Friday, April 28, 2006
(Presumably their covetousness will encourage them to pay the high price such a luxury item will command!?)
Reader's Digest inks exclusive online sales deal
REDUX media Inc. is a Canadian based media representation firm, with offices in Toronto and Montreal, specializing in interactive advertising.
"We're confident that REDUX media brings all the right talent, skills and industry contacts to partner with us as we grow our online sales," said Larry Thomas, Vice President, Advertising and Publisher of Reader's Digest Magazines (Canada) Limited.
"We are very excited to team up with Reader's Digest. This agreement represents a tremendous opportunityfor REDUX media to increase its presence within the North American and International online advertising space. Partnering with Canada's most read, most trusted, magazine immediately strengthens our media offering and gives us more leverage to attract big brand advertisers and publishers alike," said Chris Patheiger, Director of Business Development at Redux.
Together, Reader's Digest and Sélection du Reader's Digest magazines reach 8.5 million readers every month in Canada.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Two Canadian church magazines, including the United Church Observer and Glad Tidings, the magazine of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, won awards at the Associated Church Press (ACP) convention in Orlando, Florida. The awards were presented April 25. (The Anglican Journal, the publication of the Anglican Church of Canada, which calls itself a newspaper, won several awards in the same event.
The ACP awards are given annually to recognize professional excellence among about 200 member publications of what is the oldest religious press association in North America.
By the way, the United Church Observer is looking for an Editor/Publisher.
British mags propose to help small newsstand operators
However, smaller newsagents are threatened by large supermarket chains, with huge newsstands. A new proposal has been put forward by Lord Heseltine, a former MP and cabinet minister, owner of Haymarket Publishing and the chair of a group of publishers fighting the Office of Fair Trading's own proposal to open up magazine distribution to more competition. (The OFT has apparently reversed course on this.)
Heseltine's group is suggesting that the industry should provide financial support in the form of an "administrative levy" to help smaller shops sell more of their magazines. It is reportedly backed by the Periodical Publishers' Association (the British equivalent of Magazines Canada).
In The Guardian on Monday, Heseltine said: "I was appalled by how bad the relationship was between publishers and newsagents. It didn't make any sense for the producers not to see eye-to-eye with the front end. Nobody benefits from inefficient distribution, least of all publishers."
The industry is reportedly considering spending £1m a year on distribution, a similar figure to that currently spent by newspaper publishers, or setting up an ombudsman to deal with complaints from retailers about distribution.
The British situation has resonance in Canada, where smaller newsstands suffer in the face of large chain bookstores and food stores. The common cause between independent Canadian magazines (of which there are almost 1,000 titles) and independent frontline sellers should be obvious. Whether an "equalization" scheme like Heseltine is suggesting would (or should) work here, who knows?
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
A position paper from the Boston Consulting Group, "A Perspective on Online Search for the Magazine Industry,"previewed by MDN says online search represents a real paradox for magazine publishers. The paper was to be presented to a Magazine Publishers of America forum.
"Online search presents real opportunities and real potential threats for the magazine industry,." said the paper. Search engines open magazines "to a wide variety of new competition," including blogs and other user-generated content, and that search engines disintermediate traditional media companies by selling ads around other companies' content.
The chief danger of opening content to 'scraping' and aggregation is the value that would be lost as fewer readers visit magazines' proprietary Web sites or pick up print copies, the report added. But at the same time, the industry must strike a careful balance--as search is also a valuable means of drawing readers to proprietary Web sites; on this subject the consultancy also warns against the other extreme--creating "walled-in" consortia of online content that are totally closed to search--noting that similar efforts by the newspaper industry, like the New Century Network, have already failed.
Long haul or short, trucking prices going up
- The major reason is the shortage of truck drivers, which is only going to get worse.Improved compensation for drivers will be a part of the long-term solution to the driver shortage, said Bradley. “Wages, which are a carrier’s number one cost component, are under upward pressure, but so are all of the other major cost components.”
- Fuel costs are up over 25 per cent since the beginning of the year – and over 60 per cent in the past two years, Bradley said, adding the introduction of ultra low sulphur diesel fuel will likely add several more cents to the cost of fuel per litre and will have less energy content than existing diesel.
- As well, the new, 2007 smog-free truck engines will enter the market this fall and are expected to cost up to $10,000 more to purchase as well as being more expensive to operate and maintain.
- “And a lot of the costs and responsibilities for secure border crossings, which should be shared, are being placed on the backs of motor carriers,” said Bradley. “While the industry began to repair its balance sheets over the past couple of years, profit margins are not anywhere near thick enough to be able to absorb these kinds of cost increases.”
