Cover of magazine from April 2010.
In June 2006, the magazine was ranked 3rd in Australia in circulation, with an audited circulation of 433,176; it ranked ahead of Reader's Digest. The magazine's readership in 2004 was in excess of 2 million and had increased to 2.364 million in 2005/6; that is the magazine is read by more than 10% of Australia's population. However, in recent years weekly sales figures have dropped to a March 2014 audit of 280,206. In December 2014 readership had halved to 1.265 million,
In January 2008, it revealed details that UK Prince Harry was with the British army serving in Afghanistan, in breach of an agreement with the major news organisations. It ran updates on the story on two further occasions. When the United States Drudge Report ran the story on 28 February 2008, the prince was forced to abandon his posting and return to the UK. After the story broke much more widely, New Idea pulled the story from its web site and made itself unavailable for comment to other members of the press. Two months later, the magazine issued an apology for publishing the story. "We regret this serious lapse of judgment. We sincerely apologise to all our readers, to the servicemen whose lives are at constant risk while serving at home and abroad and to their families and loved ones."
In 2016, actress Eliza Szonert threatened to sue New Idea because the magazine refused to pay her an agreed sum of A$7000 for a tell-all interview about claiming back her child from an ex-partner living overseas, with the magazine claiming she had lied about entering drug rehabilitation.
- Robyn Foyster, 2005–2008
- Mirella Cestaro, 2008–2009
- Amy Sinclair, 2009–2012
- Kim Wilson, 2012–2015
- Louisa Hatfield 2015 -
- "Top 100 Magazine Circulation" (PDF). Magazine Publishers of Australia. 2006.
- "2004 Annual Report" (PDF). Seven Network Limited. p. 17.
- "Top 100 Readership" (PDF). Magazine Publishers of Australia. 2006.
- Audited Media Association of Australia
- Roy Morgan Research 'Australian Magazine Readership 12 months to Dec 2014.
- "Biography". Yahoo Lifestyles, New Idea.
- "New Idea pleads ignorance on Harry embargo". ABC Australia News. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- "Prince Harry takes on the Taliban". Sydney Morning Herald. 2008-02-29.
- ABC Media Watch 7/7/14
- "New Idea refusing to pay Neighbours star for 'child snatch' interview". 9News. 31 January 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2016.