Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Best of the season

Canadian Magazines is taking its annual Christmas break and will not be posting again until January 4, when we'll present a look back at 2009 with our round up of the Year in Canadian Magazines. We imagine many of you will not be sorry to see 2009 gone, mind you. It's been a pretty grim time for the magazine business, what with layoffs and closures. But there's reason for hope and even some optimism for the year ahead. Meanwhile, to all our friends and colleagues, have a merry and a happy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

J-Source journalism integrity award nominations due by January 8

If you know of someone who should be awarded for committing journalism to the benefit of society, you have until January 8 to nominate them for the J-Source Journalism Integrity Award.
The award, which has been made annually since 2007, will honour an individual or organization that has encouraged excellence, had a positive impact on the quality of journalism at the local and/or national level and serves as an inspiration to working journalists as well as educators, our readers, audiences and the Canadian public.
"We strive to recognize and celebrate the efforts of journalists, journalism educators, activists and citizens who believe that journalism can make a difference in a functioning democracy," says the organization. (English) and are the websites of The Canadian Journalism Project (CJP)which is sponsored by the Canadian Journalism Foundation. Guidelines include:
  • The action, decision, advocacy, story, approach, judgment call etc. that provides the basis for the nomination must have occurred in the 2009 calendar year
  • If the basis for a nomination refers to an internal decision, the information must be verifiable through others involved
  • Nominations must be received by midnight on January 8, 2010 at


Spafax to custom publish magazine for
Bombardier Aerospace

Spafax Inc., the custom publishing firm that produces enRoute magazine for Air Canada is about to launch a magazine called Experience for Bombardier Aerospace.
According to a press release from Spafax, the new publication will launch in May as a bi-annual (by which we think they mean twice a year) lifestyle publication distributed to Bombardier business aircraft customers, "some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential individuals". Editorially it will focus on travel, leisure, dining, shopping and information about Bombardier products and innovations.
Bombardier makes Learjet, Challenger and Global business jets and offers fractional ownership services through Flexjet.
“We are proud and honored to have been selected by Bombardier to write, edit and publish Experience magazine globally,” said Katrin Kopvillem, managing director and publisher at Spafax. “This client brings with it a crème de la crème demographic. We look forward to harnessing the global resources of our organization – both creatively and among our worldwide sales force – to create a magazine that will appropriately speak to the elite Bombardier customer, wherever in the world they may reside.”
In addition to enRoute and OnAir for Air Canada, Spafax, which is a division of the global communications company WPP, produces publications for Mercedes Benz Canada, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Royal Jordanian.


Supreme Court ruling broadens libel defence for publishers and non-journalists

The Supreme Court of Canada has made rulings ordering two new trials that considerably loosens up libel constraints on publications. In two cases to which Magazines Canada was a party, the court accepted that "responsible communication" could be a legitimate defence in a libel action. Like many other defences, it rests largely on furtherance of the public interest and the judges set out seven criteria for judging what is "responsible", including the seriousness of the allegations and the reliability of sources.
The two cases were Grant vs. Torstar Corp. and  Cusson vs. Ottawa Citizen. In both, a new trial was ordered (during which the new defence can now be argued).
In the Cusson case, the Citizen was sued by an Ontario police officer who felt that he had been libelled by an article that suggested he had misrepresented himself as a trained dog handler in taking part in rescue operations at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11. The paper lost the case when the jury decided not all of the fact were proven. It was upheld at the Court of Appeal. Part of the reason was that "responsible communication" had not been used as a defence at the original trial, even though it had not been recognized as a distinct defence by Canadian courts.
In the Grant case, a developer brought a libel action against the Star for a story that quoted neighbours' statements that Grant was using his political relationship with the Mike Harris government to secure approval for a new golf course.  A jury awarded damages. The court of appeal ordered a new trial, saying that the "responsible communication" defence had not been communicated to the jury. Grant appealed to reinstate the verdict and the SCC dismissed the appeal.
The decisions together were  a vindication of not only the Ottawa Citizen and Torstar, but other media who supported them in arguing that the archaic libel and defamation laws needed to be reformed. In effect, it opens up the possibility of publishing stories in which best efforts have been made to seek the truth, in the public interest, without being able to prove the truth of every statement.

Both cases hinged on being thwarted in being able to put forward the defence of "responsible communication". In both cases, the SCC ordered new trials, thereby giving defendants the chance to use the defence and justify their journalism as fair and balanced and in the public interest.
Of further interest is that, while the decision came as the result of a traditional libel action against a traditional mainstream publication, the court found that the "responsible communication" defence applies to anyone publishing matters of public interest in any medium -- in other words bloggers and non-journalists.
Read the Globe and Mail report on the two cases.