*The BPC is an umbrella organization of major Canadian and North American book and magazine publisher, distributor and wholesaler associations. Since 1982, BPC has had a Freight Plan for its members that negotiates freight rates and service, establishes benchmarks in pricing and value-added services, and disseminates useful industry information.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Rolling Stone 1,000th issue to have 3D cover
It is reported that Wenner Media, the publisher, will be spending 10 times what a normal full-colour cover costs, but as Wil Dana, the managing editor said: "We wanted a 'wow' factor. It looks amazing."
The special cover is a montage similar to the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album and there are images of hundreds of pop culture luminaries since the late 1960s. The magazine has been working on the idea for more than a year.
National Graphics printed 2 million cover images -- as well as 2 million for the back cover ad from Target Corp.--and then sent them to Inserts USA to be glued to the cover.
The lenticular image is actually a lens pasted onto another image. In the 1990s, National Graphics developed a lens thin enough to run through a standard printing press. The process has been patented and the company has other related patents pending.
Rogers Media magazine ops have a profitable quarter
Earnings for the quarter ended March 31 amounted to five cents a share, versus a loss of 17 cents per share a year ago. Operating revenue jumped 28 per cent to $2 billion from $1.58 billion.Rogers Media's income from advertising and circulation totalled $641.2 million for the year ended December 31 (ads $503.9 million, circ and subs k$137,244). The division's media revenue (not including the Blue Jays baseball club) makes up about 8.5% of the total revenue for Rogers Communications Inc.
Monday, April 24, 2006
Interestingly, one of the finalist publications is the embattled Canadian Medical Association Journal and one of the finalist individuals is its fired editor, Dr. John Hoey.
"Readers who have read Weekly Scoop once tell us they love our celebrity news, style and entertainment coverage and they become repeat buyers," saidVivian Vassos, Editor-in-Chief, Weekly Scoop in a news release. "We look forward to providing more Canadians with access to Weekly Scoop and its unique celebrity content, Canadian fashion and beauty at this promotional price."
"This 25 cents issue is a popular industry tactic for new magazines that is designed to give people the opportunity to try the magazine at a low price," said Tracy Day, Director of Advertising.
What Day doesn't say is that usually such giveaway promotions are introductory, not made 5 months after launch.
And the pricing stunt is tacit admission that, in the crowded field of celebrity titles, the Scoop is falling flat. Not good news for the yet-to-be-published Rogers celebrity franchise Hello!
UPDATE: Of course there are other perspectives. Here is the item as reported by Strategy Magazine's Media in Canada newsletter:
Celeb mag category heats up; Weekly Scoop goes for a quarter
As Paris Hilton says: "It's hot." She might very well be speaking of the heat generated by the celebrity gossip magazine category. In Canada, Torstar's entry, Weekly Scoop, is on offer this week for a mere quarter -- a price point designed for mass consumption. "Celebrity gossip rags are doing very well in Canada. It's something new, something different for us here. In the U.S., it's just going nuts down there," says a Toronto-based media planning manager who asked not to be named. "Advertisers want Canadian players that we can put media dollars to. This [category] attracts a young demo, and it's weekly, so there's a frequency opportunity."
We're doomed, I tell you, DOOMED!
The magazine industry seems to be rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Nina Link, who heads the Magazine Publishers of America, responded to Merrill Lynch's report that the Internet will take in more advertising dollars in 2006 than magazines will by saying, "The people who report on media like to think it's really significant. I don't." Let me see if I can sort this out. Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine, usually considered to be the first magazine published in the United States, appeared in 1741. It is difficult to nail down the start of the Internet (since the military had it under development in some form since 1957) but let's randomly agree on the start of the Web, as we have come to know it today, as 1994--when Pizza Hut offered pizza ordering on its Web page. That's a 253-year head start for magazines. Yet, in a 12-year blink of a timeline eye, the Internet will pull in more ad dollars than the glossies.
Bravado and spin-control aside, were I the head of the MPA, I'd be shitting a brick right about now.
This is not to say that magazines haven't already put some serious effort into their online plays. The ill-fated Pathfinder tried to give Time, Inc. pubs an online presence early on in the game as, more successfully, did Conde Nast's CondeNet, which used content from its titles to try and build communities around themes like travel and cooking.
