"We were losing money distributing the paper for home delivery," David Asper told CBC News on Thursday morning. "At the same time, our readers have been telling us — and we can see it in the numbers in the online usage of the product — that they're using the online version. The growth of the online world suggests to us that's where this industry is headed," he said. "I think we've done quite a remarkable job in converting the paper to a digital edition and I think it … continues to offer our readers a full product, just by way of a different medium."Ironically, Asper is based in Winnipeg.
Friday, October 31, 2008
"We really believed we could make the 2008 goals. Our biggest and oldest brands had double-digit growth in 2007...By this October it was looking like 1931. [Time Inc.] has never had so many advertising clients in trouble at the same time. The declines are stunning."Her advice to publishers? “[T]hrow out your neat little five year plans and adopt a two-year one."
Magazines need to play to their strengths and nurture their audiences
One is the relationship with readers, whence comes 30, 40 or even 50% of revenue. There is very little evidence, anywhere, that readers are abandoning magazines. It is not whistling past the graveyard to say that readers who, two months ago, loved your magazine and looked forward to it are unlikely to have fallen out of love because of the financial meltdown. Nor is it likely that their first, or even tenth, economy will be to instantly cancel their subscription. They have much bigger worries and, in many ways, the steady constancy of a regular magazine sub is something they can count on in an uncertain world. Long-term, yes, people may find themselves economizing, but not right now and not on magazine subs. At least not if you continue to deliver delight and good value.
Paradoxically we have so long underpriced magazines that they cost so little in sub or single copy in the scheme of things that they are, if not beneath notice, then at least a low priority for economy. If readers were paying the full freight, they might have greater pause, but they aren't.
The much-discussed migration of advertising to the web has been hyped beyond reason. Yes, ad sales are dropping, but it is not because advertisers are transferring the dollars to websites, but because they are cutting back spending across the board. If misery loves company, we've got lots of it, in other media of all types.
Because we don't hear the moans from the corporate suites of new media doesn't mean that they aren't sharing the pain with the rest of us. Pause for a moment and consider what stories you have read about profitable web publishing. Not many examples. The very strong likelihood is that, in the recession, a lot of these Potemkin villages -- built on hype and hope, but without solid subscriber bases -- will be casualties. I'm not suggesting that we should indulge in schadenfreude. But we should understand and nurture the strength of magazines.
Publications that maintain their quality will still be there when the economy rights itself and advertisers once again acknowledge that our business is delivering the attention of readers in an editorial environment they trust.
We should also remember that a lot of magazines are small, and nimble. While we hear the laments from the big battalions and see the layoffs, it should be remembered that many of Canada's best magazines are used to working on a shoestring and relying largely on voluntarism and goodwill. That will continue and there is hardly any audience more loyal than the audience of small magazines. Sure, we need to continue to innovate in all sorts of ways, but if you have energy to spend, spend it on holding and nurturing your existing audiences.
Magazines have good stories to tell and should continue to tell them between episodes of battening down hatches. We know from experience that we can't sit still, we have to continue to develop new readers and new ways of reaching them. But our longstanding ways of reaching them won't disappear overnight, or at all.
The one thing publishers and editors and circulators can't do is to give this up as a lost cause, because there is little evidence that it is. While confusion and uncertainty is understandable, it will pass; what we can't give way to is despair. Chins up, magaziners.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
In what is a sign of expected hard times to come at Conde Nast, the men's fashion spinoff that had grown to a standalone 10 times a year is shrinking back to appear in the spring and the fall. According to a story in Women's Wear Daily, the fate of publisher Marc Berger and others on the Men's Vogue 40-person editorial staff is unclear, though the editor Jay Fielden will remain.
Year to date through November, Men's Vogue had 588 ad pages, down 11 percent. Its November issue was down nearly a quarter from its 2007 counterpart, according to Media Industry Newsletter.Portfolio staff have been told that staff cutbacks are imminent and WWD says it expects about 20 percent of the staff to be let go. The magazine's website sales staff is being folded into that of Wired Digital.
Men's Vogue sold an average of 53,600 copies on the newsstand in the first half of 2008, but raised its rate base to 400,000 on the strength of its circulation.
Publishing director David Carey said the moves were responding to an economic picture decidedly different from the one in 2006, when the magazine launched. The goal, he said, is “a realistic infrastructure, and to not just carry forward all of our 2006 plans as if the world never changed.” Portfolio had 680 ad pages in 2008.
Replacing her is James Moore of Port Moody B.C., a radio broadcaster who became an MP in the 2000 election after working for a time as a commucations advisor to the then-in-opposition Conservatives led by Preston Manning.
