Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Selling product placement

Editors on the a recent panel in New York about product placement in magazines bristled at the very notion.

"I don't believe if you blur the line between editorial and advertising it makes either one better. It just makes them blurry," said Martha Nelson, Managing Editor of People.

But MindShare Senior Partner-Group Media Director Debbie Solomon, moderator of the panel, cited consumer research by her agency indicating that consumers seem to be "ok" with the idea of product placement in magazines, even though marketers and editors are reluctant to do so.

"I think this speaks to the wide definition of branded entertainment," said Solomon, "Virtually every publisher I speak to tells me they don't do it."

The ad agency research said 34% of agencies were using product placement in magazines, 42% of consumers said they were "OK" with it and 41% said "it depends", although they didn't say on what.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Not everybody believes in fact-checking

An old friend (chronologically and actually) took a strip off recently about fact checking. From the perspective of this experienced writer, poet, essayist, and frequent travel writer, the function of a fact-checker at a magazine is redundant or counter-productive. He also thinks it's insulting. He is not alone.

It's not always clear why some people see fact checkers as problems rather than solutions, but it's an important question, because magazines are the only medium that still uses such a function, although it is no longer a given. Certainly the recent decision by the Publisher and Editor of Maclean's to do away with most of his research (read, fact-checking) department raises again whether this is a necessity, a luxury for some or a dopey idea whose time is long since passed.

The positive side, first:

Fact checkers make writers better at what they do, either by making them work harder to avoid being caught out by the checkers, or because checkers make their stories even more accurate and unassailable than they could otherwise do for themselves. On complicated stories, it's insurance against frivolous complaints when every quote and fact has been double-checked. Sometimes, frankly, fact checkers can save even veteran writers from being embarrassed. Plus, trained fact-checkers can refine and improve a story, without impinging on the creative. In one example, a writer quoted the summary of a Parliamentary committee, only for the fact-checker (who diligently went to the actual minutes of the committee to double-check) to find that the summary was wrong. Not hugely wrong, but not right, if you see what we mean. Fact-checking is also a great way to train people in an entry level job that can pay off in their being better editors for their whole careers. John Macfarlane, Editor of Toronto Life, says that very few of the people he hires have not been interns at his shop, and virtually all interns spend most of their time fact-checking.

The negative side:

Fact checkers may get too big for their britches, querying a writer's style and word choice (which, properly, should be done by a copy editor -- usually a more seasoned position) as well as doing the more prosaic job of checking each quote with the person quoted and each stated fact against the source material. In addition, some writers think that fact checkers cause their colleagues (never themselves) to become lazy, figuring that the fact-checker will pick up any small errors. And going back to sources to check quotes can sometimes lead to unnecessary modifcations of something a person blurted out, but regretted in hindsight. (Interestingly, one hears very few concrete examples of sources "taking back" what they said.) Writers, of course, also hate the little bit of extra work involved in providing all the notes, transcripts and copies of or citations for source documents that fact-checking requires and demands.

Books, it is said, are not fact-checked because they couldn't afford to do it. Newspapers are not fact-checked because they face a daily grind that doesn't lend itself to it (and, besides, newspapers can correct their errors the next day -- a fairly cynical view). Magazines, with their longer periodicity and lead times, are said to want to get it right the first time to save trouble and because it could be months before they could publish a correction.

Even with something apparently as simple and commonplace (though not as commonplace as it once was) as fact checking, magazine people sometimes don't agree. But it is the rare magazine editor who doesn't thank his or her luck several times a year that a clanger was caught before it was printed on the page.

Perhaps readers have examples of the positive or the negative. Or views on the topic generally. (Also whether there is always a hyphen between fact and checking or checker.)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Zinio: Digital editions ... boring? thrilling?

OK, folks, whaddaya think? Pretend, just for a moment, that you're a consumer [grin].

How many of us would really want to read full-scale magazines entirely online? Am I just a neo-luddite -- are digital magazines the wave of the future? Check this out:


I can certainly understand subscribing to brief newsletters on subjects of interest to people's working lives, and I can see how newsy digital publications can complement lengthier, more thoughtful, hard-copy editions or sister publications. What I don't understand is the idea of wanting to "flip" through a digital edition using a hard-copy-emulating interface. It's like the worst of both worlds:

Unlike print editions, you can't gently let the magazine slip from your hands onto the floor as you read in bed at night... nor fold back the pages, nor clip things out for your refrigerator door, nor pass it along to your friends. And zooming in and out to see parts of a page just sounds like "work" to me.

