North East Times magazine was established in 1981 but went into administration last year. The name has been bought and the publication was relaunched in October 2015, by creative director and co-founder Pete Mallon.
Business Advice caught up with Mallon to find out more about life at the North East Times, how he plans to showcase the region’s best bits, and where he plans to take the title in the future.
(1) Who are you and what’s your business?
As creative director and founder of the all-new North East Times, I have developed the visual identify for the title’s print and digital platforms. I am an ex-magazine designer and have lead successful creative campaigns, regionally and nationally, at two leading North East marketing companies.
The aim of the all-new North East Times is to showcase the region as a vibrant and productive place to work and live. The 7,000-magazine monthly print run is targeted to professionals and business owners working and living in the North East.
2,500 magazines a month are mailed to business leaders and influencers in the region and beyond, while 4,500 are bulk dropped to key locations around the North East. The magazine is also available through a subscription service.
(2) How long have you been around for?
The team launched the all-new North East Times in autumn 2015 and the magazine has been well received by the business community thanks to its mix of independent content, modern design and strong digital presence.
(3) How do you make money?
The vast majority of North East Times is distributed for free (although we do offer a subscription service) and so the revenue of the magazine is generated primarily through advertising sales.
We pride ourselves on offering bespoke packages of advertising and advertorials for clients to communicate messages effectively and efficiently.
All costs are kept to a minimum to support the lean structure and to generate profit. In our first year, we have reinvested in three core areas – the workforce, the product and the distribution – as we feel this will ensure North East Times re-establishes itself as the premier business publication in the region.
(4) What makes you different and why should people take notice?
North East Times is a 35-year-old publication with a strong heritage in the North East. When I bought the title a year ago I wanted to build on that history while embracing modern publishing techniques to appeal to a more modern audience.
My aim was to create an international feel business and lifestyle magazine for a regional audience. This required a multi-channel approach and a commitment to our founding values: integrity, transparency and creativity.
(5) What was key in terms of getting started?
Having an experienced and knowledgeable core team with the right skills and business network in place has been absolutely paramount. In addition, financial backing and forward planning has played an integral role in ensuring the magazine has been successful in the first year of publishing.
(6) What’s your biggest achievement to date?
The biggest achievement of the team is the 12 successful issues of North East Times published, with contemporary creative direction and editorial credibility and integrity, profitable after one year of business.
We have supported and celebrated businesses around the North East, and continue to address current issues that affect the region. We have also blended this with a lifestyle platform in the magazine and online, driven by the objective to become the leading business and lifestyle magazine in the North East.
(7) What setbacks have you had along the way?
The mismanagement of the previous owners of the title had tarnished the distinguished brand and heritage of North East Times.
Over the past 12 months, it has been a key objective of the team to educate the North-East business community of the new company and values.
(8) In five years’ time, I will be…
In five years, I am confident I will be managing director of a publishing company with a national reach.
(9) What one tip would you give to others starting out?
Do your homework! Research the business, the marketplace and the industry. This is invaluable in building a creditable brand with longevity. Also a core team with the right expertise and skills can be invaluable to provide the foundation for success.
(10) Who are your business heroes and why?
I have always followed Tyler Brûlé, who founded Wallpaper – a super-styled design magazine. He is a successful journalist, editor and entrepreneur, and to this day I admire his ability to capture an audience with the design and content of Monocle magazine.
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