Thursday, October 30, 2014

Vice Media and Rogers team up in $100 million content creation hub in Toronto

Rogers Communications and Vice Media have entered into a $100 million joint venture partnership to create a multimedia studio in Toronto that will produce content for mobile, web and TV, starting in 2014. The focus is the 18-34 market, according to a story in Marketing magazine, creating news, drama, documentaries and original programming built around food, sport, fashion and tech.
The two companies say the Vice Canada Studio is intended to address the “dramatic shift” in media consumption, with nearly 70% of adults 18-24 now receiving news and entertainment from mobile and digital devices, compared with only 30% of adults 40+.
The content will include
  • Daily mobile blasts of Canadian-made news and information, including exclusives for Rogers and Fido customers;
  • Vice TV Formats, a new slate of TV formats developed, produced and made with Canadian talent;
  • Vice Plus, mobile adaptations of Vice’s new and best-known franchises, including the environmental show Toxic and F*ck That’s Delicious, starring rapper and former chef Action Bronson;
  • Pilots for new Vice shows
Vice Media co-founder Shane Smith said in a release
 “It was 20 years ago, deep down in the port of Old Montreal, that we set out to try and make a magazine that didn’t suck, This year we return to the homeland, all our hard lessons learned, to build from scratch a completely horizontally and vertically integrated ultra-modern media entity.Essentially we are building a content creation hub that will generate premium video for a cutting edge media company." 
Vice got its start in Montreal in 1994 as an alternative magazine and has since become major international media player.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

PMB fall data shows readership of digital magazines up 57% in past 12 months

The fall 2014 Print Measurement Bureau information says that overall readership of digital magazines, which PMB has measured since 2013, has increased by 57%  to 2.9 milllion in the last 12 months.It also found that most digital magazine readers (80%) also read printed magazines. Only 20% read only digital. And the printed versions of the 81 PMB-measured titles has kept steady, reaching an average of 1 million readers per issue.

The data shows that in fall 2014, digital smartphone magazine readers increased 162% (927,000 to 1.6 million) and digital tablet readers 115% (582 to 1,251). It also showed that digital magazine reading is 55% higher in Toronto than in the rest of Canada. And the fused PMB/comScore database shows that incremental website reach of print magazines + websites has increased to 25%, compared with 15% in 2010.
The fall 2014 data, based on sampling over the past 2 years, shows the top 10 magazines in total readership:
Total readers
Reader's Digest 4518
Canadian Living 3448
Canadian Geographic 3375
Kraft what's cooking 3348
Cineplex Magazine 3033
Chatelaine 2871
People 2730
CAA Magazine 2407
Maclean's 2074

In terms of measured readers per copy, the top 10 were:
The Hockey News Magazine 22.0
Canada's History 21.7
Outdoor Canada 20.6
Canadian Geographic 20.5
People 20.5
Canadian Gardening 15.6
Cottage Life 14.3
Sportsnet Magazine1 13.6
Dernière Heure 13.6

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Jonathan Kay of The National Post is named as editor of The Walrus, succeeding John Macfarlane

Jonathan Kay, the National Post's managing editor for content, has been named the new editor in chief of The Walrus magazine, succeeding John Macfarlane. 

Kay has been with the National Post for 16 years and has been responsible for the past decade for the NP's editorial, letter and ideas pages; he has also been a regular media panelist on CBC Television's The National and CBC Radio's Q. 

Kay will join the Walrus Foundation on December 1 and there will be a transition period while he takes the reins of the renamed position -- editor-in-chief content platforms.
“John Macfarlane has done a fabulous job of bringing The Walrus magazine to where it is today. John and I are both thrilled that Jonathan Kay will come on board as the perfect person to take The Walrus—on all content platforms—to the next level,” said Shelley Ambrose, executive director of the foundation and co-publisher of the magazine, in a release.
“I am honoured to have this opportunity to work with The Walrus,” said Jonathan Kay. “In the coming months, I look forward to collaborating with the magazine’s staff to help make the publication’s renowned content widely read on a wider range of platforms, and to infuse into the Walrus Foundation some of the energy that has characterized the National Post during the sixteen wonderful years that I worked there.”
Related stories:

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Editor of Walmart magazine now editor of TC media flagship, Canadian Living

Sandra Martin, the editor in chief of Walmart Live Better magazine has been scooped from Rogers Media to become the new editor in chief of Canadian Living magazine at TC Media. Martin has been with the promotional lifestyle publication, published by Rogers on behalf of the mammoth retailer, for a little over two years. 

