Loaded Magazine Shutters: Loaded, one of the U.K.’s original lad mag titles, is set to close, London’s Guardian reported Friday.
The paper posted a brief statement from the magazine’s publisher, Simian Publishing, noting that as of the April issue, which was published Thursday, Loaded will “cease to trade as a printed magazine.” “We would like to pay tribute to our customers, staff and especially our contributors and editorial team,” the statement read. Contacted by telephone Friday, the company said that a full statement regarding the magazine would be released over the coming days, but declined to comment further.
Loaded was first launched in 1994 by a team that included editor James Brown, and paved the way for a slew of lad mags, from the monthly FHM to weeklies Zoo and Nuts, the latter of which closed in 2014. While originally published by IPC Media (now known as Time Inc U.K.), Loaded has seen a number of different owners in recent years. In 2010 it was acquired by Vitality Publishing, which later went into administration, then in 2012 by entrepreneur Paul Baxendale-Walker, with Simian Publishing – a firm set up by Loaded’s management – eventually buying the magazine in 2013.
Since then, the magazine had swapped its racy approach for a more upmarket, mature direction, with covers featuring stars such as Lea Seydoux, Ben Affleck and Noel Gallagher, with the singer appearing on the cover of its April issue. In February, Loaded published an Audit Bureau of Circulations average monthly circulation figure of 34,360 for the October 2014 to December 2014 period. Of that, 22 percent of those copies were actively purchased, with the balance distributed for free. The figure was almost a tenth of the 350,000 in monthly sales that Loaded rang up at the height of its popularity in 2000, according to figures reported by The Guardian.