Quote, unquote: On not being steamrolled

“We’re at the hinge point. As a librarian, I have to go where the information goes. Yes, there are a couple ways to disagree with e-book readers – we can complain about the hardware or the software. But as with any disruptive technology, you’re either guided forward or you’re steamrolled. The only way to do it is to jump on the tiger and take control of it.”
-- Christopher Harris, a librarian and the creator of the blog, quoted in a Christian Science Monitor article looking at the future of reading. 

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The nice, warm feeling only a fundraising
letter can bring

I quite like Mother Jones magazine; its journalism and its politics. But I hadn't realized that by subscribing to their e-letter, I have become a U.S. Democrat. This was brought home to me when I received a fundraising message from "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi" and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, asking me to join what is, in effect, a chain letter to the President of the United States, Barack Obama and his family and to corral five of my friends to  do the same.
Our extraordinary progress this year would not be possible without dedicated grassroots Democrats like you. You worked every day to put Main Street first, to create millions of clean energy jobs, and to make health care affordable for the middle class.
 Go figure.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Magazine world view: RD revamp; Atlantic digitizes; 40k paper jobs gone;Grazia staff fatten up


MoneySense relaunches personal finance website with sponsor support

MoneySense magazine has re-launched its website with the help of the sponsorship of TD Canada Trust, according to a press release. The revamped site will include new blogs by senior editors Bryan Borzykowski and Rob Gerlsbeck as well as a variety of information on personal finance.

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Atlantic Journalism Awards add three magazine categories

The Atlantic Journalism Awards (AJA) has added three magazine categories -- best magazine article, best magazine profile article and best magazine cover -- to its lineup for the 2009 awards which will be made May 8 in Halifax. Deadline for submission to the awards is Friday, January 29.
The additions to the awards could be a response to suggestions that the Atlantic Magazine Association (AMA), which debuted last year,  may be considering launching its own Atlantic magazines-only awards program and event. The AJAs have traditionally had some magazine content but are dominated by other media, particularly newspapers, radio and TV.

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Fast track production system will shorten deadlines for ads in Rogers consumer magazines

Rogers Publishing says it is launching its promised Pressxpress production schedule with the January 2010 issues of Chatelaine and its French counterpart Châtelaine. This will be followed by the March 2010 issues of Flare, Today's Parent, Loulou and Glow.  Under the new sped- up manufacturing and production system, advertisers can submit material for publication within two weeks of the final issue being in readers' hands.
"When combined with the flexibility and speed-to-market already offered by Rogers’ weekly and bi-monthly titles — such as celebrity weekly Hello! Canada, current affairs weekly Maclean’s, L'actualité and Canadian Business — the Pressexpress schedule offers advertisers the agility they require to reach some of Canada’s most highly-engaged readers and consumers,." the company said in a release. 

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Is this the future of magazines?

Mag+ from Bonnier on Vimeo.
The future of magazines is a matter of great speculation these days; the recent launch of a tablet-enabled Sports Illustrated showed one way that things might go, but critical comment was that it was trying to force fit the magazine form onto a screen. An alternative approach might be a concept developed for the publisher Bonnier by the design firm BERG. Its intent is to show how the essence of magazine reading can be retained, but meshed with the power of online technology.The Bonnier R & D lab says:
The concept aims to capture the essence of magazine reading, which people have been enjoying for decades: an engaging and unique reading experience in which high-quality writing and stunning imagery build up immersive stories.
The purpose of publishing this concept video is first and foremost to spark a discussion around the digital reading experience in general, and digital reading platforms in particular.
You can follow the conversation about the concept at Bonnier's beta lab.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Quote, unquote: Chasing traffic every minute

“Not only do you have to become a daily, you have to become an hourly or a minutely if you're going to get the kind of traffic that's going to make you competitive.”
-- Toronto Life magazine editor-in-chief Sarah Fulford, quoted in a long article about the future of the magazine industry in the Globe and Mail. 


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Quote, unquote: replicating magazine ad value

“Like me, I’m sure most of you occasionally buy a magazine because you want to check out the advertising. But I’ve never—and I’ve never heard anyone else—go to a website to look at the ads. As soon as we can replicate the values that make people seek out ad info in print, we’ll really have something. But until that point, it won’t work too well.”
-- Nick Bogarty, director of the Adobe Digital Publishing Group, speaking at a seminar on e-books hosted by Media Bistro. (The panelists, by the way, concluded that the $9.99 standard price for e-book sites wouldn't be sustainable without advertising.)


Boy story or girl story? Is there a gender difference in article assignments?