Such a change always means the magazine industry (among others) needs to meet and brief the new minister on his file with some urgency; Magazines Canada will want to bring Moore up to speed, for instance, on issues of the proposed merger of the Canada Magazine Fund and the Publications Assistance Program, on Canada Post issues, including the plan for distance-related pricing and on general matters of the government's support of arts funding.
Moore holds a degree in political science from the University of Northern BC and, while in Prince George continued in broadcasting by launching his own talk show. He was the youngest-ever elected BC member of Parliament, at the age of 24. He speaks French and is not only young, but is considered a "comer" in Ottawa (in other words, for him Heritage is not simply a parking place).
He served as deputy critic for both foreign affairs and national revenue, transport critic and vice-chair of the Comomons transport committee.
(By the way, his dog's name is apparently Jed.)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The magazine's current issue contains an article on Pesce and his almost 40-year career.
Now Oxford University Press Canada has gathered Hillen's essays together in a delightful collection called A Weekend Memoir. It will appeal to anyone who likes well-crafted magazine profile writing. The book includes a poignant forward by Roy MacGregor.
Hillen, who now lives in Cambridge, was a senior editor at Saturday Night magazine, a staff writer at Weekend and at Maclean's. He wrote two outstanding memoirs (very recently republished by Penguin Canada) called The Way of a Boy, and its sequel, Small Mercies: A Boy after War.
Labels: collections and anthologies
The print magazine business is dying and dying faster than many analysts thought it would. Its only life boat is the internet. A life boat only holds so many people.-- Douglas A. McIntyre, an editor at 247wallst.com (in Blogging Stocks; copied in several other analyst-written financial newsletters).
Shut off the print edition right now. You’ve got to play offense. You’ve got to do what Intel did in ’85 when it was getting killed by the Japanese in memory chips, which was its dominant business. And it famously killed the business—shut it off and focused on its much smaller business, microprocessors, because that was going to be the market of the future. And the minute Intel got out of playing defense and into playing offense, its future was secure. The newspaper companies have to do exactly the same thing.- Netscape founder and Silicon Valley smart guy Marc Andreesen in an interview in the new issue of Portfolio
The financial markets have discounted forward to the terminal conclusion for newspapers, which is basically bankruptcy. So at this point, if you’re one of these major newspapers and you shut off the printing press, your stock price would probably go up, despite the fact that you would lose 90 percent of your revenue. Then you play offense. And guess what? You’re an internet company
David Carr in the New York Times distills an essential paradox of the business:
For readers, the drastic diminishment of print raises an obvious question: if more people are reading newspapers and magazines, why should we care whether they are printed on paper?
The answer is that paper is not just how news is delivered; it is how it is paid for.More than 90 percent of the newspaper industry’s revenue still derives from the print product, a legacy technology that attracts fewer consumers and advertisers every single day. A single newspaper ad might cost many thousands of dollars while an online ad might only bring in $20 for each 1,000 customers who see it.
Psychologically it's a lot different when you have an agency doing that on your behalf and the terms are a lot different when that agency is representing a massive chunk of the talent pool in this country.The current system, he told writer Kate Carraway, discourages talented and experienced freelancers and they turn to teaching or book-writing or alternative career choices when they can't afford to freelance anymore.
"This idea, this agency I've dreamed up, this is something that would never work in New York or in the United States, where the industry is so massive. You could never absorb the talent pool to achieve the kind of negotiating position that you need. Here, the industry is just the right size, the talent pool is just the right size, and it's a much more feasible concept here.
"It affects the whole industry, because they're constantly reliant upon the next round of talent being turned out by Ryerson or some other school where hopefuls eternally reside. The quality totally suffers. We don't have a system that could ever create a Seymour Hersh type of character. It's not that publications here can't afford it, they choose not to afford it. When they say they don't have the money, that doesn't literally mean they don't have the money. Another way to put it is, 'We don't have it in the budget.' When they're saying it's not in the budget, what they're saying is, 'We've chosen not to spend the money on writers.'[Thanks to David Hayes at the TFEW list for tipping us to this.]
"What happens every year is you have an editor going to a publisher, saying 'We need to make the editorial budget bigger' and this is in a meeting in which they've already discovered that they have to jack up the printing budget and the distribution budget … and they get to the editorial budget and everybody is just burned out at that point. And someone says, meekly, 'I think we need to revise the editorial budget' and there's five seconds of silence and they end the meeting. And that's what happens."
