Thursday, June 22, 2017

Rodale, Inc. is open to good offers

When it comes to corporate euphemisms, seeking "strategic alternatives" is a dandy. In other words, we'll sell the the highest bidder, which seems to be the message being sent by Rodale, Inc., the publishers of (among other titles that were right up at the checkout) Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Prevention and Runner’s World plus a shelf of books

With a mixed menu of bodybuilding and fitness, personal growth and crunchy diets and wellness, the publisher was also always family owned and kept its revenue information private. It was believed that the magazine publishing and book business pulled in about $350 million a year (U.S.).

According to a story in Media Post, 
"If Rodale doesn’t receive a suitable bid, the company is prepared to continue pursuit of its long-term business plan, which has included aggressive cost-cutting measures over the last few years, including closing Running Times, taking Prevention ad-free and raising the newsstand price, closing its Grow custom content studio, and number of layoffs."

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Scott Jamieson of Annex Business Media elected chair of Magazines Canada

Scott Jamieson has been elected chair of Magazines Canada, a post he will hold for the next two years. He succeeds Doug Knight. 

Jamieson is group publisher and director of content and engagement at Annex Business Media, and has 25 years’ experience in B2B media. In 1993 he became part owner of Canadian Forest Industries and Canadian Wood Products, which he helped launch, as well as Opérations forestières et de scierie. Scott joined Annex Business Media in 2004 when the three magazines were acquired, becoming publisher of the Montreal office in 2007 and group publisher of 10 titles in Simcoe, Ontario in 2009. In 2008 he launched Canadian Biomass magazine. Scott has served as a board member of Magazines Canada and the KRW Awards, as well as the BPA Magazine Advisory Board.

The full 2017-18 board is 
  • Scott Jamieson, Canadian Forest Industries, Chair
  • Patty Baxter, East Coast Living
  • Ryan Benn, Alive
  • Gilles Gagnier, Canadian Geographic
  • Joe Glionna, Oral Health
  • Niel Hiscox, Canadian Auto Dealer, who is treasurer
  • Matthew Holmes, Magazines Canada CEO
  • Douglas Knight, Toronto Life, Past Chair
  • Michal Kozlowski, Geist
  • Steve Maich, Maclean’s
  • Dominique Ritter, Reader’s Digest
  • Ryan Sargent, House & Home
  • Kathryn Taglia, The Fiddlehead
  • Jennifer Varkonyi, Maisonneuve

Officers appointed include  Jamieson, past chair Knight, treasurer Hiscox and Matthew Holmes, CEO

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Latest business media white paper released by Magazines Canada

The fifth in a series of white papers to emerge out of the annual Business Media Summit has been released.  The paper is titled "Moving Forward from a Position of Strength" and is authored by John Milne and me. It may be downloaded from the Magazines Canada website. 

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Ruth Kelly being remembered for her generosity and energy

Friends and colleagues of Ruth Kelly, the president of Venture Publishing Inc. are reportedly gathering this afternoon in Edmonton to mark the passing of this dynamic woman. She was one of the best people in the magazine business and gave generously of herself both through Magazines Canada and the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association. In 2013, AMPA awarded her the Lifetime Achievement Awards in Publishing.
According to a story in the Edmonton Journal, she died of suicide at the age of 60.
The last time I spoke with Ruth was at the Business Media Summit in King City in February and the subject was not magazines, but barbecues and wood smokers, about which I know little or nothing (she, on the other hand, was a foodie of the first rank). Other times, she and I tangled (disagreed)  about more magazine-related issues. She was a woman of strong, and generally well-earned, opinions and her views reflected years of striving, leadership and learning about the business. Among the many things that friends have said about her was what a generous mentor she was.
"In the last few years, Venture Publishing struggled," said the Journal story by Liane Faulder, "and Kelly along with it. In November 2016, the Canadian Media Guild sent a demand letter to Kelly, asking that 13 contractors be paid nearly $40,000 they were owed. Max Fawcett, former managing editor of Alberta Venture and former editor of Alberta Oil, said things at the magazine were “difficult.” 
"He said Kelly paid top dollar for Alberta Oil in 2008 but the recession, followed by the collapse of the price of oil in 2015, took a toll. Fawcett, who left Venture in 2015 for another magazine, said Kelly could be “incredibly intimidating because she was so smart, and so in command of what she was doing.” "

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

National Magazine Awards Foundation to change identity and become National Media Awards Foundation

The National Magazine Awards Foundation, so named for 40 years, is changing its corporate identity this fall to become the National Media Awards Foundation. It reflects not only the changing nature of the industry, with publications exploring multiple platforms, but also that the foundation now hosts two awards events -- the National Magazine Awards and the Digital Publishing Awards.