David Hayes over at TFEW (the Toronto freelance editors and writers list) raises the interesting question of whether, or if, there is a gender gap between male and female writers when it comes to being commissioned to do stories.
I suppose one example might be whether male editors at business magazines might favour male writers. What about outdoors/sportsy publications? Do female editors at a parenting magazine consciously or unconsciously favour writers who are mothers over fathers? Or would be less likely to assign to a childless male writer (who could nonetheless write a good feature) than a childless female writer?

Magazine world view: MPA shrinks; print deaths taper off; Vibe revives; Emap battles debt

Quote, unquote: a so-called dying industry

Print will continue in 2010 to be the main source of revenue for most magazine companies, and we may have the same number of new magazine launches as this year: a little bit less than 700 titles. Not bad for a so called dying industry.
-- Samir Husni, "Mr. Magazine", in a prediction in Folio: magazine's annual roundup


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Style bible I.D. magazine, folded after 55 years

I.D. magazine, the oldest and foremost design magazine in the U.S., is being folded, after 55 years. Its January/February issue will be the last. According to a post on the Fast Company blog, the magazine -- which had about 30,000 readers -- had not turned a profit in seven years
and was beset by competition from shelter magazines and mainstream glossies, which have been aggressively adding design coverage, owing to rising interest in design among mainstream audiences.
The magazine's sister title Print will keep publishing and subscribers to I.D. will receive Print instead. A statement from F + W Media, the publishers, said:
Ceasing publication of an iconic brand like I.D. is never an easy decision, but there are several forces that have worked against its sustainability. Certainly the downturn in print advertising has contributed to this decision, but other factors include the fragmentation and specialized information needs of I.D.'s core readers (product designers) and the plethora of information resources available to them – some for free (online and B2B) and others that are highly specialized and targeted to specific industries served.

Toronto Life launches a wedding guide

Toronto Life is launching its first-ever annual Wedding Guide, which will be on newsstands December 16. It is the fourth of the magazine's portfolio of special interest pubs, joining the Shopping Guide, Real Estate Guide and Eating & Drinking Guide.

212-page edition is said to be a practical planner covers all things nuptial, including real-life weddings from local couples,  honeymoon destinations, and the best in cakes, dresses, flowers and invitations. 
Most copies will be be sold for $5.95 on newsstands, with some copies mailed to brides-to-be who choose to give the magazine their names. 
St. Joseph Media, which publishes Toronto Life, also publishes one of Canada's best known bridal magazines, Wedding Bells.  

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Blogger ticks off The Walrus for not linking to the source of his quote

There's an interesting and, I must say, civilized conversation going on between a blogger David Eaves and The Walrus magazine, represented by managing senior editor Jeremy Keehn; the focus of which is full attribution for a quote from Eaves that appeared in the terrific article The Dark Country in the November/December issue of The Walrus

Eaves, who runs a site called, says that the quote was taken, correctly, from a long posting that he made a few months back. He says he is "thrilled" to see it as part of the article, but less thrilled that while he was quoted by name, the original source (his website) was not mentioned and no link was provided in the published article or, later, in the web version of it. He contends that The Walrus doesn't link to others as a matter of policy, a policy he disagrees with. 

They believe in the myth that they need to keep people on their website - which means they also believe in keeping their readers away from the very material that makes their stories interesting. This makes their website less interesting (and is why I don't visit it - I visit websites with external links, 'cause I like to explore ideas -- in both the literal and internet surfing sense).
Keehn responded on The Walrus blog. Perhaps surprisingly he argues that to link to the blog where the quote came from would somehow "affect the flow of narrative". He says it was a conscious decision:
Ultimately, I concluded that David’s credentials were all readers needed to know. In hindsight, I might have chosen otherwise, in part because the quotation wasn’t a spoken one, and in part because this is a rare instance where the source actually ended up caring.
But Keehn goes further, denying there is a policy against linking, but then blaming lack of money for not putting links in the online versions of its published stories. 
Note that expert commentary of the kind David’s quotation was providing often appears without much context, partly because many stories would otherwise get bogged down in dreary repetitions of “reached by phone in her office, Professor X said…”....
We don’t go in and insert links into our magazine pieces because we don’t have the resources, and because the decisions about what and where to link would be difficult and time-consuming to navigate, especially given that we rely on freelance writers, who might have opinions about what should be linked to or not.
I am expressing some surprise since The Walrus employs several interns, whose job is to fact-check and do such necessary editorial work as injecting links.  And it is simply precious to claim that article flow would have been interrupted by a referral link to the original post. If you're going to play in the online leagues, you should probably play by the online rules -- one of which is to provide clear and comprehensive links to the sites that are your sources. For The Walrus, of all magazines, to plead poverty for not following those generally agreed rules just seems lame. 
It might have simply been better for Keehn to say they were sorry and would try harder.

