Both brands remain a key part of William Reed Business Media’s wine and spirit portfolio and will be published under licence by Agile.
Following the move the two sales and editorial teams of Harpers and Off Licence News will be joined with the new positions of head of content and commercial publisher being created. Rosie Davenport, currently editor at Off Licence News, has been appointed to the role of head of content.
Andrew Reed, managing director of the William Reed wine portfolio, said: “We think this is a very good strategic fit. Harpers and Off Licence News have a lot of overlap in both customers and readership. By creating larger editorial and commercial teams that work across the brands, we will be able to improve the offering to our readers and commercial partners while continuing to invest in digital. We have a long-standing relationship with Agile Media which already publishes OLN and Drinks International under licence and I am confident that working together we will ensure a robust future for our media serving the wine and drinks trade. Both titles will continue to support and sponsor other William Reed wine portfolio events such as SITT and the International Wine Challenge, which are not transferring.”
Russell Dodd, managing director of Agile Media, said: “This is a really exciting development. Harpers is the oldest and most respected wine title in the market, and to produce it alongside the market leading drinks title Off Licence News will provide us with a greater breadth and depth of coverage than either title can achieve on its own and will drive even greater value for their subscribers. Harpers will be an exciting addition to the stable as we continue to grow our portfolio of magazines, online brands and events.”
As a result of the move Richard Siddle, who has been editor of Harpers Wine and Spirit for the past eight years, will be leaving the title, but plans to work and develop new opportunities within the trade. He can be contacted on email@example.com.
Both WRBM and Agile Media would like to thank Richard for the enormous contribution he has made to Harpers during his editorship and wish him all the best in the future.