Monday, January 02, 2012

The year in Canadian magazines 2011

Once again, to mark the start of a new year, here is our highly arbitrary selection of stories through the year just past, concerning Canadian magazines and the people who drive them as published on the  Canadian Magazines blog. Look back with us month by month.  (Click on the headings to be taken to the original story.)
The Maclean's magazine publisher (and Canadian Business, Profit, MoneySense etc.) consolidated his steady rise through the ranks of Rogers Publishing Limited with the announcement that he was now responsible for all English and French consumer publishing. Resistance is futile...
Dauphin Media announces it is opening a New York office based on the success of Holmes magazine.
The last part of the long-running class action against some of Canada's largest publishers and database marketers is settled for $5.475 million. This makes the total in the three settlements $24 million.
Kayak, the kids' history magazine, gets a new editor as broadcast and print journalist Nancy Payne takes over.
Water Canada publisher Todd Latham joins an Antarctic expedition.
Transcontinental Media closes Madame magazine, the French counterpart to Homemakers.
Magazines Canada announces it is undertaking a broad, strategic plan to carry it forward to 2015
Eye Weekly, Torstar's anemic competitor in the Toronto "alternative" weekly market, is to get a whole new look and, possibly, a whole new name.
Goodbye to all that
It was announced, rather abruptly, that Caroline Connell was leaving Today's Parent magazine after a long tenure. Her departure heralded a shakeout that saw virtually the whole senior editorial team leave the Rogers title or be shown the door.
Run all the way to the bank
Freelance writers who were parties to the long-running class action suit Robertson v Thomson Corp et al, started to receive cheques from the first of several settlements in the case.
Brand X
Magazines Canada launches its own magazine, a biannual called Canadian Magazines Canadiens (not to be confused with this blog). It is intended to promote the excellence of Canadian magazines to decision makers in Canada and abroad.>/div>
The Last Post, indeed
Rae Murphy, a progressive journalist and author who was one of the founders of the muckraking magazine Last Post from the early '70s, dies.
Come into my parlour
Torontoist, the online site founded in 2004, is purchased by St. Joseph Media, the publishers of Toronto Life magazine.
Nude in NOW
Newly elected Toronto mayor Rob Ford, vexed by a photoshopped illustration showing him nude on its cover, orders copies of NOW magazine removed from all city-owned facilities.
Saltscapes magazine opens a family restaurant in Truro, Nova Scotia. It's not as though magazine publishing is not a perilous enough business...
The National Magazine Awards finalist list is released prematurely. The list was, at first, said to be "counterfeit" but turned out to be what the Magawards world headquarters said was an incomplete and early version released in error and blamed on a computer glitch.
The Toronto Standard launches online, based on a long-defunct paper. Some wondered why.
Editor John Macfarlance reports that supporters gave more than $1.6 million to the Walrus Foundation to make up the difference between what it costs to produce 10 yearly issues ($3.3 million) and what it can raise through ads and subscriptions.
Maclean's magazine is reprimanded by the Quebec Press Council for saying that Quebec was the "most corrupt" province.
Brian Segal announces that he is retiring as president and CEO of RogersPublishing
Sharon McAuley takes a sabbatical from being group publisher of Toronto Life and other St. Joe's titles in order to plan her "next 25 years".
The reborn Eye magazine, in its new incarnation as The Grid, announces it will no longer carry so-called "escort" ads. Editor-in-chief and publisher Laas Turnbull said the very profitable ads don't fit with the magazine's reinvention as a weekly city magazine.
Hard on the heels of publisher McAuley's departure, Toronto Life art director Jessica Rose announces that she is quitting to move to Great Britain.
Glacier Media buys a third of Rogers Publishing's b2b magazine properties, adding their distinctiveness to its own...
Matt O'Grady, the editor-in-chief of BCBusiness magazine resigned after an investigative cover story was killed by publisher Peter Legge as the magazine was going to press.
Up Here Business was named magazine of the year at the Kenneth R. Wilson awards for business to business magazines.
Mags BC had to start looking for a new executive director as Rhona MacInnes resigns
Jon Spencer of Abacus Circulation is named Circulation Marketer of the Year by the Circulation Marketing Association of Canada 
I was presented with the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement by the National Magazine Awards.
Rogers Media announced it would be launching a national, bi-weekly sports magazine called Sportsnet in the fall.
Four out of five of the reporters at Halifax-based Frank magazine quit or were fired,
Christine Dewairy leaves Maclean's to art direct Toronto Life. Did somebody blow a whistle?
