Saturday, September 29, 2007

More magazine launch said a good example of focussing on boomers

More magazine in Canada, the franchise title for women over 40, published by Transcontinental Media in partnership with Meredith Corporation, was given as a standout example of the power of marketing to baby boomers in an article in the Saturday Financial Post section of the National Post.

Lina Ko, a partner in National Public Relations and its aptly named Baby Boomer Marketing Division says: "I think everybody is starting to jump on the bandwagon right now and in the next few years you will see even more [marketing] spending."
In March, Transcontinental Media launched the Canadian edition of More magazine to an unprecedented response from advertisers and a subscriber run of 80,000 -- close to double the amount anticipated. More's American version has been one of the most successful magazine launches in the last decade, tripling since its 1998 launch
She pointed to other examples: The Bay focussing this fall on boomers; the launching of a Lavalife Prime dating service for older people.

The most common mistake marketers (and presumably publishers) make said Ms Ko is lumping all boomers together. A more nuanced approach would yield better results.
"There is a 20-year age gap from 40 to 60, and that's a huge gap. The lifestyle of those in the leading edge is very different from that of the trailing edge," she said. "The only thing common to all boomers compared with previous generations is that we all think we are 10 years younger than we are. We all think younger and stay more active than our parents or our parents' parents did at our age."


Toronto zine library now has
a takeout option

An unsual collection of zines in Toronto is now set up as a regular circulating library. According to a story on Torontoist, The Toronto Zine Library tucked away in the rehearsal hall of The Tranzac, has more than 1,000 zines (and counting, donations are encouraged).
These range from from semi-popular stuff like Montreal's Fish Piss to more obscure personal zines about, like, octopuses. Or whatever. They also do rad stuff like hold artist talks and workshops that blind you with their awesomeness.
Until recently the collection was only available for in-house perusal during Tranzac business hours but now it has been converted into a proper lending library. A one-time fee of $5 gets you full borrowing privileges.

Photo of the TZL window installation at She Said Boom! last month courtesy of the Toronto Zine Library.


Friday, September 28, 2007

UK children's title Anorak
to come into Canada

The Canadian children's magazine market gets a little more competitive with the expansion into Canada of an independent British magazine called Anorak. According to a story in Media Guardian, Anorak bills itself as "the happy mag for kids", has signed an international export deal to be available in 22 countries, including Canada, Ireland, France, Spain, Morocco, Australia, the US, Hong Kong and Malaysia and is also launching a websitethat will feature reader polls, games, reviews and competitions and sell merchandise.

The first three issues of the quarterly magazine were distributed solely in the UK and Ireland through Borders, independent stores and subscription sales from the website, achieving an unaudited circulation of 11,000.

(By the way, we hope they tested the name; the word "anorak" -- which means a hooded, waterproof jacket and has also come to mean (not always complimentarily) the kinds of people such as birdwatchers and trainspotters who wear them -- doesn't travel particularly well. Here is an article from the Guardian explaining that has become a term of mild abuse, almost exclusively directed at men who pursue dull or mysterious hobbies.)

In Canada, it will be up against Chickadee and Owl and Kayak.

The title serves five- to 10-year-olds and targets boys and girls with the same magazine. The £3.50 cover price contributes roughly 40% of the company's revenues, while advertising makes up the remaining 60%. Advertisers now include clothing chain H&M and the magazine has also struck advertising or promotional deals with PlayStation, Vans, Ben Sherman, Disney, Odd Label, Little Fashion Gallery and Danish clothing chain Mini A Ture.
Founder Cathy Olmedillas said she wanted to create a product reminiscent of the magazines and annuals that once dominated children's publishing.

"It's really based on story-telling and we've used modern illustrators to do that," Ms Olmedillas said.

"When we launched, our distributors had trouble understanding that we could target boys and girls with one publication but in the past there were a lot of titles targeting both and things like The Simpsons and Toy Story are unisex."

The first three issues of the quarterly magazine were distributed solely in the UK and Ireland through Borders, independent stores and subscription sales from the website, achieving an unaudited circulation of 11,000.
The article said Ms Olmedillas previously worked in ad sales for The Face and Arena when it was under Nickelodeon ownership and was publishing director for style bible Sleazenation and music title Jockeyslut at Swinstead Publications.

Why Esquire editor is still
editing a magazine

Well, that's one reason for redesign and innovation. Or three. As reported in Folio: online, David Granger, the editor of Esquire, told a magazine crowd in New York that he started to make major changes in the magazine because of a personal watershed.
Esquire editor David Granger loves magazines. But he doesn’t always love them. “F*ck, I’m still editing a magazine,” Granger told the crowd at New York's Marriott Marquee during the 2007 Folio: Show Tuesday.

That realization was a few years ago. Granger, he said, then became obsessed with motivating his staff to push the boundaries of the print medium. “Out of desperation, despair and despondency,” as Granger put it.
[That's a pic of Granger at the 2006 Ellie awards event.]

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wallpaper* goes monthly

Wallpaper*, the international magazine launched in 1996 by Canadian expat Tyler Brulé , bought by Time Inc. and now published by giant conglomerate IPC, is increasing its frequency to 12 issues a year.

According to a story in Media Guardian , the magazine has been riding the crest of an advertising boom (up 42% from January to September, compared with the same period a year ago) and now has a circulation of 112,871, including 25,000 paid subs. It sells for £4 a copy and £57 a year.

The magazine, which since its inception was 10 times a year, earlier split its December/January issue, to come out 11 times. Now, it is splitting its June/July issue to come out monthly.

"Wallpaper is truly going from strength to strength, both editorially and commercially," the publishing director, Andrew Black, said.

USA Hockey to be sold on Canadian newsstands

Colorado-based USA Hockey Magazine is to be available on Canadian newsstands starting in October. It claims to be the world's most widely circulated hockey publication, with an audited 418,000. (Transcon's The Hockey News, which has an audited paid circulation in North America of 89,000, claims an average 225,000 readership for each of its 41 annual issues.)

USA Hockey Magazine has been around since 1959, and is published 10 times annually by USA Hockey, the
official association of hockey in the U.S. and is mailed as a benefit of membership. The newsstand copies, which will be carried in select Chapters stores and independent bookstores, will sell for $4.95 in Canada, $3.95 in the U.S. (Guess they haven't heard about the surging loonie?)The October issue includes a cover story on Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and asks, “Can Sid The Kid Grow Hockey In America?”

Labels: , ,

Redwood launches custom pub
Zoom-Zoom for Mazda

Redwood Custom Communications has partnered with Mazda on a global customer magazine called Zoom-Zoom (named after the tagline of the ubiquitous Mazda television ads).

Its first issue launched this week in five languages and in eight countries — Canada, the UK, U.S., Germany Spain, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Global circulation is more than 1.5 million, including 327,000 copies in Canada. The Canadian version profiles a Hollywood stunt person from Toronto. All editions celebrate the 40th anniversary of Mazda's revolutionary rotary engine with some of its biggest fans, including the Tonight Show’s Jay Leno.
It features a robot that skates on your office desk, an electric guitar for frequent flyers and the strange sport of River Bugging. Its cover story takes Mazda customers on a thrilling ride through Italy’s supercar country in the Mazda MX-5, the world’s top-selling sports coupe, says a release.
This is not the first such automotive promotional title that Redwood has done. It created Motion for General Motors. Now, it produces the Pontiac Insider. Internationally, Redwood (based in London, Eng.) also produces Liv magazine for Volvo and a custom magazine for Range Rover.