She will replace Jennifer Reynolds, the former editor in chief who was let go from Canadian Living about four weeks ago, along with the magazine's art director Stephanie White.

A TC Media release said that her title will be multi-platform editorial director, responsible for strategic development and execution of all editorial content initiatives for the company's flagship brand across multiple platforms and formats.

Previous to Walmart, Martin had been executive editor of Today's Parent at Rogers and editor of its specials. Among other roles she had been senior features editor of MoneySense, personal finance correspondent for Global TV and FP Weekend editor and associate editor of WHERE Toronto.  


Monday, October 27, 2014

Canadian titles do well in IRMA awards

Canadian magazine members of the International Regional Magazine Association (IRMA) did well in the 34th annual awards, given out last night in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. British Columbia Magazine and Cottage Life each won eight awards, Yukon, North of Ordinary won a bronze for cover up to 35,000 circulation. 

Public issues
Award of merit -- British Columbia Magazine, Whale Song by Larry Pynn, June 2013

Nature and environment feature 
Silver award -- Cottage Life, Under the Wings of the Thunderbird by Jake MacDonald, Summer 2013

Travel feature
Bronze award -- British Columbia Magazine, Shore Leaves by Shanna Baker, June 2013

Silver award -- Cottage Life, The Seven Year Pitch by Jim Moodie,May 2013
Award of merit -- British Columbia Magazine, Island Character by Masa Takei, June 2013

Reader service article
Gold award -- Cottage Life, Total Loss by Ray Ford, June 2013
Award of merit -- British Columbia Magazine, Okanagan Day Hikes for Everyone by Jenny Manzer, September 2013

Award of merit -- Cottage Life, 97 Per Cent True by Guy Maddin, June 2013

Gold award -- Cottage Life, In Like Zim by David Zimmer, 2013

Single photo
Award of merit -- British Columbia Magazine, The Secret Lives of Bears by Brad Hill, September 2013

Gold award -- Cottage Life, How the Nest was Done by Byron Eggenschwiler, May 2013

Gold award -- Cottage Life, Puttering by Martin Zibauer and Vicki Hornsby, 2013

Food feature
Award of merit -- British Columbia Magazine, Sea Change by Andrew Findlay, December 2013

Cover (Up to 35,000 circulation)
Bronze award -- Yukon, North of Ordinary, Northern Portraits by Manu Keggenhoff, Tara McCarthy and Dave Brosha, Fall 2013

Cover (over 35,000 circulation)
Silver award -- Cottage Life, Smoke It! by Kim Zagar and Penny Caldwell, June 2013
Award of merit -- British Columbia Magazine, The Secret Life of Bears by Ken Seabrook, September 2013

Companion website
Silver award -- British Columbia Magazine by Agilitey and BC Magazine staff Jane Zatylny, Ken Seabrook, Shanna Baker, Lesley Christian ad Cindy Connor, 2013. 

Read more »

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Recalling the rise and fall of The Grid

When The Grid was shut down this past July by the Star Media Group after an exciting three years of publication and 162 issues, many, many of us lamented the loss of it. 

But often, when a publication closes down, explanations are few and some of the texture and background of its existence simply vanishes. Staff moves on, collective memory is lost, readers accommodate themselves to its disappearance.

