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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 February 2006, 11:25 GMT
Smash Hits magazine closing down
Celebrity Big Brother's Preston will be the last cover star
Smash Hits magazine is to close after 28 years, publishing company Emap said.

The last edition of the magazine - which was essential reading for teenagers during its peak in the 1980s - will appear on 13 February.

Emap director Marcus Rich said Smash Hits was an "old favourite" whose "time has passed".

"The audience for the magazine was getting younger... as teenagers migrated to new platforms to satisfy their interest in music," he added.

Smash Hits was first published in September 1978 with Belgian one-hit-wonder Plastic Bertrand - real name Roger Jouret - on the cover.

The fortnightly magazine regularly sold 500,000 copies in the early 1980s, but its biggest-selling edition featuring Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan was bought by more than one million readers in 1989.

TV presenter Kate Thornton used to edit Smash Hits

Since then sales have declined and it currently sells 120,000 copies.

The Smash Hits brand will continue via Smash Hits music TV, a website and a digital radio station.

Mr Rich added: "Smash Hits revolutionised the world of teen publishing when it was launched in 1978, but 28 years later, the world is a very different place and the magazine's role and relevance on the news stand changed."

"The closure of the magazine allows us to concentrate our resources on developing the Smash Hits brand on these emerging platforms."

It has been a pioneering force in pop and we can look back fondly on the last 28 years
Mark Frith, Heat editor

Mark Frith, former Smash Hits editor and now editor in chief of Heat magazine, said: "People have an incredible sentimental feeling towards Smash Hits.

"Anyone that grew up with Smash Hits or was lucky enough to work on it will always have a special place in their hearts for it.

"It has been a pioneering force in pop and we can look back fondly on the last 28 years."

Other previous editors have included X-Factor presenter Kate Thornton, while Pet Shop Boys frontman Neil Tennant also worked there in the early 1980s.

An Emap spokeswoman said the magazine's editor Lara Palamoudian, was moving to another project within the company, and Emap would be trying to find positions for the magazine's remaining nine staff.

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