The drama over the removal of New Idea
editor-in-chief Jenny Gilbert is the talk of the magazine world today,
as the mag’s owner Pacific Publications wasted no time in naming her
replacement – New Idea’s New Zealand editor Robyn Foyster.

appointment was made by publisher Suzanne Monks, the person who sacked
Ms Gilbert last week and has apparently been plotting against her for
some time. It now emerges that Monks and Foyster have been secretly
working on a new look for New Idea in Pacific’s Sydney offices over
recent months, without Gilbert’s knowledge or input.

Why the
subterfuge and intrigue? Industry sources say the real reason for the
change is Pacific’s determination to defend the 400,000 circulation
mark. The magazine’s audited circulation is currently “more than
401,000, but as Crikey has been reporting for some time, “audited”
doesn’t necessarily mean “real” in the world of Australian print media.

There is constant speculation that as attention focuses on the
dodgy practices used by many magazines (and we have no proof that New
Idea is one of them), the real circulations are moving closer to the
audited circulations – and that publishers are concerned that the
Audite Bureau of Circulations may be forced by advertisers into
agreeing to an independent inquiry into circulations which would blow
the practices wide open. Hence the need to bridge the gap as quickly as

As for Foyster, she worked in the UK before moving to New Zealand. She worked for magazines Hello, OK, marie claire and in newspapersfor The Daily Express and the Mail on Sunday. She also worked for New Idea in Britain and before that was a producer for GMTV in London.