Most publishers choked on the notion of giving away online what they were selling on the newsstand, and drove traffic away in massive numbers. Others used online as an "added value" to print buying, essentially giving away their inventory as a "negotiating" tactic to close offline deals. The net effect was to gravely devalue the online ad space. The magazine industry's blundering along to try and find a way to attract visitors to content no one wanted to pay for (and which couldn't yet be monetized, because advertisers were still largely sitting on the sidelines) only confused and pissed off the public--ESPECIALLY print subscribers, who felt betrayed by publishers they'd been paying renewals to for years and years.
Now print magazines find themselves in the same unfortunate transitional stage as newspapers. Readers are aging, and younger people won't read anything that can't be downloaded to an iPod or cut and pasted into a term paper. The offline content can't be searched, customized or pulled off a server story by story. Advertisers aren't sure who sees their ads--and if readers do, how they react--putting the dead-tree industry behind a massive accountability eight ball. No matter how many bodies are tossed into the moat below the castle walls of Time Warner, Hearst, Meredith or Hachette, print magazines are expensive to compile, produce, print and distribute. And when the advertising goes (with GM at the head of the retreat) you will see a blood-letting of titles unprecedented in American history. You don't need to be Jack Kliger to understand the savings of producing an online publication versus one that gets crammed into a mailbox every month.
All economic evidence to the contrary, there will still be those trying to make the "bathroom" or "engagement" arguments long after the ship has sailed. It is time for the magazine industry to realize the inevitability of online-delivered, customized publications--and to use the brand loyalty they still enjoy to transition their readers to electronic platforms.
Even the Titanic turned out to be sinkable.
Curiously this "Canadian magazine for responsible business" is not listed in Canadian Advertising Rates and Data (CARD), the industry bible that lists virtually every other magazine in the country.
The company's website tells us that the magazine's mission is to "humanize the marketplace" and "connect the dots between marketplace actions and social and environmental impacts." It also claims that it is "the world’s largest circulation magazine with an explicit focus on corporate responsibility" (note the qualification). There are also biographies of co-founder, editor and CEO Toby A. A. Heaps and his team and advisory board.
Corporate Knights also publishes the annual Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada as a Globe and Mail insert, and the annual Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World, announced each year at the World Economic Forum in Davos. To do so, it has support from such government agencies as Industry Canada as well as from some of Canada's largest corporations.
The magazine is published 6 times a year to a controlled circulation of 95,500 per issue, 95% of it distributed to selected readers of the Globe and Mail (60% in Ontario, 15% in BC). According to the last audited circulation report (June 2005), there are no single copy sales, although the company claims to put 1,000 copies on newsstands. Another 5,000 go to "CEOs and leading Canadian executives, MPs and senior civil servants, MBA students at the country’s top schools".
If anyone out there knows more about this publication and its bona fides, click on "Comments" below and leave some information.
UPDATE: A quick search flushed out this quote from Mr. Heaps, from a posting on Antonia Zerbisias's blog: "Capitalism is about the best products and the best ideas winning. It's not about using monopoly and oligopoly and subversive pressure tactics. And when capitalism is practised that way, it gets a bad name. It would make Adam Smith roll in his grave."
Saturday, April 22, 2006
"If one of your hands is plunged in boiling water, while the other is frozen in a block of ice, then the average temperature of your two hands is just fine. That's exactly what happens when a range of data about a university are averaged into a single ranking."
University of Toronto president David Naylor pulled no punches in an article published in Saturday's Ottawa Citizen, defending the decision by his university and others to boycott Maclean's magazine's fall graduate survey. He said university leaders respect and support the magazine's annual spring rankings, but he dismissed the the methodology and the way the fall survey results are presented as part of a disturbing trend.
"These academic leaders respect Maclean's magazine's spring review of campuses and the readable compilation of a wide variety of performance indicators by the magazine, "Naylor said. "Many of us would happily collaborate with Maclean's if the spring format could be strengthened in some way, perhaps by grading different dimensions of a university's performance.
"But what is rapidly losing credibility is the Maclean's fall ritual of lumping a wide range of very different measures into a single set of rankings and proclaiming each year's "winners" and "losers."
"Here's the problem: Rankings and "league tables" are a good measure of success in things like sports and sales, where winning generally comes down to a single number. But no single measure can accurately reflect even a mid-sized university, where hundreds of professors and lecturers teach hundreds of courses across disciplines as varied as engineering and religion.
"Such concerns go well beyond Maclean's. They raise an important question for an era that is, rightly, concerned with measurement, accountability and transparency. But when does a metric become so oversimplified for the sake of newsworthiness that it is no longer worth using?
"My institution has found Maclean's useful for one thing only: marketing. None of us really believe that the ranking has much intellectual rigour. As academics we devote our careers to ensuring that people make important decisions on the basis of good data, analyzed with discipline. But Canadian universities have been complicit, en masse, in supporting a ranking system that has little scientific merit because it reduces everything to a meaningless, average score."