Fashion magazine celebrates 30 in style

Fashion magazine is turning 30 and is making a party of it. The St. Joseph title has created a special part of its website to a look back at 30 years of covers and to reminiscences by former editor John MacKay, photographer George Whiteside and fashion writers David Livingston and Susie Sheffman.

The magazine, now edited by Ceri Marsh, started as a line extension of Toronto Life and gradually took on a life of its own (though it is still tightly partnered with TL).

We understand that, for a big 30th anniversary party next month, the magazine is partnering with, among others, Opium by Yves St. Laurent, which coincidentally got its start in 1977, too.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

BCAMP demurs

Silence continues to emanate from the tiny headquarters of the British Columbia Association of Magazine Publishers in the tower of the historic Sun Building in Vancouver, where as reported in an earlier post, the air has been rank with unpleasantness. Nine months or more have passed since the eruption of a “labour dispute” that has yet to be named or discussed before the membership, or even settled by the directors of BCAMP, including those elected in June of 2007.

The labour dispute, also referred to as a “staffing dispute,” appears to be embedded in larger problems of insiderism, coterie-building, and conflict of interest.

On September 2, two ex-directors of BCAMP (I am one of them) outlined the following complaints in an email sent to each of the current BCAMP directors, none of whom has responded:

  1. Unresolved staffing dispute not disclosed to board or to the membership at the AGM.
  2. President’s refusal to deal with member concerns.
  3. Improper denial of member participation on committees.
  4. Failure to schedule an external investigation as advised by the Mediator engaged to resolve the “staffing dispute.”
  5. Conflicts of interest: research contracts.
  6. Questionable documents: A policy and procedures manual never adopted by the membership.
  7. Improper procedures: minutes improperly kept; job and salary reviews not made.
  8. Inexperienced board of directors kept in the dark.
  9. A climate of secrecy and bad faith.

One of the new directors of BCAMP resigned from the board in the summer of 2007, although his name remains on the BCAMP web page.

BCAMP lists 63 member publishers on its web page.

Labels: , , ,

Canada's peasant vision; why Maclean's gets away with making fun of George Bush

Know your critic, the saying goes, but it is hilarious to witness what passes for informed commentary about Canada. I have been watching the blogosphere for comments about the Maclean's cover showing George Bush as a clone of Saddam Hussein. I have learned several things:
1. No one can spell MacClean's, McLean's, MacLean's.
2. Most commenters had never heard about the magazine, despite its prominence here.
3. And most have not even the foggiest notion about what life is like in Canada, hence their bizarre explanations for these people north of the border satirizing their president.
(This is too easy.) Here, not as a representative or even reasonable, example, is one I picked up from Maffers Weblog:
Political humor is rampant in Canadian culture, as many Canadian children are raised on peasant vision, or basic cable, which offers CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), and not a whole lot else. CBC, being a nationally owned station, is understandably lacking in quality programming, but in one area they have shined for years; the field of Political humor. From “This Hour has 22 min” to “Royal Canadian Air Farce”, children of all ages have been bombarded with savvy (or not) political whit (sic), when they are not watching hockey that is.

Quote, unquote: Will work for severance

"The problem with the job, is that you are taking it for the severance package."
-- bon mot from an anonymous source who tells Keith Kelly of the New York Post why Wenner Media's Men's Journal is having such a hard time getting somebody to take the $300,000 editor's job. One of the job requirements is dealing with Jann Wenner (founder of Rolling Stone, giant of journalism etc.).


Former magazine editor lets it out: he thinks blogging is better than print

Rick Spence, a consultant and blogger who I'll always think of as a magazine guy (editor and publisher of Profit and later editor of U of T magazine and still columnizes in print) runs a blog called Canadian Entrepreneur. I just caught up with a post in which he says that blogging is better than print and giving 12 reasons why.
I figure that the difference between blogging and print (or TV, radio, and other one-way media) is comparable to the difference between seeing a billboard with a picture of a dog, and play-wrestling with a golden retriever in your living room.Which would you rather do?And which would your customers rather do?


Magazines are key influencers in online purchasing, study says

Magazines are leaders in influencing online purchasing, according to a study reported recently in the U.K. The study, released by the Periodical Publishers Association during Magazine Week in the UK involved interviews with 3,045 adults aged 16-64, with the fieldwork done throughout August by the research firm BMRB.

The survey found that 70 per cent of online searches were prompted by offline activity, and that magazines along with television dominate as influencers.
The study also unrevealed that nearly 60 per cent of purchases were driven by offline, and that again television and magazines were equal in terms of influencing purchase online, however magazines were by far the most cost-effective driver of purchases and that in over 70 per cent of product categories magazines were the primary drivers.


Canadian Living beefs up its website

Transcontinental Media has this week beefed up its and has positioned it as a "relaunch", though the site has been pretty robust and present for some time. One of the criticisms had been that the old CL site was slow to be updated and was light on reader interraction.

Now, it has a couple of new blogs (Canadian Living's Online Food Editor, Christine Picheca does a blog called Food Editor's Pantry and there is an anonymous "Mom blog" by someone called Jacquelyne).

There's also been added a social networking platform called MyCL - which gives registrants access to expanded features, allowing them to submit and share content and build their own personal recipe boxes, including reader and advertiser recipes, and to subscribe to four specialty e-letters.

The goal, of course, is to drive more traffic to the site, which comScore Media Metrix says gets an average of 621,000 visitors a month.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Naomi Klein gets her ego stroked
at the NYPL

Seizing on the admittedly flimsy excuse of Naomi Klein having, at one time, been the editor of This Magazine, we present Gawker's account of Klein at the New York Public Library on Monday night, promoting her new book The Shock Doctrine, in front of a sympathetic crowd.
How could anyone even vaguely familiar with Naomi's credentials or latest book's thesis not know that last night's event would be full of the kind of classic New York elderliberals who like to applaud when anyone says anything negative about Bush and holler back encouragingly at public speakers as if they are back at the Union rally of their heyday? (Also: bless these people, for serious). But anyone who attended last night's event looking for anything remotely resembling dissent or debate would have been disappointed. And there is something sort of inherently boring about sitting in a room full of people who all feel exactly the same way.

Masthead offers a $10 discount
for its 20th anniversary

Masthead magazine, the industry's trade publication, is offering its print subscription free for a limited time to mark its 20th anniversary. If you buy a Mastheadonline subscription for the regular price of $49.95, the offer says, you receive the 6-times-a-year magazine free. Normal pricing is $59.95 for the combination of print and online, so the offer effectively means a $10 discount. For more information, go to the Masthead website. [Fair disclosure: I am a paid columnist for Masthead.]


PWAC looking to boost its membership

The Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) is on a recruiting drive. Vice-president Tanya Gulliver has sent a message to a Toronto freelancer's list making the pitch.
PWAC is growing and changing. Prior to our renewal we had over 600 professional, associate and student members. We changed our name a couple years ago from "Periodical" to "Professional", and combined the work of our great staff this has contributed to increased recognition of PWAC in the writing industry (including, somewhat ironically, increased recognition in the magazine industry!)
Here's where to find out more, and whether the array of services and benefits appeal to you.


