Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Ascent goes even higher; Shameless needn't be

[Note: This post has been corrected and updated.] For the second time, out of 5 straight nominations, Ascent magazine has won one of Utne magazine's coveted Independent Press Awards. The Montreal-based yoga magazine's win is announced in the just-published January-February issue of Utne. Every year, the staff of the magazine troll through some 1,300 independently published magazines to come up with a short list. Ascent has had a lock on nominations in the "Spiritual Coverage" category since 2000, and it was in that category it won this time (as it did in 2003). It was one of two Canadian magazines to win, including the Toronto-based Shameless in the Personal Life category, although New Internationalist, a British magazine with a Canadian franchise, was also a winner.

Why publishers could become tree huggers

While the previous item spoke of an American "greenbuilding" initiative, there is an even more laudable program working quietly and persistently closer to home. That's a 3-year-old lobbying venture that is attempting to wean Canadian magazine (and book) publishers off paper that contains fibre from ancient, old growth and endangered forests.

Markets Initiative is a joint project of Greenpeace, the Friends of Clayquot Sound and the B.C. Chapter of the Sierra Club. If publishers were considering what New Year's resolutions they were going to make (as I'm sure all of them are), they could do much worse than at least considering the battery of arguments that Markets Initiative makes. It's not just warm and fuzzy tree-hugging but a cogent case for the economics and the business ethics of choosing an ecologically friendlier alternative. In many cases, publishers will find that alternative papers are relatively widely available and comparable in cost and Markets Inititative can be persuasive in overcoming publishers objections, such as that going green will drive up paper costs or lose readers because of reduced quality of reproduction.

The project's website offers a useful dowloadable kit of information.

If you want to know more, you can also go here or here (all these sites link up). Or you could call Markets Initiative in Vancouver at (604) 253-7701 ext. 24 or (250) 725-8050. Ask for Neva Murtha.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The greenbuilding of America

If you think that a) there are no new niches and b) no more smart people to spot and take advantage of them, perhaps you'll take heart from the U.S. launch of Green Builder. Working out of Montpelier, Vermont, and having accessed the list of the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) partners John Wagner and a New Mexico builder called Ron Jones, are creating a printed, national trade magazine from scratch.

The trick is that the controlled list saved them an estimated $2.5 million in costs of acquiring paid subcribers. Wagner was a publishing consultant, and Jones called him for some advice on a traditional, paid subscription book. Wagner told Jones that the idea would never fly the way he was going about it. "You're the first person to say no, so we want to do business with you, " said Jones. From an idea for a paid circ book, it evolved to a controlled model. On the basis of the list they were able to negotiate with the NAHB, they were able to finance the venture.
"Green is the conservative way to build houses," said Wagner, who will be Editor-in-Chief. "We're not demanding that people go green just to assuage their conscience. There are financial incentives to go green."
According to Wagner, building green means that the materials and techniques used in the construction are not only more energy-efficient, saving heating and cooling costs, but they also incorporate products that are manufactured using less "embodied energy" (resources like electricity and water), and products that are non-toxic.

The magazine debuts in January with 110,000 circulation. For more about the venture, go here.

Quote, unquote

Anne Moore, Chair and CEO of Time Inc., who submitted to a quizzing by Advertising Age (subscription req'd) about recent cuts of 105 staff positions, including some very senior people:
I still believe in the magazine industry. What we do, our core competency, is trusted editing skills. Whether we do it on paper or not remains to be seen, but in an age of too much information, isn’t our core competency worth more, not less?

Is blood thicker than culture?

The aboriginal magazine Spirit ventures onto controversial ground in its current issue (marking two years of publishing), by exploring the question of "out-marriage". It's when Indians marry non-status, white or non-Indian partners. Spirit's publisher, Harmony Rice, says its something that her audience talks about all the time, so it's time the magazine did, too:
“It’s a question that we are asked a lot as publishers of a ‘Native’ magazine and we know it’s a touchy subject but we believe it is time to explore the subject that our people have been talking about for a long time.”

