Thursday, September 30, 2010

Magazine world view: Nope to US postal hike; Prevention publisher elevated; OK! says it's OK

iPad app for the New Yorker introduced in an, um, unusual way

Just catching up with Jason Schwartzman's promotional tour of the New Yorker's iPad app. I didn't know the iPad was waterproof.

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Nice work when you can get it: Seth talks about creating The Walrus summer reading cover

An interesting interview between Walrus art director Brian Morgan and cartoonist Seth about the process they went through to come up with the cover(s) for the magazine's summer reading issue...and other stuff, including Seth's creative influences and working methods. For magaziners, it's irresistible. 

The cover above (one of two that readers were asked to select from) was eventually published.  Seth's favourite is below, but readers, the editors and Morgan liked the other one.
"To tell the truth, much of my career has been divided quite clearly between my commercial work and my real work (art done primarily for myself), [says Seth]. It’s nice when occasionally these two worlds meet and I can do work (that has a fee attached) that isn’t produced entirely for the paycheque!"

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"We're sorry that we're not sorry": Rogers Publishing management to Quebec

A very brief press release from Rogers Publishing came as close to an apology to Quebec as is possible without gainsaying the refusal of its editorial team at Maclean's to say it was sorry for its most recent cover story. To wit:
"The cover of this issue and the feature story clearly offended some readers, and this has been the subject of much debate," said Brian Segal, President, Rogers Publishing. "As a company we own a broad range of media properties across the country and editorial independence is an important cornerstone of our management philosophy. While challenging at times, this means we do not interfere with the editorial direction or content of our media properties in any way."

"On behalf of the company, we sincerely regret any offence that the cover may have caused. We value all of our customers and their perspective. Quebec is an important market for the company and we look forward to participating in the dynamic growth of the province and its citizens."
 Related posts:

Precedent magazine launches companion news and job site for lawyers
Three years ago, Melissa Kluger of Law and Style Media Inc. started Precedent, a magazine targeted at young lawyers (she  being a young lawyer herself), principally in Ontario. The print quarterly is complemented by a website called, reflecting the magazine's editorial focus not only on the working lives of under-40 associates and students, but their interest in fashion and lifestyle. 
Now, Precedent, which is delivered to 15,000 Ontario lawyers and 1,000 law students and provides daily news through its website,  has augmented its product line with the A-list, a companion website for career news and job listings for lawyers. The site has announcements on one side, paid career listings on the other.  Its launch was announced today. It provides the legal community with a new way to share news about recent hires, promotions and job opportunities. As she said in a release:
Precedent’s website has always been a great place to find up-to-the-minute news about the legal community. Now we’re giving lawyers a leading-edge destination for news about new hires, moves, promotions, awards and jobs.”
Law firms and legal recruitment companies are able to create accounts online and then log in to those accounts to purchase credits and post their listings. Readers can have announcements and career postings directed to their inboxes.

[Disclosure: I serve on Precedent's advisory board.]

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Quebecers deserve better than the government they have, says Maclean's

Maclean's's Quebec bureau chief Martin Patriquin says in an online editorial  that the magazine rejects the demand of Quebec premier Jean Charest for an apology for a cover story that said the province was the most corrupt in Canada. He was quoted by the CBC:
"They're asking us to apologize on behalf of all Quebecers. We didn't target all Quebecers in the piece. We targeted the political class of which Mr. Charest is a member," [he said.] "The idea of apologizing for something that we didn't do is absurd."
The online editorial suggested Charest's interpretation of the article is "not only false but cheap in that it implicates the citizenry in the misdeeds of the politicians and their cronies.
"It is bad enough that the people of Quebec have to put up with corruption in public office — they shouldn't be smeared by it as well."
 Meanwhile, an all-party motion mentioned in an earlier post was passed tonight:
"That this House, while recognizing the importance of vigorous debate on subjects of public interest, expresses its profound sadness at the prejudice displayed and the stereotypes employed by Maclean's Magazine to denigrate Quebec nation, its history and its institutions."
 The MPs (the House, according to David Aikin of Sun Media, was half full) apparently missed  the point of free speech, which is principally to defend the right of someone to say something that you disagree with. 

