In January 2001, I stepped through the office doors of more! magazine to begin two of the most entertaining and educational years of my career, so I am immensely sad that today Bauer Media has announced that the magazine is closing.
Quite simply, more! magazine was an institution. You’d be hard pushed to find a woman who didn’t flick through its pages at some point during her formative teenage years, either giggling at Position of the Fortnight, or laughing at the latest celebrity gossip.
For me, one of the great things about more! was that it had a proper personality. Cheeky and irreverent, humour was at the centre of its appeal, but it didn’t shy away from the topics that were important for young women.
While there, I wrote countless sex and relationships features, but I also reported on subjects such as rape, drugs and egg donation.
For many, more! was an easy target for feminists claiming that it degraded women, was too exploitative and focussed too much on the ladette binge-drinking culture of women in their late teens and early 20s.
But the core audience that more! catered to – especially during its glory years of the mid-90s through to the early 2000s – existed (and still exists) and needed someone to speak to them and empower them.
There are young girls out there who need someone to make sense of their world, to give them a voice, and not treat them as some sort of alien species. Most of the time, more! fitted that brief to a tee.
What was key for me, as well, was that those of us on the magazine also thoroughly enjoyed putting it together and cared about the readers.
For 2 years at more!, I had the most fun I’ve had in any job over the past 19 years, learned huge amounts and made some amazing friendships.
That more! is no longer sustainable as a commercial concern, is hugely depressing. I’m sure that there are many women out there who still fit the description of the core more! reader, but they no longer need to wait a fortnight to read the latest celeb gossip, pore over fashion and beauty tips, or get advice about sex and relationships.
Selling 100,000 copies a week is still pretty impressive, but clearly advertisers no longer bought into the brand.
Paul Keenan from Bauer said: “The prospect of continuing challenging economic conditions has led us to reach this decision as the title has become unviable.”
I feel hugely sorry for Channy Horton and her team and I also feel very sorry for the young women who will never get to experience more! in its true glory.
They may be lots of ways of finding the same thing on the internet nowadays, but it won’t come in the same fantastically-funny, well-written and joyously entertaining 140-page package that more! always was.