“The discussion that happens among Aboriginal circles about mistaken identity is exhausting,” says Rice. “I’m tired of explaining my bloodline and tired of listening to others explain how they get confused for being Spanish or Japanese. Why do we get off on that? 1/8, 1/4 or half. Does it matter? It does to some.”

How very Canadian

Time Canada has named Mr. Justice John Gomery as its Canadian "Newsmaker of the Year". This seems a very Canadian sort of icon, doesn't it? He was cited for working hard, despite suffering a case of shingles, and because of the impressive scope of his inquiry. But wasn't the scope of his enquiry pretty much determined by his terms of reference when he was appointed? Not to take anything away from Justice Gomery, but it seems Time Canada thinks he transcends other newsmakers by doing his job. Elsewhere, Time chose Pope Benedict as European newsmaker. At least he was elected.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Ooo, look, everybody's out of step except our Paul

BBC News has quoted Maclean's columnist Paul Wells criticizing Prime Minister Paul Martin's statements about the United States.

[Paul Wells] says with Mr Martin fighting for re-election after his government was brought down in a vote of no-confidence, he is behaving like a politician with his back to the wall.

"He's allowed his worst instincts to come to the fore and he's basically pandered to anti-American sentiment more energetically than any politician I can remember," he adds.

Mr Wells says the US is still the country's most influential role model and that Mr Martin's anti-US rhetoric could damage Canada's relations with the White House.

My honest opinion is that this is one of the stupidest things he could possibly do. We do have to get along with these people - $1bn of goods and services are traded across the border every day," he says.

"It's really dumb to lecture them at a global forum on global warming, when Canada has been notoriously far more profligate in its greenhouse gas emissions than the United States. That's simple hypocrisy and the Americans are smart enough to know that."

Nevertheless, Mr Wells says that the anti-American card is always popular with Canadian voters. He notes that tracking polls seem to suggest that Mr Martin's popularity has risen since the US ambassador made his comments.

The question is, can Wells have it both ways? Is it good politics? Or bad policy? Or both? When a hard line to the U.S. is so popular with the public, is the public, or are commentators like Paul Wells, out of step?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Two times unlucky

The hip New York magazine Radar has been suspended, according to an article in Newsday. It was launched in 2003, but fizzled for lack of financing. It was revived recently under the protection of Daily News owner Mortimer Zuckerman, but after three issues the plug has been pulled again. It had a reported or claimed circulation of 150,000. But in U.S. terms that is tiny, and the New York print ad market is brutal.

Free but not a free ride

Free commuter dailies, such as Metro and Dose in Canada, and A.M. New York, Metro, Red Eye, Express and Quick in the U.S. may not be having such a fundamental impact on traditional newspapers as first thought. This, at least, according to a study by Scarborough Research sponsored by the New York Times. Now, of course, the Times would have a significant vested interest in making this case, but the research reportedly shows that the free papers have netted many readers, but they generally keep reading "real" newspapers. Read more about it here in a report by Media Daily News.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Standard and Poor's outlook for U.S. mags

Standard and Poor, the rating agency, forecasts that magazine ad pages in the U.S. will post minimal growth in 2006, in the low single-digits, according to an article on the UK-Ireland edition of Yahoo Finance.

"Ad pages increased an anemic 0.3% in the first 10 months of 2005, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, as declines in pages for home furnishings, technology, and automotive -- the largest category -- offset improving advertising demand," said the article, which looked at all media, advertising and the music and entertainment businesses.

"The (magazine) industry has been struggling to reestablish a growth trend since 2001. The sector's share of total ad spending has steadily declined, to about 4.5% of total advertising expenditures in 2005 from 5% in 2000, losing to cable TV and the Internet. Complicating a bleak growth outlook, the industry is still embroiled in a scandal over the use of subscription agents that have overstated paid circulation, impairing affected magazines' credibility with advertisers.