Related posts:

Frank (Atlantic) may be up for sale; owner wants time to devote to new publication

The Halifax-based Frank magazine is apparently in play as owner John Williams confirms in a story in The Chronicle Herald that he is interested in freeing up time to work on one of his other publishing ventures. He has been owner of the magazine for six years. "The publication is fine, it is just me who is ready for a change," said Williams. Beyond that, he was tight-lipped.
The "Atlantic Frank" has been published for 23 years, though its separately owned Ottawa version closed in 2008. It's not known what its circulation is or how it's doing; it sells no advertising. It sells for $3 a copy and subscriptions cost $60 a year.
This summer Williams started up Gaze, a local  publication featuring advertising from gay and gay-friendly businesses; it started as a monthly, but has moved to a quarterly schedule. Williams says he is keen to spend more time on the new title.
Related posts:


Ontario cultural mag publishers will receive first tranche of OAC "top up" funds in October

More information on the Ontario Arts Council's "top up" for eligible magazine and book publishers, courtesy of a post on Quill and Quire:
The extra money is the result of an "administrative surplus" at the OAC. Publishers now receiving block grant funding in 2009–10 are eligible to receive up to 57% of their current funding over a three-year period. Details of reporting are now being worked out but
The OAC began contacting eligible publishers this week. Publishers will receive 50% of the first-year top-up payment beginning in October; the other half will be released upon the OAC’s receipt of proposals for using the funds. According to the OAC, the funds may be used to enhance “private sector revenues, earned revenues, and/or to develop … audiences.”
Related post:


Strong showing by magazine writers as Writers' Trust finalists

Michael Helm
With the announcement of finalists for the Writers' Trust Awards, several Canadian magazines have seen writers they featured nominated for the McClelland and Stewart Journey Prize: Devon Code for his story "Uncle Oscar" in The Malahat Review; Krista Foss for "The Longitude of Okay" in Grain magazine; and Lyn Kutsukake for "Mating" in The Dalhousie Review.
Paul Quarrington, a multiple magazine award winner, author and musician, who died in January, is being honoured posthumously with the Matt Cohen Award in Celebration of the Writing Life. In his relatively short working life, Quarrington won 4 gold national magazine awards and 1 silver.
Trevor Cole
Michael Helm, the editor of Brick magazine and Trevor Cole, a frequent magazine award winner, now living in Hamilton, are finalists for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize: Cole for his book Practical Jean; Helm for Cities of Refuge.  Cole has won 2 gold national magazine awards and 7 silver, most recently for his 2007 article Art Wars in Toronto Life.
James Fitzgerald
 James FitzGerald won a gold and an honourable mention in the 2002 National Magazine Awards for an article in Toronto Life that led to his book What Disturbs Our Blood: A Son's Quest to Redeem the Past, now a finalist in the Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize. 
The Writers' Trust Awards prizes will be given at a gala on Tuesday, November 2 at the Carlu in Toronto


Everybody on the Hill is mad at Maclean's

Selling hot off the newsstand, and now this: An all-party resolution is a-brewing in the House of Commons, denouncing Maclean's for its cover story designating Quebec as the most corrupt province in the country. If it materializes, according to a post by David Aikin, national bureau chief for Sun Media, it will be tabled by Bloc Quebecois MP Pierre Paquette.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quote, unquote: the bewildering world of the tablet

We’re at once delighted and a little bewildered about this latest digital development and our place in it: delighted because of the quality of what the tablet provides and the speed with which the magazine can be distributed, but bewildered, too, because we’d be liars if we said we knew precisely where technology will lead. These are early days. Right now, editing for the iPad feels similar to making television shows just after the Second World War, when less than one per cent of American households owned a television.
-- from a note to readers in which the editors of The New Yorker talk about their just-launched app for the iPad. As reported by Folio:


Quote, unqote: on the remade, but ignored, information landscape

"...Much of the fundamental (and sometimes final)training we offer journalism students is dished out as if none of it were happening. As if the boulder-sized granularity of the news cycle had not melted in a quicksilver stream. As if the line between author and audience has not been smudged to grey and as if, really, nothing much had changed about the fundamentals of journalistic narrative despite a wholesale remaking of the information landscape." 
-- Journalism teacher Wayne McPhail, writing on J-source in a long essay about how journalism schools are failing today's students and leaving them ill-prepared for the emerged and emerging digital world. 