Ken Whyte is announced to become president of Rogers Publishing Limited effective September 1, replacing the retiring Brian Segal. At about the same time, Rogers consolidates and merges its consumer and business/professional divisions under Whyte. John Milne, the well-respected senior vice-president and Paul Williams, vice-president, brand extension and online development, leave.
Operating room
Quarto Communications, which publishes Cottage Life magazine, agreed to sell 15% (with an option to increase it to 25%) of the company to Blue Ant Media, led by Michael MacMillan, the former executive chairman of Alliance Atlantis. Part of the investment will doubtless ease the magazine company's venture into Cottage Life TV.
Border crossing
Corporate Knights magazine says it plans to launch a U.S. edition, distributed by insertion in the Washington Post.
Reduce, reuse and pay up
The Quebec blue box program changes its recycling program and Magazines Canada says it means costs to publishers will be up 340% in 2012.
Scratching his jock itch
Steve Maich, the group publisher of Canadian Business, Profit and MoneySense magazines, moves to be the editor-in-chief of the about-to-be-launched Sportsnet.
Another shoe drops
Budget cuts were given as the reason for the dismissal of Homemakers magazine editor in chief Kathy Ulyott. Her departure follows by months the closure of the French-language companion Madame.
Swerve-ing away
The founder of Calgary's Swerve magazine, Shelley Youngblut, leaves to become the western editor of the Globe and Mail.
Rivals no more
Canadian Plastics absorbs Plastics in Canada. Once fierce competitors, now merged into one publication following the purchase by Glacier of 15 Rogers's trade books in May.
We thought that was what we were doing all along...
Canadian Heritage at last releases its revised formula for support for magazines under the Canada Periodical Fund. The ministry said that the new rules put the emphasis on reaching readers.
Shoppers Drug Marts shifted contract publishing of Glow magazine from Rogers (where it had been for 10 years) to St. Joseph Media (the successor to Multi-Vision Publishing, which published Glow's predecessors -- Healthwatch and Images.)
Sharp magazine die-cuts two flaps on the front cover of its magazine, including one that changes the magazine's name from Sharp to Shape to suit an inside ad for BMW. 
Isabelle Marcoux succeeds her father Remi as chair of Transcontinental Inc.
Melony Ward, the publisher of Canadian Art magazine for 11 years, joins the architecture and design magazine Azure as executive publisher. 
Well-known and well-loved writer, editor and teacher Charles Oberdorf, dies after a long illness.
A campaign started by Adbusters magazine resulted in a sit-in in a Wall Street Park that spawned the Occupy movement across the country and around the world. 
Kerry Mitchell, the vice-president of Rogers Consumer Publishing who was widely felt to be a fiercely loyal operative for president and publisher Ken Whyte, was let go. Apparently being a hench-person doesn't pay.
EnRoute magazine unveils a new design and features
Transcontinental Media merges media and interactive into one division.
St. Joseph sells Alaska and Yukon edition of Where to U.S. franchise holder
Publishers were blindsided by a new Canada Post rule restricting the use of half-wrap covers. (When they howled, the post office pushed the regulation back, indefinitely.)
Homemakers magazine being closed after 45 years by Transcontinental Media. 
Holmes magazine announces it is suspending publication in a dispute between the contract publishers Dauphin Media and the Holmes Group.
Gaze, the Halifax-based quarterly for LGBT audience, folds
The Hockey News strikes a content-sharing deal with Yahoo!
Fresh from a dispute concerning Holmes magazine, Dauphin Media surprises observers south of the border as an "obscure Canadian publisher" by getting the contract to publish a magazine for the National Football League. 
Laura McKeon named editor of the 45-year-old progressive magazine, replacing Graham Scott who resigned after three years to pursue other endeavours.
Duncan Hood, the editor of MoneySense magazine, moves to become editor of flagship Canadian Business.
Home for the holidays
National editor Andrew Coyne jumps from Maclean's back to the National Post where he was a founding staffer and Postmedia. Describes it as an "auspicious time" to be rejoining the Post because it bets on quality and makes money at it.
Canada Wide Media buys Real Weddings
Maisonneuve magazine investigation creates a cover story exposing corruption in the Montreal snow-clearing industry. The magazine boasts, justifiably, that all four of its cover stories in 2011 were written by women.
Dogs in Canada publisher lets everyone go. It had earlier said it would maintain an online presence after the year-end discontinuation of its print edition and annual directory.
Canadian Writers Group head Derek Finkle is reported to be planning to launch a service to market long form journalism one story at a time, online.



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