Monday, July 22, 2019

Association of [U.S.] Magazine Media moving from New York, shiftng emphasis to lobbying in DC

MPA — The Association of Magazine Media, the nonprofit trade group that represents around 75 of the largest consumer magazine publishers in the U.S., as well as suppliers and other industry stakeholders, is leaving New York after 100 years and relocating its headquarters to Washington, D.C., where it has long operated a government affairs office. 

The move is intended to put the emphasis on D.C.-based advocacy work around issues such as postal, ad tax, consumer privacy, the First Amendment and data and subscription marketing. Ten full-time and two part-time staffers at the New York office will be laid off according to a story in the New York Post. 

Susan Russ, the MPA's senior VP of communications, told Folio:. "This work contributes directly to our members' bottom lines." As such, Linda Thomas Brooks, the former ad agency exec who was brought in as CEO at the start of 2016, will step down from her role and leave the MPA at the end of the year, and the association has no plans to name a successor. 

Instead, the MPA's most senior staffer going forward will be Brigitte Gwyn, executive VP of government affairs, an experienced K Street lobbyist who joined the association earlier this year and will continue running its D.C. office. The MPA has spent between $500,000 and $650,000 on lobbying activities annually over each of the past several years, according to public records. 
The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME), which shares resources with the MPA and administers the annual National Magazine Awards in association with the Columbia School of Journalism, will remain based in New York but will maintain a relationship with the MPA moving forward.
"ASME anticipates no changes in the operation of the awards," says ASME's CEO, Sid Holt. "As in the past, the call for entries will be published in October, the judging will take place at Columbia in January and the awards will be presented in March."
Decisions related to the future of the MPA's regularly released audience reports as well as its series of in-person events, including the annual American Magazine Media Conference in New York each February and the IMAG Conference, held in various locations each spring, will be made over the next six months, but Russ says the association plans to maintain "at least one industry conference with other meetings throughout the year."


Friday, June 28, 2019

Nylon re-emerges in print

Nylon magazine, which suspended its print platform in October 2017, is relaunching it under new ownership. The alternative lifestyle and fashion magazine was bought by the Bustle Digital Group for an undisclosed sum, according to a story in Folio:. 
"We will invest heavily in expanding Nylon’s editorial team and advancing its strength in live experiences. Additionally, we believe that Nylon should exist in a print format, and that is part of the future plan,” Bryan Goldberg, CEO and founder of BDG, said in a statement.  This would be the first of BDG’s properties—which includes BustleRomper, Elite Daily and the Zoe Report, as well as the recently acquired GawkerThe OutlineMic and experiential marketing and events division Flavorpill Media—to have a print component.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Maclean's, Toronto Life and Hazlitt major Magawards medalists

The 42nd annual National Magazine awards were produced and presented Friday evening by the National Media Awards Foundation* at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. Among the highlights:
Top winning magazines

Toronto Life
Cottage Life


Nouveau Projet
The Walrus
The New Quarterly

  • Linda Spalding an acclaimed writer and longtime editor of the literary journal Brick was presented with the 2019 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.
  • Mathieu Lachapelle of Dînette Magazine captured three awards for his photography work, winning Silver for Portrait Photography and winning both Gold and Silver in Lifestyle Photography.
  • Anthony Oliveira is a 2019 two-time Gold winner in Long Form Feature Writing and Essay, for his piece “Death in the Village” published in Hazlitt.
  • The Walrus swept the Illustration (including spot and photo illustration) category: “The End of an Empire” by Sébastien Thibault won silver, while “Bad Code” by Cristian Fowlie took Gold.
  • Best Magazine: News, Business, General Interest
    • GOLD: Nouveau Projet; HONOURABLE MENTION: The Walrus, Toronto Life
  • Best Magazine: Special Interest 
    • GOLD: Up Here Magazine; HONOURABLE MENTION: Fete Chinoise, U of T Medicine
  • Best Magazine: Service & Lifestyle
    • GOLD: Cottage Life; HONOURABLE MENTION: Elle Canada, FASHION Magazine
  • Best Magazine: Art, Literary, & Culture
    • GOLD: Esse arts + opinion; HONOURABLE MENTION: Canadian Art, The Site Magazine
  • Publisher Grand Prix award recognizes a publisher whose brand best delivers on their editorial mandate through numerous platforms. From the three nominees—Canadian Geographic, Inuit Art Quarterly, and Toronto Life—Ken Hunt publisher of Toronto Life received gold. In their discussion, the jury put it thusly:  if you live in Toronto, you know Toronto Life, and as Toronto is growing, Toronto Life is growing with it.
  • Editor Grand Prix award is given for a senior-level editor who demonstrated a high degree of excellence, making an outstanding impact on their magazine. Alison Uncles of Maclean’s was the proud recipient of this year’s award.
  • Best New Magazine Writer was awarded to Max Binks-Collier for “Distant Relatives,” published in Maisonneuve. The jury had this to say of Max’s work: ““Distant Relatives” is a suspenseful, in-depth exploration of medical malpractice and the institutional complicity that allowed it to happen. With his thoughtful interviews and extensive historical research, Binks-Collier pulls readers in and keeps them hooked all the way through.”
To see a complete list of winners in all categories, please visit