Saddam/Bush Maclean's cover continues to cause flurry south of the border

Right- and left-wing bloggers and some mainstream media outlets have swung their gaze north because Maclean's played dressup with George Bush and made him look like Saddam Hussein. The current cover story by Patrick Graham continues to cause talk, which was undoubtedly what was intended. In a story on, Rogers Media spokesman Suneel Khanna said blandly that there haven't been any complaints from Maclean's's U.S. subscribers.


Advertising people, feh, say most Americans

Americans take a dim view of the advertising profession. Stop the presses.

According to a study of public perceptions done by the advertising agency J. Walter Thompson on behalf of, as reported in DM News, only 14 percent of those surveyed say their fellow Americans respect ad people. The top three most respected are military personnel (79 percent), physicians (75 percent) and teachers (71 percent). Two-thirds of respondents said that advertising was an important part of American culture, but they think there's too much of it and too many things are over-hyped.

The conclusions are based on a random online survey of 966 Americans, 18 years and older, with a 50/50 balance of male/female ratio, from September 5 to 12 .

Only 12 percent of those surveyed noted improvement of ad people’s status. Ad professionals are seen as a “necessary good” by 31 percent of the population (besting politicians and car salesmen). Asked to say whether they agreed with certain statements:

· 72 percent agree, “I get tired of people trying to grab my attention and sell me stuff.”
· 52 percent agree, “There’s too much advertising — I would support stricter limits.”
· 42 percent agree, “American advertising has improved in recent years.”
· 24 percent “resent advertising.”

“The study significantly uncovers a basic disconnect between the ad industry’s ‘world view’ and that of its audience,” JWT’s report said. “When asked to pick the word that others would use to describe them, 42 percent of the sample ranked themselves as ‘ pragmatists ’ — justifying the feature-centric and end-to-end benefit ad approach resonating most with consumers today.”


Monday, September 24, 2007

At last, a magazine for needy self-made millionaires

Vancouver must have arrived, since Millionaire Blueprints, a magazine for the almost insufferably affluent, is distributing 20,000 copies in selected neighbourhoods on the left coast.

The magazine, published by an Arlington, Texas company, is distributed in the choicest neighbourhoods in about 20 major markets, according to a story in Media in Canada. In Vancouver this apparently means Yaletown, West Van, Kerrisdale, Point Grey and Kitsilano.

The content is largely aimed at entrepreneurs and self-described self-made tycoons and is mostly filled with profiles of people just like them and promises "Detailed Examples, Step-by-Step Instructions, And Specific Blueprints From Self-Made Millionaires". Who would have thought they needed them?

The cover of the magazine is incredibly ugly and tacky and the sample content and website so crass it is actually quite funny.


The Hollywood Canadian clout index

Canadian Business magazine loves lists and publishes them regularly. Its annual Rich List, for instance, is followed with avidity by people who care how much money other people have (we suspect a majority).

This week, the magazine publishes its 3rd annual ranking of Canadian celebrities in Hollywood, most of whom rarely set foot in this country, mind you. The top 5 of the list of 15 available in the current issue are:
  1. Jim Carrey
  2. Mike Myers
  3. Kiefer Sutherland
  4. Ryan Gosling
  5. Pamela Anderson
The list is a reflection of perceived "Hollywood clout", which mostly means juicy movie roles (even when they're flops, like Carrey's recent outing) and is why included this year are Anna Paquin (born Winnipeg), Michael Cera (raised in Brampton) and Seth Rogen, (Vancouver). Career droughts have resulted in dropping Hayden Christensen, Eric McCormack, Brendan Fraser and singer Avril Lavigne.

So THAT'S what happened to my copy!

Neil Morton, the editor at 2: The Magazine for Couples, shares with his readers in the magazine's fall issue the following e-mail he received from a star-struck letter carrier. It may be confirmation of your suspicions when a magazine sub arrives a little late or a little dog-eared:
i have been forgetting to write to you folks and tell you how stoked i am to see your magazine arrive in the mail! i have to confess though, i work for the post office and idont actually receive my own copy. thus, that means i actually flip through someone ELSES copy! i am sorry, but i just have to! ok, i am not sorry at all...i HAVE gawk at most every article in it before placing it carefully in the intended adressees box. ya'll have a great thing going and unique at that, especially when the newsstands are usually overly duplicated with copy cat publications. viva 2 magazine!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

An attack of Laphamism

One person's backscratching is another person's homage, I suppose. Whatever, the editor of The Walrus, Ken Alexander, writes in the magazine's October 2007 issue a column about the forthcoming publication of Lapham's Quarterly. This is the retirement project of longtime Harper's magazine editor Lewis Lapham.

In praising its prospectus Alexander, consciously or unconsciously, takes on Lapham's occasionally mannered and complicated writing style, resulting in extraordinarily convoluted paragraphs such as:
To an arch-patriot like Lapham, for the experiment of democracy to be something other than a hollow casket brimming with falsehoods and missed opportunities, polities must discover in stone tablets, illustrated manuscripts, poems, novels, and plays; in angry letters from wounded soldiers and song sheets from the Mississippi Delta; and in rising oratories declaiming the brutality of man, the wisdom that history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme. And then the newly informed must move on, must see to it that such a deterministic and unfortunate fate does not befall one’s own particular state, whether emergent or struggling with itself. However sublimated by the mannered brushstrokes of a northeastern sensibility, there is both Marx and Nietzsche in Lewis Lapham.
Perhaps it is my own failing, but when I got to the end, including the 67-word opening sentence, I had to start over, having taken in almost none of what he was driving at.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Folio: editor says joining print
to online makes both better

Tony Silber, the editor of Folio: magazine, has posted some interesting reflections about the magazine industry's obsession with online media.
Even in my market, where we cover the magazine industry, the growth of advertising online is so significant that it will rival the size of the monthly print magazine in the not-too-distant-future.

That obsession, then, is not all that surprising. In fact, I have in the past predicted that print-weeklies on the b-to-b side are dinosaurs. Especially in the IT space, there is a lot of evidence to support this. Overall advertising spending in the big IT weeklies has declined dramatically—fallen off a cliff—in the last several years. Some of them are barely hanging on.

So why is it that over the last couple of days I’m rethinking this area anew? Several reasons. First, I’ve never been an online true believer. I’ve never concluded (unlike many others) that print media is in an inexorable decline and has in some served markets become an impediment, not part of the solution.

Second, I’ve had some really interesting conversations recently on exactly this topic. First, Ted Bahr of BZ Media and I had a conversation about print at the U.S. Open this month, and while he noted the decline of the IT weeklies, he also said that his audience—both advertisers and readers—like his print magazine for software developers.

Maybe even more interestingly, he noted that his an all other magazines he knows of don’t have any falloff in print subscriptions—direct-request is not declining, renewals are not falling off, nor are they more costly to acquire. (Things are a bit different on the consumer side, but not all that different.)

So there is no decline in reader interest in print, even as advertisers seemingly begin to write it off.

Then I had a conversation with IDG’s Bob Carrigan the other day where he emphatically stated that the solution to the decline in advertising in print weeklies is not to reduce the frequency. He said the nature of buying in the weeklies is such that a reduction in frequency would essentially mean one-quarter of the spend, because the marketers would not end up bulking up on a single monthly, say. So print, even in decline, somehow stays vital.

And then today in a Folio: and CM webinar on lead generation, I heard the case made in a compelling way to integrate print into lead generation in a way that is very different from the old bingo card approach and much closer to the online lead-generation methods. This is big, in my opinion, because when you tie print to online media, the sum is far better than the individual parts.