"New magazine launches are likely to continue at a robust pace in 2006, as publishers seek to gain revenue share through better niche targeting -- increasing already stiff competition for circulation and advertising dollars for established titles.

"Circulation-related costs are expected to remain high. Paper, printing, and postage costs account for approximately 40% of magazine publishers' operating expenses. The industry will face a modest postage-rate increase, which will likely be implemented in January, 2006, the first hike since June, 2002. The independent Postal Rate Commission has approved a 5.7% increase in the postage rate for weekly newsmagazines, to 18.5 cents, and a 5.5% hike for household magazines, to 28.9 cents. Paper cost increases have eased in late 2005 and could be on a flattish trend going into 2006."

Looming deadline for 2005 mag award entries

If you're going to take off Christmas week, that leaves very little time to complete your entries to the National Magazine Awards. Deadline is January 10*. Being magazine people, you tend to start thinking about it at, rather than before the deadline. A good habit to break.

*Curiously, the MagAwards said that entries "without exception" would have to be postmarked by January 10. Then they say that, if they receive them up to the 18th, postmarked anytime between the 11th and the 18th, they'll take 'em, but charge you $25 more. Sounds like an exception to me.

The big dogs howl

The impact of the shift to digital publishing is felt most keenly at companies with the most to lose. Yesterday, Time Inc., the world's largest publisher of consumer magazines, laid off 105 mostly business employees and started from the top down, chopping Ad Sales Chief Jack Haire, Time magazine President Ellen Naughton and Richard Atkinson, executive vice-president in charge of Time Inc.'s news and information group.

There has been serious erosion of ad pages in some, but not all, Time Inc. titles. Down are Time (14.2 %) through the first 11 months of 2005 versus the same period in 2004, Sports Illustrated (-18.5%), Fortune (-10.3%), Entertainment Weekly (-6.4%), and Money (-2.1%). People, In Style and Real Simple had healthy gains.

Read more in the story in Media Daily News.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Sounds like fun, huh?

The Western Standard Cruise which ended on Sunday (the participants sailed from Dec. 4 to 11 on the Holland America Line's MS Westerdam) took a knot of about 75 right-thinking people (they had been hoping for 100) on a short jaunt from Nassau, Bahamas to St. Maarten, Tortola and back to Half Moon Bay in Bahamas.

Scheduled to entertain the cruisers were speakers including Publisher Ezra Levant, Western Standard Chairman Lyle Dunkley and a number of other starboard-side commentators:
  • John O'Sullivan, the Editor-at-Large of the National Review
  • Lorne Gunter, columnist for the Edmonton Journal and the National Post
  • Andrew Coyne, a National Post and Western Standard columnist
  • Colby Cosh (ditto)
  • David Warren, a columnist for the Standard and the Ottawa Citizen
  • Rounding out the entertainment was John Williamson, the Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayer's Federation and Ted Byfield, founder of the late Alberta Report, described as the "great granddaddy of Canadian conservatism".
The WS got the idea for the fundraiser from a similar event run by the National Review. No word on whether the cruise, which cost C$3,303 per person double or C$5,026 single, made money.

If you visit the Western Standard's website, check out the Shotgun Blog. But bring your asbestos gloves, since the blog is apparently unmediated and the most outrageous postings are commonplaces.

Move east, think small

The Globe and Mail publishes an online magazine called Report on Small Business and has just announced that it has scooped the Editor-in-Chief of BC Business magazine to run it. Noel Hulsman had been in the top chair at Canada Wide's BC Business for a little more than a year. He has an MA in urban planning from the University of Waterloo and, according to the Globe's internal announcement, went after graduation in 1994 to Kuala Lumpur to work on "a massive property development on the South China Sea". He moved back to Vancouver in 1997 and worked his way up from freelancing. His challenge now (and we again quote the Globe) is to "set about the complex task of reinventing RO[S]B and the small-business hub on" The reinvention starts January 9.

