Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Quote, unquote: Ad blockers are eating
publishers' lunches

"For publishers, ad blockers are the elephant in the room: Everybody sees them, no one talks about them. The common understanding is that the first to speak up will be dead—it will acknowledge that the volume of ads actually delivered can in fact be 30% to 50% smaller than claimed—and invoiced. Publishers fear retaliation from media buying agencies—even though the ad community is quick to forget that it dug its own grave by flooding the web with intolerable amounts of promotional formats."
-- Frédéric Filloux in an article on Quartz about the rise of ad blocking software, now aimed at mobile and at native advertising, particularly in Europe. According to the article, 300 million people worldwide have downloaded ad blocking software and about half have installed it. 

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dan Post elected president of MagsBC

Dan Post
Dan Post is the new president of the Magazine Association of BC (MagsBC) for 2015-16. In a note to members, he acknowledges that there have been "a challenging couple of years" for the organization. Post is the publications manager at the BCIT student association and publisher of Link Magazine, a monthly digest of student culture and ideas. Previously, he worked for Geist and was managing editor at Color magazine from 2011 to 2013.

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Industry gears up for a week-full of magazine events in Toronto

Next week is a busy one in magazines, despite the fact that the annual MagNet conference is not being held (deferred while Magazines Canada hosts the international FIPP conference in October).
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The 61st annual Kenneth R. Wilson Awards for business-to-business media is being presented by the Canadian Business Media Association at One King West on Tuesday, June 2 in the Grand Banking Hall. $165 plus HST. Doors open 6 p.m. for schmoozing, Sit down dinner and awards follow at 7 p.m.
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The Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME) is holding its editors' choice awards gala on Wednesday, June 3. Guest speaker is award-winning magazine editor and columnist Russell Smith. The event will take place upstairs in the Stealth Lounge at The Pilot Tavern at 22 Cumberland Street , starting at 5:30 p.m. $15 for members; $20 for non-members ($20 and $25 at the door), the price of a regular mixer.

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The Circulation Marketing Association of Canada (CMC) is holding its CMC Awards for circulation excellence on Thursday, June 4 at 6:30 at the Hotel Ocho (195 Spadina Avenue, Toronto). (The CMC AGM is being held at 5:30.)
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And the National Magazine Awards are being held Friday evening, June 5 in the Arcadian Court at Bay and Queen (401 Bay Street, 8th floor). Doors open at 5:30 for industry reception. Dinner and awards start at 7 p.m  Dinner and awards tickets are $150. Show only is $75. Both plus HST.

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Vancouver Magazine and Western Living sold to Yellow Pages Homes Ltd.

Western Living and Vancouver magazines have been sold to the owners of Yellow Pages. According to a memo to staff from Ted Markle, president of TC Media, the transaction which closed this morning means that all employees of the Western Magazine Group become Yellow Pages Homes Limited employees today. Western Living and Vancouver magazine were not included in the recent $55.5 million deal wherein TC Media recently sold off its other, eastern Canadian consumer magazines to the TVA Group (Quebecor).  Essentially, with this sale, TC Media is now entirely out of the consumer magazine business. As part of the deal the magazines will continue to be printed by TC Printing.
"Since the announcement of the transaction to sell our consumer magazines in Toronto and Montreal and the communication of the new vision for TC Media, I know that you were faced with uncertainty in this context of change," said Markle. "I want to personally thank all of you for keeping the focus on the brands and on the success of the business, with the same level of energy and professionalism for which you are recognized, despite this time of transition. I would also like to express my gratitude to Tom [general manager Tom Gierasimczuk, who is publisher of both magazines], who has shown tremendous leadership since his appointment and over the course of the past few months. 
"As we say goodbye, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, on behalf of the entire organization, for your daily commitment and dedication to building the reputation of these two prestige brands. Vancouver Magazine and Western Living have made our name a beacon for thousands of readers in Western Canada. The many prizes that were awarded to your brands, most recently at the Alberta Magazine Awards in March, are a tribute to your passion and dedication. You have been part of our family and have shared our values for many years, and it is with sadness that we see you leave TC Transcontinental. 
"It's the end of a chapter, but certainly not the end of the story. May the future be one of both personal and professional growth for you all, and may you continue to thrive within the context of this new adventure."
There is so far no word on the price of the sale. Staff of the Western Magazine Group were being briefed this morning. 

Yellow Pages is the official directories publisher of Bell Canada, Telus, Bell Aliant, MTS Allstream and a number of other companies. It describes itself as the leading digital company in Canada and owns and manages a slew of trademarked  online directories:  YellowPages.ca,  PagesJaunes.caCanada411.ca, and RedFlagDeals.com  as well as CanadaPlus.ca  and a network of seven local city sites, including MontrealPlus.ca, QuebecPlus.ca,  TorontoPlus.ca,  CalgaryPlus.ca,  EdmontonPlus.ca,  OttawaPlus.ca and  VancouverPlus.ca.

Those of us with long memories can recall a time when the phone company of which Yellow Pages is a division owned Vancouver and Western Living before -- as part of Comac Communications Limited (Quest, Homemaker's, City Woman, Alaska Airlines, Ontario Living). It was later sold to an investment group and later still broken up and divested. And that Yellow Pages, which prides itself on its formidable selling horsepower, tried and failed at launching a magazine called Toronto This Season in 1997. 