- New freelance agency formally announced; more than 80 writers already signed up
- Freelance writers briefed about plans ofr new agency to represent them
- Former Toro editor Finkle plans literary agency for freelance writers
Design Edge magazine has most prescient cover of the year
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I’m closing Inkless to comments for at least the next several days. I had been urging readers to show better manners, and while most didn’t need any encouragement in that direction, a few can’t control themselves.
This policy applies only to my blog and it may not be permanent. I’ll open comments back up at the end of the week and see whether people are a little calmer.
John Yemma, The Monitor's editor, said that moving to the web only will mean it can keep its eight foreign bureaus open while still lowering costs.
"We have the luxury — the opportunity — of making a leap that most newspapers will have to make in the next five years."
[This post has been updated] Magazines are likely to follow newspapers down a very slippery slope with a nasty bump at the bottom, according to the financial newsletter 24/7 Wall Street.
As the year wears on there is growing evidence that the magazine industry will not escape the fate of newspapers. Several of the largest weekly magazines, business publications, and the flagship properties at some of the big print companies are experiencing tremendous advertising page attrition which is, in many cases, accelerating.The item notes (using data provided by min, the media industry newsletter) that Hearst magazines are all off significantly in ad pages through November: Cosmpolitan (-11%), Redbook (-10%) and Good Housekeeping (-4%). All Conde Nast magazines have had sharp drops for the same period: The New Yorker (-24%), Vanity Fair (-12% -- and its November issue is 34% smaller than a year ago), Vogue (-7% but November pages down 32% from a year earlier).
Time, Newsweek and US News and World Report have lost an average of 27% of ad pages, it said.
In business titles, Business Week (McGraw-Hill) lost 17% of its ad pages through the third week of October; Forbes (-16%); Fortune (Time Warner) was up just over 2%.
[UPDATE: As a companion piece, here is a compilation by MediaDaily News of the recent layoffs at big U.S. magazine companies.]
[UPDATE 2: Time Inc. was
Frank magazine folds, saying
"it is time to move on"
To our regret, we have decided to stop publishing Frank Magazine. Effective immediately, both the online efrank.ca and the bimonthly paper edition have been terminated.Frank was started in late 1987 in Halifax by David Bentley. It was modelled quite deliberately on the iconoclastic British weekly Private Eye but had its own, often loopy, style. In 1989 Bentley, in partnership with Michael Bate, launched an "upper Canadian" version in Ottawa which, after several brushes with death survived until today. (Bate bought out Bentley; the Halifax-based Frank has continued although Bentley is no longer involved.). For a time, the Ottawa or "national" Frank magazine was owned by Globe and Mail journalist Fabrice Taylor, who wanted to take it more mainstream and found no market for it, closing it in 2004. Bate started it up again and put more emphasis on the online version, but that, along with the print version, is no more.
Despite the efforts of our wonderful staff and contributors, our loyal investors and our dedicated subscribers, we could not achieve profitability.
My thanks to everyone involved with Frank over the past 19 years. It has been a memorable experience, but it is now time to move on.
Bate told the Toronto Star:
"Frank is not part of the zeitgeist the way it was in the 1990s," conceded publisher Michael Bate during a phone interview. "There was a time in the early '90s when we really had the field to ourselves, in the sense that we were doing stories that were the antidote to the mainstream media. In a way, we were the Internet. And then along came the Internet. More and more publications started doing what we were doing. And we couldn't compete."Frank's "Remedial Media" column enjoyed a love-hate relationship with Canadian reporters, editors and writers who avidly read (and bristled about) the backstairs gossip about newspapers, magazines, radio and TV.
As but one example of its mischief, in 2007, Frank managed to snow various mainstream outlets like the Globe and Mail about a wholly fictional organization in support of Conrad Black during his travails with the U.S. courts.
When the magazine closed, said The Star, it had 5,000 subscribers for its daily updated online edition and its bimonthly newsstand publication, compared to a peak circulation of roughly 20,000.
[via Fine on Media, Business Week]
Major magazines’ corollary websites still account for only a tiny percentage of all web activity. Very few magazines — the exceptions being ESPN, National Geographic, Real Simple and The Economist — can be considered brands that have established much meaning beyond their printed forms. Many think they have. Major publishers have repeatedly told me that their titles are also powerful brands …
But magazines are not marketed like brands. They spend little advertising themselves to either consumers or the [advertisers] that support them, and when they do, their messages tend to be focused on the content of the publication . . .
Few have committed to the web, despite protestations to the contrary. There are still top-50 magazines whose landing pages are essentially ads for their print versions.
Monday, October 27, 2008
National Post discontinues Toronto "magazine" section
That this has happened in the same week when the parent company, CanWest Global saw its stock fall into penny status is no coincidence. The paper can apparently no longer afford to behave as though it has a weekend magazine, though it really hasn't since it sold Saturday Night several years ago.