Foreign publishers get a free ride in
Ontario blue box levy

A few years back the Ontario government started taxing magazines over a certain size to offset 50% of their contribution to the costs of the Blue Box recycling program. The Waste Diversion Act (2002) levied a per-kilogram charge on magazines, catalogues, phone books and other printed matter.

Stewardship Ontario, as the government euphemistically dubbed the program, required publishers resident in Ontario and who produced more than 15 tonnes of magazines or had sales of more than $2 million annually to register as "obligated stewards" and file an annual report. Originally the levy and the reporting was a relatively small nuisance and publishers grudgingly went along with it. Many of them may have felt that it was their civic duty.

However, the tax has increased year by year over the program's first four years and it will be 2.193 cents a kilogram for 2008, which is more than 2,600% higher than it was in 2003 (0.081 cents/kilo). So a mid-sized, relatively frequent magazine that produces, say 20,000 kilograms of magazines and inserts next year will be paying a fee of almost $44,000. (In the first few years, Stewardship Ontario charged only a portion of what was nominally owed, but publishers are starting to pay more attention now because, starting next year, they will be paying the full fee.)

The government has said the fee increases are justified and necessary because the volume going into the blue boxes has dramatically increased, magazines are costing more to get rid of and bringing in less revenue and so on.

Yet, even while the province is putting the squeeze on Ontario-based publishers, it has no plan (and no indication that it will anytime soon) to similarly levy foreign publishers who are contributing the majority of magazine volume to the blue boxes.

Despite having four years to do so, Stewardship Ontario still has not found a way to impose and enforce the tax on "first importers" -- levying the tax through the Ontario-based distributors and wholesalers. The program is entirely voluntary for companies not resident in Ontario and -- natch -- the U.S. publishers, and their distributors and wholesalers have simply ignored it.

As a result, U.S.-based magazines and Canadian wholesalers are receiving a free ride and Ontario publishers are paying for it.

Magazines Canada (representing the consumer magazine industry -- trade magazines are exempt) has made strong representations about this to Queen's Park and it was recently brought up by MC President Mark Jamison with the new (acting) Deputy Minister of Culture.


Three Redwood titles nominated for Ozzies

Redwood Custom Communications has had three of its customer magazine titles nominated for the Folio:Ozzie Awards; winners will be announced September 23 at a gala event on the eve of the annual New York Folio: show. The three nominations (out of 3,000 entries) are for
  • Family Outlook, Spring 2007, Best Design New Magazine, Custom publication and Best Redesign, Custom publication
  • Food & Family, Winter 2007, Best Table of Contents, Custom publication
  • Family Outlook is published on behalf of Sears. Food & Family was, until recently, published by Redwood on behalf of Kraft Foods for consumers in the United States.

    Folio: magazine, published for magazine management, presents the Eddie and Ozzie awards for excellence in editorial and design. A complete list of Ozzie nominees is here. A complete list of Eddie nominees is here.


    Thursday, September 20, 2007

    Little magazines we like:
    Nova Scotia Policy Review

    A stylish, almost retro, new quarterly magazine is being published in Bridgetown, a small town in the midst of the beautiful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Policy Review eschews advertising and comes in an unusual format, 10" wide by 8" deep, beautifully typeset in Caslon in a careful, restrained design. Clearly somebody who loves type lives here and we suspect it is Rachel Brighton, the editor and publisher.
    "This is an entirely new kind of publication to satisfy the interests of informed individuals as well as advocates, community groups and policy makers," she says.
    The Review is published by Finest Point Periodicals Ltd. , was launched in June and its September issue is just out. Ms Brighton drove a stake in the ground right from the start with an editorial that criticized the "corporatespeak" of the Nova Scotia government and bureaucracy and said, in part:
    Nova Scotia is remarkable for its dense network of societies, advocacy groups, intellectual institutions and people with deep ecological knowledge. Policy makers are trying to tap this rich vein, but they need better tools for getting at these reserves and harnessing this energy. While our "innovation" policies are designed to recognize and "commercialize" academic expertise, we need an equivalent process for applying the ideas of expert community networks.
    The journal has a good many delights, including The Registry of Simple Ideas, a forum where readers can post simple solutions to practical problems. There are essays, reviews, maps, stats, briefs up front.

    Some other random content in the first two issues:
    • An article about the rape of underwater wrecks off the Nova Scotia coast
    • A table showing the decline in the last 40 years in the number of days the legislature sits
    • A celebration of the first youth grant made by the Trudeau government, and the difference it made for Pier 1 Theatre on the Halifax waterfront
    • The challenges of making broadband available in rural Nova Scotia
    • Why people shouldn't have to leave their home county to seek palliative care
    • The fix that farmers are in, being forced to take whatever prices they can get
    Brighton is a native of Australia, who moved to Nova Scotia 10 years ago with her husband, Daniel Lillford, an actor, playwright and director. She is a journalist and became interested in Nova Scotia public policy issues first while working at the Daily News, then doing contract work for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Downtown Halifax Business Commission. She edited the promotional magazine "Nova Scotia Open to the World" for Progress Publishing. She and her family (they have three sons) moved to Bridgetown in 1995.

    Originally, she told* that she envisioned a magazine for people who play a role in policy development in and out of government. But she realized that there were other people out there interested in reading about and making a difference about "this stuff". She was going to create her own design, but then hooked up with Gaspereau Press in nearby Kentville.
    "It turned out we had a similar sensibility on this kind of thing. I had a certain idea of how I wanted the magazine to look. I wanted it to be text-driven and weighty -- intellectually and physically. I wanted people to think they had to sit down and make time to read it."
    In addition to some limited bookstore sales, the magazine is available by individual subscription, four issues for $43 plus tax.

    *It seems ironic that the website that writes about her little magazine is owned by Transcontinental Media, the largest publisher of consumer magazines in the country.


    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

    Former Osprey chief exec Michael Sifton now to run Sun Media Corporation

    With the absorption of Osprey Media, its newspaper and magazines, into the maw of Quebecor Media Inc., Michael Sifton was at loose ends, we suppose. Not any more; he has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Quebecor's Sun Media Corporation. As such, he will be running Canada's largest newspaper publishing company.

    With the inclusion of the 20 Osprey dailies and 38 community papers, Quebecor and its subsidiary Sun Media has a total average daily circulation of 1.3 million and 3.4 million in circulation of 171 community papers across the country.

    Sifton built up Osprey Media by acquisition starting about 7 years ago and immediately turned it into an income trust, just in time to have such trusts go south when the federal finance minister announced his intention to tax them. In fact, the Osprey Media Income Trust was in trouble before that because of competitive pressures (largely from Torstar) simply couldn't spin off enough cash to pay the distributions that the unitholders expected (and had been promised).

    Sifton is the great-grandson of the legendary newspaperman Sir Clifford Sifton, who owned the Winnipeg Free Press. Mr. Sifton had been publisher of The Star Phoenix in Saskatoon and the President of the Armadale Communications Group prior to its sale to Hollinger Inc. in February of 1996. Soon thereafter he struck out on his own and assembled and managed the Osprey Media properties.

    (Sifton is not remembered fondly in the west both because he sold his family's independent holdings (the Star Phoenix and the Regina Leader-Post) to Black, but also because, two days after the sale, 170 employees at the two papers were fired. The depleted ranks at Sun Media will be watching their backs.)