And, unlike web sites, there is (I believe) no ability to click hypertext to quickly navigate to the content you want. [Imagine Vanity Fair -- 14 hours later you've clicked your way past all the ads at the front of the book and found the first editorial page.] I haven't signed up to find out what Zinio's search tool is like -- the promo bumpf cites "keyword search", not "full-text search" so I'm wary.

[However, it also promises "Notes and highlighting" -- wow -- I will never again need to scribble on my computer screen with a felt-tip pen!]

And if you CAN quickly search through the magazine for the content you want, bypassing all those full-page ads, then how much advertising revenue will there be for such digital editions (that very same ad revenue that's presumably keeping subscription costs affordable)? After all, we're all used to "flipping" through a magazine, often gazing admiringly at ads along the way ... but I find I've got almost zero patience for doing that via some digital interface.

Sure, I've seen other folks retrieving web pages on their little handhelds + blackberries + phones, but that looks slow and painful, and hi-text/lo-graphical. Useful in emergencies, I suppose.

But I can't imagine wanting to turn virtual pages of virtual magazines, just to emulate the print-medium experience. Is there any significant benefit other than the 'savings' that Zinio touts? Do y'all think we'll stick with paper, for the most part?

Or will my kind soon be obsolete, while the younger, fashionabler folks sit there reading their digital editions on the subways of the future (which will, incidentally, be solar-powered)? What's the event horizon on this kinda thing? Will Zinio languish in obscurity until "laptops" are simply 15-inch-wide flexible pieces of plastic that weigh a scant few grams (and can be crumpled up into your pocket without damaging them)?

My take on this? It's silly. And it would make my carpal tunnel syndrome worse. Am I right, or...?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Remaking Maclean's in his own image

The Ken Whyte stamp is being well and truly put on Maclean's with the severance of virtually his entire senior editorial management: longtime Executive Editors Michael Benedict and Bob Levin and Art Director Donna Braggins. The terminations were effective close of business on Tuesday.

Levin, characterized by former Editor Anthony (Tony Two Names) Wilson-Smith as someone who is "exacting, obstreperous and insistent" and a real sports nut to boot, returned to work full time only last year after fighting, and apparently winning, a bout against cancer. He is highly respected by the Maclean's staff as a fierce defender of editorial integrity.

Benedict was the consummate manager, a Maclean's "lifer", doing the critical but unpopular work of negotiating the magazine's contract and grievance process with the Communications Workers' Union (Maclean's is one of Canada's few, unionized magazine workplaces.) He also edited anchor special sections like the Maclean's Honour Roll.

Braggins, who has been working
part-time on her Masters Degree at York University, came to Maclean's after a stellar track record at Canadian Business, which went biweekly on her watch. At Maclean's, she led the most comprehensive redesign of the magazine in many years, right down to commissioning a typeface specially designed for the magazine. All was not smooth sailing between her and the previous editor, however and it seems, with the new one. (The truism that everyone thinks he's an art director apparently holds true.)

The changes are being positioned as a 'reallocation of resources' rather than cost-cutting, which is a signal that Whyte is going to fill at least two of these senior positions with people who suit him. This process has already started; on June 10 Steve Maich was promoted to be Senior Editor as well as National Business Columnist (announced concurrently with the appointment of Luiza Savage as contributing editor in Washington).

(In addition to the senior newsroom management changes, all but two staffers of the research department are also being turfed, which means effectively that Maclean's will henceforth only be fact-checking problematic stories. According to Mastheadonline
let go was chief of research Valerie Marchant and researcher-reporters Leah Bowness, Robert Hoshowsky, Michael MacLean, Karin Marley and Michael Snider.)

Maich joined Maclean's in July, 2004, as National Business columnist after three years at the National Post (where he worked for Whyte) and Bloomberg News. (His columns have taken a decided turn to the right, which seems to suit Whyte.)

Savage is a Yale and Harvard-educated Canadian who has been a Washington correspondent for The New York Sun and has reported for the Ottawa Citizen and the National Post.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Now THAT'S missing a deadline!