[Update: The This Magazine blog wishes the National Post a happy 10th anniversary in typical cheeky fashion.]
The Toronto section had dwindled in any event; this most recent change will reduce three magazine-style features in Toronto to only one in the main paper. Whether the other, shorter items, many of which were a steady market for Toronto-based freelancers, will survive I don't know. I suspect that many readers flipped into the magazine section, in any event, to read Shinan Govani's gossip and the shopping stories (what newpapers insist on calling "style"). That will continue, anchored in a new place.
By the way, does anyone else remember that this is the second time a national newspaper has killed a magazine called Toronto? The Globe and Mail did it years ago, only that one was a glossy that tried, for a time, to compete with Toronto Life.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
While a lot of his magazine work hails from the '60s and '70s, its boldness stands up pretty well today. Look at the site and see the elegant little design for a private wine club's newsletter, and his various covers for Marxism Today (which ceased publication in 1992 -- its last issue is shown).
Marchbank designed the iconic Time Out logo and continued to design for the magazine for many years. He went on to do art direction for music publishers, restaurants, you name it. In the 1980s, he became design director for Virgin Records. For many years, he has done his work under the brand of Studio Twenty. The esteem with which he's held in art direction circles was indicated in 2004 when he was named Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) the highest award possible in the field.
[Thanks to MagCulture for alerting us to this.]
Friday, October 24, 2008
(The nursing faculty also publishes a magazine about nursing scholarship called Discover.) The circulation of Pulse is 6,000 to alumni, faculty, staff and donors,university counterparts, hospital and community partners, and government. Currently it is twice a year but it will be accessible on the faculty's web site starting next week.
Magazine people for magazine jobs
on the Canadian Magazines blog
- Targetted readership
- Free access for job searchers
- Cost-effective for employers (just $1 a day)
- Easy online setup
- Postings by job function
The newly minted editor of award-winning city magazine Toronto Life – who at 34 is the youngest editor to hold one of the top media jobs in the country – will share her advice on how to land your dream job. Sarah's brief talk will be followed by a Q&A period. Shy? Send Ed your questions for Sarah in advance: toronto [at]ed2010 [dot]comThe event is at Deer Park Library , 40 St. Clair Ave. East (Located one block east of Yonge St. on the north side of St. Clair Ave.), Wednesday November 5 from 6:15pm to 7:45pm (the event starts at 6:30pm sharp) Admission is $5 and it's first-come, first-served, with space limited.
[Thanks to Corinna van Gerwen's Dream Job TK blog for this.]
According to the Observer:
Started by Maer Roshan in 2003, the magazine billed itself as a guide to pop culture, scandal, and style but soon folded. In 2005, Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman and a pre-scandal Jeffrey Epstein invested a reported $25 million in the magazine according to a report by Katharine Q. Seelye in The New York Times, but by December of that year, the magazine had been shut down again. By this time, Radar's ups and downs had become sport for Web site's like Gawker, which delighted in every gory detail of the magazine's demise.
In 2006, the magazine returned with the help of Yusuf Jackson. It was widely speculated that Ron Burkle was also an investor. In 2008, the magazine was nominated for a National Magazine Award in the category of General Excellence for circulation between 100,000-250,000.
Projects are expected to include a period of investigation to assemble the information needed for in-depth news or feature articles or documentaries. Some travel to interview information sources would be anticipated.Awards will be made based on the
- Achievements and experience of the applicant;
- Novelty and importance of the ideas proposed (special consideration will be given to proposals that address areas of health research that are underreported in Canada);and
- The use of research-based information as a key component for the work proposed.
[Thanks to Steve Trumper for the heads' up on this]
“I wanted to find some way of tapping into that generation and getting them talking about politics. There’s nothing on the market that’s aimed at them. The Economist is a quality magazine, but is really dense and goes over a lot of people’s heads.”Distribution of the first 68-page issue is 30,000 and it will sell for a cover price of £3.99.
The magazine is independent and not aligned to any of the political parties, and whilst Foley makes it clear Politick will not be a “low-level trashy magazine” about politics, it will aim to be accessible and engaging for young people.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Next month's issue (November-December) will be the last, with mastheadonline.com closing at an undefined date soon afterwards. This may hold out some faint hope that the website could survive the magazine's closure. No word on that, yet.