*A charitable foundation, the NMAF’s mandate is to recognize, support and promote excellence in content creation of Canadian print and digital publications through annual programs of awards and national publicity efforts. The Foundation produces three distinct and bilingual award programs: the National Magazine A,wards the Digital Publishing Awards, and the National Magazine Awards: B2B.

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Winners announced for National Magazine Awards: B2B

  • Pivot, CPA Canada won the prestigious Best Magazine award, including 5 other gold awards. Writer Luc Rinaldi of Pivot, CPA Canada is a two-time Gold winner in the categories of Best Profile of a Company (for “Boy Wonder”) and Best Profile of a Person (for “The Decider”). 
  • Les Affaires (TC Media) was the recipient of the inaugural Best Publisher award. 
The National Magazine Awards: B2B were produced by the National Media Awards Foundation and the winners across 18 awards categories were announced at a luncheon this week. (The new format replaces the longtime KRWs (Kenneth R. Wilson Awards) for trade and B2B publishing. This was one of three awards programs produced by the NMAs this week, including the Digital Publishing Awards and the National Magazine Awards.)

For all gold and silver winners and runners up

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Sports Illustrated sold for $110 million to Authentic Brands Group

Sports Illustrated magazine, which Meredith Corp. bought as part of a deal with Time Inc.last year, has been sold for $110 million to Authentic Brands Group. This according to a story reported by AP.

While ownership will change hands,  Meredith will continue publishing the print edition and website under a licensing deal that lasts for the next two years.
Among other things, Authentic handles Frye and Tretorn brands and parts of the Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley estates.
Sports Illustrated began publishing in 1954 and covers a wide range of sports as well as an annual swimsuit edition. Authentic says Sports Illustrated has an audience of more than 120 million people online and in print.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Publishers of iconic U.S. black magazines Ebony and Jet file for bankruptcy

The publishers of two of the best-known magazines aimed at a black audience -- Ebony and Jet -- have filed for bankruptcy. Johnson Publishing Co. said the company was “caught in a tidal wave of marketplace changes and business issues which, despite exhaustive efforts, could not be overcome.”

Ebony was founded in 1945, patterned after LIFE magazine and it reached an average monthly circulation of around 2 million in the 1990s, according to an AP story.

Jet had ceased print publication in 2014 and became a digital-only publication. 
“Johnson Publishing Company is an iconic part of American and African American history since our founding in 1942, and the company’s impact on society cannot be overstated,” the company said in Tuesday’s statement.
After reporting revenues in the hundreds of millions in the 1990s, the company’s fortunes began to decline after Johnson died in 2005 and magazines in general began to struggle as advertisers moved to alternative media. 
In 2014, Jet ceased print editions and became a digital-only publication. In 2016, both publications were sold to Clear View Group, an equity firm in Texas.Despite being under new ownership, the company struggled financially, with freelance writers suing to be paid. The lawsuit was settled last year.


Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Scott Jamieson named COO of
Annex Business Media

Scott Jamieson has been promoted to chief operating officer (COO) of Annex Business Media, effective immediately, Jamieson is currently the chair of Magazines Canada.

He has been with Annex since 2004 and since then has helped built out the event business and consolidate the audience department. 

“Growing our own talent is a key part of the Annex culture,” says CEO Mike Fredericks  (to whom Jamieson reports), “so it’s exciting to have someone with Scott’s breadth of hands-on experience and media knowledge to lead the company. Scott has played an important role in recent innovation at Annex. I look forward to seeing where he takes us next.” 

Annex Business Media is Canada’s largest business media company, with 66 media brands and a sector-leading technology suite. It is a values-driven outfit with offices and printing facilities in Simcoe and Toronto, ON.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Magazines Canada will not lobby about foreign investment or supports for journalism

Magazines Canada does not intend to lobby the federal government about either support for the journalism sector in advance of budget 2019 or about foreign investment in the magazine sector. 