That's why it is so good to see an interview by the Society for News Design with former creative director Vanessa  Wyse. Here are some of the things she said about The Grid's vision, its storytelling sense and its evolution:
"We focused on “Street-level” as a starting point and branched out from there. Most of the staff came from magazine backgrounds so we basically used all of the magazine storytelling tools we knew and loved and applied it to a newspaper format. This strategy created a kind of hybrid publication with the best of both worlds. Utilizing relevant stories, large documentary photography, clean and contemporary design, loads of entry points and graphics, and a fun editorial tone throughout the magazine." 
*  *  * 
 "A few months before we closed the publication, The Grid scaled down its physical size making it even closer to an over-sized magazine. I could even bleed images, which was very exciting. 
"When we decided to make the change, it was very tempting to try and redesign the entire publication. My team and I played around with a few attempts, new fonts, grids etc. But the truth is that The Grid was never broken. The design decisions we had made originally still held up. We just had to rethink the editorial message slightly and change the size. Freshen it up a bit. So that is what we did."
 *  *  * 
"Aside from the personal loss, I feel like it was a huge loss for Toronto as a city. No one was telling the kind of stories the way The Grid was telling them. Whether it was our political coverage, our food and booze content or our design and photography, it was a different view of our city that seems missing right now. 
"Announcing the news to the staff was very difficult; everyone was in shock. We were doing something we believed in and to have it disappear just like that was hard to get past. But with media landscape as it is, we simply ran out of time." 
*  *  * 
"When the news hit Twitter we couldn’t believe the outpouring of support. Thousands of tweets instantly went up, some using words like “heartbroken” and “devastated”. Some people are still posting messages about how much they are missing the paper each week. Our readership was extremely engaged, committed, loyal, and was still growing. Even though we had been unsuccessful from a business standpoint, we had 20-30 year old’s reading print. That’s unheard of these days!"
Full text of interview 

CSME mixer concentrates on being poised for job interview success

Acing your next job interview, next week or next year, is the topic when the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME) is hold its next Toronto mixer Wednesday, Oct 29 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. 

A panel consisting of  Christine Felgueiras, associate director with the etiquette and leadership training firm Corporate Class; Sharon Alderson, global lead for media-focused recruiting agency Creative Niche; and Steve Maich, the head of Rogers Publishing will discuss how to take a career to the next level. 

The event is in the 2nd floor Stealth Lounge at The Pilot Tavern, 22 Cumberland Street (Bloor & Yonge). $15 for members, $20 for non-members in advance, $20 and $25 at the door.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Martha Stewart titles outsource sales, circ and production to Meredith Corporation

Beginning November 1, Meredith Corporation will be handling all the sales, marketing, circulation, production and other non-editorial functions of Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings (and associated web properties) in Canada  under a 10 year licensing agreement with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Editorial for both books will continue to be done by the MSLO team.

Meredith chair and CEO Stephen M. Lacy described the deal, which applies to Canada and the U.S., as a "winning arrangement" that will be invisible to the consumer.

The deal packages the MSLO brands with Meredith's leading titles, including Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Allrecipes and Traditional Home, giving a potential audience and advertising reach of more than 100 million unduplicated American women, and a digital reach of more than 65 million unduplicated monthly unique visitors. In a Meredith release, Meredith National Media Group president Tom Harty said
 "We believe it will be very appealing to clients and agencies alike, and expose Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings to a wider consumer audience."


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A grave offer: Taddle Creek gets with the Hallowe'en season

The Toronto literary journal Taddle Creek is making a Hallowe'en-themed subscription offer of $10 for two years of the twice-a-year publication, which works out to $2.50 an issue. In its usual wacky way, it explains the offer: 
"Subscribe to Taddle Creek (or renew your current subscription) by midnight on All Hallow’s Eve and pay the frighteningly affordable price of only $10—a sum lower than the bottom of a freshly dug grave!"
A two-year, four-issue sub normally costs $18 or $4.50 an issue. 