Transcontinental ends 2009 fiscal with strong 4th quarter, but annual loss of $82 million

Transcontinental Inc., the printer and Canada's largest consumer magazine publisher, ended fiscal 2009 ended October 31 with a loss of $82.3 million --a decrease of 6% in revenue and a loss of net income of 6%. Revenue was $2.29 billion compared with $2.5 billion a year ago. The loss per share was $1.02.
The year was capped by a strong 4th quarter in which net income grew 15%. The company attributed the quarter-over-quarter improvement on its aggressive cost-cutting in the face of inflation -- some $ 80 million, some of it in job cuts, in 2009 or about $110 million expressed on an annual basis.
"I am particularly proud of our operating performance in the fourth quarter-one of the best in our history-and the steady improvement in our financial results over the course of the year in very turbulent conditions," said François Olivier, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are making it through this serious recession by doing better than most of our main competitors and gaining back much of the ground lost compared to 2008. We are dealing with the recession responsibly and with discipline. We also reacted right from the very start, and we did it in the Transcontinental way, calling on our people across the company to mobilize, be innovative and execute."
Notable acquisitions during the year were the acquisition of Redwood Custom Communications and Conversys, an e-flyer provider.  The company also began long-term printing contracts, including the San Francisco Chronicle and producing all the magazines for Rogers Communications.


Big U.S. magazine cover prices on the rise

In a move that some  say is about time, magazine cover prices have been and are going up. According to a story in Mediaweek,
Condé Nast is raising cover prices on The New Yorker, Golf Digest and Teen Vogue in 2010, having already done so at Vanity Fair, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler and Lucky this fall. 
Hearst is lifting the cover price of Good Housekeeping, Esquire and Veranda and is considering the same for Country Living and other titles. Wenner Media quietly raised prices on Men’s Journal and Rolling Stone in the fall. And Meredith is eyeing newsstand price increases at flagship Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies’ Home Journal, Family Circle and Traditional Home, while Rodale is looking at doing the same at its health/fitness titles.
Sometimes publishers are effectively increasing prices by cutting frequency in subscriptions, the story said -- for instance, Fortune holding the line nominally, but providing 18 copies instead of 25. 
John Harrington, who publishes the respected industry newsletter The New Single Copy, is quoted saying that, while in the past, single-copy buyers have accepted increases "The sharp downturn has changed the conventional wisdom."

Have readers of this blog noted any price increases in Canadian titles?

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Revised b2b awards to have "magazine of year" and internet categories for first time

For the first time in its 56-year history, the 2010 Kenneth R. Wilson Awards, celebrating   bilingual excellence in Canada's business  press, will be recognizing magazine of the year. Four new internet categories have been introduced and an award for Best One-of-a-Kind Article has been added.
The changes are part of an overhaul of every aspect of the awards, including judging procedures, as the awards are now co-produced by Canadian Business Press and Magazines Canada and managed by Barbara Gould & Associates which also manages the consumer-oriented National Magazine Awards.
A governing board includes representatives from across the industry and is headed by co-chairs John W Kerr Jr. of Kerwill Publishing for CBP and John Milne of Rogers for Magazines Canada.
The submissions process for the 2010 KRW awards will commence on January 4, 2010.
There are 21 total categories under the divisions Writing, Visual, Internet and Special. Gold and Silver awards will be granted in each category. Gold awards carry a cash prize of $1000. Silver awards carry a cash prize of $500.

The submission deadline is February 8, 2010 at 5pm Eastern Time and all submissions must be received in their entirety to be eligible. Applications received after 5pm on February 8 will not be accepted. All entries must be delivered to the KRW Awards c/o Canadian Business Press at 4195 Dundas Street West, Suite 346, Toronto, ON, M8X 1Y4.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Quote, unquote: Sometimes it's nice to be surprised

The Internet is a technology that enables people to go out in SEARCH of things. I’m all for that and love it to pieces. But sometimes, I just want things to FIND me. Sometimes, I am just tired of looking and typing and seeking, and I just want to sit on my comfortable couch and be surprised when I turn the page.
-- Martha Rodale, the CEO and Chairman of Rodale Inc., publisher's of Men's Health and Prevention and the world’s leading multimedia company with a focus on health, wellness, and the environment as well as the largest independent book publisher in the United States. In a column in Folio:.