[UPDATE: It has been pointed out that Report on Small Business is more than an online magazine, but is circulated largely outside of Ontario sponsored by the Federal Business Development Bank.]

Monday, December 12, 2005

Awards hatched from Penguin Eggs

Congratulations are in order for the Edmonton-based folk music magazine Penguin Eggs and its editor Roddy Campbell who, with Arthur McGregor from the Ottawa Folklore Centre, launched the Canadian Folk Music Awards. The inaugural awards were made in Ottawa on Saturday (the Winnipeg group Nathan won for best contemporary folk offering and best vocal group for its album Jimson Weed. For other winners go here.)

The eccentrically named Penguin Eggs (you never forget the name, do you, once you've heard it?) is a quarterly that specializes in coverage of folk, roots and world music. It can be found on newsstands, by subscription and online here.

Murdoch Davis guns for Martin

Murdoch Davis, former editor of the Winnipeg Free Press and now Editor of The Beaver, weighed in on the op ed page of the Toronto Star on Saturday about the proposed handgun ban. Clearly he is not taking his perspectives into genteel retirement at the history magazine. He makes it clear he thinks the handgun ban is a bad idea and son of a bad idea (the gun registry).

By the way, the current issue of The Beaver shows that the new design is no flash-in-the-pan. It's full of good stuff and some very handsome visuals.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Ontario mags in the money

There is a great variety in the list of magazines that were tapped for the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) Magazine Fund, announced to recipients November 10. They ranged from trade titles (Collision Repair) to gay titles (Fab) to environmental mags like Alternatives Journal. Successful applicants will receive up to 75 per cent of their total project budget, capped at a maximum of $25,000.
  • Alternatives Journal (Alternatives Inc.)
  • C.E.BIZ (C.E.BIZ Corp.)
  • Canadian Art (Canadian Art Foundation)
  • Canadian Geographic (Canadian Geographic Enterprises
  • Take One (Canadian Independent Film and Television)
  • Canadian Newcomer (Canadian Newcomer Magazine Inc.)
  • Books in Canada (Canadian Review of Books Ltd.)
  • Corporate Knights (Corporate Knights Inc.)
  • Explore (Explore Media Ltd.)
  • Gripped (Gripped Inc.)
  • SpaLife (Haworth Publishing)
  • DIY Boat Owner (JM Publishing)
  • Visitor Guide (Jon R Group)
  • Collision Repair (Media Matters Inc.)
  • Fab (No Fear Publishing)
  • Masthead (North Island Publishing)
  • Outpost (Outpost Inc.)
  • Biotechnology Focus (Promotive Communications Inc.)
  • Sky News (Sky News Inc.)
  • Ski Canada (Solstice Publishing)
  • Verge (Verge Magazine Inc.)
  • Vervegirl (Youth Culture Inc.)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Towell snaps up a French prize

Noted Canadian photographer Larry Towell, whose work has appeared in several Canadian magazines, has won the Prix Nadar in France for his book No Man's Land. It is awarded annually to a book of photography edited in France. To read more, go here.

Naughty and not so nice

Grist magazine, an online environmental magazine from Seattle ("gloom and doom with a sense of humour"), wonders whether people are aware of toxins in their sex toys, specifically polyvinyl chlorides. These are apparently inevitable in anything that is soft and squishy or pliable. You can read more about this here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Paper pause

HELSINKI (Reuters) - The world's top magazine paper company UPM said it would close a Canadian mill for three months, since exports from the plant to the United States were currently unprofitable. The announcement was made Wednesday, December 7.

The Miramichi mill in New Brunswick would close for three months from February 1, 2006 -- the slowest period of the year -- but two sawmills and its woodlands division would not be affected, UPM said in a statement on Wednesday.

It did not say how many employees would be affected by the temporary closure.

"The Miramichi mill has high operating costs, and the strong Canadian dollar makes the mill's exports to the U.S. unprofitable," said Jyrki Ovaska, president of UPM's magazine paper division.

