Editor of New Idea Frances Sheen resigns to focus on family

Pacific Magazines is looking to replace the editor of its weekly celebrity title New Idea with Frances Sheen departing the magazine for family reasons.

Sheen took over as editor in 2016

If possible, Sheen will remain with the title until June, and then continue her relationship with Pac Mags in a freelance capacity. 

General manager of entertainment and family at Pac Mags, Louisa Hatfield will step in to fill the editing responsibilities if it is required at short notice. Before moving into the general manager’s role, Hatfield was New Idea’s editor-in-chief.

Hatfield said the news filled her with great sadness.

“Fran is a fantastic editor and talented journalist. She is also a terrific person and great leader, who we will all miss terribly,” she said in a note to staff.

“Fran has been with the Pacific family for more than seven years, starting out as deputy editor, before being promoted to editor. New Idea has had terrific results under her editorship – closing the gap against competitor Woman’s Day significantly, in circulation, readership and SMI. New Idea’s total footprint is now an incredible 5 million per month, thanks to Fran’s hard work and dedication. Fran launched New Idea’s highly successful brand extension The Flawsome Mum, which was very much her baby.”

The magazine is still finalising its succession plans, but Hatfield said it would be a smooth transition.

“Fran is planning (hopefully) to stay on as editor until June, so will steer us through two major royal events – Kate and Will’s third baby and, of course, Prince Harry’s wedding.

“This will also give us time to smoothly transition leadership in the brand, and we will announce a new editor in due course.”

Hatfield said despite the sad news, she was delighted Sheen would remain in the Pac Mags stable as a freelancer and running The Flawsome Mum community.

New Idea is focused on the upcoming royal milestones

“I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Fran for all the many laughs, for all her hard work and for caring so much about the New Idea brand, and to say we hope she enjoys the extra time with her family,” the note to staff concluded.

Pac Mags is also looking for an editor for Girlfriend magazine after Tamara Davis moved across to InStyle to become deputy editor.


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