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Radio Times publisher buys shopping channel

The publisher of the UK’s Radio Times and Top Gear magazine is making its first move into television buying TV shopping channel Jewellery Maker.

Immediate Media bought the channel, which is on 24 hours a day on Sky, Virgin, Freesat and Freeview, to expand its reach into the lucrative £3 billion (€4.2bn) market for hobby craft in the UK. Immediate Media controls about a 40 per cent share of the magazine craft market with 16 titles including Simply Knitting, Simply Sewing and Mollie Makes.

“We don’t think about ourselves or talk about ourselves as a magazine company,” said CEO Tom Bureau. “We position ourselves as a special interest content and platform company. We see magazines as a very important platform for us which will continue to be so for years to come. But investing in other ways to economically develop relationships with special interest audiences, in particular in craft, is a highly proven model.”

The channel, which employs over 100 people, also includes a web-based operation of live streams, video tutorials and workshops. Bureau reckons £400 million is spent on jewellery making annually.

The Jewellery Maker channel is being sold by parent company The Genuine Gemstone Company.

The new TV brand will be overseen by Francois-Regis Coumau, Immediate’s group managing director, who joined in September from eBay where he was general manager for continental Europe.

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