Maxim to join ailing men’s mag category

International men’s magazine Maxim is to launch as a monthly publication in Australia and New Zealand, moving into the space left by the closure of men’s print titles Alpha and Ralph.

Michael Downs, publisher and owner of Nuclear Media, told Mumbrella that other publishers had failed in the men’s segment because they were “out of touch” with what men want, and how it is delivered.

“Yes, it’s a hard segment to get a hold of. But others haven’t developed in new areas of technology and media,” he said.

Launching a magazine that is “portable” in size, and across platforms, with a website, mobile site, iPad app, events calendar and social media presence, would give the Maxim an edge over its rivals, Downs said. Maxim will be 275mm by 210mm, the same dimensions as Men’s Health, and will target 18-34 year-old men with a “cheeky, irreverent tone” and a formula that has, to date, always seen a scantily clad woman on the cover in other markets.

“I’m not sure we will grow the men’s magazine category overall, but we can certainly fill the gap left by the closure of Ralph,” said Downs, who has hired as editor-in-chief Santi Pintado, the last editor of Ralph.

He added that the response from advertisers to the launch had been “100% positive.”

The magazine will be staffed by three sales personnel, two in Sydney and one in Melbourne, and around eight editorial. It will mix locally sourced content with material from the US edition.

“We’ll rely heavily on contributors. To make it work, we’ve got to do things cost effectively, as we have with our other titles,” said Downs. Nuclear also publishes kids’ magazine Krash and Post Modern Ink, a magazine for tattoo lovers.

“Significant spend” would go into promoting the magazine, he added, but a creative agency would not be used for the launch, which is two months away.

Ralph closed last June averaging sales of 63,155 copies. Most-read men’s magazine Zoo Weekly saw a 10% drop in readers in the ABCs last week, dipping below the 100,000 mark.


  1. Adam
    16 May 11
    11:17 am

  2. So they’re launching a brand that died in most territories a decade ago, into the most lifeless media category in Australia (monthly mags), into the worst-performing category of that category (men’s), all done by some no-name with no money! I appreciate balls, but if this makes it to a second issue, I’ll eat my hat. “Move on, people, move on! Nothing more to see at this car crash!”

  3. AdGrunt
    16 May 11
    12:08 pm

  4. Wow. That is one brave publisher.

  5. Con
    16 May 11
    12:37 pm

  6. Say what? Maxim launching is awesome. Sounds to me like the timing is perfect.

  7. Daniel
    16 May 11
    12:44 pm

  8. I know Maxim died in the UK, but I think everywhere else it’s still massive. Especially in the US. Half the mags in the UK have closed. So what? That’s more an indicator of their crap economy than the brands. Maxim will do great here. I’m looking forward to it.

  9. ClaireN
    16 May 11
    12:49 pm

  10. Where do people find the money and backing for such stupid decisions? Anyone taking a job on that title needs a good back-up plan. Two issues will be a miracle!

  11. ManMountain1980
    16 May 11
    1:08 pm

  12. Adam works for a rival mag for sure. sounds to me like the idea of maxim as a competitor scares the shit out of him… judging by his reaction. I’ve actually freelanced for Nuclear in the past as well as ACP, Pacific, etc. You may think Nuclear they are no names with no money, but I got paid in full after a few days unlike the big boys who sit on my invoices for 3 months before I beg for my cash. Also, i’ve never written for it, but i think their kids mag krash makes huge coin.

  13. Pauly
    16 May 11
    1:09 pm

  14. I’m with you Adam. I hate to see new local publishers having a go. I think we are much better off having our magazine market completely dominated by foreign private equity owned companies with direct ties to our television networks or metro newspapers. Some independence in this market will be seen for what you correctly point it out to be – a car crash.

  15. MC
    16 May 11
    1:10 pm

  16. Doesn’t seem crazy to me …. a tried and true formula from a demand perspective … without needing to cover the ACP style overheads and margin expectations. Good luck

  17. bob
    16 May 11
    1:21 pm

  18. 63,155 circulation is a great circ if you’re a small business with minimal overheads. if they can attain that its worth a punt

  19. Karl
    16 May 11
    2:55 pm

  20. Wow, that is a BIG magazine –

    Launching a magazine that is “portable” in size – 275cm by 210cm

    Arent most men on average about 180cm tall?

  21. Adolf
    16 May 11
    4:15 pm

  22. It will be an interesting experiment

  23. Anon
    17 May 11
    1:56 am

  24. ***Michael Downs, publisher and owner of Nuclear Media, told Mumbrella that other publishers had failed in the men’s segment because they were “out of touch” with what men want, and how it is delivered.***

    And then Downs hires editor-in-chief Santi Pintado, the last editor of Ralph…


  25. Mark from the Internet
    17 May 11
    11:06 am

  26. @Karl – I was wondering how long it would take someone to pick up on that. Must have a basketball focus in editorial.

  27. Max
    17 May 11
    12:54 pm

  28. I think that Maxim will be a little more high end than Ralph wont it? i might be wrong. Wasnt Ralph just an Aussie version of FHM. lame, re processed jokes etc (you can get it all online these days…)

  29. Beau
    17 May 11
    1:35 pm

  30. Man people can be negative!! This sounds exciting! Max yes you can get content online, but a “tangible” mag that you can flick through and dog ear and pull out pges will always have its place. I’m looking forward to the first issue.. and the second, and the third, and the fourth.

  31. Keef
    17 May 11
    6:55 pm

  32. If all the pizza restaurants are closing down in your area, do you go open a pizza restaurant? You’d have to be either very brave OR very foolish. Probably THE two characteristics required to launch a men’s magazine at the moment! Best of luck to them, though.

  33. inq
    18 May 11
    12:56 am

  34. Eight editorial? How will you pay them? That’s similar to the UK version which died on its feet. They just use the US version now. Good luck. I like to be optimistic about these things.