Buttrose: I may bring back Ita magazine as an iPad app

Ita Buttrose – widely seen as the most accomplished editor in the history of Australian magazines – is contemplating a return to editing, Mumbrella can reveal.

Buttrose, who founded Cleo, took Australian Women’s Weekly above 1m sales and ran her own magazine Ita for six years, is weighing up launching a new title for the iPad.

Buttrose came back into media prominence last year after the ABC telemovie Paper Giants saw her portrayed by Asher Keddie in the story of the launch of Cleo by Buttrose and Kerry Packer.

ita magazine coverButtrose launched her publishing company Capricorn in 1989 and published Ita magazine until the recession forced her to close the title. The magazine was targeted at an older age group with the slogan “For the woman who wasn’t born yesterday.”

In a video interview with Mumbrella editor Tim Burrowes, Buttrose said: “My magazine ran for six years and we did a lot of good things during those six years. If I look at the magazine today a lot of the content is still applicable. It has stood the test of time. I could start it all over again. I could go through the old copies and I could pull out lots of articles and re-do them.”

Earlier this year, Buttrose was revealed as the chair of tablet publisher Reddo Media Services. Reddo’s CEO is Shane Mitchell.

Asked whether she could be tempted to bring Ita back for the iPad, she replied: “I have learned never to say never because you don’t know what is going to happen to you in life. As I have meetings with the CEO of Reddo and we’re looking at things, or he’s showing me something they’ve designed for a publisher, I think ‘I’d love to edit one of those’.

“I can feel the arenalin and that creative brain of mine is busy thinking ‘I wonder…’ So I wouldn’t rule it out.

“My biggest problem right now is I’m pretty strapped for time. But it’s the old rule – if you really want to fit it in, you’ll find a way.

“So I couldn’t say to you ‘No I’m not thinking of doing another magazine myself’ because I am. Yes, I am. The thought just won’t go away.”

The interview was timed around the release of a new edition of Buttrose’s autobiography A Passionate Life.

In the interview she also discusses:

  • What she learned from Rupert Murdoch and Packer;
  • Surviving the blokey News Limited culture
  • Being on set with Asher Keddie;
  • How the Paper Giants producers faced a libel action after failing to take her advice;
  • Where Fairfax went wrong


  1. Edwina Storie
    6 Jul 12
    11:21 am

  2. As a young writer dismayed by continuous job cuts in journalism, I’m pinning my hopes on her launching iPad Ita.

  3. Trisha Brindley
    6 Jul 12
    11:29 am

  4. Yes Please Ita do it

  5. Dennis Stojanovski
    6 Jul 12
    11:33 am

  6. Ita is an elegant Australian figure in the media industry with a wealth of media experience. Nice interview Tim.

  7. Carol Brett
    6 Jul 12
    12:13 pm

  8. One of my most wonderful assignments as a cadet reporter was interviewing Ita Buttrose about Ita magazine. Ita was one of those rare editors who knew exactly what was needed and when.
    Ita magazine was a bold move at the time but there was a neglected market hungry for what it had to offer.
    With her finger never off the pulse, Ita Buttrose was spot on then and she’s spot on today. Print publishing needs Ita – and more like her – before it’s too late.

  9. Eric A Blair
    6 Jul 12
    12:54 pm

  10. Great brand re-invention / re-discovery of Ita thanks to Paper Giants.

    Media desperately needs more Gentleman and Gentlewomen like Ita. Media now seems to “respect” (fear) the bullying egos (mostly male) more than the straightforward action orientated autocratic achievements of Ita and the like.

    Love the way she says it like it is (e.g. “why have a board with no media experience?”)…and survived it. Who’s the next Ita?