Yellow Media Inc, bought the Vancouver-based Canpages in 2010 in a $225 million deal. This built not only the traditional print classified business, but perhaps more importantly on the digital search side.

More as is known. 

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Mag world view: EW, a paywall; Lucky not dead yet; Charlie Hebdo aftermath; Condé restaurants

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Friday, May 22, 2015

With half its circ gone, USA Today may stop daily publishing within 5 years

It was suggested Wednesday that USA Today may cease publishing as a daily paper within the next five or six years. 

However, quoted in a story from MediaPost, editor-in-chief David Callaway said in a discussion about the "Future of Media" that the paper would continue publishing some sort of print product for years to come. 
If USA Today were to shutter its daily print edition, it would become the second major U.S. newspaper to go online only, following the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which went all digital with drastic personnel cuts in 2009.... 
Over the last decade, USA Today’s average weekday print circulation fell by half, from 2.22 million in the six-month period ending September 2004 to 1.08 million for the same period in September 2014, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, previously known as the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

[UPDATED] Manitoba magazine conference postponed; "Mini-Maggies" reception to be held

[This post has been updated] The annual Manitoba Magazine Publisher's Reaching Readers conference and the associated 7th annual Maggie Awards due to be held May 28 have been postponed. A note to members from executive director Linda Hazelwood says that attendance did not support the expense of going ahead.
"There seems to be too many other things happening next week (which of course we were not aware of when we picked our date), which caused a time conflict. We will individually contact all those who booked, to discuss refunds.
"The Maggie winners will still be announced on May 28, but by email, web, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets.

"The events are not cancelled, just postponed. The conference sessions will happen as single events, while the Maggies Awards will be moved to be a part of the golf tournament wind-up dinner on August 6 at Bel Acres Golf Club. We will arrange transport from the city for those who do not wish to drive."
[Update: In lieu of the awards, a Mini-Maggies, will be held to recognize this year’s winners. The Mini-Maggies will take place at 6:30 pm on May 28, at the Governor’s Boardroom at Bailey’s Restaurant in Winnipeg. There will be a cash bar, and the MMPA is requesting all attendees RSVP to exedir@manitobamagazines.ca. All are welcome.]

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Former Maclean's editor Kevin Doyle has died

Kevin Doyle, who was editor of Maclean's magazine from 1982 to 1993 and under whose watch the very successful Maclean's university rankings were launched, has died

Doyle had worked at the Windsor Star before joining Maclean's. He succeeded Peter C. Newman as its editor and had expansive ideas for the magazine during his time there, during which it took a "newsy" and internationalist approach, opening bureaus in Moscow and London. These were later closed for budget reasons. After he left Maclean's, he worked for the C.D. Howe Institute and as Canadian editor of Bloomberg News

He had only recently retired as executive director of  public affairs and communications at the University of Windsor where he had worked since 2006, The university renamed its former President's Faculty Award for Service to the Media to honour his contributions. 

An obituary will be was published Saturday in the Globe and Mail and the Ottawa Citizen. A celebration of his life will be held at the University Club in Toronto on June 26 at 4 p.m.

Tribute by Doyle's successor, Robert Lewis

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Today's Parent staff and contributors remember Tracy Chappell

Tracy Chappell with her daughters Avery (l) and Anna
Today's Parent magazine staff, contributors and friends have been knocked for a loop by the sudden death of senior editor Tracy Chappell. She died Monday night in her sleep at the age of 41, leaving her husband Sean and her children, Anna, 9 and Avery 6. The TP staff has posted online a collection of remembrances about what made her special to them.  That in addition to the dozens of tweets and Facebook posts.

Editor-in-chief Sasha Emmons said
As part of the Today’s Parent team for the last 14 years, Tracy had been around longer than anyone else, through many iterations and editors and roles. She was, in many ways, the soul of Today’s Parent. I’m not sure how we’re going to publish this magazine without her.
Contributor Jackie Gillard talked about how Chappell was the editor of the very first print magazine piece she published.
Tracy Chappell was one of a few certified diamonds in a sea of cubic zirconium. I hope her infinite love and grace holds her family tight right now and carries them through the horrific tragedy of losing their extraordinary mother, wife, daughter, sister, and aunt. She inspired so many, not just with her work, but with her entire essence and inner light.

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Seymour Chwast puts an archive of his
illustration online

The prolific New York illustrator and graphic designer Seymour Chwast, co-founder of Push Pin Studios, has put online an archive of his work.  It demonstrates his rather quirky world view and the breadth of his artistry in so many applications. Well worth a browse. It seems that this is downsizing time for him, too. A separate gallery sells his work in posters, limited edition prints but also later copies of Push Pin Graphic magazine, original illustrations and even personal sketches and drawings. 

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Maggies awards coming up May 28

The Manitoba Magazine Publishers' Association hosts the 7th Annual Maggie Awards May 28 at the Viscount Gort Hotel in Winnipeg. 6:30 p.m. 