Cartographica is one among the many specialist journals published by the University of Toronto Press. And included in a notification about a new editorial team taking over (with thanks to the previous editor) is the following notice:

Although there have been a number of efforts to bring the journal's publishing schedule up to date, this is very difficult in the face of such a severe delay, and these efforts have not been successful, despite the work invested in them. The new editorial team is committed to publishing cartographica on schedule and has instituted a number of editorial changes to achieve this goal. Primarily, after publishing volume 38, issue 3/4 (2001), the journal will publish volume 39, issue 1 (2004), essentially skipping two years. Individuals and institutions who have paid for the missed volumes will have their subscriptions extended to cover the 2004 volume.

No more paper?

A small storm seems to have blown up towards the academic edge of the Canadian magazine publishing industry as the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) is said to be on the verge of adopting a policy to restrict its financial support to only those journals which publish electronically. Many small, specialized journals depend upon SSHRC grants for their very existence.

Last year, SSHRC published a consultative paper called From Granting Council to Knowledge Council, a discussion of issues arising from a cross-country consultation on the future of the research in the social sciences and humanities. Some readers got a strong impression (which was reinforced at the Learned Societies conference in May this year) that SSHRC was about to divert funding from traditional journals to ones that publish electronically. It was also suggested that money would be diverted to creating new kinds of publications that would better communicate with the general public (presumably by avoiding hard concepts and long words?).

A whole bunch of responses have been published from all sorts of associations and individuals. For instance, here's what the Canadian Association of Learned Journals said:

Are we moving from “academic excellence” to “maximum impact”? The later term is harder to determine and measure. Can we argue that a journal with less than 400 subscribers has inadequate impact but a journal with more subscribers has more impact? Indeed, the number of subscribers to a journal is a poor measure of its importance. This is not only true because institutional subscriptions represent far more readers than the single subscription, but also because the knowledge contained may be tremendously important to a small but important audience...

Many of the scholarly journals published in Canada are small and depend upon government grants to survive. Our reading of the report is that money will go to the founding of new scholarly journals for lay audiences (with the hiring of writers), but it is not clear whether these would be in addition to the journals already receiving support or to replace them. We strongly recommend to SSHRC to continue and expand its program of support for scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences. We suggest that the journal community develop a plan in conjunction with SSHRC to ensure the preservation of the strengths of what we have while adding on new dimensions that might serve society better.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Winning ways

The choice of maisonneuve as winner of the President's Medal at the National Magazine Awards on Friday night was very well received, although there was an awkward pause as the Publisher/Editor Derek Webster had to be fetched from outside the room. (A continuing problem for the awards is that up to 1/3 of the crowd bail before the presentation is complete.)

There was, as usual, some grumbling among the gathered multitude, both before and after the event. Among observations overheard about the awards were several, in no particular order.
  • There was curiosity about why the "best new magazine" category had disappeared, without explanation. Informally, we heard there were simply not enough entries, or at least not enough good ones.
  • There was some vigorous discussion about the rather lame collection of finalists in the cover category -- and observers noted that most of them were from controlled or newspaper-distributed titles like FQ and Toro, which don't have to meet the rigours of the newsstand.
  • Curiously, given that it has always prided itself on being an event about writers, illustrators and photographers, boldface pride of place was given in the program this year to the magazine the material appeared in rather than to the contributor.
  • Were we wrong, or was there a higher proportion of no-shows among winners, with editors and others going up to accept on their behalf?
  • And what's with the fact that almost none of the accepters bothered to say who they were?
  • While we know that magazine people have short attention spans, the event was very efficiently run this year, at about 2 hours. But this seemed to have been achieved at the expense of listing in the "splash", the nominees. For 9 out of 10 finalists, their only real reward has been in seeing their name up there, ever so briefly, in lights.
Some participants were mightily annoyed -- or puzzled -- by the views of the Outstanding Achievement Award winner, Paul Jones. He essentially said that he had concluded that the restrictions on foreign investment in magazines should be lifted so that more investment capital would be available and so that owners of magazines could hope to get a better return when they decided to sell. He mitigated this by saying that Canadian content regulations should be respected, but the message was still blunt and somewhat surprising. Jones has always been a thoughtful observer of the Canadian scene, and obviously chose to use the bully pulpit to get something off his chest. It was certainly a heavy duty message for what is often a light-hearted and emotional moment in the evening.