Friday, April 21, 2006
It's available in Toronto and in a surrounding arc roughly mirroring the Greater Toronto area, with an audited circulation of about 33,000 distributed in more than 1,200 locations. About 5,000 other copies are distributed free at music events.
For a controlled circulation magazine, reliable distribution is key and WholeNote has added its own particular wrinkle, essentially guaranteeing that within its circulation area, there will be a distribution point in every forward sortation area (FSA) , the first three letters of the postal code. If a reader spots an FSA where they're not, they'll establish a distribution point within four weeks or give the person a free, postal subscription.
The magazine has a fairly industrial strength and newspaperish design inside, but it is chockfull of information on all kinds of music. Its premium newsprint stock doesn't detract from the content and, in fact, adds to the magazine's friendly appeal. Well worth picking up.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Nevertheless, there are sometimes good sources for the discussion and the Economist is one of those. It has produced a special report that says we are already in an age of personal and participatory media.It points out that a lot of the assumptions about what would happen have turned out to be wrong (natch).
For instance, major corporations built huge "pipes" down which to push information and products from themselves and their partners, only to find that half the capacity is being taken up by information coming the other way, in the form of such things as blogs and chat.
"Even today, [these big guys] can barely conceive of a scenario in which users might put as much into the network as they take out, said the magazine's writer, Andreas Kluth.
1.There are very few contemporary journalism "stars" for tomorrow’s writers to look up to.To read the whole column, go here.
2. The average journalism student knows nothing about how the "bigger" world operates.
3. The Internet is crippling journalism.
4. There is no economic incentive because of inadequate starting salaries in journalism.
Mediamark said it will begin conducting weekly surveys with 2,500 individuals each week to determine if the Internet can be used to accurately measure how quickly consumers read individual editions of magazines. As with the Print Measurement Bureau in Canada, they will be shown magazine covers along with those covers' issue dates and asked whether they had looked into or read those particular issues and be asked how they obtained the magazines and where they read them, along with demographic data.
Marketers and agencies could conceivably use this data to better calculate advertising return-on-investment and "to develop an understanding of the factors contributing to issue-to-issue audience variability," said a Mediamark release. MRI says it is not intended to displace or replace, but rather to augment, its standard face-to-face interviewing.
Recently MRI announced another initiative, MediaDay, which reinterviews respondents to determine what media they use and for which purpose throughout a typical day.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Through the first three months, consumer magazine ad pages are up just 0.4 percent vs. the same period in 2005. The lackluster consumer magazine stats follow an update Monday by American Business Media, which estimated that ad pages in business magazines declined 2.3 percent in February, after falling 1.8 percent in January.
The dissenters (University of Toronto,McMaster University, the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta) told Maclean's that they won't send the latest graduate survey to 4,000 randomly selected alumni at each university.
The presidents say they find the Maclean's performance system to be lacking: "We are troubled by the low response rates of past surveys. We have no reason to expect the matters will be different on this occasion. As well, we are not persuaded that Maclean's has the analytic capacity to make appropriate adjustments . . . to take into account differential response rates by institution and region or the difference in institutional profiles."
Could it be they don't like the results?
Read more, from the Globe and Mail story, here.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
The magazine had newsstand sales up 22.5% over the previous year and ad pages up 46.1%. Yet CEO Jack Kliger opted to go completely online. Harrington noted a couple of things:
- There may have been deep discounting off the printed ad rates, so those rising page counts might not have been matched by pocketable ad revenues.
- Elle Girl reduced its cover price to $1.99 in 2005. The year before, when the price tag was $2.99 its sales were down by 12% over the previous year. "So while, in 2005, its unit sales improved by more than 20%, total retail dollars were up by just a single percentage point, which probably did not cover the inflationary increases in the costs of newsstand marketing."
"The people who report on media like to think it's really significant. I don't. It just says there are more opportunities to reach consumers and make powerful partnerships. The powerful brands and media are going to thrive."-- Nina Link, president-CEO, Magazine Publishers of America, commenting in a story in Advertising Age on the Merrill Lynch prediction that internet ad spending will surpass magazine ad spending this year.
"The tectonic plates are moving beneath us."-- Rob Gregory, group publisher at Dennis Publishing's Maxim, commenting on the same thing.
