The editor of Britain’s Horse & Hound magazine is departing amid a raft of senior editorial changes that appear intended to focus more effort on an online presence.
The owner of the 130-year-old weekly magazine released a statement announcing the departure of editor Lucy Higginson in the northern summer. It appears the magazine will no longer have an editor, with its brand development editor, Sarah Jenkins, named in the new role of content director.
It is understood a number of other editorial changes have been implemented, with several other senior editorial staff set to leave.
The announcement by IPC sparked a flurry of comment on the Horse & Hound forums, including speculation on the future of the print edition.
A spokesman for IPC told the Daily Telegraph it was “absolutely not the case” that it intended to scrap the print edition.
However, IPC’s statement on the editorial changes made it clear it would be focusing on multi-platform delivery of content.
Horse & Hound’s circulation as at December last year was 44,458 for both print and digital editions. The magazine’s circulation was understood to have been about 70,000 around the year 2000.
It is understood about seven staff are leaving the publication, many in senior production roles. It appears to represent a cut of about a third in editorial staff.
Horse & Hound has a pay-wall section on its website, H&H VIP, in which online readers can subscribe for premium content.
IPC said Jenkins, as content director, would be responsible for developing content for “both current and emerging platforms”, as well as leading the editorial team in evolving new commercial initiatives.
Publishing director Oswin Grady said the multi-platform approach would allow high-quality content to be targeted at audiences. It was, he said, at the heart of the restructure.
“Sarah’s in-depth knowledge of equestrianism and her ability to quickly identify and exploit new commercial openings make her the ideal person to lead this initiative.”
Jenkins described Horse & Hound as a gift of a brand with huge scope across many platforms and many initiatives.
“We have the ability to deliver all of this to the same high standard we have achieved for 130 years with the magazine.”
Higginson said her departure would enable her to tackle other opportunities.
Oswin thanked Higginson for her contribution to the magazine.
“She has been an outstanding editor whose flair for the subject and eye for detail have added greatly to the brand’s rich tradition. I wish her the very best in the next phase of her career.”