(Perhaps Jones's views merely exacerbated the mood of those members of the audience who had attended the Magazines Canada annual luncheon the day before when John Macfarlane of Toronto Life said something that he has said many times before, but rarely to such a crowd: that Canada is too small for most magazines to be successful.

(Macfarlane said this more in sorrow (and based on long experience) than anger, but his speech was certainly no tub-thumping call to arms or the usually self-congratulatory or humourous post-prandial fare of recent years. More like a bucket of cold water. He ended without the customary "brightness on the horizon" sort of conclusion. Then a lot of the same people, somewhat subdued by Macfarlane's candour, found themselves hearing Cathleen Black of Hearst Magazines, the Magazines Canada international speaker, essentially say that she didn't understand what Canadian publishers were whining about.)

Core values

How's the Canadian magazine business doing? On the surface, it looks good, with revenue and profits up in the most recent Statistics Canada data (2003-04). But we've been drilling down a bit to make some comparisons over time and it's a lot more sobering than initial impressions.

Using Statscan's own data, albeit with more titles captured in the recent research than early in the '90s, it is possible to make some per-title calculations and then adjust them for inflation. Here's what it shows:

In 1991-92, Statscan found that 1,261 consumer and trade titles*, large and small, had revenue of $927 million, or about $736,000 per title.

In 2003-04, 1,824 titles had revenue of $1.44 million or about $787,000 per title.

But we plugged those numbers into the Bank of Canada's inflation calculator, using the consumer price index (CPI) and found that over that period (92 - 2004) inflation was an average of about 1.76% a year.

In constant 1992 dollars, the average title had revenues of about $596,000 in 2003-04, a decline of about $140,000 per title.

Of course this is an average and there were undoubtedly some winners as well as some losers, but when you combine this with information in the previous post, which indicates that the proportion of unprofitable titles is actually increasing, it makes for lamentable reading and probably should spark some reflection by the industry and the government.

*these data do not include any scholarly or religious magazines; they total general consumer, special interest consumer, trade and farm publications.

Friday, June 10, 2005

More books, but profit? That's another thing

Over the past five years, according to the new 2003-04 Statscan data, there have been about 357 net new magazines of all kinds.
  • 72% are under 50,000 circulation per issue
  • 28% are less than 20,000
  • 11% less than 5,000



5,000 – 19,999

20,000 – 49,999

50,000 – 99,999
























In total, the ratio of unprofitable titles remains steady at about 37%.

But for the smallest magazines (<5,000),the number of unprofitable titles went from 38% to 42% between 1998-99 and now.

And for the largest magazines (100,000+), in 1998-99 25% were unprofitable; now it is 32%.

So, there are more titles but also more publishers having a tough time making money.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

More mags, fewer profits, more part-timers

Here are some early highlights from an analysis of the just-published 2003-2004 data from Statistics Canada about the Canadian Periodical industry. (Comparisons are with the 1998-99 data and are for consumer magazines only.)
  • The total number of reporting magazines went up from 860 to 1,085 (+26%)
  • Advertising sales went up 30%
  • Single copy sales went up 32%
  • Subscription sales declined by $15 million or about 7%
  • Total revenue was up 24%;
  • Total profit was off by 2.7%;
  • The percentage of magazines making a profit remained the same: 62%
  • There were about 836 more full and part-time employees;
  • The number of part-timers went up 46%; of full-time employees 13%;
  • The 3,526 full-timers made an average of $48,000 a year (up 23%)
  • The 1,401 part-timers made an average of $15,000 (up 67%)
  • Freelance fees went up by about 16%;
  • The average magazine spent about $40,000 a year on freelancers.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

You can't get that up there

Folio: The Magazine for Magazine Management, has been through some rough times recently, batted from pillar to post by Primedia, who then sold it to Red 7 Media LLC. Now, suddenly, this expensive trade book is being offered free to the first x thousand who respond, according to an e-mail sent to subscribers. In other words, converting from paid to request. One catch: if you're from Canada, this offer does not apply.

