Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Quote, unquote: Don't let editorial veer away from the mission

"The average shopper...is not a PhD. If they want to buy a craft magazine — let’s say knitting — they are buying the magazine for creative ideas and designs they can duplicate. They are not buying the knitting magazine to learn how wool is made, the DNA differences of sheep, and 101 uses of lanolin. I can assure you that a knitting magazine offering 101 new patterns and a guide to making beautiful baby gifts will sell better on the typical newsstand than a more technical cover."
-- John Morthanos, "For newsstand success, magazines must stay true to editorial mission"  in Publishing Executive. He points out that a change in editorial mission can kill even the most successful titles. 

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Cultural mags collaborate on the latest LITBANG pop-up shop and festival

Several literary and cultural magazines are once again collaborating on the LITBANG Pop-Up Shop in Toronto. Participating will be The Feathertale Review, Taddle Creek, Broken Pencil, CAROUSEL and Poetry is Dead. The shop, at 982 Queen West, is open from April 7 to April 30, Tuesday to Sunday (with the exception of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.) 

The organizers say the event is more than a retail experience, though there are magazine issues and swag to purchase, of course, but is also a festival/community literary hub. For instance, there is a workshop where you can learn to use such social media as Twitter and Facebook to promote "yourself and your craft". On April 22, starting at 4:30, Broken Pencil is presenting a drop-in zine-making party. Plus there's a children's literature section, a writer's work space and a café.

Dominique Ritter to become EIC of Reader's Digest, succeeding Robert Goyette

Dominique Ritter
Dominique Ritter will be succeeding Robert Goyette as editor-in-chief of Reader's Digest Canada effective May 1. Ritter is currently the executive editor, having joined the magazine in 2011 from working as an editor at Spafax (now Bookmark), The Canadian Encyclopedia andAdbusters. Goyette is retiring after 30 years with Reader's Digest, the last seven as EIC.
“I’m excited to continue my work with Reader’s Digest as editor-in-chief,” says Ritter. “It’s difficult to imagine Reader’s Digest without Robert Goyette—he has been an exemplary custodian of this magazine and a thoughtful and reliable mentor. With the support of our exceptional editorial team, I will continue sharing inspiring stories with our readers, who are at the heart of what we do.”
Reader’s Digest Magazines Ltd. publishes five magazines, including Reader’s Digest, Canada’s most-read magazine, and Sélection, its French-language counterpart. They have a total print and digital average issue readership of over 5.9 million Canadians. Other magazine brands include Best Health, a healthy lifestyle magazine for Canadian women and More of Our Canada, a companion magazine to Our Canada magazine. Reader’s Digest operates a network of branded websites in Canada, including Rd.ca, besthealthmag.ca  and selection.ca.

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Monday, March 27, 2017

The Atlantic establishes Europe bureau to better serve is growing global audience

It's likely to be encouraging to people who believe in the impact of quality journalism that word comes from The Atlantic that it is  to create a European division in London. It is an expression of the record growth the magazine has been enjoying (single copy sales up 19% last year, total revenues up 18% and online growth to 33.7 million monthly uniques in February.)

Atlantic president Bob Cohn said
“More than one-quarter of our digital audience lives outside the United States,” says Cohn. “So we are already a global brand. This expansion means we’ll be creating more journalism from Europe for both U.S. and international readers, and bringing our lens on the world to more global leaders in business, finance, technology, culture and government.”
The new international bureau will be led by longtime national correspondent James Fallows. He and his wife Deborah Fallows, also a writer for The Atlantic, will move to London this summer. There will be a staff of 10.
“Our goal here is ambitious,” says Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief of The Atlantic. “We are hoping to bring Atlantic-quality journalism to a global audience in a very deliberate way. There is no one better to lead this effort than Jim Fallows, who understands in his bones the qualities that make a great Atlantic story, and whose desire for innovation and adventure is limitless.”

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Atlantic Journalism Awards finalists named

Finalists have been announced for the Atlantic Journalism Awards (AJAs); the awards will be presented May 6, 2017 at the St. John's Convention Cente. 

Awards are given for a variety of media, including radio, television and newspapers. Here are the magazine-related finalists:

Atlantic Magazine Article
Atlantic magazine -- best cover
Atlantic magazine  -- best profile article
Feature: Print

Circulation awards deadline extended to April 3

The 2017 CMC Awards will accept entries with an extended deadline, the awards still being presented at Magnet on April 26. Categories are:

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Showing some leg on a cover provokes a storm of protest

Flashing some leg has provoked some readers of the bridal annual Jodi. Model Thanuska Subramaniam is wearing a traditional bridal saree, arranged so that her legs are visible.
“Every bride has their own sense of individuality,” says creative director Thadsiga Jayaseleen, who worked on the concept with photographer Vipoositha Gnanenthra of Ovyian Photography. “And this issue was a celebration of whatever way they can drape their saree or wear their jewellery.”
However, according to a story in NOW magazine, comments on the Facebook page for the Jodi Bridal Show and in the publication TamilCulture.com  called it a " “mockery,” “shameful,” “an insult” and yet another way to kill Tamil culture. They declare outright that it is in no way representative of a Tamil Hindu bride.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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Online ad fraud may be twice as bad as thought

It makes us wonder why advertisers would seem rather to risk billions to ad fraud than pay for audited, provable audience in print and digital magazines and other publications. 