Nino Di Cara, President, National Media Awards Foundation, said [in a release]:

"Given that the Foundation now plays an integral role in celebrating creative achievement in digital media beyond magazines, it is important that our name represents the broader scope of our mission. As a not-for-profit, charitable organization, the NMAF is one of the most trusted brands in Canadian media, and we will continue that tradition of excellence by working with our stakeholders, industry partners, and creators themselves to ensure that our programs represent the incredible achievements in Canadian media."

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Shopping site Style.com shut down by Condé Nast after only 9 months

Barely nine months after it launched Style.com, Condé Nast has closed the online e-commerce site into which it is said to have invested $100 million. According to a story in the New York Times, visitors to the website are redirected to Farfetch, an online marketplace for high-end boutiques into for which Conde Nast was an early investor.
"The move is a stunning strategic backtrack by the publishing empire,"  [said the Times story] "which first announced a multimillion-dollar rebranding of Style.com, formerly the encyclopedic digital home of all Condé Nast runway coverage, in 2015. It also reflects the current turmoil in the glossy magazine industry, which has struggled to adapt to the digital age. 
“Our experience with Style.com taught us that content is a powerful driver of commerce, and the combination of great editorial with a great shopping experience creates a great user experience and revenue upside,” said Matt Starker, the general manager of digital strategy at Condé Nast. He acknowledged, however, that the skill sets required to create content and those required to run a seamless shopping site were different.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Doug Knight announces retirement from St. Joseph Media

Douglas Knight, the president of St. Joseph Media, the publisher of, among other things, Toronto Life, Fashion Magazine, Wedding Bells, Where Magazine and the website Torontoist. is retiring July 4. He has been with the company since 2006 and is chair of Magazines Canada. In 2015 he was named to the Order of Canada for his services to the arts community and as a media publisher.

He was one of the principal drivers behind this year's creation of Canadian Magazine Awards/Grands prix du magazine, in collaboration with Magazines Canada; the new awards hope to displace the 40-year-old National Magazine Awards. 
Knight said in a statement published by the Globe and Mail that he was leaving the company “to retire from the management trenches, to carve out some time to think about where and how I might devote my energies for the next ten years.” He added: “It has also been a privilege and a delight since returning to Canada in 2006 to have spent time in every province and territory of the country.”
He had been publisher and CEO of the Financial Post and later publisher and CEO of the Toronto Sun and had moved to New York in 2000 where he created a media acquisition consultancy that oversaw the purchase of a number of major metropolitan Spanish-language dailies, including New York’s El Diario.

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Magazines Canada breaks new ground by holding its annual general meeting online

In a departure from the usual, Magazines Canada is holding its annual general meeting online tomorrow (Tuesday 13) at 1 p.m.. (This is the 2nd such online meeting. Until recently, the AGM has been part of the MagNet  or annual industry gathering.) Member magazines who register and log in will be eligible for a draw for entry fees for next year's MagNet. The meeting will be delivered by Adobe Connect and it's recommended that the connection be tested beforehand. Slides illustrating various aspects of the event will be available online

It is recommended that members have a  high-speed wired Internet connection and use a phone for audio. There are relevant documents to be reviewed beforehand.  

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Thursday, June 08, 2017

Government having 2nd thoughts about "private right of action" in CASL

Part of the next phase of Canada's anti-spam legislation (CASL) has been postponed in the face of nervous lobbying by industry.According to a report in the Globe and Mail, the federal government has frozen the provision as of July 1 allowing consumers to take individual legal action against businesses for violating the act. And the government has asked that a parliamentary committee review the legislation; this may wind up doing away with individual lawsuits, although retaining other provisions and prosecutions already in force. 

CASL came into effect in 2014, requiring marketers to have consent to send electronic messages to consumersand  empowering the CRTC to impose fines of up to $10 million for businesses offending the act. Starting in 2015, marketers had to ensure their apps wouldn't infect recipients systems with malware. The July phase this year would have allowed people and organization to take violators to court and seek damages.

Publishers and industry associations were among those lobbying against imposition of some aspects of the law such as "private right of action" because it complicates normal and longstanding direct mail practices on which magazines have relied.However one part of the law that will continue to take effect on July 1 is the end of a three-year grace period for companies to prove they have consent to contact everyone on their marketing lists.

