Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Rogers Media is out of magazine business as it agrees to sell all remaining titles to St. Joe's

Rogers Media is selling all its remaining magazines to St. Joseph Media, effective in April. The price for the transaction was not revealed, but it includes Maclean's, the English and French versions of ChatelaineToday's Parent, HELLO! Canada, along with digital publications FLARE and Canadian Business. All current employees will be offered employment with St. Joseph, which is a largest, privately owned print, media and communications company in Canada.

St. Joseph's most well-known titles are Toronto Life, FASHION Magazine, Weddingbells, MARIAGE Québec, Ottawa Magazine, Quill & Quire and the Where Group of Magazines in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto. 

"Our experience with brands such as Toronto Life, and the strategies applied and growth we have seen there, gives us confidence that we can help transform these brands so they may prosper in the quickly changing media landscape," CEO Tony Gagliano said in the release. “Bringing together two talented teams and many of Canada’s most celebrated magazine brands is an important opportunity for SJC, the media industry and our country.” 

Rogers has been trying to sell its magazines for well on a year and last fall sold MoneySense magazine as a digital portal to Ratehub Inc. 

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Wednesday, February 06, 2019

St. Joseph Media sells Torontoist to Daily Hive

The daily online news source, Torontoist, has been acquired from St. Joseph Media by Daily Hive, a national online publication which has recently expanded into the Toronto market.
“Torontoist has a strong local readership in the community, and we’re excited to have the opportunity to build on the site’s legacy and continue its success,” said Karm Sumal, CEO of Daily Hive. “We will be building on everything you have come to love about Torontoist — the trust, passion, and quick reporting — while simply adding a bit of our signature flair.”
Torontoist was purchased in 2011 by St Joseph Media. It had been launched in 2004 and, for a time, beginning in 2009, had been in a content partnership with the Globe and Mail. 

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Friday, February 01, 2019

Condé Nast planning to put most, if not all, its titles behind paywalls

Condé Nast intends to implement some form of a paywall on all of its digital media brands. These receive more than 100 million visitors each month. Already,the paywall is well established in such titles as The New Yorker, Wired and Vanity Fair. 
"I don't think anyone should be surprised to hear that a publication is going behind a paywall these days," says Sean Griffey, founder and CEO of the digital-first B2B firm Industry Dive. "What is surprising to me is the blanket statement that all Condé Nast publications will go behind a paywall. A paywall can be a viable model for a publication, but it isn't a viable model for every publication. The business model has to match both the content strategy and audience."
Samantha Barry, editor-in-chief of the now digital-only Glamour, which unveiled its redesigned website days after the paywall news broke. "Here’s the thing about paywalls," Barry told Cheddar in an interview posted Wednesday. "One of the great things at Condé Nast is that we can learn from the other publications. I think the paywall will take different variations based on the publication. We’re in the exploratory phases of what that looks like for Glamour."
Condé is suggesting that paywalls may only apply to "niche content". 


Thursday, January 31, 2019

UC Observer and Readers Digest collaborate on major feature about rescue of "White Helmets"

Reader's Digest Canada and the United Church Observer have collaborated on a major piece about the daring July 2018 rescue of the "White Helmets", the volunteer first response workers in Syria.
"Veteran journalist Sally Armstrong and photographer Peter Bregg have been producing powerful stories for The Observer since 2017, so when Armstrong pitched the White Helmets idea, I was immediately intrigued—and also realized its potential as a co-produced feature with Reader’s Digest,” says Jocelyn Bell, editor and publisher of The Observer. “Together, Armstrong’s writing and Bregg’s images create an incredibly compelling story, one that makes me proud to be a publisher—and a Canadian."
In August 2018, Armstrong and Bregg travelled to Jordan and Israel to learn about the people and planning behind the secret Canadian-led international operation that saved 422 lives and was, among other things, an inspiring testament to the value of working together.
The special report—which runs at 3,200 words in the January/February 2019 issue of Reader’s Digest and at 5,000 words in The Observer’January 2019 issue—is available on newsstands and at and
[Disclosure: I am a board member of the Observer.] 