One of the things that Masthead has relied upon was income from its trade show at Magazines University. Doubtless, with the glowering clouds on the financial horizon, booth sales for next June's show have already been hard sells. That is entirely aside from the competition for attendance from MagNet, the
There's no point in going into the details of the dispute between Magazines Canada and Masthead over Mags U. (For more about that, see postings passim.) The association was free to start up its own show and did so and it always seemed to sensible observers that, eventually, there would only be room for one. Since Magazines Canada saw MagNet as a service to its members and therefore a core activity of the organization, it was highly unlikely that it would be the first to blink.
We understand that North Island Publishing, publishers of Masthead, are saying that, in part, it was competition from MagNet that made it impossible to continue. More likely, however, was that this is a very small industry and there were insufficient subscribers and advertising support to pay the bills. (I have no inside information on this, and would welcome elaboration by those who do.)
What will the passing of Masthead mean (besides my Good Question column needing to find a new home!?). Well, there is no question the recently launched website was much more feature-rich than earlier versions and provided a very valuable news service to the industry. There are things that Masthead does that either will fall by the wayside or need to be picked up in some other way; for instance, their salary survey, which has become more sophisticated and useful over time. Or their resource pages, where archived material on aspects of the business is equally useful to newbies or veterans. Or their annual compilation of Canada's 50 largest magazines by circ and ad revenue. Or the Canadian Newsstand Awards. Or its heavily trafficked job board. In fact, all of the data and reporting that fell to the business-to-business magazine for the magazine industry.
There are implications, too, for Magazines University and for Canadian Business Press, Masthead's major partner, will be able to sustain such a venture on its own, or has the wherewithal to run a trade show. No word yet on whether North Island will carry on with the trade show business, which we are told was profitable, but really was branded by the magazine which will no longer exist. Despite several overtures in the last couple of years from Magazines Canada for some cooperative approach to professional development seminars, CBP has resolutely decided to go it alone. It remains to be seen whether a CBP-only trade show is feasible.
Last, but not least, for this post, let me say that it will be too bad that Marco Ursi will be losing his position as editor as the result of this closure. He showed the kind of journalistic energy that such a small, specialized publication depends on. If 80% of success in life is just showing up (as Woody Allen said) then Marco was always there at industry events. But that other 20%, including a good instinct for stories and interviews, is what will be lost and will be hard to replace. (Certainly there is no capacity at the moment on this blog to replace what Marco has been doing.) I wish him all the best.
More as we learn more.
Newsflash: Masthead and MastheadOnline to fold
Yet whether the stunt delivers a longterm benefit for SI Kids remains to be seen. In general, kids' magazines have fought a tough battle for ad pages as packaged foods, their bread and butter, have shifted spending out of the category to avoid controversy over childhood obesity. Year to date through November, SI Kids' ad pages fell 14.3 percent to 175, per the Monitor. VP ad sales, marketing Scott Hendrickson said the title is trying to grow its videogame business to offset the packaged goods ad decline, pointing out that the last three issues of the year are charting double-digit page gains.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
However, we are aware of some other magazines with their own Twitter account. For instance, Canada's venerable This Magazine started distributing its own Twitter feed August 15, and one of its most recent updates says that it has 108 Twitter "followers" as of this week.
That doesn't make it any less true what Make senior editor Phil Torrone told Folio:
“This is new terrain for magazines. We would send out messages on Twitter whenever we’d post a new story, and we’d find people were talking back as if Make was a real person.”
Torrone said he answers each “tweet”—everything from subscription requests to changes of address which number 30-40 a day— himself. “With Twitter, users expect a response right away.” Make recently offered its followers on Twitter a discount on subscriptions, and sold 50 in two days.
Make, published by O'Reilly Media, has a paid circulation of 100,000, with a readership of about 250,000, the company says. Its Web site averages about 2 million unique visitors a month.
"The results were revealing, though not altogether surprising," said Peter Stockland, Editor-in-Chief of Reader's Digest Canada. "We have long suspected Canadians and Americans are different - our poll found those differences to be pointed on a number of ideas and issues." The results were part of a worldwide poll taken in advance of the U.S. presidential election.
- Canadians take their role as global citizens seriously: the three most important issues to Canadians are the environment (31%), followed by the world economy (17%), and global poverty (12%). In contrast, Americans put the economy first (26%), followed by terrorism (19%), and the war in Iraq (16%).
- While the race in the United States is very tight between Barack Obama and John McCain, nearly five times as many Canadians would elect Obama over McCain, if given the opportunity.
- Only 27% of Canadians polled said they would move south of the border if free to do so (bycomparison, 52% of respondents in France would emigrate).