Yes means Know

The first issue of Know is coming out of Victoria in January, intending to make science fun for children between six and nine years old. It's tagline says it's "the science magazine for curious kids".

Know magazine editor Adrienne Mason, a biologist and author of 20 books for kids and adults, says children want to know about the science involved in chewing gum and other things sciency. "Young children are innately interested in everything around them," says Mason. She edits the 6-times-a-year magazine from her home in Tofino, on Vancouver Island.

The magazine is published out of an office in Victoria by the same company that produces Yes magazine, a science book for older children. Publisher David Garrison says there has been a clamour among grandparents and parents for something for younger kids and grandkids.

Yes, which is 10 years old, has 23,000 subscribers, but started out with 300. Know, which hasn't even yet published, has 4,000 advance subscribers. A subscription is $22 a year.

The challenge for Know magazine isn't finding interesting topics, but in being able to communicate with the young readers, says Mason. Reading ability between six and nine varies widely.

"We're definitely trying to present material in a lot of different ways," says Mason. The approach ranges from a comic strip with little text to articles that are a bit harder to read. "We don't want to dumb things down."

Each issue will have a theme -- the inaugural January issue is about ice and snow with forthcoming issues about the solar system, beach life, light and colour, dogs and balloons.

Read more about it here.

Bloggin', but no funny business, you hear?

The trade publication Solid Waste and Recycling has just launched a blog by Editor Guy Crittenden. This is a publication (and a job) where the main editorial is about biosolids, so it's serious stuff.

And while the blog gives SW&R (if I may take the liberty of calling it that) the opportunity to keep in touch with readers in the spaces between its 6 issues a year, clearly the Editor didn't want to get off on the wrong foot and so, in his second post, he laid down the law:
Let's keep the discussions focused on the business of waste management, recycling, composting, product stewardship and all that good stuff. I'll have to delete anything that is offensive or inappropriate.
Why, Mr. Crittenden, whatever can you mean?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Bells are broadcasting

A national, English-language specialty television channel called Wedding Bells TV has been licensed by the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission. The decision was made on behalf of a company controlled by the Gagliano family, owners of St. Joseph Communications and St. Joseph Printing. St. Joseph Communications publishes the fat and successful Wedding Bells magazine as well as Toronto Life, Fashion, Fashion 18, Wish etc. The licence will expire 31 August 2012.

The channel, when it reaches the air (it needs to negotiate slots on cable and direct television and digital services),would offer a service "devoted to marriage, weddings, wedding themes and wedding-related programming," said the decision. "The service would offer feature films, documentaries, shorts, series and other programs that focus on providing unique insights to viewers concerning marriage and wedding themes."

So get ready for reruns of "Father of the Bride", "Muriel's Wedding", "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and the like as well as programming linked to the pages of the magazine.

The display blizzard

Am I alone in thinking that the number of coverlines on some magazines has reached the absolute maximum possible? The current issue of Seventeen has barely a place for the cover subject's nose to poke through. (Not that any Canadian magazines would do this...)
Larry Dobrow, who occasionally does commentaries on magazines for Media Post, took off after Seventeen recently:
Seventeen seems to think we're, like, not smart. There's this story about overcoming fatigue, which says that we should get nine hours of sleep per night--hello, duh!--and this other one which says that we'll look great in tight T-shirts if we, like, lift our arms more often. Everything in here is "cute" and "cool" and "glam" and "hot," plus they use more exclamation points than you do! OMG!!!

Robertson vs Globe gets to high court

It only took 10 years, but the suit by writer Heather Robertson against appropriation of her copyright by the Globe and Mail, is finally before the Supreme Court today. See the Creators Copyright Coalition site for more information. It could be weeks or months more before the court hands down a written ruling. This lawsuit is, in effect, a class action on behalf of all freelancers.

But was the breakfast any good?

Our friend Reptile, who blogs the reps' life over here, provides an interesting take on the recent Magazines Canada seminar laudably attempting to make connections between sales people, agencies and advertisers.

