsagents such as WH Smiths, as well as being made available in bars, gyms, clubs, prisons and waiting areas across the UK. Published by Son Christian Media Ltd, it is also currently sold in 15 other countries globally.

Steve, a professional evangelist who often uses escapologist displays to communicate the gospel, says: "It's something for men to identify with in a positive way."

The magazine has proved a hit among those who don't wish to be patronised by the usual offerings aimed at their demographic, which are currently facing pressure from campaigns such as 'No more Page 3' and 'Lose the Lads' Mags'.

Though the magazine has a Christian basis, it also hopes to reach men from all faiths and walks of life, or indeed no faith at all.

Director of publishing Duncan Williams notes that the majority of subscribers are not, in fact, Christians. "We have a huge number of subscribers in the Armed Forces and the Royal Navy distribute the magazine in all their mess halls," he explains.


"Having spoke to chaplaincies, while troops are away they can become very isolated and have no Christian reading material beyond the Bible. Sorted is accessible and real to them. With film reviews and things like that, it lets them know what's going on in the secular world."

Each edition features a detailed interview with a male celebrity. Past starts include Will Smith, Steve Carrell, Denzel Washington and Michael Caine. It also runs articles about finance, sport, faith, addictions, fitness, mentoring, gadgets and more, not to mention a '60 Second life Coach' and a 'Sex Doc'.

TV presenter and professional adventurer Bear Grylls, known for his strong faith and endorsement of the Alpha course, also regularly contributes to the magazine. He has labelled it as "down to earth, real [and] un-religious", and says it has "helped my Christian faith so much".

There is obviously a market for this different kind of men's magazine, revealed by Sorted's growing circulation and subscription rate.

Of the new increase in readership, Williams says: "Sorted has been an encouraging success, as has our lifestyle title for women, Liberti magazine.

"The popularity of these two titles has been a real sign that there is a growing readership, male and female and of various ages, that appreciates contemporary Christian publications.
"I think demand has risen following the hacking scandal to have genuinely positive, trustworthy and ethical reporting, and Christian media provides that.

"We ask fundamental questions – we ask about faith or lack of it, which gives an interesting angle rather than tapping around celebrity gossip. When David Frost asked Tony Blair 'Do you pray?' it completely flummoxed him. By asking that question to celebrities you get some interesting reactions, and it's been really rewarding to find a different angle to the usual salacious gossip offered by the tabloids."

The next edition of Sorted featuring Ben Stiller will be published on 18 February.




Wednesday, 15 January 2014

'Wholesome' men's mag with a Christian slant bucks the trend of circulation decline



Report for Press Gazette by Emma McGarthy

The circulation of men's magazines such as Loaded, Nuts and Zoo have been in freefall in recent years - but a title with more "wholesome" content claims to be bucking the trend.

Sorted, a men's title with a Christian slant, comes out six times a year and has doubled its circulation over the last year from 20,000 to 40,000.

Launched in 2007, it has a newsstand sale of 2,000 and 3,300 subscribers with the remainder circulated via bulk distribution deals to outlets including bars, gyms and health clubs. Business backers pay for the title to be distributed for free into UK prisons and to the armed forces.

The title covers usual men's mag fare of science, football and movies - but also deals with "faith". Publisher and editor Steve Legg says he was inspired to launch Sorted after talking to a dad: “He was telling me how his 11-year-old son's mates were bringing in lads mags and he was complaining at the lack of something more positive and wholesome in the marketplace.”

Director of publishing Duncan Williams said Sorted is a more mature, upbeat and wholesome magazine than other men's titles, with more in-depth content.

He says: “It’s something for men to identify with in a positive way...A lot people buying it are women as presents [for men] as it’s not derogative.”

Each publication features an in-depth interview with a male celebrity. He said that big names who have spoken to the title include Will Smith, Steve Carrell, Denzil Washington, Anthony Hopkins and Michael Caine. Williams says: “We try to ask in-depth questions that aren’t the usual PR fair…which produce interesting interviews. Asking that key question about faith is rewarding.”

The magazine is next published on 18 February priced £4.

It has a full-time staff of three, with six freelances, and revenue comes from a mix of subscribers and advertisers such as Apple and David Beckham’s deodorant brand. Regular editorial contributors include TV adventurer Bear Grylls.

Williams said: “Advertisers are very keen to be associated with a more wholesome and mature publication.”

There are plans to expand the title into New Zealand and Australia.



Monday, 6 January 2014

At the forefront of UK faith news publishing

Son Christian Media Ltd is Britain’s leading mainstream faith publisher.

In addition to our social media platform THE SON , we publish print titles called SORTED magazine and Liberti magazine, which are distributed nationally via WHSmith and all good newsagents and in 15 other countries globally. Sorted magazine, which is aimed primarily at Christian men, has doubled its circulation in the past year from 20,000 to 40,000.

Created by editor Steve Legg and publisher Duncan Williams after seeing a gap in the market for a magazine that “stimulate[s] the mind rather than the libido” and set about creating something “more mature, upbeat and wholesome” for the men’s market.

Steve says: “It’s something for men to identify with in a positive way. We have a huge number of subscribers in the Armed Forces and the Royal Navy distribute the magazine in all their mess halls. Having spoke to chaplaincies, while troops are away they can become very isolated and have no Christian reading material beyond the Bible. Sorted is accessible and real to them. With film reviews and things like that, it lets them know what’s going on in the secular world.”

The content regularly includes celebrity interviews, past stars have included Will Smith, Steve Carrell, Denzel Washington and Michael Caine. As well as finance, sport, faith, fitness, mentoring, gadgets and more.

Duncan Williams says: “Sorted has been an encouraging success, as has our lifestyle title for women, Liberti magazine. The popularity of these two titles has been a real sign that there is a growing readership, male and female and of various ages, that appreciates contemporary Christian publications. I think demand has risen following the hacking scandal to have genuinely positive, trustworthy and ethical reporting, and Christian media provides that.

“We ask fundamental questions – we ask about faith or lack of it, which gives an interesting angle rather than tapping around celebrity gossip. When David Frost asked Tony Blair ‘Do you pray?’ it completely flummoxed him. By asking that question to celebrities you get some interesting reactions, and it’s been really rewarding to find a different angle to the usual salacious gossip offered by the tabloids.”



For more details visit: WWW.THE-SON.CO.UK

WWW.SORTED-MAGAZINE.COM

WWW.LIBERTIMAGAZINE.COM