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Precedent founder Melissa Kluger named CSME Editor of the Year

Editor of the Year, Melissa Kluger
Precedent, the lawyer's magazine for lawyers that is celebrating 10 years of publication now has a mittful of awards from its peers at the Editors' Choice Awards of the Society of Magazine Editors. Founder, publisher and editor Melissa Kluger won the top award as Editor of the Year. Other awards won by Precedent during the CSME "ungala" on Wednesday 7th were:
  • Best trade publication
  • Best Front of Book
  • and, tied with Cottage Life magazine, the Jim Cormier Award for Display Writing
The other awards at the event were:
  • Best small circulation magazine (under 60,000) -- Vancouver magazine
  • Best medium circulation magazine (60,000 to 99,999) -- Cottage Life
  • Best large circulation magazine (>100,000) -- The Kit Compact
  • Best custom magazine -- Fairmont
  • Best tablet edition -- Style at Home
  • Best website -- Spacing
  • Best art integration -- Style at Home

Monday, June 05, 2017

Annex Business Media acquires fish farming and heavy lifting magazines

Annex Business Media continues to grow, with the acquisition of three new brands from Capamara Communications of Victoria, B.C. Two of the new titles move the company into a new line of business -- the aquaculture sector -- with international audiences.
  • Aquaculture North America , the fish farmer's magazine, serves aquaculture industry professionals from Canada through Mexico, focusing on technological developments, product information, company profiles and research findings. It prints 6 issues, circulating to a readership of 15,000 
  • Hatchery International is the only international magazine focused exclusively on the early rearing (hatchery) side of the aquaculture industry, fisheries enhancement and recirculation technology.
  • Crane & Hoist Canada is Canada’s only national magazine focused exclusively on Canada’s crane and hoist sectors. Its tagline is "The Business of Heavy Lifting". 
Annex says that Peter Chettleburgh, Capamara’s editorial director and owner, will work with Annex over the coming year to assist in the transition of the publications, while advertising manager Jeremy Thain joins Annex Business Media. Annex intends to continue working with the existing network of editors and contributors.
“This is an exciting addition for Annex,” says Annex COO Ted Markle. “Crane & Hoist Canada will complement our existing heavy construction and resource media group, and we see the aquaculture business as a sustainable, long-term business to be in, especially given the international reach of these magazines. These are well-run, respected brands, and we look forward to seeing what they can do at Annex.”  
Chettleburgh sees the sale as an opportunity for the three publications to grow in existing markets and tap into rapidly developing spaces in the international aquaculture sector. “It’s a good fit. And Crane and Hoist magazine will benefit from connections that Annex has in the heavy construction and resource sector.”

Annex Business Media is Canada’s largest B2B media company, with 63 brands, and revenue that spans print, digital, video, email, research and events. www.annexweb.com

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Friday, June 02, 2017

North Americans spend more than 10 hours a day on media consumption

Research has shown that, globally, people read, listened, streamed and posted media for 456 minutes a day in 2016. That's 7.6 hours a day. But North American consumption was up by 1.8 per cent to an astounding 612 minutes a day, or about 10 hours. 

The analysis by the research firm Zenith was reported by Recode said that the global consumption plateaued in the past  year.
According to Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting at Zenith, mobile internet drove our overall media consumption because it turned “what used to be non-media activity (talking to friends and family) to media activity (social media).”


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Thursday, June 01, 2017

Globe and Mail leads in Digital Publishing Awards; Canadian Art and CBC News win general excellence golds