An article in Business Insider says that online ad fraud may be twice as big as first thought and advertisers stand to lose $16.4 billion to it this year.

A study commissioned by WPP ad agencies estimates that fraudulent traffic and clicks manufactured by bots in 2017 may be more than double what the [U.S.] Association of National Advertisers estimated would be lost to ad fraud in 2016. 

The World Federation of Advertisers predicted that fraud will cost advertisers $50 billion by 2025. 

Across 200 billion daily bid requests,4 billion ad calls, and 10 billion ad impressions a month, over a period of 12 months, the study by ad verification company Adloox found
Across the 200 billion bid requests, 50% were detected as being either non-human traffic (either a bot or a hijacked device) or fraudulent traffic, which includes bad actors trying to spoof real web domains to attempt to pass off to ad buyers as premium publishers.

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Monday, March 13, 2017

FASHION creative director named

St. Joseph Communications has announced the appointment of Brittany Eccles as creative director, FASHION. As such she will be responsible for design across all platforms -- print, digital, social, video and branded events.

Eccles was art director at ELLE Canada for four years and during her time there, the magazine won multiple awards, including being named Best Magazine in 2015 by the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME) as well as a Gold Medal in Fashion at the National Magazine Awards.  Before that she held senior design positions with FLARE and Today's Parent and still earlier had worked at the magazine and FASHION 18 as an associate designer.

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Thursday, March 09, 2017

Quote, unquote: Hot and tasty magazines

“A magazine has to be served hot, like a meal. You have to serve it right away. That’s the fun of it. It’s entertainment, but it’s also grounded in what’s going on in the culture, and if you miss out on that, it doesn’t work.
-- Wendy Goodman, the design editor of New York magazine, quoted in a New York Times article about the makeover of Architectural Digest (now AD)

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Mags Canada launches 2nd getaway contest to celebrate readership of Canadian magazines

Magazines Canada is launching its second Magazine Moment Genuine Canadian getaway contest inviting Canadians to celebrate reading their favourite Canadian magazines. There are three grand prizes worth up to $4,700 and five secondary prizes.The grand prizes include three night's accommodation in a Fairmont Hotel in the city of their choice, $1,500 travel spending money and a $500 Roots gift card.

The contest marks the 150th anniversary of Canada and is an extension of the Canadian Magazine Mashup series of promotional videos meant to speak to the unique experiences which derive from the diversity and range of Canadian magazine titles. 
“We wanted to create something that shows how much there is to discover at a Canadian magazine stand—there really is something there for everyone,” says Matthew Holmes, Magazines Canada CEO in a release. “Canadian Magazine Mashups showcase how our stories captivate and arrest us—take us to another place, and then bring us right back home,” agrees Annie Gabrielian of St. Joseph Media.
The industry association points out that 3 out of 4 Canadians read magazines regularly, spending an average of 49 minutes per issue.  

Read more »

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Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Mag world view: Condé cuts 100; Final shot for photo mag; Tronc eyeing US Weekly

National Magazine Awards will be May 26; Digital Publishing Awards June 1

You will want to jot this in your calendar: The dates have been confirmed for the 40th annual National Magazine  Awards and the Digital Publishing Awards.
  • NMAs are at Arcadian Court  on May 26
  • DPAs at Portland Room, Spoke Club on June 1

Monday, March 06, 2017

Shuffling the beauty deck with perforated FASHION flip book for April

Fashion magazine's April issue features five different cover images which allow readers to use the perforated "flip book" to play with views of cover model Coco Rocha for a possible 35 combinations. The covers feature the work of celebrity makeup artist Sir John Barnett of L'Oreal Paris USA, collaborating with Lesa Hannah, Fashion's beauty editor.
“The cover and the issue theme is grounded in the concept of ‘IRL vs. URL,’ a narrative on the In Real Life moments we experience versus our digital dreams,” says Noreen Flanagan, editor-in-chief“Understanding how and when our IRL and URL lives intersect — or don’t — is the inspiration for this issue.”
The interactive cover is augmented by video makeup tutorials with Sir John and asks readers to post their favourite combination on Instagram with the tag #FMIRLvsURL. Photography  on the issue, whcih is on Canadian newsstands next Monday, March 13, is by Owen Bruce and styling by George Antonopoulos.
“This is a great example of two brands coming together to create an exceptional content collaboration that provides surprise and delight for our audiences across all platforms,” says Jacqueline Loch, vice-president & group publisher, women’s brands at St. Joseph Communications. “L’Oréal Paris is a wonderful partner and a true innovator in beauty. They are the perfect brand for an editorial integration of this scale, embracing our vision while enabling us to bring the concept to life.”