Perhaps they'll interview Ezra Levant
The fortnightly newspaper tackles a number of local and international issues as well as Islamic-oriented political and health matters, with the aim of responding to the caricatures depicting Prophet Mohammad which had triggered a wide-scale controversy in the Arab and Muslim world during the past two months. (This includes reprinting of the cartoons by the Western Standard magazine.)
The passing of the Beaver hat
According to mastheadoneline, Whiteway was an arts reporter with the Winnipeg Free Press in the 1980s and has published a series of crime novels under the pseudonym C.C. Benison.
Whiteway succeeds Murdoch Davis who bailed from the editorship to accept an offer from Hollinger International to be publisher and editor of an Indiana newspaper (see that post).
Monday, April 17, 2006
- Larger companies (>$1 billion in revenues) spend an average of US$1.1 million annually on their custom publications; smaller companies about half that.
Babylon is a term used in reggae and hip-hop slang as a synonym for a corrupt place — although it is sometimes used to refer to white society. Bascunan and Pearce interviewed more than 100 rappers worldwide for the book, to be published by Random House of Canada, talking about the role guns played in their lives.
Some of the interviews were published in the magazine last August and are still available online.
About The telephone
Friday, April 14, 2006
Web boost for Times
Despite seeing a drop in profit of $35 million over all in the first quarter, the New York Times's web-related businesses increased by 72 per cent, compared with the same period last year. They accounted for about $62 million in revenue -- or 7.5% of the company's income. The total included income from internet sites for newspapers and TV stations the company owns, About.com and various digital archives. Excluding About.com, which the Times bought from Primedia last March, web-related business increase 23.9%, taking in about $18 million.
Bodyshop is published by the Business Information Group, now owned by Glacier.
[Memo to Rogers Media: are you ahead of the wave with Hello! or is your launch of the Canadian version about to be becalmed?]
Thursday, April 13, 2006
"There is a lot that the magazine does better, particularly for certain kinds of advertisers who are interested in visual display. Cars are sold that way. Fashion is sold that way. Soft drinks are sold that way. Most of our key categories are sold with visual imagery. Those people who need to get a lot of data to a consumer--like warranty information, or where it makes sense to offer an opportunity to choose different colors and styles of a particular product--the Web does that great. We are kind of seeing a fad kind of reaction right now. It will all balance out, and those magazines that figure out how to make their Web product good and how to make it relate back to what's on that magazine page will be very successful."
-- Jann Wenner, Publisher of Rolling Stone and US Weekly, quoted in the Wall Street Journal (courtesy of Media DailyNews)
Torstar muscles in
The products take on such longstanding titles as Hamilton magazine (owned now by Osprey) and, in the case of the Waterloo Region market, a long-established independent business magazine called Exchange, published by the Jon R Group. The flexing of Torstar's muscles in the markets that it dominates, seems to be calculated to drive out the established titles and give it a monopoly not only in newspapers but in glossy print. Fortunately, the magazines are somewhat banal and generally not very good,by and large. Perhaps readers won't be diverted. But it is hard in a low-margin business like a regional publication to stand up to the clout of a Torstar.
Atlantic Mags strut their stuff
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Monday, April 10, 2006
UPDATE: Here is more detail in a story in the Globe and Mail by James Adams.
QUESTION: On what possible basis can the "grandfathering" of Time be continued now for tax-deductibility?
According to Jane Ottenberg, co-founder and president of the custom publisher The Magazine Group, "engagement is key" to understanding the appeal of custom publications, because "we're an ADD* society where people are being inundated with messaging, and people want to choose when, where, and how they get that messaging. You've seen that with iPods and TiVo--and in a way, custom publications are providing that choice and control for magazines. On the one hand, people can choose when they want to read it, or even if they're going to read it--but by the same token, when they do, you can engage people with your brand for a longer period of time."
*(ADD = attention deficit disorder)
Saturday, April 08, 2006
China "licenses" no more foreign magazines
Now even that has stopped, at least temporarily. It may be a reaction to the suspension of the Chinese edition of Rolling Stone, published by Wenner Media LLC. The joint publishing venture in Shanghai for the U.S. music and pop culture magazine was ordered to dissolve last month by the Chinese authorities after it put out a single issue containing material the General Administration of Press and Publications found offensive.
Paradoxically, China says its move is part of an effort to help Chinese publishers expand their foreign sales. But it really allows Chinese publishers to continue to clone -- or rip off -- foreign publications without let or hindrance.
Friday, April 07, 2006
Time Canada Style and Design has designs for bigger things
Circulation of 90,000 will be made up of high income individual readers (income greater than $75,000) drawn from the Time audience and elsewhere. Included in that number will be controlled distribution through select Chanel stores (including a boutique inside Holt Renfrew), Audi dealerships and at the magazine's sponsored events throughout the year. There will be two editions in the first year, but likely more if the idea catches on.