Jacqueline LaRocque of public affairs firm Compass Rose said she intends to lobbying about a number of  budget matters such as antispam legislation and the review of the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Acts as well as  increased funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and Canada Periodical Fund.

But Magazines Canada would not lobby as it relates to government support for journalism or foreign investment restrictions in the Canadian magazine sector under the Investment Canada Act (ICA). 
“Magazines Canada will not be lobbying the federal government on this issue [foreign investment],” Melanie Rutledge, the group’s executive director, said in a statement. While the group is “interested in” the ICA, it will not be “engaging with parliamentarians or political offices on this issue at this time,” she added.
Magazines Canada also confirmed that it would not be lobbying political offices on supports for the journalism sector.
The Liberal government announced last fall that it would provide almost $600 million over five years in incentives to Canada’s ailing news media. The measures would allow some qualified outlets to receive a 25 per cent refundable tax credit on newsroom salaries and issue a 15 per cent tax credit to digital subscribers. They would also create access to charitable tax incentives for not-for-profit journalism.


Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Thomson Reuters divests its law titles and sites to Australian b2b publisher Key Media

Thomson Reuters Media Solutions has sold the titles Canadian Lawyer, InHouse, Law Times and other leading media brands, including digital, print, event and directory assets to HAB Press, part of an international b2b media company Key Media.
Key Media has been in the legal market dating back to 2002 as the founding publishers of Australasian Legal Business/Asian Legal Business and associated events. Currently the company publishes Australasian Lawyer and NZ Lawyer - leading online resources for partners and in-house counsel in Australia and New Zealand.


Magazine-related finalists for the Atlantic Journalism Awards

Finalists for the Atlantic Journalism Awards (AJAs) have been announced. The gold and silver awards will be presented Saturday, May 11 at the Halifax Harbourfront Marriott Hotel. Here are the magazine-related finalists:

Atlantic Magazine Article 

Richard Woodbury – Halifax Magazine – Halifax, NS – Out of the darkness
Stephen Kimber – Atlantic Business Magazine – St. John’s, NL – Scents and sensibility.

Atlantic Magazine: Best Cover
Atlantic Books Today – Halifax, NS – Spring 2018: Retail revival
Jenn Thornhill Verma – Saltscapes – Halifax, NS – Half a century a fisherman.
Maggie Rahr – Halifax Magazine – Halifax, NS – Standing on his own.

Atlantic Magazine: Best Profile Article

Excellence in Digital Journalism: Enterprise/Longform
Matthew Halliday – The Deep – Halifax, NS – Homeland.

Business Reporting: Any Medium

Arts and Entertainment Reporting: Any Medium


Monday, April 01, 2019

UC Observer relaunching as Broadview magazine

Relaunched and repositioned
North America's oldest continually published periodical, the United Church Observer, is relaunching with a new name and a new outlook, one designed to influence a broader audience with an emphasis on social justice, ethics and spirituality. 

Founded in 1829 as the Christian Guardian; became the Observer in 1939. Now it is rebranding as Broadview. It will be available to a wider audience, both distributed as subscriptions to church members and  by single copies through various book grocery and drugstore chains across Canada. Its new tagline is "spirituality, justice and ethical living".

The relaunch was provoked by declining subscriptions and the recent closure of other denominational publications such as the Presbyterian Record, which closed last year. "We pretty much knew what would happen if we did nothing," says editor Jocelyn Bell, adding their business plan projects sustainability within three years. 
"It’s a matter of trying to unlock the potential of what we’re doing here and getting it out to a wider audience," said editor Jocelyn Bell in an interview with the  Winnipeg Free PressThe new name reflects open-mindedness and inclusivity, while maintaining its identity as a left-leaning Christian publication.  "We felt (the new name) would counteract the idea that religion could be closed and dogmatic."
Editor Jocelyn Bell
The 29,000 current Observer subscribers will continue to receive the national edition.The publication hopes to appeal not only to current  church members, but to a broader "spiritual-but-not -religious" audience. 
"We’re going after people who are progressive Christian and share those core values with us," says Bell.
The magazine has operated independently of the United Church since 1986. It will now be published 10 times a year instead of 11, but with 16 more pages per issue. The cost for a single issue is $6.99; a year's subscription, $30.
[Disclosure: I am a board member of the Observer.]


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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