Magazine world view: Bloom moves; Americans watch; shield passes;Variety charges

Carrying formulaic coverlines to absurdity, Men's Health plagiarizes itself

[This post has been updated]

[Thanks to Lia Grainger at tfew, via Buzzfeed]

 [Update: The editor says it was deliberate.]

Venerable Editor & Publisher folded by Neilsen Business Media

In a flurry of announcements, Nielsen Business Media announced that it is selling eight titles and popped the surprise that it will fold the 108-year-old Editor & Publisher and 76-year-old Kirkus Reviews. Titles sold from Neilsen's troubled business media portfolio included the Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek and Backstage magazines, now to be owned by a newly-formed company put together by James Finkelstein's Pluribus Capital Management and Guggenheim Partners in a deal worth an estimated $70 to $75 million. It had been widely expected, unlike the concurrent closures.
According to a report in The Wrap, staffers at E&P were stunned by the decision because Nielsen was said to have been searching for a buyer for the titles. (The magazine has never been well-known to the public because it was focussed on the newspaper trade; clearly, the parlous times and uncertain future of the newspaper business contributed to the closure.)
"I'm shocked that a way was not found for [E & P] to continue some form," said Greg Mitchell, editor since 2002, "and remain hopeful that this may still occur." (Alan Meckler, CEO WebMediaBrands and owner of Mediabistro, said on Thursday that he had offered to "take the publication off Nielsen's hands" several months ago, but that the company spurned his offer, "claiming it could receive 'millions' for the title.")
 Nielsen Business Media president Greg Farrar wrote in a memo to staffers:
“This move will allow us to strengthen investment in our core businesses – those parts of our portfolio that have the greatest potential for growth – and ensure our long-term success.”

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Indigo tells customers which books are green; can magazines be far behind?

Canada’s leading book retailer, Indigo Books & Music Inc. now tells its customers -- in kiosks in their stores and online -- which books are printed on papers containing recycled and/or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) fibre, according to a posting on the website of Canopy, the campaigners for sustainable paper use.
Book titles that lack environmental information at the kiosks either have no environmental paper qualities to speak of or the publisher has yet to provide details for that title. Indigo is the first international book retailer to provide this level of transparency about the environmental qualities of books in their stores.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Redwood custom publisher being rebranded as Evolution something

[This post has been updated]Redwood Custom Communications of Toronto, Canada's largest producer of custom-published magazines, and which was recently acquired by Transcontinental Media,  is being rebranded early in 2010 to be called Evolution
Though run  independently,  the company has been for the past decade the North American licensee of its British parent, Redwood, which is one of the world's largest custom publishers.
  After almost a decade of thriving under the shade of the mighty Redwood tree, we as an organization felt it was time for a change. With a new creative mandate and the spirit of renewal at heart, we decided that our "outer shell" needed to reflect the revitalized energy we feel inside," says a statement on the company website. "As we evolve as an organization, so must our skin. Think of this as our "chrysalis" stage, as we metamorphose into a newer and better version of ourselves. Stay tuned."
[Update: as will be seen in the comment from Eric Schneider, CEO of Redwood, Evolution is not the new name; it is a "staging platform" being used to intrigue us about the launch of the new name. Sorry for missing the subtlety.]

Peter C. Newman appointed visiting professor at Ryerson journalism and business schools

Peter C. Newman, whose career as a magazine and newspaper editor-in-chief (Maclean's and Toronto Star) is only overshadowed by his output of some 24 books about Canadian politics and business, has been appointed the visiting professor of distinction at the Ted Rogers school of management and the school of journalism at Ryerson University.
"In the school of journalism," said Newman in a release, "Ryerson is providing students with the most important ingredient for success that I have encountered in my career - hands-on application of their learning, real-life experience and the need to take the occasional risk."
His duties are to deliver lectures and seminars to undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of journalism and business courses, and give two public lectures in the winter term.
Newman was apppointed editor-in-chief of Maclean's in 1971 and in 1975, led the magazine to an increase in frequency to bi-weekly and then again in 1978, becoming Canada's first newsweekly.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A better look at the tablet-enabled Sports Illustrated

Last week, we published a "sneak peek" at the new tablet-enabled Sports Illustrated, captured on somebody's cell phone.
Well, here from SI itself, are some screenshots of what a tablet-iPod-whatever-enabled magazine might look like.
And a video of the screen in action.