Try to sign up and you're either told that your zip code is wrong or that the free offer is only available in the United States and its possessions. (The vast magazine industry in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will be relieved.) Not sure how the couple of hundred Canadian subscribers will feel paying C$135 or so for something that U.S. magazine managers pay US$0 for. It's either request, or it's not, we'd think. But then it's always been a paradox: the magazine about magazine management invariably managed to screw up the subscription process by never sending renewal notices or invoices.

All of which is too bad, since Folio: has always otherwise been a terrific resource, and though it uses exclusively stateside examples, it's the rare publisher who can't learn a lot from the shared experience. Maybe paying for it will continue to be a good investment.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Online subscription sales

So has anyone else out there noticed what's going on with http://www.amazon.com in the USA? It doesn't seem to be happening in Canada, but it IS happening to Canadian magazines:

In the menu on the left-hand side of the amazon.com page, follow the link to "Magazine Subscriptions". In the search box at the top of the page, enter the name of your magazine and click "Go".

Interestingly, they're selling your magazine. Well, probably. Most large or mid-size Canadian magazines are listed there. Maclean's, Cdn Living, Chatelaine, The Walrus, Ski Canada, Opera Canada, Azure, New Internationalist ... almost all of the magazines I've looked up are listed there.

Any resulting subscription orders are (presumably) cleared through Ebsco/Canebsco.

Now -- ahem -- did you authorize Ebsco to sell subscriptions to the general public in this fashion? I thought not.

Most alarmingly, there's a little link that says "Ready to renew? Learn how". It takes you to a page that says this:

"When your subscription is about to expire, we'll send you a convenient renewal notice. You'll find a sample renewal mail below."

Really. How kind of them. But, um, typically the reason publishers authorize agencies to sell subscriptions to the general public (and remember -- Ebsco/Canebsco has until now primarily been a catalog agency that sells to libraries), it's because those agencies incur hefty promotional costs and therefore receive a hefty commission to cover those costs, and publishers get to renew those customers directly, so renewal orders aren't placed via the agency and therefore aren't subject to commission.

But in this case, it doesn't seem to work that way.

So my paranoid fear is that if we publishers don't nip this alarming Amazon.com/Ebsco thing in the proverbial bud, I bet their plan is to totally take over the magazine subscription market, by (together) providing centralized ordering of new and renewal subscriptions to the general public, WITHOUT actually undertaking any costly new subscription acquisition campaigns. They've already spent the bulk of that investment money ... it's called Amazon.com.

[Of course, since they're only selling subs in the USA at present, it's not the immediate danger that it will be when they flick that switch and start doing the same thing in the Canadian market.]

Anyone else worried about this? Has there been a huge discussion about this amongst my fellow circulators, and I simply missed it? In the not-too-distant future, will we publishers have to derive 100% of our revenues from advertising, because the agencies eat up virtually all the subscription revenues?

-- Jon

P.S. I know of one publisher who called and requested that Ebsco remove the unauthorized listing from Amazon in mid-February -- they said it would take 3 weeks. As of this morning, it's still there.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Currents under the surface

The usual frenzy is about as Magazines Week is upon us. Mags U at the Old Mill in Toronto is the place where magazine people work on their upper thighs traipsing upstairs and down in search of the room for their seminars. The trade show is where everyone practices eye-avoidance, as near-desperate vendors and exhibitors try to snag passersby who are only passing through in a search for a cup of coffee. Panelists wonder how the hell they'll ever fill a 3-hour slot; later they'll wonder why they ran out of time to cover all there is to cover. There is lots of corridor schmoozing and a general sense of goodwill amidst the mock-Tudor eloquence. If the sun shines, it is interesting to be on the patio where the smell of cigar smoke is still evident. All would seem right with the world....and yet?

There is an undercurrent at Mags U, not least of which is the continuous tension between the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association and the Magazines University steering committee, or its major player, Masthead magazine. They have agreed to stand down on the dispute that blew up a couple of years ago when the CMPA said it was fed up with carrying most of the costs but having proportionately much less say over the way the event was run. Negotiations are supposed to be going on.

That issue hasn't so much gone away as been put into hibernation for this year, and next. But unless something is worked out to rebalance the matter, the CMPA is probaby going to walk and put on its own event in 2007. Masthead cannot afford for that to happen. But CMPA can well go on its own.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

A new style magazine for politics

An interesting items in the Guardian Media site is this from Stephen Armstrong, about a relatively new British magazine (started August 2004) that gets at politics through a very stylish back door. Any young Canadian editors looking for an interesting model?