    Mr. Sifton is a former Chairman and a current board member of The Canadian Press (he was instrumental in reorganizing the cooperative), a past director, treasurer and vice-chair of The Canadian Newspaper Association and a former director of NADbank.

    Premier can't have it both ways, says Catholic Insight editor

    Plunging headfirst into the Ontario election campaign, the editor of Catholic Insight, magazine has condemned Premier Dalton McGuinty for "scandalizing" a group of students by saying he could separate his personal Catholicism from his public life. McGuinty told a group of students at a Markham Catholic high school that his "private" faith doesn't determine his positions on public policy.
    "There is no such thing as a 'private' Catholic faith," says Father Alphonse de Valk. "From the original biblical scriptures to the teachings of the Catholic Church today, it is made clear that Christians cannot live a 'double life' and try to separate their faith from what they do and say."
    Fr. de Valk has said on the Catholic Insight website that the only party worthy of endorsement is the Family Coalition Party of Ontario, which takes a strong stand against abortion and such issues as gay marriage.

    Catholic Insight doesn't have a measured readership,but it is believe to be quite small. A page of advertising in the 10-times-a-year publication costs $800.

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    Parsing 30 years of Cosmopolitan

    We always thought every issue of Cosmopolitan was the same issue; same models, same cleavage, same clothes, same relationship and sex advice. But, apparently, the magazine has evolved over the past 30 years, at least according to some scorekeeping from an article in Smokes and liquor are out; but perfume is a perennial. See for yourself. And check out their take on the differences in cover models (hint, it's all about sex and hair). As one commenter said:
    The only difference I see is that where once Cosmo decorated it's cover with cat-eyed, square-jawed nameless models, it now opts for actresses of a slightly more Equine persuasion..

    UK readers said to be buying 72% more magazines now than 10 years ago

    Magazine readers in the United Kingdom now spend 72 per cent more on magazines than they did 10 years ago, according to a new survey, reported in UK Press Gazette.

    20 million magazines are sold every week, or 28 magazines every second and UK consumers spend £2bn a year on purchasing magazines with 23 per cent spending more than £10 a month on titles. Three quarters of the population regularly buy a magazine with 82 per cent of women and 69 per cent of men regularly buying a title.

    The survey, conducted for the Periodical Publishers Association by with a sample size of 1,115, also revealed UK men tended to read their spouse's magazines but that women generally did not read men’s magazines.

    No analysis was published explaining the heady rate of growth. But one of the answers may be the growth of customer magazines which, in Britain, outsell traditional magazines on the newsstands (7 out of 10 of the top sellers are mags produced for huge grocery chains or department stores -- and people pay for them). 80% of magazines are sold as single copies at news dealers, perhaps that has something to do with it. And a lot more magazines in the UK are weeklies. On the other hand it could be that the research is completely bogus, given that the panel is self-selecting (see the site), lured by the promise of swell prizes. But I dunno.


    Quote, unquote: The Economist says the top of the market is bigger than many think

    “You turn on your television anywhere now, you get so much pap that what I think people want is substance. We're going to make them think. There's no great theme behind it. We just follow the things we think are interesting. ... It is a part of the market that not everybody is in. But we've found the top of the market is bigger than other people thought.”
    -- Economist Editor-in-chief John Micklethwait tells Phil Rosenthal at the Chicago Tribune that he wants you to work for your new global perspective. He was explaining The Economist's $1 million marketing push to boost readership in Chicago, part of a multi-city campaign that also includes Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Baltimore, Denver and Austin, Texas. Chicago’s slice of the pie? 25,000 of the 700,000 copies, reports Rosenthal. By the way: the pap he refers to? “We have sadly undercovered Britney Spears,” says Micklethwait.

    Thanks to Folio: for this.


    New York Times demolishes its "pay wall", gives its content away free

    The rumour was published here previously; today the New York Times threw in the towel on trying to charge premium prices for online access to its content. According to a story in Folio:, the Times dropped its paid online subscription program TimesSelect "effectively admitting its two-year attempt to charge its Web site users to access premium content and archives had failed."

    TimesSelect has been charging US$49.95 per year ($7.95 a month) for access to its columnists and the newspaper’s archives. The service at its peak drew an estimated 227,000 paid subscribers and $10 million in annual revenue.

    Beginning at midnight tonight, the newspaper will open up access to its entire site to readers.

    The Times found that many more readers started coming to the site from search engines and links on other sites instead of coming directly to
    These indirect readers, unable to get access to articles behind the pay wall and less likely to pay subscription fees than the more loyal direct users, were seen as opportunities for more page views and increased advertising revenue.
    According to Nielsen/NetRatings, traffic sees roughly 13 million unique visitors each month, and could explode without a wall, according to industry observers.
    The crumbling of the Times subscription model leaves the Wall Street Journal as only major newspaper in the country to charge for access to most of its Web site, generating $65 million in revenue, according to the Times.
    And new WSJ owner Rupert Murdoch has been heard to speculate that he might drop the pay wall there, too.So what does this mean for magazine publishers? Consumer Reports, one of the few remaining magazines to charge for access to its site, is nearing three million paid subscribers to its Web site. (Most subscriptions cost $26/year.)

    But for most consumer magazines, the free model dominates the industry. Why? Because it comes down to readers – which is why magazine industry consultant Bob Sacks likes the Times move.

    “They are thinking long term and this move will continue to protect and promote the Times brand, and at the same time cultivate new readership,” Sacks wrote in an e-mail. “After all sustained loyal readership is the bedrock of any publishing empire, be it large or small. If you don't have readers, exactly what do you have?”

    [UPDATE] Over at the Recovering Journalist, Mark Potts laments the "glee" he sees among those who opposed idea of paid access. He says the problem was that Times Select was a good idea, poorly executed, and after all it brought in $10 million. The idea of sequestering opinion and columnists behind the pay wall was wrongheaded, he says. Rather, the Times might have provided added value:
    TimesSelect could have been so much more. It could have been a high-end subscription service for in-depth coverage that wasn't otherwise available, for supplemental reporting and blogs and Web-only content in specific vertical topics that would have been valuable to the Times' core audience, and worth 50 bucks a year. As it was, the Times' decision to include almost unlimited access to its archives in TimesSelect was a smart move all by itself. Surely a broader, deeper for-pay product could have been built around that core. Alas, we may never know.
    Over at Buzz Machine, Jeff Jarvis said the collapse was inevitable:
    TimesSelect represented the last gasp of the circulation mentality of news media, the belief that surely consumers would continue to pay for content even as the internet commodified news and — more important — even as the internet revealed that the real value in media is not owning and controlling content or distribution but enabling conversation.