Entries are judged in four publishing groups: Art & Literary; Business-to-business, association or custom; Consumer; and Best of the Best.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Independent magazines are faced with the challenge of passing the torch and keeping it lit

Succession planning in independent magazines is an under-discussed issue. That's why the recent Facebook post by Wendy Priesnitz is both apt (for her and husband/partner Rolf) and thought-provoking about how titles are to carry on when their hard working founders, visionaries and champions decide to kick back and move on.

Life Media publishes a family of digital magazines about natural family living, homeschooling/unschooling/life learning, and home/micro business, including digital bimonthly Natural Life magazine, Natural Child, Life Learning and Child's Play as well as a range of books (traditional and e- ) on similar themes
"Rolf and I have decided that we need to retire," said Priesnitz. "I turn 65 in two weeks (yikes); Rolf turns 68 in July and has had three strokes. So we're starting to look for people to take over some or all of what we do."
On the Life Media page the message was similar:
"We have been publishing magazines since 1976 and it is time for us to retire. But we would like to see the business continue. So we are entertaining proposals to purchase or otherwise take over one or all of the Life Media publications."
It seems most likely that successors will come from within their loyal readership, people who subscribe not only to the publications, but to their principles. The trick will be finding someone who has the editorial and publishing skills to carry on the work of almost 40 years.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Canadian Running 50th issue unveils subtle, bolder look

For its 50th issue, Canadian Running magazine has unveiled a subtly enhanced new and bolder look -- fewer cover lines, more of a poster presentation --  in its May-June issue. Editor-in-chief is Michael Doyle, art director is Warren Wheeler. (See a comparison with the previous look at Scott Bullock's Covers Sell blog.)

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Mag world view: Mobile measure; loony, not eccentric; countryfication; Emap's fall; free NYT

Magawards to be co-hosted by Lainey Lui and Jessica Allen

This year's National Magazine Awards will be co-hosted by television personalities Lainey Lui (left) and Jessica Allen. Lui is co-host of CTV's The Social and senior correspondent for Etalk. Allen is digital correspondent for The Social. The event will be held  June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. 

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Canada Council outlines trends it says are compelling new funding model

In advance of the unveiling of details of its new funding model in June, the Canada Council for the Arts has published a preliminary document outlining some of the trends and issues it has identified in consultations. 

The Council announced in January that there is to be a major overhaul, reducing 142 discipline-specific categories to fewer than 10 broad, national non-disciplinary programs, but without a reduction in over all funding. The new model will be announced in June and will be implemented  by 2017 

Among the trends and issues is says it has heard about:
  1. The need for flexibility and compressing the wait times between application and awards
  2. The need for interdisciplinarity and a more open-ended grant process
  3. A need to respond to alternatives to the formal not-for-profit arts organizations
  4. More engagement with the public and promoting the public profile of the arts
  5. The need to adapt to rapid technological change
  6. Increasing access to international opportunities
  7. Responding to diversity, particularly with aboriginal artists and young creators
  8. The precarious nature of the economy for the art sector

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mother Jones co-editors move up the masthead, one as CEO, the other as editor-in-chief

Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery, co-editors of Mother Jones magazine since 2006, have moved up the masthead. Bauerlein becomes CEO, replacing outgoing CEO Madeleine Buckingham and Jeffery becomes editor-in-chief. The pair are credited with transforming the magazine from a traditional print publication with 200,000 monthly readers to a multiplatform news organization with 9 million monthly readers (the print version continues). A press release from the magazine says
They tripled the size of the newsroom, opened bureaus in Washington and New York, and reinvigorated the organization's investigative muscle. During their tenure, Mother Jones has won three National Magazine Awards, two for general excellence. 
In 2013 the co-editors were the recipients of the prestigious PEN American award for editing; the judges wrote: "Mother Jones under Jeffery and Bauerlein has been transformed from what was a respected—if under-the-radar—indie publication to an internationally recognized powerhouse…whose writers and reporters often put more well-known and deep-pocketed news divisions to shame." 
"Clara and Monika are visionary leaders who have set a new standard for cutting-edge nonprofit journalism," said board chair Phil Straus. "The board of directors
looks forward to working with them on the next stage of our growth."
As part of the reorganization, Maria Streshinsky, the editor-in-chief of Pacific Standard (and, prior to that, managing editor of The Atlantic), will join as deputy editor. Aaron Wiener of Washington City Paper will join as a senior editor in the Washington bureau, and Russ Choma of Open Secrets and Max Rosenthal of Public Radio International become staff reporters.

Wedding Bells/MARIAGE survey says engaged in December, married in August is the trend

The average Canadian wedding costs $30,717, including the honeymoon, according to 2015 reader survey results published jointly by Weddingbells and MARIAGE Québec magazines. The survey says one-fifth of engagements occur in December, 23% of weddings in August, and that 29% of brides had already picked out their engagement ring before receiving a marriage proposal. The average age of responding brides is 30.

Weddingbells and MARIAGE Québec are published twice annually by St. Joseph Communications
[Click infographic to enlarge]
The survey was conducted between July 2014 and March 2015 with more than 2,000 brides and brides-to-be. 

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