Friday, January 25, 2019

David Balzer to step down as editor in chief of Canadian Art magazine

After three years in the position, David Balzer will be stepping down as editor in chief of Canadian Art magazine, effective at the end of March. 
Balzer will be departing to finish his forthcoming book; and taking up a teaching residency at Quest University in Squamish, BC. According to a release from the magazine, he will continue his association with Canadian Art as a contributing editor.
In a message to staff, Gabe Gonda and Debra Campbell, co-chairs of the Canadian Art Foundation board of directors, said, “As editor-in-chief at Canadian Art, David has pursued bold and innovative subjects, mentored young writers and editors and championed underheard communities and emerging voices. Through all this, David has remained one of the leading critical voices in contemporary art, and he will continue to play that role for the magazine going forward as a contributing editor. We’re delighted to be continuing our association with David and grateful for his contributions to the magazine.”
 Debra Rother, currently co-publisher, will become publisher of Canadian ArtSenior editor Bryne McLaughlin, who has been with the magazine since 2001, will assume the role of interim editor-in-chief, responsible for Canadian Art’s editorial operations.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

National Magazine Awards entries now open

Submissions are now being accepted for the 42nd annual National Magazine Awards. Entries are accepted in 29 written & visual, editorial, best magazine and special categories. Gold winner in written & visual categories receive $1,000 cash prize; Digital content is eligible in most categories. Entry fees for most categories is $100

Deadline is January 18; the early bird rate is by January 11th. 

Back by popular demand, the Freelancer Support Fund allows freelance creators to submit their first two entries at the discounted rate of $50 per submission, or 50% of the regular rate if entries are submitted after the early-bird deadline.

If your magazines’ annual revenue is $200,000 or less, you’re likely eligible for the Small Magazine Rebate. This rebate is equal to one free entry.

The 2019 Digital Publishing Awards will feature 23 awards recognizing and rewarding Canadian digital publications and creators. Creators’ awards come with a $500 cash prize. Submissions for the 4th annual DPAs will open on January 2, 2019.

National Magazine Awards: B2B In addition to submitting for the NMA category of Professional Article, B2B journalists and publications are invited to enter the inaugural National Magazine Awards: B2B. Awards in 19 categories will recognize the work of business-to-business creators and editorial teams, with $500 cash prizes for gGold winners in creator-focused categories. Submissions open on January 3, 2019.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Ford government claws back money from the Ontario Arts Council.

About 10 years ago, Ontario's Culture Ministry announced a $5 million funding boost to the budget of the Ontario Arts Council. It brought the government's annual support of the OAC to about $60 million.
This week, the Conservative  government cut funding to the OAC by $5 million, dropping the base funding for 2018-19 to $65 million.
In addition. after barely a year in existence, the goverment has slashed in half the Indigenous Culture Fund from $5 million to $2.75 million in 2018-19. 
Go figure.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Writing for Magazines and Web for seriously interested in writing and selling mag articles

Writing for Magazines and the Web (CDJN 117) at Ryerson University's Chang School is an introductory evening course about the basics of conceiving, focussing, pitching, researching, structuring, writing and revising a full-length feature magazine story. It is intended for those with a serious interest in writing and selling non-fiction articles to print and online magazines. Participants are expected to read a wide variety of Canadian and American periodicals and to complete (for grading) four shorter writing assignments in addition to the feature. The 13-week Wednesday evening course starts January 16 6:30 to 9:30. 

Mag and web publishing course provides a comprehensive overview

One of the foundation courses offered by the Chang School about magazine and web publishing is CDJN 112, due to start Monday, January 14th. It provides a broad overview of print and digital publishing with an emphasis on make the most of a fast-paced, dynamic environment. Each week concentrates on one aspect of the business (editorial, advertising, production etc.) and invited industry speakers  provide real-world insights. The main group project is creating a business plan that explores the various  aspects of the business.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

The News Group wholesale arm to be sold to U.S.-based hedge fund

The News Group (TNG) owned by the Jim Pattison Group is to be sold to Chatham Asset Management in a deal expected to close by year's end, according to a story in Folio:

What it means is that control of about two-thirds of the North American magazine wholesale market (including its subsidary Comag Marketing Group, the national distributor for Hearst Magazines,  Condé Nast, and American Media Inc., among others) will pass into the hands of a New Jersey-based hedge fund. 

About 1,500 TNG employees will move under the umbrella of a newly-formed American News Group. Canadian operations and TNG Merchandising were excluded from the sale and will remain as part of the Jim Pattison Group.

Related stories

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Friday, November 30, 2018

MoneySense online magazine sold to Ratehub Inc.

Rogers Communications Inc. has sold its MoneySense online-only magazine to Toronto-based Ratehub Inc. The deal is to close December 1. As a story in the Globe and Mail points out, this is the first (and only) one of eight magazines put up for sale  in the summer as a package including the company's custom content group. Rogers apparently had an understanding to sell seven titles (save for MoneySense) to the publisher of The Hockey News, but that deal collapsed a few weeks ago. 
Rogers will continue to produce MoneySense content, sell advertising and operate the website until the end of January in order to assist with the transition. Most of the content on the site is created by freelancers; no Rogers employees are moving as part of the acquisition.
Ratehub makes most of its money from affiliate marketing, but MoneySense is expected to continue to rely on standard online advertising to a great extent.