Paul Merrill departs Who magazine to write ‘lovely words’ for clients

Who magazine executive editor Paul Merrill has exited Pacific Magazines ahead of the company’s likely takeover by Bauer Media this coming Friday.

Merrill – a veteran of the consumer magazine industry whose roles included as launch editor of Zoo magazine in both the UK and Australia – will now launch an online content business.

Merrill: Practical skills do not exceed making toast

He temporarily stepped into the hot seat at Who magazine late last year as PacMags owner Seven West Media concluded a deal to sell to rival publisher Bauer Media.

The deal was given the all clear by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission last month. SWM then launched court action as doubts emerged whether Bauer would stick to the $40m deal as the value of the company plummeted thanks to the coronavirus crisis. SWM has since told the ASX that Bauer has promised to hand over the money this coming Friday.

Before his seven month stint with Who, Merrill has led several of Australia’s best known populist magazines. He came to Australia to launch weekly lads mag Zoo magazine for Emap, which was then taken over by ACP, which was in turn taken over by Bauer media.

He then edited several titles across the ACP and Bauer stable including Ralph magazine which, like Zoo, has since closed.

He went on to become editor-in-chief of NW magazine and real life titles Take 5 And Lucky Break.

During his time at the helm, Take 5 was named magazine of the year at Mumbrella’s Publish Awards.

He also wrote the memoir A Polar Bear Ate My Head.

Merrill told Mumbrella that he has now launched a consultancy. He said: “I have four clients so far, and I’m looking for more. There’s a huge demand for punchy, entertaining and witty website content and blogs from companies who know how to make lovely products but can’t write lovely words.

“I can’t make anything more complicated than toast, but I can make anything sound lovely,” he said.

Earlier today, Bauer Media said that it was making 70 of its staff redundant, standing down a similar number and suspending publishing of several of its titles.


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