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Quote, unquote: Times change, get used to it

It seems at least possible that these disorienting times herald neither apocalypse nor utopia, but merely change. There once was a time when newspapers cost a penny and came out several times a day. Then there was a time when families huddled around radio sets to catch the news. Times changed, but journalism didn't die, and it's not dying now. 
-- Ivor Shapiro, the outgoing editor-in-chief of J-Source, with a message for his readers. (By the way, he is being succeeded by Janice Neil, an assistant professor in the School of Journalism at Ryerson University)


Big 5 U.S. mag companies partner in digital publishing venture: potential 145 million readers

Recent talk about a digital newsstand involving the biggest magazine players in the U.S. has taken an action turn. Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith (NYSE: MDP), News Corp (NYSE: NWS). and Time Inc. have announced that they are now equity partners in a new digital publishing venture. This has variously been described, including as a "Hulu for magazines"According to a story in,
They want nothing less than to develop open standards for cross-platform e-reader technology, advertising and digital sales—and they’re going to put their brands behind it. Together, the company says the five represent an unduplicated audience of 144.6 million.
There is no name for the new venture, which is shopping for a Manhattan office and is starting to hire for a staff of undetermined size. The amount of investment has not been made known.

John Squires, a senior Time Inc. executive is interim managing director. The equity partners will apparently welcome other players to join in, depending on what publications and products they have to offer. And Hearst and News Corp. are continuing on with developing their own, similar digital newsstand projects (Hearst's Skiff for instance).
The four key goals of the new venture are:
  • Be ready for full-color devices with an application that renders publications “in beautiful form” and in “recognizable” form.
  • Develop a platform that can enable that across multiple devices, operating systems and screens.
  • Develop a common digital storefront where consumers can easily make purchases and get universal access on any device as they buy digital products from their publisher.
  • Work with advertisers to co-develop new advertising forms that Squires expects will be more immersive with the power of digital delivery. “This has the potential to be a new and vastly important branding medium for advertisers, particularly with larger screen devices.”
There is a similar, smaller but equally ambitious venture already up and running in Canada  -- Magazines Canada's digital newstand in collaboration with Zinio. In that case, it is mostly about selling subs and single copies in digital or "flip book" format, although there is discussion about extending the idea to the kind of cross-platform delivery that the unnamed U.S. venture is contemplating.

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Escape into turquoise in 2010

Pantone, the acknowledged international standard-setter for colour, has announced that turquoise is its colour of the year for 2010, describing it as "an inviting, luminous hue".
“In many cultures, turquoise occupies a very special position in the world of color,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “It is believed to be a protective talisman, a color of deep compassion and healing, and a color of faith and truth, inspired by water and sky. Through years of color word-association studies, we also find that Turquoise represents an escape to many – taking them to a tropical paradise that is pleasant and inviting, even if only a fantasy.”
Does it feel like you've just come through a "cheery yellow" 2009? Mimosa (right) was picked last year. And the year before, it was a cool, deep blue called "Blue Iris", coming off a 2007 when the colour was a "hot red".


Monday, December 07, 2009

Magazine world view: SmallBiz gone; SI first woman; shared front pages; Rupert in the desert

Friday, December 04, 2009

Most pay walls will be temporary in 2010, says ratings firm

Pay walls may be erected, only to be mostly dismantled, next year in most U.S. print media, according to a new forecast from global credit ratings firm Fitch Ratings, reported in AdAge.
Media companies with print products will erect and then dismantle online pay walls next year. With exceptions like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, small local papers with limited competition and business-to-business magazines, Fitch said, most publishers face too much competition to get consumers to pay on the web. Some publishers have already decided not to focus on pay walls, despite a crescendo of attention to the idea this year, but many others remain committed to trying some form of pay scheme.
Fitch also says that the recovery from recession won't necessarily lift all media alike. TV and cable will benefit most, but
"Fitch expects print mediums, namely newspapers, yellow pages and consumer magazines, to be down again off very easy comparable periods due to permanent shifts in advertiser sentiment and excess ad inventory that will plague the industry for years to come," it wrote in the forecast.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Quote, unquote: unstoppable energy dream team

"After interviewing these people separately, I came away with the idea that they would be a business dream team if they all worked under one corporate roof. It's hard to imagine what could stop them."
-- Alberta Oil editor, Gordon Jaremko, talking about the six people selected as inaugural 2009 C-Suite Stars for the magazine's cover story: Randy Ersesman, CEO of Encana, Bonnie DuPont, Group Vice President of Corporate Resources at Enbridge, Terry Hopwood, Corporate Counsel for Suncor Energy, Alistar Cowan, CFO of Husky Energy, Chris Bloomer, COO of Heavy Oil at Petrobank, and Brent Greenwood, Vice President of Tubular Contracts for CE Franklin.


subTerrain publisher wins Vancouver mayor's
arts award

Just caught up (thanks to BCAMP Fresh Sheet) with the 2009 Mayor's Arts Award  for literary arts, given to Brian Kaufman, publisher of subTerrain magazine. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson presented the awards at a ceremony on November 16 to valued members of Vancouver's cultural community. Winners were selected by peer juries. 


