Friday 10 July 2015

2015: IPC (International Publishing Corporation) TRIVIA.

IPC (International Publishing Corporation) was formed by the merger of Fleetway Publications and Odhams (both of which had been formed by previous mergers and consolidation) in 1961.

IPC itself was created as a holding company for these diverse separate entities in 1963.  Despite their common ownership, they continued to operate as individual entities, often in direct competition with each other.  The business was amalgamated into six distinct divisions in 1968.

Although the Fleetway brand (named after Fleetway House in Farringdon Street: ironically prone to flooding from the underground Fleet River which ran under Fleet Street) was jettisoned from the periodicals business, it was retained as the brand name for IPC's annuals through to the 1980s. 

Kings Reach Tower was opened in the early 1970s to house IPC's various magazine and comics titles.  It replaced a sprawling portfolio of properties that had been acquired through various mergers and purchases.  IPC eventually moved out in 2007, making way for extensive redevelopment (left) which included adding a further 11 floors to the original 30 stories.  

IPC, at one time, simultaneous owned and published arch Fleet Street rivals THE DAILY MIRROR and THE SUN (formally the Daily Herald).  The notoriously loss-making (sizzling soar-away) Sun was sold to Rupert Murdoch in 1969 for £800,000. 

The circulation of the revitalized SUN, once considered an albatross, overtook the Daily Mirror in 1978. 

MIRROR GROUP (which also included the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People) remained under IPC's ownership until it was sold to Robert Maxwell in 1984 for £113 million. 

IPC's YOUTH GROUP was similarly sold to Maxwell in 1987.  It was renamed Fleetway and moved out of Kings Reach Tower.  It was merged with rival London Editions (owned by Egmont), creating Fleetway Editions, in 1991.  Following the publisher's death in November 1991, and the subsequent financial unraveling of his business empire, Egmont took full control of the business.  The Fleetway brand was eventually ditched entirely. 

MIRROR GROUP was headquartered and published in a building (completed in 1963) overlooking London's Holborn Circus.  The cavernous basement housed the paper's printing presses.  The building was eleven stories above ground and included a helicopter pad on the roof.  The building was vacated in 1994 and subsequently demolished and replaced by the current headquarters of Sainsburys. 


  1. *** BREAKING NEWS ***


    as you can see here:

    1. Thanks Ed, good news indeed.

      Although it's not actually that long since the last time the MICRONAUTS had a print revival. New publishers are hampered because Marvel cannily contrived to retain ownership of several of the key characters from the original run. The same is obviously true as Marvel have published THE SPACE KNIGHTS in recent years and even went to the effort (possibly to cement the copyright) of reissuing the brief series for no obvious reason.

      I wonder if IDW, which seems to have a good relationship with Marvel and other publishers, will be able to leverage this deal into finally reprinting the original runs. If they can't, I wonder if the copious copies which (inexplicably) always fill the bargain bins will start to dry up? I recently acquired a complete run of the Marvel ROM run (tongue twister!) as a set.

    2. I have every issue except for 23, the one with power man and iron fist. A follow up would have to go some way to match the power of the original series.

  2. BTW Ed, I picked-up the latest SFX/ TOTAL FILM joint-venture, A-Z OF SUPERHEROES, yesterday (Sunday) from WHS. It looks a good read, albeit not exactly anything terribly original in terms of subject and approach.

    It does, however, announce that COMIC BOOK HEROES will return, once again as a quarterly, in October. The decision to cancel it always seemed a little short-sighted given the never-ending schedule of upcoming movies so it seems like Future's management have withdrawn the pink slips... or they don't want to leave a gap on the shelves that a rival could fill.

    1. Blimey, you got that one early, its not supposed to be on sale until Tuesday ! Can hardly keep pace with all of these specials.

      And its news to me that COMIC HEROES is returning. Hurrah ! The SFX editor told me it was regarded as a ' niche ' publication, which struck me as odd considering the current popularity of comics and comic-related movies and tv series.


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