Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Editor of CARP magazine resigns as Znaimer consolidates control

Bonnie Baker Cowan, the editor of CARP, the magazine for the Fifty-plus, has resigned. Cowan was at one time editor of Canadian Living. Her departure comes not entirely coincidentally with the ascendancy of Moses Znaimer at the organization. His acquisition of the magazine is a substantial part of Znaimer's plan to dominate the 50-plus demographic in Canada by building a media and services company.

Znaimer is perhaps best known as one of the founders of CITY-TV. Znaimer is Chair and Executive Producer of Classical 96.3FM and 101.3 FM radio, Toronto and heads up a boutique TV production/distribution company. This year he also acquired 740 Radio.

Znaimer, through his private holding company Olympus Management Limited and Fifty-Plus.Net International Inc. , of which Znaimer is President and CEO, purchased Kemur Publishing, the online and print arm of CARP, the association. By doing so, he now controls CARP, the magazine for the Fifty-plus and, its associated website.

The deal saw the Morgenthau family, the founders of CARP, exit the scene. Effectively, Znaimer has taken control of the for-profit online and print publishing division and of the not-for-profit association.

(Znaimer is now also on the board of the parent organization, CARP, and is serving as its temporary chief executive in place of the ailing co-founder Murray Morgenthau while a replacement is being sought.)

CARP at one time stood for the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, but the tagline has been changed to Canada's Association for the Fifty-Plus, principally to take account of the boomer bulge and the marketing opportunities it represents. The organization was founded in 1984 at the kitchen table of Lillian and Murray Morgenthau.

Membership in CARP includes the 9-times-a-year magazine, although it can be purchased separately for $11.95 a year. The magazine has a circulation of about 190,000.

FPN operates as The 50Plus Group and is its key property delivering a wide range of information, entertainment, community (forums, dating, blogs) and commerce together with four electronic newsletters (health, money, travel, lifestyle), each of which has over 120,000 opt-in subscribers. The company also manages, the online home of CARP, Canada's Association for the Fifty-Plus, with almost 400,000 members.

It can be speculated that Znaimer has, as his model, the fabulously successful AARP in the U.S. which has 30 million members and a terrifically successful magazine. (If you were to follow the "rule of 10" (that Canada is one-tenth the size of the U.S.) then it is reasonable to assume that there is some significant upside potential for the organization. AARP's magazine AARP The Magazine has 23.5 million circulation; might there be potential for 2 million circ for CARP?)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor Bonnie. I can see why she resigned. Znaimer is a handful.

9:29 am  

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