Needs no comment...

The things magazines do to themselves...It gives a whole new meaning to "belly band". This ugly banner wrap is what subscribers to Elle Canada see when they receive the current issue. It leads to a spread ad inside and $2 off coupon.

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Quarto Communications in good company in environmental awards

Quarto Communications Ltd. of Toronto, the publishers of Cottage Life and explore magazines, has been cited as a finalist and "long time leader" in the annual Aveda Environmental Awards for Magazines, presented in Minnesota.
The 2009 awards for environmental leadership, sponsored by the beauty products firm and Green America, a non-profit organization promoting responsible paper and production practices, gave top honours to Mother Earth News, Audubon and Boho magazines.
“As an advertiser, Aveda encourages all publishers to adopt environmentally responsible paper and production practices," the company said.
“In an industry where less than two percent of all North American magazines are printed on recycled paper, the message from this year's winners is 'Yes We Can,’ ” says Frank Locantore, director, Green America Better Paper Project, a non-profit that assists magazine publishers in identifying and implementing  environmentally responsible paper and production practices.
“In a  tough economy and facing serious climate change challenges, Mother Earth News, Audubon, Boho and all the other entries are saying 'Yes We Can' to using recycled paper and producing beautiful and financially sound magazines."
Quarto's Cottage Life and explore and its recently acquired Canadian Home Workshop are among the some 200 North American magazines which use sustainable "green paper" with a significant amount of recycled content. (Probably fewer than 30 Canadian magazines so far use such paper.)

Since its launch in 1970, the awards team said in a release, Mother Earth News uses 100 per cent recycled paper of which 90 percent is post-consumer recyled to serve its paid circulation of 475,000 copies.

Audubon, a photo heavy magazine for nature enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers and socially conscious consumers, is nevertheless printed on 90 percent post-consumer recycled paper. Heidi DeVos, production director said
“We began with 10 percent post consumer recycled content in our body stock in 1993, switched to 30 percent post in 2004, and to 90 percent post in 2009. We consistently win photography and design awards, whichjust goes to show that good color reproduction can be maintained on paper with a high level of post-consumer recycled fiber.”
Boho, a green fashion-lifestyle magazine that launched in 2008, is the first and only US fashion and beauty magazine to use 100 percent recycled post-consumer paper; the awards program pointed out that a fashion magazine using the same amount of paper as Boho but not using any cycled material, requires 296 tons of virgin wood from a forest.
“We knew that the only way we would launch a print publication was if we never cut down a tree to do it,” says Gina La Morte, editor in chief/publisher. “Boho's commitment to using 100 percent recycled post-consumer waste paper is as much a part of our mission as is the gorgeous green content we put on its pages.”


Magazine world view: Neilsen sells; Hearst grows; Anorak expands; BBC holds;Google adapts; NUJ buys

A sneak peek at a tablet-enabled Sports Illustrated

In the race to come up with a digital magazine for the much-heralded and forthcoming tablet computers, it appears that Time Inc. is the first out of the gate. The site TechCrunch reports on a sneak peek it had of the application that is for Sports Illustrated. (Condé Nast is apparently working on something similar.) The writer Eric Schonfeld says
The concept was designed by David Link at the Wonderfactory, and it’s all done in Adobe AIR. If I still read magazines, I’d much rather consume them in this form than on paper.
Terry McDonnell, the editor of Sports Illustrated who showed me the demo, thinks that readers will be willing to actually pay for a digital version contained within a tablet. That remains to be seen. Josh Quittner, an editor at Time (and my former boss) who spearheaded the task force behind the digital magazine thinks of it as an app. If people are willing to pay for apps on the iPhone, why not deliver magazines as apps also? He’s the one who calls it Time Inc’s "Manhattan Project"*. Hail Mary might be a better name.
The demo allows readers to flip through pages with the swipe of a finger and to flip through associated photos within the text while continuing to read.
*For those readers too young or sheltered to know, the Manhattan Project was the ultra-secret project to develop the atomic bomb.

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Flare takes a bite out of the vampire craze

[This post has been updated]
Flare magazine has climbed aboard the teen-driven vampire bandwagon with its January 2010 issue featuring Rachel Lefebvre (who plays Victoria in New Moon) on its cover.

[Update: It has been pointed out that Flare's archrival Fashion had a Twilight actress, Noot Seear, on its cover in its November issue, below.]