The magazine is targetting 6 key sponsors and support from luxury brands in the categories that make sense such as apparel, jewelry and cosmetics. A full-page ad will go for $15,960.
Menon says the magazine is extending the Time brand beyond print to live, exclusive events. "We'll have celebrities [during film festival events] wearing jewelry [from our partners], or Audi as the official chauffeur for all our events. We want to build multiple touchpoints for our brand and partners." Time's Style & Design carries a full-page ad rate of $15,960.
Editor named for Rogers/Canada Post magazines
Nicole Labbe has been named Editor-in-Chief of the new home and shopping magazines to be published by Rogers in collaboration with Canada Post. Labbe has been an editor with Coup de Pouce, enRoute and Femme Plus and was recently at TVA Publications. She recently created the first issue of SmartMoves/Déménageur magazine, Rogers' new custom publication for Canada Post, delivered to recent movers.
Both the French and English shopping magazines for the home are to launch in September 2006. Labbe will report to Kerry Mitchell, the Publisher of Chatelaine and Châtelaine and Vice-President, Rogers Consumer Publishing.
Just wanted you all to see the press release we sent out thisTime magazine. We have about 40% more readers per issue than the Globe and Post combined. We're increasing in the right demographics as well. This is a credit to the good work of Paul Jones and Tony Wilson-Smith, and to all we've endeavored to build in the past year.afternoon on our latest readership numbers. It's very good news for us. We are back in front of
We're also on a nice run with our newsstand business. We finished the first quarter of 2006 ahead of Time magazine in HDS market share (27% to 24%. They beat us 33% to 18% in 2004 and 33% to 21% last year. HDS only represents about 20% of our total newsstand draw so we have to be careful about reading too much into these numbers but they are nonetheless a reasonably good indicator of newsstand health.
Congratulations, and thanks for all your wonderful work. kw
CanWest Mediaworks experiencing significant losses for Dose and Metro
Wells, formerly Hearst’s director of partnership marketing, agency and ABC services, and currently managing member, The Subscription Source, says that there are thousands of sellers out there. Most are not directly authorized, and some do not work with an authorized clearing agent. Illegal agents often pick up and move their operations, whether a Web site or Post Office box, in the weeks that it takes to wait for an order to make its way through the system.
"One circulator at a major consumer magazine, who requested to remain an undisclosed source due to pending legal activity, recommends careful screening of list orders. Rogue agents have become particularly savvy in this area, often bold enough to assume the identity of a legitimate company to gain access to subscriber files.
"There are, however, red flags that pop up when fraudulent list orders come in. Illegal sellers, uninterested in mailing to anyone but magazine subscribers, have an inherent attraction to magazine lists. “I test every new mailer,” says the source. “The key is who is the mailer? What other lists are they renting? If they’re only renting publishing files, that’s a red flag.”
Customers will often recognize phony sub or renewal offers, especially when a legitimate renewal bill follows a phony one that the customer already paid, she said. "Make your fulfillment house and customer-service team aware that you’re interested in seeing any complaints linked to phony subscription-related mailings. Isolate these complaints and contact the customer directly to examine any previous or upcoming correspondence."
Renewal offers are where the real revenue impact is, says Dawn Russo, founder of consulting firm Subscription Integrity Services. “That’s where publishers are losing revenue,” she adds. “Agents are jumping on the renewals before the publishers are getting them.”
Taking legal action is the real issue. “Publishers are doing what they can do,” says Wells. “Tracking is not the problem. You have to take action. And that’s the problem. Publishers don’t have the wherewithal.” Action, according to Wells, goes beyond simply denying an agent your business. “Cutting off one rogue seller is like putting a band aid on a staph infection,” she says.
This may be the case of dealing with the area of greatest need: Peladeau had seized the reins at Quebeor World because it was in serious trouble with a slump in sales and a real mess in Europe. It didn't appear that he had succeeded in this rescue, but now it seems he is more needed at the troubled Sun newspaper division, part of Quebecor Media. It would be interesting to know the inside story here.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
"Dennis has a great track record of not waiting until it is too late to sell, which is the case with Maxim and Stuff," said Mark M. Edmiston, managing director, AdMedia Partners, an investment banking and advisory firm. "Blender is too soon, but no point in keeping that around if the others are sold."Ad Age said "the lad category has cooled after several years of white-hot growth, and Maxim is now preparing for a redesign aimed at bringing in more mature readers and higher-end advertisers. Its ad pages fell 6.2% last year, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Its newsstand sales have fallen from their heights, but its average paid circulation remains robust at 2.5 million, according to its latest statement to the Audit Bureau of Circulations."