Eyes east for Rogers trade books?

Rogers Publishing is, cautiously, considering expanding its trade publishing into the market in China, according to an article in Monday's Globe and Mail by Gordon Robertson. Chief executive officer Brian Segal said Rogers is less interested in consumer publishing and more concentrating on growth possibilities from exporting trade titles to China. “It's underdeveloped. If I was to do anything — and I have had some discussions — it would be on the business-to-business side.”

Rogers has more than 50 trade titles aimed at specific industries. Segal said he saw potential for foreign editions of such titles as Plant magazine, which covers manufacturing, or Medical Post.

Medical Post goes to 48,000 physicians now,” Mr. Segal said. “Presumably, it could go to 450,000 physicians [in China]. That's what we would be looking at if we were to move ahead.”

His caution is well-placed because it takes time and significant investment to enter the Chinese market. Rogers would have to seek joint venture partners inside the country or license its brands and content for publication by a local company.

Segal apparently sees business-to-business publications as less likely to have controversial content that would upset their host countries.“On the business-to-business side, you're not so worried about content,” he said.

Monday, December 05, 2005

A world of magazines

The Federation of the Independent Periodical Press (FIPP) has published in its Magazine World a review of the kinds of magazines being launched all over the world. As we've said before, FIPP data about the Canadian market is so skewed and inaccurate that one must question anything they do. Still, the story is interesting, as are the many and various new titles. Shown is a new French magazine for 15-25 year olds interested in "exploration and discovery".

Worth noting and quoting

Amidst the thicket of question marks surrounding last week's Bell Globemedia (BGM) deal, not least of which is what exactly the Toronto Star hopes to get out of its 20% share, comes this curious comment. Geoff Beattie, president of the Thomson family holding company, Woodbridge, which now dominates with 40% of the company was reacting to suggestions that newspapers are being eclipsed by the internet, particularly in critical areas such as job and car advertising:

"You have to redefine the space. The newspaper industry as you know it today is going to be different in five to 10 years. I'm a big believer that people don't buy newspapers, they read newspapers. They're making a reading decision and we need to make sure we are creating a product that is people's first choice as a reading decision." Globe, Saturday Dec. 3, p B5
For those of us who wonder how large, traditional newspapers can remain paid when so many of their competitors are unpaid (Metro, 24 hours, Dose, NOW, eye etc. in Toronto and elsewhere), this statement causes a prolonged 'hmmmmmm'.

[UPDATE] Editor and Publisher has published an article that says newspaper decline may be a myth, that people are just tired of getting their hands dirty and are a large audience share is accessing newspaper content using alternative platforms. Whether this "total audience" approach cuts any ice with advertisers, we shall see. Read it here.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Them's fightin' words, mister

"It's hard to imagine a less romantic milieu for a romantic comedy than the Canadian magazine industry."
That's how Jason Anderson's Globe and Mail review of Cake begins. The made-in-Canada series stars Heather Graham, Sandra Oh and Taye Diggs. Read it here (subscription req'd)

Let's top Mr. Anderson. A less romantic milieu? The Globe's newsroom, for a start.

And, by the way, can an entire industry be a 'milieu'? Just asking.

View of point

Phrase of the week: strategic inflection point. Which is where the American Press Institute says daily newspapers are at, losing audience and the technological race. They have come up with a plan to deal with this critical juncture, about it in Ad Age, which acidly says that it's "a little late".

Great minds think alike....hmmm

When it was announced by Martha Stewart Omnimedia that it was going to launch a new magazine called Blueprint for young people (principally women) starting out in their first homes, there was head-scratching at Time Inc., which was also considering a proposal for a magazine for...well, you guessed it, a magazine called...Blueprint. Seems that former staffers at Real Simple (part of the Time Inc. stable) had made the pitch at MSO and current Real Simple staff at Time Inc. had done the same. Both said it was mere coincidence that the demographic and the name were identical.