Transcon closes Commerce; announces launch of new biz mag Premium

After 114 years of publication, revue Commerce is being closed down by Médias Transcontinental. Editor Diane Berard will write for sister publication les affaires and she will have a blog.
Last fall, it was announced that Berard was leaving the magazine at the end of 2009 and that Transcon was considering a wholesale change, including the name and perhaps publishing the magazine online only.  At the time, a story in La Presse said the issue that will appear in December will be the last with the current look and feel. Commerce, which started out as a newspaper, became a magazine in the '50s and was acquired by Transcontinental Media in 1982. Stephan Lavallée , head of the business publications group, was to be responsible for the redesign and repositioning of the publication.
What has emerged to replace Commerce is apparently a wholly new magazine. Transcon has announced the launch of a new bimonthly business magazine called Premium in spring 2010 that will translate and publish articles from other business magazines from around the world, edited by Jean Paré (shown above). It is referred to as a "bookazine" and Paré confirmed: 
"Premium is like six business books a year, with a wide variety of topics that will be published every two months."
The magazine will adapt articles from such sources as Harvard Business Review, Business Strategy, The Economist and MIT Sloan Management-- a sort of Reader's Digest for business. It will also apparently have articles written by Quebec business leaders as well as news about research in management, finance and technology.

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BC arts coalition keeps up pressure, buoyed by select committee recommendation against cuts

The campaign to reverse forthcoming British Columbia government arts cuts received a substantial boost recently when the legislature's standing committee on finance and government services unanimously recommended that funding be restored to 2008/09 levels. The recommendation was welcomed by a province-wide group of arts organizations, including magazine publishers, seeking to reverse the funds slashed so deep and unexpectedly in October. 
The chair of the standing committee, Liberal MLA John Les, said in a Nov. 13 Vancouver Sun story that the government isn't apologizing for the cutbacks which he said were “hard decisions that we frankly took no pleasure from” during a tough year for the economy. But he said the MLAs on the committee were saying clearly that the money should be restored in the future.
The chair of the BC Arts Council, Jane Danzo, reported the recommendation to her members in a release. The council itself saw funding radically cut from $8.3 million in 2008/09 to $3.4 million in 2009/10, and projected to drop to $1.5 million for 2010/11 and 2012. 

Of more concern to the magazine and book sector were the 100% cuts unexpectedly announced in October by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Arts to the B.C. Association of Magazine Publishers (BCAMP), the Association of Book Publishers of BC and BC Bookworld.
Immediately there sprang up the Coalition for the Defence of Writing and Publishing in B.C., with more than 600 members and concentrating on two key messages: 1) restore the funding to the three key organizations whose funding has been eliminated; 2) stabilize funding for the B.C. Arts Council at the 2008/09 level of $19.5 million.

That pressure will be kept up, says the coalition. While the standing committee's statement carries some weight in consultations towards the March 2010 provincial budget, the government has not indicated it accepts the advice. 
Rodger Touchie, president of the Association of Canadian Publishers says the cuts  "leave a stain on the province’s reputation that may be hard to remove."


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Scholarship celebrates student business writing

It's something worth celebrating that Newcom Business Media (publishers of Today's Trucking, highwaySTAR, Transport Routier, Logistics, Truck and Trailer, Logistiques, Canadian Technician, Plumbing & HVac) continue to put their money down on the future of journalism.
According to a story on Today's, the company every year awards the Rolf Lockwood Scholarship in honour of its vice-president editorial, to a 3rd or 4th year student in the Ryerson University magazine stream who submits the best example of an article with a business perspective. This year's winner is Julie Ryland for her article called "Ads Gone Creative" about interactive online advertising.
The scholarship was launched by Newcom six years ago after Lockwood was awarded the Harvey S. Southam Lifetime Achievement Award by the Canadian Business Press.


Charlotte Empey named EIC of Metro chain of freesheets

The pieces sure are moving about the magazine board. It has been confirmed that Charlotte Empey has been named editor-in-chief of the six editions of Metro, the free English language weekday paper owned in part by Torstar. She replaces Diane Rinehart, who left last month after 18 months in the job. According to a post on J-Source
Empey also replaced Rinehart in another editorial position back in 2003. Rinehart was editor of Homemakers at the time and, along with Homemakers publisher Carol Shea and Canadian Living publisher Debbie Gibson, found her position had been eliminated when Transcontinental Media appointed Empey (then editor of Canadian Living) editor of Homemakers and group publisher of both mags.
Empey had been associate dean of the School of Creative and Performing Arts at Toronto's Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning before accepting the Metro job. She had, previous to Transcon, been editor of  Images and Health Watch. She was also the founding editor of Modern Woman.

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