    GQ celebrates its 50th with 10 (!)
    split-run covers of "style icons"

    Oh, wow, it must be nice to have a big budget. GQ, the stylish men's magazine from Conde Nast, is celebrating its 50th anniversary by publishing 10 (count 'em) 10 split-run covers showing "style icons" from 5 decades. This according to the lead story in minOnline.
    Before GQ launched in 1957 (then as the Apparel Arts supplement to Esquire), the typical man dressed, à la the 1956 Gregory Peck movie, in that all-conforming gray flannel suit. GQ was the catalyst to the men's-fashion revolution, and editor-in-chief (since March 2003) Jim Nelson tells min that in the October commemorative, "we chose 50 men who epitomized style and change." Ten are on the split-run covers--from 'godfathers of cool' Sean Connery, Paul Newman, and Robert Redford to the present-day Tom Brady and Johnny Depp--representing what Nelson says "is, in a fashion sense, the ascent of man." Others in the "fraternity" are Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, John F. Kennedy, Jack Nicholson, and Al Pacino. Five are shown here:

    min, a pricey, invaluable newsletter about the media industry, notes the perception of GQ as a "gay" magazine 20 or 30 years ago, when this was decidely not considered a compliment.
    How much better conditions now are debatable, but September 2007 cover Barack Obama certainly did not react like JFK did in February 1962, when he railed to the late Time White House bureau chief Hugh Sidey about being on the cover of a "clothing magazine" that the less politically correct Bobby Kennedy called a "fag rag" (min, March 31, 2003).
    But GQ's greatest influence has come since August 1983, when Condé Nast chairman S.I. Newhouse, Jr.--four years after paying $9.2 million for the magazine--hired the late Art Cooper as editor-in-chief. Editor Nelson described the 1983-2003 reign of his predecessor with one word: "substantative".
    "He remade GQ to fit his image of an 'every guy,' with politics, sports, cars, and girls joining fashion and lifestyle. Art blew the lid off of GQ."


    Transcon launches ad network for blogs in Québec

    Transcontinental Media, the newspaper, magazine and new media arm of Transcontinental Inc., is launching a local ad network in Québec that will allow advertising on 20 of what are said to be the most influential Québec-based blogs, according to an item on Montreal Tech Watch. The network will launch on Friday.

    The idea grew out of Yulbiz, a local event started by Michel Leblanc and Phillipe Martin, a meeting and networking opportunity about web projects and business issues.


    John Macfarlane stepping down as Editor at Toronto Life; Sarah Fulford to succeed him

    John Macfarlane, the editor of Toronto Life, will be stepping down at the end of 2007. He will be succeeded by Senior Editor Sarah Fulford, an eight year veteran of the magazine. The announcement was made today, an indication of some orderly succession planning at St. Joseph Media.

    Macfarlane, 65 (shown at left), has actually been editor of the magazine twice and can rightly, and without hyperbole, be called the dean of Canadian magazine editors. He has been editor since 1992 and also edited the magazine in 1972-73. During his 15-year tenure the magazine won an unprecedented 53 gold and 58 silver National Magazine Awards. He served as President of the awards for two years and last year the awards foundation honoured him with the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.
    "Known in the industry for nurturing writing talent and mentoring the next generation of editors, he played a key role in the search for his successor," said the company release.

    “I recognized an editor-in-chief in Sarah a long time ago. And I am completely confident that she and the team she inherits will take Toronto Life to new highs. I look forward to seeing that happen, knowing that I played a part in making it possible,” said Macfarlane.
    Prior to joining Toronto Life in 1999 as associate editor, Fulford (shown at left; photo by Nigel Dickson) was an assistant editor at Elm Street. The 33-year-old is married to novelist Stephen Marche and has a 19-month-old son.
    “I’m thrilled to be taking on this new challenge,” said Fulford. “Toronto Life has a tradition of featuring great writing and superb photography. I hope to build on that tradition by encouraging the growth of new talent and broadening the magazine's readership.”
    Macfarlane, who also serves as Vice-President for Strategic Development at St. Joseph, said he will have an on-going relationship with the company.
    "But I'm ready for a change. I've been an editor for 40 years. I'm looking forward to contributing what I've learned as a journalist and on volunteer boards to other organizations in the private and public sectors."
    Toronto Life Vice-president and group publisher Sharon McAuley said Macfarlane was leaving at the top of his game and the magazine has never been stronger.
    “Our readers will love what Sarah brings to the magazine — she’s extraordinarily talented, smart, curious, and has a great instinct for the big, juicy story. Under her leadership, Toronto Life will continue to do what we do best — entertain and engage our readers and help them to get the most out of living in this city.”
    The magazine and its companion website have an audience of 765,000 readers and 220,000 unique visitors each month. Its parent company publishes, in addition to Toronto Life, FASHION Magazine, Wish, Gardening Life, Canadian Family, Weddingbells, Mariage Québec, WHERE Canada magazines, Quill & Quire, Ottawa Magazine and a variety of custom publications. St. Joseph Media is a division of St. Joseph Communications, Canada’s largest privately owned communications company, with four business platforms in content, print, documents and media.

    [UPDATE]James Adams in the Globe and Mail reports that Fulford has big plans to expand

    [FURTHER UPDATE] Masthead magazine (sub req'd) has published a brief online interview with Fulford and Macfarlane. Asked what he would miss most, Macfarlane characteristically said "the power", by which he means the ability to see an interesting situation and to get something done about it.

    Labels: ,

    Workshops to address governance
    for small magazines

    People who run small magazines know that often being successful is the result of a strong, resilient board and management, sharing a common vision; they also know how hard that is to achieve. Magazines Canada is trying to provide some help with a workshop on small magazines and governance best practices to be held in Montreal and Halifax.

    Judy Wolfe of Consulting Matrix will present the workshops, which take place Tuesday, October 16 at the Place d'Armes Hotel in Montreal and Thursday, October 18 at the Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax. The cost is $55 for Magazines Canada members, $80 for non-members.

    Among the topics to be discussed, and directed at directors and staff, are:
    • Leadership, roles and responsibilities
    • Visioning
    • Effective reporting and organizational efficiency
    • Board/staff communication
    • Resolution of conflicts of interest
    • Fundraising and financial accountability
    • Succession planning and dealing with change
    Further information and a dowloadable registration form can be obtained from Magazines Canada. Or call Or contact Small Magazines Project Manager Claire Pfeiffer (416.504.0274 x238). The workshops are part of a program held across the country, designed to assist small literary and cultural publications. Further workshops take place in the spring.

    Labels: , ,

    Canadian single copy sales said to be 13% of total North American market

    Recent figures from Coast to Coast Distribution suggests that Canadian share of the North American single copy magazine market is about 13%. This is a number that has, to our knowledge, not been published before (and may be surprisingly higher than expected).

    In a letter sent to publishers, Coast to Coast Distribution Services President and CEO Glenn Morgan says that sales were essentially flat in both Canada and the U.S. in the first half of 2007, compared with the same period in 2006. (It follows up on CTC's recent publication of unit sales and revenue figures for 96%* of Canadian single copy sales -- a useful and previously hard-to-get compilation.)

    Total North American sales in the first half of 2007 totalled $2.39 billion, on 640 million copies. This represented a 0.5% decrease from the same period a year earlier; however there was a significant increase in overall newsstand sell-thru, a 38.4% efficiency, compared to 36.1% for the same period a year earlier.

    Total U.S. sales in the first half were $2.08 billion and total Canadian sales were $310.1 million for the first six months. The Canadian figures were a "minuscule" decline of 0.1% compared with the same period a year earlier. Sell-thru and efficiency figures were not available for Canada, said Morgan.

    *The compilation did not include data from one Quebec-based distributor of French-language titles.

    Labels: , ,

    Monday, September 17, 2007

    Article wins Dave Greber Freelance Writers Award

    At Word on the Street in Vancouver, John Vigna, a Vancouver freelance writer will be presented with the 2007 Dave Greber Freelance Writers Award. The award is made to freelance writers in B.C. or Alberta who have a contract to write an article or a book. Greber, a respected freelancer and musician, who died at the young age of 5o in 2000. This, according to an item on the Professional Writers Association of Canada website.
    To honor Dave's memory and perpetuate his professional values, his life partner, Shirley Dunn, has established an annual award to give public recognition to the skills necessary to craft a story based on excellence of writing and research. The award will help support a freelance non-fiction writer, prior to publication in order to meet expenses related to living, writing and research.