Lurking at the back of a Clerkenwell workshop is the office of London's latest style mag Diplo. Just like its hipster rivals Good For Nothing, Vice and Dazed & Confused, Diplo is put together by students straight out of St Martin's School of Fashion and Design. It has got all the cutting-edge visuals, the natty cartoons and even interviews with Snoop Dogg. Unlike the others, however, it also carries discussions on the state of Russia's market economy, a detailed history of Sino-Soviet relations and an essay by Denis McShane on Europe. Diplo is pitching itself as a journal of international affairs.

Editor Charlie Barker describes Diplo as the Economist for the Wallpaper* generation. On graduating from UCL, he set out to treat political discourse with the same passion other style magazines devote to fashion brands. To date, Diplo has devoted issues to Russia, Identity and Islam as well as co-operating with French discussion groups on joint European projects. "I'd studied politics and I found the things they were talking about were very interesting and very important but presented in very traditional and stale ways," he explains. "My generation wanted to be informed and wanted to engage in politics but didn't know how to. There was no exciting, innovative way for them to do this so I began to think - how could we translate what the politicians were talking about in a more creative way? So I came up with the idea of a graphic design magazine."

Diplo readers are a curious collection of students, creatives, MPs and party apparatchiks. Barker says: "I think today's generation, and not just my age group but people from all age groups, feel not just dissatisfied but disillusioned with politics. Politicians know that people feel very detached and they don't know how to bring them back into the political process. We don't have a political agenda but we do want people to try and be involved and one way we can do this is using graphic design."

Friday, June 03, 2005

The cheapest of shots

David Zimmer's back page comments about the National Magazine Awards in Masthead's June issue is as mean-spirited a piece as has come along in some time. It think it is meant to be witty. But it is ill-informed and shockingly rude towards one individual who does not deserve it.

There are lots of ways that Zimmer could have attacked the MagAwards, but it is the cheapest of cheap shots to attack the amount of money that accompanies the prizes. Yes, Zimmer may have meant to be funny, but to ream Terry Sellwood, the immediate past president, is unfair, unfunny and just wrong on many levels. I speak as a former longtime board member and former President. I've been where Terry Sellwood is, and sometimes difficult choices have to be made.

The MagAwards are a huge success story -- a sparkling event that has been run for more than 25 years on the proverbial shoestring. It has one employee and a volunteer board and a huge coterie of judges who do an amazing job for nothing. But most of this is done with only the slimmest of contributions from the dominant players in the magazine industry. The MagAwards board has had to go begging for corporate support from outside the industry when the people who benefit from the awards, or at least bask in the reflected glory, fail to step up to the plate.

When tickets cost $150 (as they do now), people assume that this pays for the program. In part, it does, although for many years the ticket barely covered the rubber chicken dinner. Now, at least, the Carlu venue and the buffet approach allows the awards to make some money on the spread. But it is a not-for-profit charitable organization and plows every dime it makes back into the program. Problem is, in recent years, there was no surplus and, worse, small deficits gnawed away at the rainy day reserve that had been built up.

I can see the perspective of a freelancer, who could use the money. It is too bad that prize money is somewhat less than it was; it should certainly have been growing. That was why the MagAwards in its earliest days tried to pay the biggest award money of any comparable programs. Look at the paltry prizes at the National Newspaper Awards. But one look at the income statements would have set that straight.

Did Zimmer ask to see the minutes of the board? Did he ask to look at any of the studies done in recent years about judging and prizes (one of which I wrote)? Did he make a comparison of the year-over-year revenues and expenses of the awards over a period of time? We will never know what research he did, because his article doesn't say. Had he done any, it has to be assumed he wouldn't have taken the cheap shot at Sellwood or done such damage to the image of the awards. It's decidedly unfunny and unfair.

It was clear from Zimmer's tone that he knew Sellwood was speaking ironically and (if he knows Terry as he claims to) in his usual tone of Eeyore-ish badinage. To use a series of out-of-context quotes in the way he does is mischevious at best and plain rotten behaviour at worst.