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Emap relaunches ailing Arena as lifestyle bible

LONDON - Emap has relaunched its ailing men's monthly Arena as an aspirational magazine for 'urban playboys' with expensive tastes, in an attempt to turn around the fortunes of the title which has lost 23% of its readers in the last year.

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The magazine, which is edited by Giles Hattersley, has unveiled its December edition featuring David Beckham on the front cover, an updated news and reviews section, and a host of celebrity writers, including David Aaronovitch from The Times, Fraser Nelson and AC Grayling.

Arena's relaunch, which was overseen by the magazine's creative director Balwant Ahira, will aim to turn around the title's falling ABC circulation figure. It posted a period-on-period decline of 10.6% to 30,886 in August, and is also down 23.1% year on year.

Emap has said the revamped Arena will be repositioned as one that would appeal to "urban playboys" aged in their mid 20s to late 30s.

Editor Hattersley said the title would "resonate with and reflect the lifestyles of young men today -- the 'me generation' -- who earn more, dress better, party harder and are better educated".

Among the new features in the December edition of Arena, which is out today, is a section called Intelligence, covering current affairs issues; an updated version of Handbook, Arena's monthly reviews guide; Review, a culture guide; and Life, which has been described as "urban coverage".

The magazine will also be retaining its "40 under 40" list, which began last year, and lists the magazine's opinion on the 40 most influential people in the world under the age of 40.

Emap is currently inviting bids for its £700m rated consumer publishing division, but has said its repositioning of Arena would not influence whether it chose to sell all or part of the business, which also publishes Heat, Closer and Grazia.

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