    Vigna's article, The Ballad of Big and Small, is a magazine article to be published in the fall of 2007 by Grain magazine. John Vigna has been a self-employed writer since 1989 and has devoted himself full time as a freelance professional writer since 1999. His writing has been featured in many magazines and newspapers, including The Georgia Strait, The Vancouver Sun and The Vancouver Province.

    This is the first time the award has been given for a magazine article. Past recipients Brian Brennan, Macello Di Cintio and Gordon Laird each got the award to support the writing of chapters in books in progress.

    A great idea. And a wonderful way to commemorate someone. If you think so and want to support it tangibly, donations are welcomed to support the award.

    Pantone gets new owners

    The ubiquitous Pantone colour swatches relied upon by magazine art directors and designers will still be around, but under new ownership, according to a story carried in DesignEdge Canada. X-Rite, a company from Grand Rapids Michigan that provides technology to measure, formulate and match colours, has agreed to purchase Carlstadt, N.J.-based Pantone Inc. for US$180 million. The deal is expected to close this fall.

    Pantone sells its products, services and technologies to the graphic design, fashion, home, plastics, architectural, paint, industrial design and consumer markets. Last year it generated approximately $42 million in revenue.

    X-Rite wants to acquire Pantone to diversify its revenue base; add Pantone’s colour standards to its leadership position in hardware, software and service solutions; and expand Pantone’s reach through X-Rite’s global distribution capabilities.

    Labels: ,

    Publisher of The Beaver and Kayak honours outstanding high school history teachers

    Publishing magazines is a pretty important part of what Canada's National History Society does (The Beaver and Kayak), but it also operates two high profile award programs, one of them for outstanding Canadian high school history teachers. The prestige of the awards doubtless rebounds to the magazines' advantage.

    The 25 finalists for the 2007 Governor General's Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History have been announced. They are recognized for innovations that bring history alive for their students, whether lesson plans include a boot camp for World War I training, an archaeological dig to unearth aboriginal artifacts or a mock trial of William Lyon. The awards are now in their 12th year.

    "These are the types of teachers we all wish we had when we were in school. So our goal is to inspire more teachers by creating opportunities for others to benefit from their expertise and techniques." said Deborah Morrison, president and CEO of the History Society.

    Out of the 25 finalists, 6 will be chosen by a committee of judges to receive $2,500, a gold medal and a trip for two to the Awards ceremony in Ottawa at Rideau Hall on Friday, November 2, 2007. Their respective schools will also receive a $1,000 cash award. The finalists will also be guests at a private luncheon with Her Excellency, The Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, be the guests of the Speaker in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill and have a rare insiders'tour of the Library and Archives Canada Preservation Centre, one of theprogram partners.

    One of the award's partners is the TD Bank Financial Group.

    Canada's National History Society is a Winnipeg-based charitable organization devoted to popularizing Canadian history. In addition to publishing The Beaver magazine, and Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids, the Society also operates the Pierre Berton Award for popularizing Canadian history.

    Consumer magazine ad spending in U.S. up 6.9%

    Consumer magazines ad sales in the U.S. are up 6.9% for the first 6 months of 2007, compared with the same 6 months a year earlier. B-to-B magazines are down 7.20%. All magazine media are up 4.60%. These figures from TNS Media Intelligence.

    Share by medium
    National TV 32.8%
    Magazines 20.0%
    Newspapers 17.8%
    Local TV 10.8%
    Internet 7.6%
    Radio 7.1%
    All other 3.9%

    Source: TNS Media Intelligence


    Word on the Street, where magazines come out to meet the public

    In most places in Canada, the end of September has a crisp feel of autumn about it, which is ideal for Word on the Street (though Toronto can sometimes surprise with a heat wave). And this annual celebration of the written word (now in its 18th year) seems to have become an important part of marketing consumer magazines in this country -- both selling subs and single copies and raising brand awareness among the general public.

    Visitors can number in the thousands in smaller venues (Kitchener and Halifax) and in the tens of thousands in Vancouver and Toronto. While they're there for books and readings and other events, too, it's a great place for magazine staffers to meet the public, maybe sell or give away those back issues, get those sub cards into eager hands and generally feel good about what they do.

    The event is a little different from place to place. Only in Vancouver, for instance, is there a "magazine mews" on Howe Street, where magazine booths are clustered together. Only in Toronto do the big guys, Rogers and Transcontinental, set up shop. In some places it is really on a city street, in others it is in a more parklike setting (Queen's Park in Toronto, Victoria Park in Kitchener). Curiously, there are some major cities where it hasn't taken yet, like Ottawa and Montreal and Winnipeg and Regina, Calgary, St. John's and Saint John.

    What's amazing is that even more magazines don't make the effort, taking advantage of the national promotion and aggressively associating themselves with the event. We have heard that some magazines find writers, sell subs and make friends in a way that hard to replicate. There's a modest cost for a booth, but some magazines split this with another title.

    Just for interest, here are the magazines and magazine-related organizations and companies that we found were registered as of today (more are likely to come) in the various places across the country.

    Halifax (September 23)
    Atlantic Magazine Association
    Magazines Canada
    The Walrus

    Kitchener (September 30)
    The New Quarterly
    Alternatives Journal

    Canadian Humanist
    Vida Latina Magazine

    Toronto (September 30)
    Alternatives Journal
    Ascent magazine

    Brick, a literary journal

    Broken Pencil

    Canadian Art

    Canadian Geographic
    Canadian Newcomer
    Chart magazine



    Eye Weekly
    Ideas: Arts & Sciences Review

    Kiss Machine

    Literary Review of Canada

    Magazines Canada
    Moorshead Magazines*
    Musicworks magazine
    New Internationalist
    NOW magazine


    Owl & Chickadee

    Rogers Publishing
    Taddle Creek

    The Magazine

    The New Quarterly

    The Walrus Foundation
    This Magazine
    Transcontinental Media
    What’s Up Kids Family Magazine

    Calgary (September 30)
    Calgary Inc. Avenue Magazine
    The Walrus Foundation
    Magazines Canada
    Venture Publishing (Alberta Venture, Unlimited)

    Vancouver (September 30)
    alive magazine
    British Columbia Association of Magazine Publishers
    British Columbia Magazine
    CJC: Canadian Journal of Communications

    Dance International
    FRONT Magazine

    Geist magazine,
    Homes & Living Magazine
    Humanist Perspectives

    Magazines Canada
    Pacific Rim Magazine

    subTerrain magazine
    Vancouver Review

    The Walrus

    Watershed Sentinel

    *U.S. titles: Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, History magazine

    Labels: ,

    Sunday, September 16, 2007

    Quote, unquote: "big, luscious expression"

    "You can't get big, luscious pictures like these on the Internet. Magazines, like books, allow us to slow down and get off the computer. They aren't going away any time soon. And we need to provide a forum for this traditional type of expression."
    -- Dan Rubinstein, editor of the just-launched Unlimited business magazine, quoted in an interview in the Edmonton Journal.