"Mr. Dennis is not expected to sell The Week," the story said, "which has turned in rapid growth on a small base while much larger newsweeklies have stagnated."
New Ontario minister
In the Toronto Star, columnist Ian Urquhart commented:
Di Cocco is well-meaning but somewhat scatterbrained. Her qualifications for the culture portfolio? The press release announcing her appointment notes, among other things, that she used to be a member of the Sarnia-Lambton Folk Arts and Multicultural Council and she "has directed church choirs."A friend in high places notes that this is the fifth minister in this position in six years! And that Culture does not have much in the way of mag policy/programs to administer directly.In fact,on any one issue the magazine industry deals with up to three groups at any one time and about magazine policy deals on a more or less continuous basis with:
The Ontario Media Development Corporation
The Ontario Arts Council
Economic Development and Training
Innovation and Research
Murdoch Davis doffs his Beaver hat
From 2003 until April 2005, when he was fired, Davis was publisher of the Winnipeg Free Press. Before that, he was vice-president of editorial for CanWest.
The Beaver is published in Winnipeg by Canada's National History Society.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Perhaps "demise" is too strong a word, since the brand is going to continue in an online form. But consider the metrics of this magazine, which in 5 years had grown to nearly 600,000 circulation. Ad pages increased 46.1% last year to 750 pages and its average paid circulation was up 17.9%.It was not enough for the owners, Hachette Filippachi.
"After running this magazine for the past five years and continually doing research on the teen market, [President and CEO]Jack [Kliger] is totally redefining the strategy," said Anne L. Janas, a Hachette spokeswoman. "The print magazine is closing down but there will be increased investment online and in wireless. He believes that's where he needs to direct the primary investment of the company."
Editor Christina Kelly had, since August 2005, introduced new, snappier cover design and introduced new topics (to be advertiser as much as reader-friendly). And,while keeping its core focus on fashion, she was faced with the paradox of being ideal for beauty products, but for the fact that most companies are pitching "anti-aging" formulations that are not of any interest to the smooth-faced audience (for whom wrinkles are unthinkably far in the future.)
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Even with three free dailies in the market being measured for the first time (Metro, 24 hours and Dose), the traditional dailies still led, with The Province at 27% and the Vancouver Sun at 27%.
Quebecor's 24 hours got 9%, National Post 7%, Metro 5%, Globe and Mail 5% and Dose 2%.
NADbank is the principal research arm of the Canadian daily newspapers industry. NADbank is comprised of dailies, ad agencies, media companies and advertisers.
Brides.com combines content from three different Condé Nast magazines and the company is preparing another site, for teenage girls. And its projected new business magazine, which is to begin publishing next year, will have a large Internet component with original content.
"These investments mark a new level of commitment to the Web by Condé Nast, the nation's second-biggest magazine publisher after the Time Inc. division of Time Warner, and reflect the new reality in the magazine industry: The Internet is an indispensable companion to print," says the Times article. It quotes Steven Newhouse, scion of the founder of Advance Publications and chairman of Advance.net:
"You gain a broader audience and more loyalty from your subscribers if you extend the experience into the Web."
As the dowager queens of publishing shrug into flirty skirts, get hip and get serious about the web, are there signs of similar movement in Canada?
Specialty Farms spotlights the fact that, while tobacco farming is still around and written about, one is as likely to find articles about wind farming or tree planting. Sure, there's a cover story with news about the Ontario Flu-Cured Tobacco Marketing Board in the March issue (shown). But there's also articles of interest to ginseng growers. In the four counties of Norfolk,Brant, Elgin and Oxford, the magazine serves up seven issues annually to about 3,500 farms involved in traditional field crops, specialty crops, tobacco and fruit and vegetables. If you want to know more, they'll send you a sample issue.
Annex specializes in publishing small circ trade and farm magazines, ranging from Canadian Pizza and Canadian Vending to Greenhouse Canada and Baker's Journal. (We last wrote about them with an item about Canadian Pizza magazine.)
Monday, April 03, 2006
About 40% of Canada's imports in 2005 came from countries other than the United States and Japan, an increase of more than 10 percentage points from the 1990s. Apart from China, Korea, Europe, Mexico and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) profited from the lower share of imports from the United States and Japan to Canada in recent years.
Not surprisingly, the trade magazine was most interested in the fact that machinery and equipment, which is Canada's largest import group, was the most affected, with China and Mexico displacing U.S. products.
