The owner of magazines including fashion industry bible Drapers, Retail Week and Nursing Times is to stop producing print editions as the business restructures to focus on digital publishing and events.
As a result of the restructure Top Right, which publishes a total of 17 magazines including Architectsâ Journal, Construction News, MEED and Health Service Journal, is to âretireâ the venerable Emap brand which has been a publishing institution for almost 70 years.
âWe are at the final stage of the conversion [of readers] from print to digital,â said Duncan Painter, chief executive of Top Right. âAcross the Emap portfolio 67% of revenues are from digital and events. Over the next 12 to 18 months all of the titles will become digital-only.â
The first tranche of titles to stop being printed will most likely include Retail Week â for the last 10 weeks new readers have only been offered a digital subscription package â Health Service Journal and MEED.
Titles such as Drapers are more likely to stop being printed on a longer time scale of about 18 months.
Painter said that Emap is being scrapped because the company has found it impossible to get the industry to accept the brand as a digital publisher.
âWe just havenât been able to get the market to accept Emap as a digital brand,â he said. âThe business has moved on from traditional publishing. The best strategy was to retire the name.â
Top Right will now merge the Emap operations with its 4C division, home to businesses including environmental data business Groundsure, Glenigan and Planet Retail.
The new as yet un-named operating company will be run by Natasha Christie-Miller, currently the chief executive of Emap.
âCreating this new company is an opportunity to finalise the successful digital migration of our great brands which started four years ago,â she said.
Top Rightâs restructure will effectively leave it with three operations. The others are fashion information business WGSN and events operation i2i, which includes the Cannes Lions festival.
âCustomers are sending a clear message,â said Painter. âDigital subscriptions and live events are the formats they want to engage with. This change finalises our groupâs migration to a digital and large scale events company.â
Top Right, which made £85.3m in profits and £312m in revenues last year, is currently investigating a £1bn sale or flotation of the business.
While some of the brands within EMAP date back to the 19th century, the company East Midland Allied Press was formed in 1947.
Emap, which began as a regional newspaper publisher, became a plc in the late 1970s. In 2008 the company sold its TV, radio and consumer magazine businesses to Bauer.
The business-to-business titles were acquired by Apax Partners and Guardian Media Group, the publisher of the Guardian and Observer newspapers, which owns less than 33% of Top Right.