Consistent with the perceived concerns of older people, the show is title-sponsored by Aspirin 81mg. Other sponsorship includes Pfizer, Pepcid Complete, McLennan Group and the Toronto Star. Among 150 exhibitors, LG, Cineplex, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Pepcid, Pfizer, McLennan Group, Sandals Resorts, Goodlife Fitness, Scotia McLeod, Canadian Diabetes Association, Polident, Breathe Right, Poly-Grip, Sensodyne and the Association of Interior Designers. Attenders will get advice on positive aging, financial planning, age-appropriate travel resorts, alternative living options, Zoomer-friendly innovations, professional caregiving or even a second career.
"Traditionally, marketers have lost interest in consumers after they turn 50," Leanne Wright, VP Communications, Zoomer, tells MiC. "ZoomerShow participants understand that if they want to grow their business in the next 20 years, they had better be targeting Zoomers."
"Everyone wants to live long, but nobody wants to get old - and everybody loves a show," [said] David Zersta, VP of conference and trade shows for Zoomer Media.
UK wholesalers now enjoy "absolute territorial protection" - ATP - giving them exclusive access to specific areas of the country, and retailers stocking newspapers and magazines cannot choose between different wholesalers. This has been justified because of the time pressures on daily newspapers and the same system has applied to magazines. (Compare this with Canada where magazine retailers have a choice -- albeit a limited one -- of distributors and wholesalers. Territorial exclusivity was essentially done away with several years ago.)
Newspaper distribution will continue to be protected by an opt-out from competition law under guidance handed down today by the Office of Fair Trading.
However, the regulator said magazine distribution could work better if there were greater competition among wholesalers.
The OTF said in a report that magazine sales were not subject to this same pressure as newspapers and that there was "greater scope" for competition between wholesalers.It is now leaving it to publishers, distributors and wholesalers to decide whether the current regime is compliant with competition law. Spokemen for the magazine industry said that many weekly magazines are under the same time pressure as newspapers and should retain similar protection.
- More than 80 writers, including some of the most prominent names in Canadian journalism, have indicated their intention to be exclusively represented by Finkle and his team;
- CWG expects to represent at least 150 writers across Canada by the time it officially opens its doors for business in early 2009, negotiating fees and rights for all magazine, newspaper, online, and commercial work done by those freelancers in its roster;
- To assist in these negotiations, CWG has retained the services of prominent Toronto media lawyer Iain MacKinnon.
- The agency has already been approached by a number of potential commercial clients looking for writers, including the Toronto design firm q30, as well as the Toronto chapter of the international business group Entrepreneur’s Organization;
- To provide its writers with improved access to the American book and magazine markets, CWG has also forged an affiliation with Kuhn Projects, a full-service literary agency in New York City operated by David Kuhn.“As a former editor at Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and Brill’s Content, David will undoubtedly prove to be a great asset to CWG writers,” says Finkle. “In fact, Kuhn Projects recently sold the rights for New York-based Canadian business writer Duff McDonald’s account of Wall Street tycoon Jamie Dimon’s career to Simon & Schuster.”
“Even for the most talented and productive magazine and newspaper writers, freelancing in Canada hasn’t been a profession with a sufficiently viable career arc in my lifetime,” says Finkle.The list of people who have so far signed up is worth reproducing:
"While the agency hopes to bring editorial pay rates up to a level that more realistically reflects the skills the best and most in-demand freelancers are providing to this country’s publications,” says Finkle, “we are also hoping to attract lucrative commercial writing jobs to the agency for those who are looking for them.”
Jason AndersonRelated posts:
- Freelance writers briefed about plans for new agency to represent them
- Former Toro editor Finkle plans literary agency for freelance writers
The proposed roundtable will reach beyond magazine companies and include printers and representatives of other print media. But the time for consultation is short; the province has given respondents only until January 15 to submit comments.
“We welcome the Minister’s initiative,” said Magazines Canada CEO Mark Jamison. “This is an opportunity to address the glaring flaws of a system that, among other concerns, does not ensure that foreign publishers pay any share of the blue box program. The results of this exercise will undoubtedly have implications for all such programs across the country.”
Canadian magazines take waste diversion responsibilities seriously and pay their way in blue box programs [said the release]. Magazines
Canadawill approach this consultation with the view that a cost efficient and effective program within which everyone pays their share and does their part is the fundamental basis upon which the Minister’s goals for success can be achieved.
- Foreign publishers get a free ride in Ontario blue box levy
- Mags Canada asks Ontario for tax credit, end to unfair competition and blue box equity
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Labels: Magazine Awards
According to a story in UK Press Gazette, computers, telephones, fashion cupboards and a photographic studio will all be shifted to a perspex pod in the centre's atrium and shoppers will be able to watch every move that the 46 Grazia staff make, including fashion shoots, castings, product testing and job interviews. The resulting week's special edition will be called Grazia Live.
