The National Magazine Co. Ltd. (Nat Mags) was a magazine publisher based in London. It was established in 1910 by William Randolph Hearst and was a wholly owned subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation.
William Randolph Hearst was an American newspaper publisher who built up the largest newspaper chain in the United States and whose methods profoundly influenced American journalism.
Hearst entered the publishing business in 1887 after taking control of The San Francisco Examiner from his father. Moving to New York, he acquired The New York Journal and engaged in a bitter circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World that led to the creation of yellow journalism – sensationalized stories of dubious veracity. Acquiring more newspapers, Hearst created a chain that numbered nearly 30 papers in major American cities at its peak. He later expanded to magazines, creating the largest newspaper and magazine business in the world.
Through his newspaper empire, Hearst exercised enormous political influence, and was famously blamed for pushing public opinion with his yellow journalism type of reporting leading the United states into a war with Spain in 1898. Hearst’s life story was the main inspiration for the development of the lead character in Orson Welles’s film Citizen Kane.
In 2006 Nat Mags expanded into digital media by purchasing women’s portal website Handbag.com. Nat Mags soon launched its digital arm Hearst Digital to act as an umbrella for Handbag and its other web acquisition, Net Doctor. Nat Mags merged with Hachette Filipacchi Médias UK in 2011 to form Hearst Magazines UK.