James Brown (editor)

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James Brown (born 26 September 1965[1] in Leeds) is a British journalist.


In 1985 James Brown was a contributor to Leeds Other Paper. In 1986 following work on his fanzine Attack on Bzaag James Brown was hired as freelance features writer for Sounds; from there he soon joined the NME. In 1991 Brown became manager of Fabulous.[2] On leaving NME he wrote features for Sunday Times magazine and then launched Loaded which became an early example of the modern "lad mag" format. Brown won the British Society of Magazine Editors' "Editors' Editor of the Year" award for his work on the title.[3]

In 1997 Brown left Loaded for the British edition of GQ, and for a while lifted its fortunes. He launched the Man of the Year Awards and hired a young chef from the River Cafe to write the food column, this was pre-Naked Chef Jamie Oliver. Brown parted company with GQ over what were termed "philosophical differences" after presiding over an 11% fall in sales and including "The Nazis" on a list of "The Most Fashionable Men of the Century."[4]

Brown then launched his own company, I Feel Good and subsequently acquired Viz, Fortean Times and Bizarre magazines from John Brown Publishing for £6.4m.[5]

He created the magazine Jack in August 2002 [6] IFG was sold to Dennis Publishing for £5.1m in 2003[7] after the company's losses doubled to £1.1m year on year and film title Hotdog was sold having failed to reach break-even.[8] Speaking in 2010, Brown said he had "made a lot of mistakes" at IFG and felt "a bit embarrassed about how little I had made of the opportunities I had created."[9] In July 2004, Dennis wrote off its investment in Jack and closed the title with paid-for sales stagnant at less than 28,000 copies.[10]

In 2007, he was hired as editor in chief of the free-to-air TV channel Sumo TV, saying he had plans to push the genre of "spectacular voyeurism." The channel was briefly moved into the Adult, Gaming and Dating categories before refocusing on content provided by Psychic Television.[11]

In 2008, Brown took over the editorship of the British tabloid newspapers Daily Sport and Sunday Sport, saying he aimed to turn them from "sleazy" to "sexy". Brown's relaunch failed, and the newspapers were saved from going out of business in 2009 only by the intervention of their founder, David Sullivan.[12]

Since selling IFG, Brown has worked across the media. In Television he appeared with Gok Wan in Miss Naked Beauty and a participant in Channel 4's Extreme Detox. he also helped create Flipside and co-produced over 50 episodes before the show was bought for Channel 4 and then Paramount. He presented and co-produced 'I Predict A Riot' for Bravo, a ten-part investigation into the history of civil disorder. He has also appeared regularly as a pundit on the BBC's art shows Newsnight Review and The Culture Show. In 2010 he oversaw the relaunch of the Sky Sports Magazine, a major-circulation sports title.

In May 2010, Brown launched a new website called Sabotage Times to focus on music, football,fashion, travel, TV and film.


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