The National Media Awards Foundation (NMAF) Thursday evening announced the winners of the 2017 Digital Publishing Awards, recognizing excellence in the content and creation of Canadian digital publications. Gold and Silver awards were made in 21 categories at the Digital Publishing Awards Soirée held at the Spoke Club in Toronto's King West district and hosted by author and illustrator Evan Munday.
“Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Digital Publishing Awards. The impressive achievements we have honoured tonight underscore the incredible innovation, diversity, and creativity of Canada's digital creators and publishers. We are fortunate to have a vibrant digital media industry in this country and we are proud to support it with the Digital Publishing Awards program.” – Nino Di Cara, NMAF President
Digital Publishing Awards winners in many categories received a $500 cash prize with their award.
Visit live.digitalpublishingawards.ca to view the nominees and winners in all 21 categories.
 GENERAL EXCELLENCE IN DIGITAL PUBLISHING
Canadian Art won the Gold Medal for General Excellence in Digital Publishing: Small Publications.
 “The originality and the creativity of the article subjects is striking,” said the Digital Publishing Awards jury. “Making a magazine that's both dense and approachable is what every editor hopes to achieve, and Canadian Art has succeeded where a lot of us fall short."
CBC News won the Gold Medal for General Excellence in Digital Publishing: Large Publications.
 "CBC News represents a high-water mark for digital publishing in Canada,” remarked the Digital Publishing Awards jury. “Outstanding writing is backed up with photography, video and interactive assets across a breath of topics that matter to Canadians. The team at CBC News continues a great tradition of producing a site that not only leads its peers in Canada, but stands comfortably with any news organization in the world.”
The CBC News team won 3 other Gold Medals in Best News Coverage: Local & Provincial, Best Online Video: Short and Best Service Feature: Family, Health & Careers.
EMERGING EXCELLENCE AWARD
Naël Shiab of L’actualité was named this year’s recipient of the Emerging Excellence Award. The award honours an individual whose early work in Canadian digital publishing shows the highest degree of craft and promise.
According to the Emerging Excellence Award jury:
“Naël Shiab is a bright light shining across the world of journalism. He combines the inquisitiveness and skepticism of a journalist with the creativity and three-dimensional thinking of a coder to create astonishing data-led work that illuminates and educates and entertains. He is the future of journalism and the more Naël Shiabs at work, the better off we are as an informed citizenry.”
 DIGITAL PUBLISHING LEADERSHIP AWARD
The Digital Publishing Leadership Award was presented to Kenny Yum, managing editor of HuffPost Canada. The award honours an individual whose career contributions to Canadian digital publishing deserve recognition and celebration.
“Kenny Yum is the kind of journalistic leader who represents everything that’s exciting and worthwhile in our industry. Long before digital media was a priority for most places, Kenny was already working on merging high-quality Canadian journalism with innovative formats to connect intimately with audiences. After roles at The Globe and Mail, National Post, Financial Post and CBC, Kenny helped launched HuffPost Canada six years ago. There, he’s built one of the country’s youngest, most culturally diverse newsrooms, where he challenges us to strive for excellence and innovation every day.” - Andree Lau, Managing Editor of News at HuffPost Canada
WINNERS HIGHLIGHTS
16 different publications received Digital Publishing Awards this year, including 10 publications which received their first-ever award.
  • Canadian Art, Canadian Press, Discourse Media, Hazlitt, HuffPost Canada, L’actualité, Policy Options, Ryerson Review of Journalism, VICE and Wedding Bells all won their first Digital Publishing Award this year.
  • CBC News, BuzzFeed Canada, Hakai Magazine, Today’s Parent, The Globe and Mail and Toronto Life won Digital Publishing Awards for the second year.
  • Naël Shiab won the inaugural Emerging Excellence Award, as well as the Silver Medal in Best Digital Initiative for his L’actualité piece, “Allez-vous être remplacé par un robot? Demandez-le à… notre robot!”
  • The Globe and Mail’sCrichton Farm” story won Gold in two categories: Best Feature Article: Short and Best Social Storytelling.
  • Toronto Life won the Gold Medal in Best Digital Design for the second year in a row.
  • The leading publication in this year’s Digital Publishing Awards is The Globe and Mail, winning a total of 12 awards, including 8 Gold and 4 Silver. They also received Honourable Mention in General Excellence in Digital Publishing: Large Publications.
Visit live.digitalpublishingawards.ca to view the winners and runners up in all 21 categories.
 
2017 DIGITAL PUBLISHING AWARDS RESULTS (see below)
Read more »

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"Really cool" art is featured on June cover of
OWL magazine

Eleven year old Abigail DiBiase of Wasaga Beach, Ontario  has her artwork featured on the cover of OWL magazine's June issue, in celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary. She won a contest that allowed kids 8 to 14 from across the country to submit artwork that defined what is "cool" about Canada.  

As the grand prize winner, DiBiase will receive an Acer tablet, an Owlkids prize pack and the issue with her artwork will be on newsstands across Canada on June 5.
"We were overwhelmed by the response from our readers. We received over 400 entries and the quality of the artwork was incredible," says Kendra Brown, Editor, OWL Magazine, [in a release.]  "Kids were excited to share with us, through their art, what they loved about Canada, and I was so impressed by both the creativity and thoughtfulness of their submissions. The idea of inclusion, openness and acceptance was a common element expressed through the art of many OWL readers.  Now, more than ever, it is especially reassuring to see such a hopeful and positive message being shared by this younger generation."
 DiBiase herself said
"I love the magazine and had a lot of fun working on my cover. My artwork shows that Canada is full of so many different people and I think it's really cool that we all live together in a happy way."

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