The kicker is that Time Inc. has passed on the idea and MarthaStewart (despite her mention of it on Larry King Live last week) is still considering it. So after all this, the idea may not see the light of day. Read the story here, as published by Women's Wear Daily.

50 Plus reports latest financials

The troubled Fifty Plus magazine has announced its first quarter results, for the period ended September 30.

Net income for the quarter was $56,919 compared to net income of $36,233 for the comparable quarter last year.

Revenues were up $13,986 for the quarter to $210,786 including increased advertising revenues of $23,044. Expenses were down about 4% for the quarter, to $153,867 compared to $160,567 last year.

The Company had cash on hand of $43,750 and a working capital deficiency of $239,769. Recently it was announced that senior management and the directors agreed to forgo more than $200,000 in deferred liabilities owed to them by the company, once $200,000 of a $400,000 line of credit, guaranteed by an unnamed source, had been advanced

The complete financial statements are available at the company's website under "Investor relations". International Inc. is a publicly owned company listed on the Canadian Venture Exchange under the symbol FPN, making it one of only a few Canadian magazines traded on the stock exchange as themselves (rather than as part of a much larger printing or communications company).

Thursday, December 01, 2005

New mag for Toronto black community

A new quarterly magazine celebrating the power, lifestyle, interests and influence of black Canadians, Continental African and Carribbean communities in Canada has begun distributing in Toronto. It's called Sway. It's a joint venture of Chioma Productions and Torstar's Metroland Printing and Publishing, which is handling distribution of the 50,000 initial copies. Mostly it is distributed free in Gatway newsstands on the subway line and in streetside boxes.

Here's a story about the new magazine, as published in the Toronto Star. The publisher, Chioma (who goes by only one name) says she chose the name Sway because it was a synonym for power and the name she wanted (Prestige) was already taken.

(There is another magazine called Sway, but it is based in New York and serves the aspirational interests of an upscale Middle Eastern and Arab-American audience.)

Media Digest download available

The 2005-06 Media Digest from the Canadian Media Directors Council is now available for download in pdf format and for browsing online. It's a useful reference work for current and historical information on magazines and competing media as well as providing some summary data on markets across the country.

Rogers says you had me at Hello!

Rogers Media will be launching a branch plant version of the celebrity title Hello! next fall. It will be a Canadianized version (made so by an editorial staff of 10 about to be hired) with about 60% of the content shared with its international editions. Hello! started in Spain as Hola! and is a huge seller in Great Britain. The UK edition, which sells about 7,000 copies on Canadian newsstands, will be replaced by the "Canadianized" edition, which Rogers projects will sell 25,000. It was reported today in Mastheadonline, where you can read more about it.

The whole celebrity publishing thing has exploded in Canada. OK, another big seller, has launched in North America. Torstar Corp started the Weekly Scoop a few months ago. They join a field crowded by such titles as In Touch Weekly and the more traditional tabloids and "women's" magazines (like Woman's World). All of these titles rely on similar things: celebrity reporting, aggressively tacky and kinetic design, whacks of colour and newsstand sales.

Publishing enthusiasms such as this, with a proliferation of titles, are sometimes similar to the stock market; once the mainstream starts buying in, the opportunities are probably already gone. How long this passion for vapid, and repetitive, celebrity reporting will last is anyone's guess. All that can be said for certain is that not all the new celebrity titles will be around two years from now.

Quill & Quire and WHERE

Alilson Jones, the Publisher of Quill & Quire (the library and book industry trade magazine) is taking on new responsibilities as Business Development Director for WHERE Canada, the stable of tourism magazines at St. Joseph Media. To do the new job, she will be giving up sales responsibilities at Quill & Quire.

WHERE Canada's various regional arms (Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary) plus Quill & Quire will also now be reporting directly to Sharon McAuley, Vice-President and Group Publisher (Toronto Life and the late Saturday Night) of St. Joseph.