Friday, March 03, 2017

Staying within the lines; the triumph of adult colouring books

Pieta Wooley, a writer from Powell River, B.C., has written an entertaining and thought-provoking column in the UC Observer about how adult colouring books have been crowding out magazines and soaking up the attention of previously engaged citizens.
"Sharpen your pencil crayons. Cuddle up with a mug of chamomile and the Harry Potter: Magical Creatures Coloring Book, and let the horrors of Aleppo, the fear of Trump and the drudgery of your day job evaporate under its spell. Be mindful. Be tranquil. Transform that line-drawn hippogriff into a magenta hippogriff. Or teal. Your choice. 
"Relegated to a single three-tier shelf at Shoppers are the serious magazines. The Walrus, MoneySense, The Economist, The Atlantic. An island of deep analysis and first-rate reporting in a sea of black-and-white butterflies and spiritual-but-not-religious doggerel."
Referring to data gathered by the Coast to Coast Newsstand Partnership, she notes that  
"From 2012 to 2015, the newsstand sales of adult colouring books in Canada increased by almost 6,600 percent. That’s according to Coast to Coast Boxscore, a set of statistics kept by the country’s largest magazine distributor. Sales of current affairs magazines, on the other hand, are down by a fifth in just three years. Every other category is also flagging: fitness by 40 percent, women’s lifestyle by 25 percent, home decor by 12 percent. Even celebrity magazines are down by 20 percent. 
"In other words, it seems at first glance as though masses of our otherwise-bright contemporaries are opting out of spending their leisure time reading about Arctic ice or Bashar al-Assad or the Trans-Pacific Partnership, in favour of applying bright ink to bleached pulp."

Mag world view: LA mag sold; millennials in RVs; NatGeo infographics; Monocle @10

Single copy sales down 12.4% in U.S. and Canada in 2016; revenue down 6.9%

Single copy sales of magazines in Canada and the U.S.were 12.4% lower in 2016, compared with the previous year. A story from Folio:, based on data released by auditing firm MagNet the unit decline represented a 6.9% decline in newsstand revenue.  
Compared to the 15.8 percent year-over-year drop in units sold and 13 percent revenue dip from 2014 to 2015, the 2016 numbers indicate that the downswing continues a gradual leveling-off — especially in revenues, whose declines have been partially abated by rising cover prices — but the pace of the downturn remains alarming; since 2011, unit sales have plummeted 52.4 percent, and revenues have fallen 43.2 percent. 
Overall, 373.2 million magazines were sold at retail in 2016, corresponding to $2.1 billion in revenue.
Since 2011, unit sales have plummeted 52.4 percent, and revenues have fallen 43.2 percent, the data says. Overall, 373.2 million magazines were sold at retail in 2016, corresponding to $2.1 billion in revenue.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

New Internationalist offers co-op shares to its readers to raise $635,000

[This post has been updated.] New Internationalist, the 44-year-old UK magazine -- which manages its North American operation out of Ottawa --  has decided to "do something big" by selling community shares in the magazine and making its readers co-owners in a cooperative society. This comes as the magazine celebrates publishing its 500th issue. It has a worldwide circulation of 37,000 of which 5,000 are in North America.

As the magazine says, it has never had a benefactor and, in the face of shrinking revenues,  it made sense to turn to readers to finance change. The goal is to turn the magazine around by selling shares and raising £500,000 ($635,000). 

The share offer is substantively different from a typical crowdfunding drive – which says ‘fund
us to continue doing what we do’. 

"In this case, we are saying ‘invest in us, to help transform our organization’."
"With that sum, we will relaunch the magazine, hugely increase our digital output and grow our book publishing and Ethical Shop social enterprise," says co-editor Hazel Healy. "Anything less will only be a sticking plaster [translation: band-aid]."  
Anyone over 16, from anywhere in the world, can invest in the £1 shares with a minimum of £50 and a maximum is £100,000.

[Update: As of the updating of this post (March 9), the campaign has raised £61,200 from some 173 investors, about 12% of its goal. 32% of its £500,000 goal or about £162,587 from more than 619 investors; if successful, says NI, it will result in setting up the largest such media organization globally.]