Mike Soutar - Shortlist Media

The Shortlist Media founder talks to Smarta about the successful launches of Shortlist and Stylist magazines, the 'free' model, his logistical nightmares and what he learnt from Felix Dennis and Sly Bailey.

Mike Soutar left school at 17 to work as beauty editor for women's magazine Secrets, which specialised in romance stories for older women. By the time he was 23 he was editor of iconic pop mag Smash Hits.

He then took over the reigns of little-known For Him Magazine, rebranded it FHM and growing its circulation from 50,000 to a 800,000 market leader at the peak of lad's mag frenzy.

After a brief spell running Kiss FM, launching Dennis's Maxim in the US and being part of Chris Evans and Matthew Freud's doomed Daily Star takeover, he was recruited as editorial director of IPC Media by Bailey, oversaw the launch of lads' weekly Nuts and 'learnt how to say no'.

In September 2007, he broke out on his own to launch Shortlist - 'a mag men could be proud to be seen with' - with the backing, among others, of Sir David Arculus, his old boss at Emap.

Shortlist, distributed for free, has exceeded all expectations and confounded its critics - and the successful launch of Stylist suggests it's not a one off. Mike has plans for international expansion and future UK launches.

Watch the video to find out more.

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