    Friday, September 14, 2007

    Desjardins says he's leaving
    Transcon on a high note

    Luc Desjardins, the CEO of Transcontinental Inc., told analysts during a conference call yesterday that he is leaving the company on a high note. "I am 55 and I completed the mandate I was hired for. The company is in good shape and in solid position for the future."

    Desjardins will step down in February, handing over to François Olivier, president of printing products and services.

    Transcontinental is primarily a printing and direct marketing firm, but is also Canada's largest consumer magazine publisher.

    Third quarter 2007 profits rose from $24.7 million to $27.8 million a year ago, with a per-share increase of 18 per cent from 28 cents to 33 cents.

    Total revenues inched three per cent higher, to $546.5 million from $528.9 million in the year-ago quarter.


    Chair of PR industry association slams
    Marketing magazine for ignoring it

    The chair of the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms (CCPRF) has written a highly critical letter to Marketing magazine about its perceived failure to adequately cover the public relations field; and has published the letter itself when Marketing apparently didn't do so.

    Marketing is a biweekly trade title published by Rogers Publishing Limited and which positions itself as Canada's only fully-paid,national publication "dedicated to the businesses of marketing, advertising and media." It has a circulation of about 12,000 paid across Canada and a readership of 75,000 and publishes a paid, daily e-letter as well as the print magazine.

    Pat MacNamara, president of Apex Public Relations, says "PR is an essential and growing part of the marketing mix, yet Marketing Magazine has done little to recognize the increasing importance of this discipline." The letter goes on to say that the recent redesign of the magazine held out hope for improvement of coverage, but there has been a "continued lack of focus" on PR in favour of advertising agencies.
    What is even more discouraging is that your “special issue” Public Relations Resource Book provides absolutely no unbiased editorial content, and is ultimately a collection of advertorials funded by the mandatory purchase of an accompanying advertisement....

    The nature of our business is to earn the trust of journalists and provide them with background information and spokespeople in the development of their stories. In other words, we earn coverage, not pay for it. Your PR Resource guide’s departure from a journalistic approach and coverage of our industry is very disappointing. While advertorials are a legitimate method of promotion, and one often used by PR professionals, it should not be the sole vehicle for coverage of our industry in Marketing.

    According to your marketing materials, your advertorial approach is actually “a unique opportunity to highlight what sets your business apart from the rest of the pack.” In other words, it’s okay for PR professionals and groups to pay for and write our own articles (even though it compromises our professional ethics), while you’re busy providing free, journalistic coverage to the rest of the marketing industry.
    MacNamara said that Apex has withdrawn its own ad. "I hope others in our industry follow suit."

    David Jones, Senior VP of public relations firm Fleishman Hillard, uses his blog to wade in:

    Pat has a point, Marketing does a terrible job of profiling the PR industry and focuses almost exclusively on the ad agencies. I don’t think the competition, Strategy Magazine, does a much better job.

    I like that Pat has put her money where her mouth is by withdrawing her ad in the annual PR listings. Tough talk, backed up by action and amplified in this new world of self-publishing. People are talking about social media being the death of trade mags anyway.


    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    Pattison Group offloads share of
    24 Hours in Vancouver

    Vancouver's edition of the magapaper 24 Hours is now wholly in Sun Media hands, as billboard/distribution/car sales mogul Jimmy Pattison has quietly sold out his share to his newspaper partners. This, according to a story in the Vancouver Province.

    Glen Clark, Jim Pattison Group executive vice-president and former B.C. premier, said the Pattison Group was proud of the paper but it didn't hold strategic value for the company. "It's not a strategic investment for us, but it is for [Sun Media]." Sun Media publishes four other editions of 24 Hours in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto and Ottawa.

    Former Flare publisher David Hamilton named publisher of Hello! Canada

    David Hamilton, after a 9-month hiatus following his departure from a long tenure as Publisher of Flare magazine, has been named publisher of Hello! Canada magazine by Rogers Publishing Limited. He starts officially next week.

    "We are very happy that David will be leading the Hello! Canada team in the role of Publisher," said Marc Blondeau, Senior-Vice President, Consumer Publishing, Rogers Publishing Limited, in a press release. "His impressive track record of success in publishing and marketing will allow us to build on the tremendous successes we've seen in bringing this world-renowned magazine to the Canadian marketplace."

    Hello! Canada is a franchise of a worldwide company, with about 8 million circulation in 100 countries, according to a release. The U.K. edition of Hello! was launched in 1988, creating the celebrity magazine marketplace in that country, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Spanish magazine Hola!, which first debuted in 1944.

    Hello! Canada recently announced that it guarantees advertisers an average circulation of 45,000 copies a week.

    Labels: ,

    Robertson decision explained, more or less

    There's an interesting and entertaining (not to mention thought-provoking) essay in the current Literary Review of Canada (LRC) by Toronto freelancer Christopher Moore, parsing and pondering the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in the class action case of Robertson vs. Thomson et al. Freelancer Heather Robertson launched the case more than a decade ago, seeking compensation for inclusion of her freelance pieces by the Globe and Mail's electronic databases.(See previous post for background.)

    "Teenage Mutant Supreme Court Judges" will be of interest not just to copyright mavens (you know who you are) but anyone interested in the essential justice and fairness issues in the case.
    Anyone who has ever fired up a web browser might assume that more culture, more information, more news and more entertainment are available today in more ways, faster and more easily than ever before, and mostly for the price of an internet connection. But for new IP law, the ease of access we take for granted is illusory. Big Copyright threatens to blight our lives and destroy culture forever, and the great task of new intellectual property (IP) law is to stand on guard for a threatened and embattled public domain on the verge of extinction.
    Moore points out the many peculiarities of the way the case evolved and the way the judges approached the whole area of IP law. In particular, he notes that the case, which started out as a relatively simple matter of fair compensation, eventually ventured into such high falutin' issues as "What is a copy" and "What are the rights of public domain?".
    Once the issue became Heather Robertson versus the public domain, however, or Heather Robertson’s need to get paid versus the judges’ elaborate calculations about “the true essence of the originality” of various copies, the results were less clear. Indeed, many arguments deployed by Thomson’s lawyers against the Robertson claims would apply as well against Thomson’s own copyrights. If a newspaper can appropriate all the profitable aspects of Robertson’s work every time it finds a new technology able to make a cheap and perfect copy, she had better find a new line of work. (Robertson has mostly worked as a book writer in recent years.) But if public interest justifies Thomson Corp.’s appropriation of writers’ copyright, it may also justify the public’s appropriation of Thomson’s copyrights.
    [Thanks to the pwac website for alerting us to this.]

    Naked Eye uses film fest as re-launch pad

    The relaunch of a magazine may pale by comparison with the red-carpet shenanigans at the Toronto International Film festival, but according to a recent story in Media in Canada, the Montreal-based magazine Naked Eye chose the popular festival as a relaunching pad.

    The pop culture mag for men and women 18-35, Naked Eye Magazine (, is relaunching during the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, and the title will go nationwide with 500,000 copies on September 12. The Montreal-based pub's upcoming issue will cover everything from Canadian and international celebs to the dark side of Facebook and armchair activism.

    For the next year, the magazine will publish quarterly, then plans to go bi-monthly. The magazine's gimmick is that only Canadians will grace its covers, as it aims to foster a domestic star system. Actor Ryan Reynolds is on the September cover, while articles include coverage of Canadians like Hot Hot Heat, director Shawn Levy, fashion doyens DSquared and TV's newest reality mom, Shannon Tweed.