Zoo editor Paul Merrill moves on from ACP

One of Australia’s most experienced men’s magazine editors Paul Merrill  is leaving the helm of Zoo Weekly after seven years during which he successfully launched the title in the UK and then repeated the process in Australia.

Merrill – editor-in-chief of the ACP title – is likely to remain in Australia although he does not yet have a job, Mumbrella understands.

The launch of the laddish Zoo Weekly at the time revitalised the men’s magazines category, which was previously dominated by monthly titles.  

zoo weeklyHowever, like the magazine sector as a whole, recent circulation data has seen a drop for Zoo’s audience. The last Audit Bureau of Circulations numbers saw Zoo drop back below the 100,000 mark to 92,525.

Merrill’s time at Zoo was characterised by a series of cheeky PR stunts for the magazine including offering readers the chance to win breast implant for their girlfriends, launching the search for Australia’s sexiest feminist and putting up Warwick Capper for a run in the Queensland election.

Merrill could not be reached for comment. An internal announcement by ACP said:

Paul Merrill, Editor-in-Chief of ZOO Weekly, has decided to leave the company after a highly successful four-year spell. He has resigned effective June 30.

After launching ZOO in the UK, he brought the magazine to Australia in 2006 where it quickly became the biggest selling men’s magazine, a position it still holds. Paul continually evolved the product so it exactly met the needs of its demanding and fickle readership and turned it into one of the most talked about publications in the country. He has also helped out on several other projects across ACP.

Among ZOO’s PR coups were shoots with Julia Gillard’s stepdaughter, Roberta Williams and Nikki Webster. While on Ralph, he even got Mercedes Corby and a member of Hi-5 to pose in bikinis. Paul ran competitions to win a boob job, a divorce and a lesbian wedding as well as a search to find Australia’s Hottest Nanna. His latest contest offered a circumcision as the first prize. He also flew the French Spiderman to Sydney to climb two skyscrapers bringing the CBD to a standstill.

‘I have loved every minute on ZOO and was fortunate enough to have an extremely talented team working for me who I will miss greatly,’ he said. ‘I know they will continue the success story. However, I’ve now edited 365 issues of ZOO, one for every day of the year, and I’m ready for a new dwarf-free challenge and have a few interesting ideas I’m pursuing.’

Paul is a rare talent in the world of magazines and we shall miss him although it is totally understandable that after 365 issues of a weekly, he wants to move on. After an energising break, no doubt his creative skills will find a new outlet and I hope Nine Entertainment Company will have some involvement. I am sorry to see him go.

An announcement on the day to day editorial management of Zoo will be made prior to Paul’s departure.


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