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Leaving school at 15 due to family displacement, Logan started his journalistic career in the 1960s as a reporter on the Guardian/Gazette series of local papers in East London/Essex before joining the NME as one of five staff writers. The "NME" had enjoyed huge success on the back of the Beatles/Stones et al., and subsequently via The Monkees, but was soon to start struggling as singles acts gave way to albums acts and rock became the major draw. Stuck in a Tin Pan Alley mindset, subservient to the music biz, "NME" rapidly lost ground to "Melody Maker". IPC, publisher of both titles, eventually saw the light and turned to younger members of staff to take over. By 1971 Logan, under promoted new editor Alan Smith, was assistant editor and a new team started to change the paper into a hipper and more questioning product. The writers Charles Shaar Murray and Nick Kent and the photographer Pennie Smith joined the paper at this time.
Taking over from Smith in 1973, at the age of 26 (extremely young by the standards of the time), Logan accelerated this process, restoring circulation losses and establishing "NME"'s pre-eminence in the weekly pop market. Despite its owners' delight in rising revenues, managing a maverick team within a conservative corporation took its toll and Logan stepped down from the job in 1978.
Determined never again to work for a corporate entity, Logan came up with a tranche of magazine ideas which he could produce in tandem with a publisher. The idea that became Smash Hits was something of a makeweight on the list, but it was the one that nascent publishers EMAP went for. It launched in 1978 as a monthly and later fortnightly pop magazine aimed at the teenage market. Initially Logan produced the magazine on his own, from his East London home. Later Steve Bush joined as art director and the magazine moved into offices in Carnaby St, ironically across the road from "NME".
In 1980 he launched The Face with Wagadon, his own publishing company, a hugely influential magazine for much of the 1980s. Logan became a major figure in publishing at this time, launching other magazines such as Arena, "Arena Homme Plus" and a failed women's magazine "Frank".
In 1990, shortly before being awarded the inaugural Marcus Morris Award for magazine innovation, Logan was diagnosed with cancer. At the time he was editing both "The Face" and "Arena". In his absence he appointed Sheryl Garratt to edit "The Face" and Dylan Jones to edit "Arena". Logan returned after treatment in 1991 as Editorial Director of the titles.
Logan sold his company to EMAP, a publishing company built on the success of "Smash Hits", in 1999.
Awards: Marcus Morris Award for magazine innovation, 1990; Marc Boxer Award for outstanding contribution to magazines, 1994.
In 2011 The Face was added to the permanent collection of the Design Museum.
|Editor of the NME