LONDON—Bluebird Films owner/director/performer Paul Chaplin has acquired struggling lad mag Loaded as the latest addition to his diverse empire.
U.K. news outlet The Guardian reports that Chaplin intends to revamp the magazine with "a much higher proportion of girl and glamour content," as well as use the brand to bridge his adult and mainstream interests. As part of his strategy to do so, he plans to launch two TV channels: a mainstream one called Loaded TV and an adult one to be named Loaded Babes TV.
Though Loaded currently has a circulation of only a tenth the 350,000 it boasted in its turn-of-the-millennium heydey, Chaplin maintains that it is still profitable and has a bright future.
"It is a series of misfortunes that brought it into administration, an accident," he told The Guardian. "It is profitable, it is viable. There are very good synergies between Loaded, the brand and assets and the multimedia companies that I already own. Bluebird's assets and experience are at the sharp end of the market, if you will. Injecting it into Loaded will put it in the stratosphere but I will keep the essence of it—I have an affinity for the Loaded DNA."
Chaplin elaborated on the potential synergy he envisions between Loaded and his X-rated properties, saying, "There are lots of links between the adult side of the business and Loaded as a shop window. It is like a guy who grows oranges who buys a greengrocer's in the high street. Vertical integration.
"Loaded is a lifestyle magazine. I guess I live the Loaded lifestyle," Chaplin quipped. "Girls, cars, money, helicopters and fun, fun, fun."