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Mag world view: Engaged Time; Life after Times; Time to cooperate; The Onion's funny business; Non-elite journals

Quote, unquote: Becoming a critical part of readers' lives

"There are people, as much today as ever before, who will pay for valuable information that helps them make smarter and better decisions. I can’t speak for why other publishers don’t do it, but for us it’s always going to be a value proposition for the reader, which really goes back to why we did all of this. We have to remain invaluable to all of these readers because that is our business and our revenue model. So the deeper we’re engaged with them, the more meaningful discussions we have with them, the more we’ve become a critical part of their lives, to the point where they don’t make big decisions without working with us."
-- Consumer Reports vice-president and general manager Brent Diamond about the magazine's no-ad, hefty subscription model. He was responding in a Q & A with Mr. Magazine about the major redesign of the magazine, launched with the November 2014 issue. Among other things, the magazine is introducing feature articles in what had previously been heavy on data and reviews. 


Monday, October 20, 2014

Cheers! Free wine is a subscription lure for magazine

The liquor laws are decidedly different, but here's a premium idea from Britain that's too good for Canadian publishers to pass up. Get on it, will you? 

£92 subscription to the New Statesman saves £113 over the newsstand price of the weekly, plus the subscriber gets 6 free bottles of wine worth £61.94 (in the United Kingdom, only).

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Opportunity for paid internships at National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Awards are looking for a few good -- paid -- administrative interns to help it run the program and event. The contract is for an average of 15 hours a week at $11 an hour between November 3 and June 30 2015. Details and further information

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Quote, unquote: Apple Newsstand failing to alert readers to new digital issues

“The challenge is engagement. Readers are subscribing, but then they forget to come back.”
-- Vidia Gopel, National Geographic's director of digital marketing and membership, commenting in a Digiday article about how publishers feel the Apple Newsstand is failing them.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

TC Media publishes free article on how to live with anti-spam legislation

Some digital marketers experienced 40 to 70% churn in their databases when they sent reconfirmation messages trying to meet the requirements of Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), according to a paper being distributed free by TC Media. The paper, "Suffering from Post-CASL Database Withdrawal?" by Ryan Moss, director of 1:1 Messaging and ISP Relations at TC Media, is one of several items about CASL in its resource section.

Moss says that experience with some TC Media brands such as ELLE Canada had a happier outcome, with an attrition rate of 18%, but increased opening rates. The paper sets out three steps to remaining CASL compliant and yet increase the (for instance, subscriber) database. 

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Joyce Byrne named president of National Magazine Awards Foundation

Joyce Byrne, the publisher of Avenue magazine in Calgary, has been elected as the new president of the National Magazine Awards Foundation for 2014-15. She has served on the board of directors since 2010 and as its vice-president from 2012-2014. She is also a silver medal NMA winner. 

Three new members announced and elected to the board were:
  • Christopher Frey is the editor-in-chief of Hazlitt and director of digital publishing at Random House Canada. As a journalist he has twice been a gold medal winner.
  • Terry Sellwood is the president of Cottage Life Media, a division of Blue Ant Media and publisher of Cottage Life, Canada’s magazine of the year. Previously he served on the board of the National Magazine Awards Foundation, including as president from 2001-2003.
  • Melony Ward is the Publisher of Canada’s History magazine and Kayak: Canada’s History for Kids. She serves on the magazine advisory committee for Ontario Media Development Corporation and previously served on the board of Magazines Canada. 
Byrne succeeds Douglas Thomson, the editor of ROM Magazine who has been president for the past two years and will serve as past president on the 2014-15 executive. Vice-president will be Terry Sellwood, secretary will be  Brian Morgan, the art director of The Walrus, treasurer will be Liana Bell, a partner in the Clark Henning Group. 

Other directors of the foundation:
  • Theresa Ebden, director, marketing & communications, Accenture
  • Curtis Gillespie, Editor, Eighteen Bridges
  • Graeme Harris, vice-president, CEO communications & media Relations, Manulife Financial
  • David Hayes, freelance journalist
  • Angela Jones, integrated advertising consultant 
  • Steve Maich,  senior vice president, general manager, Rogers Publishing
  • Dominique Ritter, managing editor, Reader's Digest
  • Lisa Whittington-Hill, publisher, This Magazine

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