The United States accounted for about 54% of these imports in 2005, down from about 68% in 1990. Canada's imports of electrical and electronic products alone from the United States shrank by $10 billion between 2000 and 2005.
MRO is a trade magazine serving about 18,000 professionals in the machinery and utility industries. It is published by the Business Information Group. (MRO stands for "machinery, repair and operations").
Legion's report celebrates the determined efforts of two concerned Cape Bretoners, antiques dealer Myles Kehoe and dentist Michael Ojoleck who have led agitation for government action. "Although Canadian government documents show that, in 1984, a review of CB weapons dumpsites by DND was undertaken," says the article,"those results were not made public. Nearly 20 years later, the department began its $11-million WAD Project."
"After World War II, thousands of tonnes of agents such as mustard gas, phosgene and lewisite were jettisoned on land or at sea by numerous countries, including Canada, the United States, Britain, Russia, Denmark and Germany," said the article. "Canada used to be one of the major producers of these weapons. While dumping of chemical and biological weapons at sea has been outlawed since the 1970s, untold quantities of hazardous materials remain on the sea floor."
There is a concern that the metal drums, bombs, depth charges and other containers in which these agents were stored are corroding, and that the leaked agents could cause considerable damage to humans and the environment. At the same time, pinpointing the locations of munitions dumps has been made more difficult by several factors. For one, the men tasked with postwar weapons disposal in some cases let go of their toxic cargo before reaching their intended destination--so documentation may be inaccurate. For another, official documents have been lost or destroyed. And finally, ongoing military secrecy has been a common obstacle, in Canada and abroad. Concerns have been amplified since oil and gas exploration has been permitted to go on in the vicinity of these sitesKehoe said scientists, First Nations communities and fishermen, including his brother, have been noticing many unexplained phenomena with the sea life around Nova Scotia, including a proliferation of cancerous lesions on the fish and dual-sex crab. Nevertheless, licences have been granted to oil and gas companies to conduct exploration activities near, if not directly over, CB dumpsites off the coast of Nova Scotia.
Legion, for those who are not familiar with it, is one of those magazines that gets on with its mission and reaches a large number of Canadian homes without much notice being paid in the industry. It has a circulation of 320,000 and readership of more than three quarters of a million. It seems to be transforming itself gradually from what it had been -- largely a house organ for the Royal Canadian Legion -- into a magazine for a mature audience, with articles and information that is occasionally unexpected and surprising. This is probably a necessity, since even Korean War veterans are now in their 70s and many of the Second World War veterans are dying off.
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Call that a big circulation? Yes
Originally called Reader's Digest, it got into a legal spat with the original Reader's Digest (which it superficially resembles in editorial style and format). The dispute was resolved when it agreed to change its name to Reader.
Saturday, April 01, 2006
At 35,000 miles, it is the longest sailing event in the world. At 10 months, it is also the longest in duration. The 10 identical 68' racing yachts taking part in the race left Liverpool, England in September 2005 and are expected to finish in July 2006.
Robson will be aboard for the fifth of seven legs. That leg leaves from Qingdao, China (site of the 2008 summer Olympic sailing events) on April 8 and the 5,600-mile race to Victoria is expected to take about 30 days.
"Ever since I first started sailing," said Robson, "racing around the world represented the ultimate sailing adventure. To me it was on par with climbing Everest or competing in the Olympics. Although I managed to get a fair bit of offshore sailing under my belt over the years, I was never involved in one of 'the big ones.' When I heard that the Clipper Race was stopping in Victoria, I knew this could be my chance."
Some may wonder why, at the age of 49, Robson signed on for one of the toughest sailing challenges in the world. "I think its impossible to match the sense of adventure and achievement you get from being a thousand miles from land and then, weeks later, finally seeing land appear right where you've estimated it is going to be. You've done it completely on your own and survived on your own skills and wits. It gives you great confidence. The urge to experience it all once again has been growing in me for quite a few years and this adventure should get it out of my system quite nicely."
Globe notices magazines
- A two-page spread on the whole turmoil surrounding the Canadian Medical Association Journal;
- An article about the strong readership showing in the Print Measurement Bureau results of What's Cooking magazine, a contract published title produced for Kraft Foods by Redwood Custom Communications;
- An item in the Weekend Diary by James Adams about the Western Standard's struggles to defend itself against a human-rights complaint in Alberta over the publication of the so-called "Danish cartoons"
- An article, also by Adams, about whether the PMB results indicated an upswing at Maclean's; the conclusion was, um, maybe.