Grazia editor-in-chief Jane Bruton said: "Some people might think that moving to Westfield London for one week and producing a magazine there is a mad idea... and it is. But the Grazia team like nothing better than leaping into the unknown, so we're up for the challenge.My only worry is having to send out regular search parties to drag my staff out of all the shops."
Monday, October 20, 2008
subTerrain turns 20
What's noteworthy is that this means that CDS services, will now be working with some very small titles, in addition to larger magazines that are its traditional customers. Almost every CDS client in Canada in a member of Magazines Canada.
The cooperative direct marketing campaign distributes approximately 1 million pieces – including up to 300,000 by direct mail – to households across the country. Last year's campaign generated 11,161 subscriptions and pay-up rates of over 91 percent.This year's campaign is expected to generate 12,250 subscriptions from 4,100 respondents from January to March, with 2,050 coming in by mail, 410 by phone and 1,640 via the Internet.
“By working cooperatively as an industry, we achieve notable successes and efficiencies,” says Barbara Bates, Magazines Canada’s director of Circulation Marketing.
“CDS Global is delighted to have the opportunity to work with Magazines Canada – on behalf of all participating Canadian magazines – to help streamline the flow of information and build on the success of this important marketing campaign,” says Scott Bullock, vice president of Sales & Marketing for CDS Global in Canada.
CDS Global (which advertises on this blog) maintains offices in Markham and Montreal; the company is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, with facilities in Arizona, New York, Pennsylvania, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Learn more at or at www.cds-global.com.
Magazines Canada's membership accounts for over 90 percent of all Canadian magazines circulated in both official languages.
Magazine world view
- Financial Times posters urge firms not to cut ad spend in economic downturn
- Amazon's UK launch of Kindle delayed
- Granta to launch in Italy and Spain (Publisher's Weekly)
- Writers pen protest at terror bill (Guardian)
- Christopher Buckley says he's been 'fatwahed' (The Daily Beast)
'Monthlies are in a good place because they are hugely good value,' [says media Alan Brydon, head of press communications for Media Planning Group] Women are not going to sever the special emotional connection that they have with glossy magazines, even if they are feeling the pinch, 'for the sake of £3'.The magazine Elle surveyed 4,000 readers and found that they were determined to keep shopping, therefore determined to seek out things like beauty products that are featured in magazines. It showed that 33 per cent of respondents' clothes-shopping habits remained unaffected by the crunch and 42% said they would sacrifice a night out in favour of shopping.
'But they are being a lot more elegant in the way they buy. The huge flurry of instant gratification shopping in the lunch hour - I don't think they are going to be doing that anymore,' [editor-in-chief Lorraine] Candy says.High-end advertisers are not being quick to give up their positions at the front of high-end magazines, so far.
To do so could mean that they lose their slots for months, if not years. 'It is almost like a nuclear deterrent. You can't be the first to blink,' says Brydon.Nicholas Coleridge, the managing director of Condé Nast in Britain, says he expects next year to be "challenging", but the company is forging ahead with plans to launch not one, but two high-end magazines.
'A lot of it is about dreaming,' says Jeremy Langmead, editor of upmarket men's title Esquire, who predicts magazines will provide more of that next year. I am not going to rent Richard Branson's house on Necker Island, but for 10 minutes I am going to imagine I am lying on that beach.'
Friday, October 17, 2008
The wayback machine
A year ago...
- PWAC fighting back against contractual rights grab (16 October 07)
- Five culture ministers in Ontario in 7 years (12 October 07)
- Feeling nervous, are we? Canadian Lawyer tries to squelch upstart competitor (10 October 07)
- CanGeo makes clean sweep of its circ department (10 October 07)
- Western Standard folds its print edition (5 October 07)
- Walrus tops up its board (11 October 2006)
- Robertson wins groundbreaking freelance suit after more than a decade of struggle (12 October 06)
- Mag industry tries to head off Canada Post's abandonment of postal subsidy (16 October 06)
- Transcon kills print version of TV Guide magazine (19 October 06)
- Esprit de Corps tallies up the true cost of casualties in Afghanistan (23 October 06)
- Toronto Life bash befits 40 years (20 October 06)
Thursday, October 16, 2008
He says that the organizations do no one any good by "burying the lead", such as emphasizing a few pieces of good news while downplaying the 8.8% decrease in rate-card-reported advertising revenue in the 3rd quarter of the year.
(The only reason we don't see this in Canada, of course, is that we don't have the equivalent of the Publishers Information Bureau publishing such comparative data for Canadian titles.)
Other funding went to industry associations such as Magazines Canada's direct marketing campaign, support for Word on the Street book and periodical festival and in support of Magazines University, a joint venture principally of Masthead magazine and the Canadian Business Press.
According to a study commissioned by Magazines Canada, with funding assistance by OMDC, the value of the magazine sector in Canada is $1.56 billion and Ontario has over 75% of the activity (jobs/revenue) and exports more than half of magazine production to other provinces and territories.
PWAC executive director Degen named literature officer of the Ontario Arts Council
We read about it in a posting on the Creators' Copyright Coalition website (which is somehow fitting, since Degen has been an outspoken champion of copyright issues* on behalf of Canadian writers). As far as I know, the OAC has not officially announced the appointment.
The OAC position is one of the lynchpin positions in the cultural arts, not least because the literature office ministers to the majority of literary and cultural magaiznes in the country and dispenses some $450,000 annually in grant support.
[Disclosure: I recently completed a review of the grants to periodicals program on behalf of the OAC.]
PWAC will certainly miss the good-humoured management of Degen who is also a poet and novelist of some note and, before joining PWAC, was a staffer with Magazines Canada.
*In fact Degan gave a hint about his new position yesterday with a post on his website in which he said he would be pulling back from the copyright wars somewhat.
Not only am I tired of the struggle over copyright in this country, but I have a need to officially pull back from the debate. My opinions about reform have not changed, but I am going to be working for creators in what I hope is a much more effective and meaningful way.Degen is the author of a novel The Uninvited Guest (Nightwood Editions) and two books of poetry: Killing Things and Animal Life in Bucharest. He has published work in Taddle Creek, blood + aphorisms, The Fiddlehead, Queen Street Quarterly and The Walrus, and is a frequent reviewer for THIS Magazine.
[UPDATE: The Ontario Arts Council has officially announced Degen's appointment, freeing him to make his own announcement on his website.]
- John Degen to take over for Filyer at OAC (Quill & Quire)
Rogers sells Ontario Out of Doors to Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
Originally founded in 1969, OOD was purchased by Maclean Hunter in 1985. The December 2008 issue will be the final one produced by Rogers, Blondeau said.
I would like to stress that this decision was made following careful review of our long-term business strategy. We remain focused on growing our portfolio of brands in a strategic manner. We have absolutely no plans to sell any other properties.Ontario Out of Doors principal competitor has been Outdoor Canada magazine, published by Transcontinental Media.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Wow, we knew Macrovision (NSDQ: MVSN) was desperate to get rid of the print version of TV Guide, but didn’t know the extent to which it would go to the liabilities off its books: we reported earlier this week that it was sold to PE firm OpenGate Capital..now the price has come out in an SEC filing from MVSN. It is $1, and on top of that, Macrovision is loaning the firm up to $9.5 million, and OpenGate will assume certain liabilities of the TV Guide Magazine business.
...For the first six months of this year, TVG magazine had revenues of $19.77 million and net losses of $1.67 million, according to MVSN’s 10-Qfor the last quarter. We have it from a source that the magazine has a deferred subscription liability of over $50 million, which means they have collected that amount from subscribers for copies not yet delivered, and in theory owe that money back if they stop publishing. So OpenGate has that liability now with this deal, something that MVSN really wanted off its hands.
Magazine world view
- Vogue Declares Victory for Democrats in November Issue Cover Line (HuffPo)
- Conde Nast's digital chief swaps Vogue for Glam (UK Press Gazette)
- Magazine Ad Pages Fall 12.9 Percent During Third Quarter (Folio:)
- Esquire's E-Ink Cover Inspires Hacker Community (Folio:)
- Bloomberg reports bids for Reed Business Information have declined (BtoB online)
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Europeans may relax direct-to-consumer drug ad restrictions
This is particularly important to Canada, and by extension to the Canadian magazine industry, because it would then be bracketed by competitors carrying information, if not ads, for brand name pharmaceuticals, something Canadian magazines are not allowed to do. The Health Council of Canada says that, far from relaxing rules on DTCA, Canada should reinforce restrictions. Magazines Canada, on the other hand, estimates that relaxed regulations could be worth up to US$50 million annually in advertising to Canadian publishers.
Canadian publishers have long lamented the fact that U.S. titles coming into Canada, while technically subject to the laws, never see them enforced, and that this inequity is exacerbated by the the dramatic increase of U.S.-based television broadcasting of drug advertisements.
The EU's enterprise and industry minister, Gunther Verheugen, is said to be working on draft legislation suggesting that drug manufacturers be allowed to market their products in an "objective and unbiased" way both in writing and online.