Back to publishing: Sarah Thomson gives up her hopeless bid to become mayor of Toronto

Despite her own determination and a strong campaign team, in the face of mounting debts and tepid poll results , Women's Post publisher Sarah Thomson has thrown in the towel on her bid for the Toronto mayoralty; giving her support to George Smitherman in an effort to defeat front-running Rob Ford.
According to an online story in The Globe and Mail, her campaign manager George Tory called Bruce Davis, Smitherman's campaign manager Monday night to say that they would be backing his candidate.
“We saw that poll, combined with all the other polls and we had run out of money a couple of months ago,” she said in an interview with The Globe and Mail Tuesday. “It was at the point where everyone else was coming on strong with advertising and we realized we had to do what is right for Toronto.”
The result of a Nanos Research poll last week showed Ford with a 24-point lead over Smitherman.
“That’s the moment when I realized, look I’ve got to show Toronto what Rob Ford is like,” she said. “I had been sticking on message just talking about myself but I really realized I had to make sure people understood what he was all about.”

Event watch: Wordstock; Canzine West; Manitoba writers seminar; Magazines West

This Saturday, October 2 is Wordstock, the annual Toronto event for journalists and freelance writers, presented by the Ryerson University journalism alumni. For $75 ($50 for journalism students), you get a full day of professional development seminars and presentations, plus lunch. Details available in a previous post and you can download the brochure here. Ian Brown is the keynote speaker.
 *  *  *
Canzine is going west again, with the first zine fair and festival of alternative culture on the left coast since 2006. It will be on Saturday, October 16 at Vancouver's W2 Storyeum. The fair was created in Toronto in 1999 by Broken Pencil, and has flourished since, presenting the best of zines, underground culture, and the independent arts. There were some struggles operating a western spinoff, but these seem to have been resolved.(It couldn't come at a better time, given the grisly funding cuts that the arts in general and independent publishing in particular, are enduring in B.C.)
This year, encouraged by Vancouver’s flourishing independent magazine community, Tracy Stefanucci of Vancouver’s OCW Magazine*stepped up to provide the link to Vancouver that Broken Pencil needed to resurrect this legendary event [said a release].
“The idea of a festival that not only brings the diverse independent arts communities of Vancouver together in one space, but that also puts a spotlight on independent publishing, is extremely appealing to me. It’s something that Vancouver needs right now,” says Stefanucci.
(*OCW magazine is what used to be called one cool word, but was relaunched and rebranded this past summer.) 

*  *  *

Mark Reid, editor-in-chief of Canada’s History (formerly The Beaver), together with Linda Hazelwood, Editor of Horse Country, will look at how writers can provide viable, entertaining and informative articles and features, not only for the printed page, but also for the web, how they can add value to a story pitch and what opportunities the web holds for writers. It's one of the many events being presented as part of Manitoba Magazines Month. Wednesday, October 6th, 7-8:30 p.m., Carol Shields Auditorium, 2nd flr Millennium Library.*  *  *
Magazines West is October 14 and 15 in Vancouver at the Century Plaza Hotel. In its 8th year, the event offers two days of seminars leading up to the Western Magazine Awards gala. It features a keynote luncheon on Thursday 14 with an address by Jim Sutherland, former Vancouver magazine editor. On Thursday, there are morning and afternoon seminars by Bob Sexton, the managing editor of Outdoor Canada, Martin Seto of Reflex Media Sales, Scott Wheatley, the director of circulation at Canada Wide Media Limited and editor Frances Peck. 
On Friday, there is a panel discussion with Kevin Lund of T3 Publishing, Claudia Cusano, the editor of NUVO and Linh T. Huynh of the trade publishing company Advertising in Print. And there is the always popular Grilled Editors Luncheon giving participants a chance to put their questions to John Butcher, digital editor of BCBusiness, Rhonda Batchelor, assistant editor of The Malahat Review, Janet Gyenes, editor of BC Home and Alberta Home, Matt O'Grady, editor of BCBusiness and Anicka Quin, editor-in-chief of Western Living.  The gala reception and awards that night are hosted by Vicki Gabereau.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Society of American Business Editors and Writers ventures into Canada

As a first step in expanding its membership reach outside of the United States, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) is holding an event in Toronto headlined by the managing editor of Fortune magazine, Andy Serwer. Serwer has been managing editor of the bi-weekly since 2006 and is a regular contributor on CNN, CNBC and MSNBC.
The event is sponsored by the Financial Times and the Rotman School of Management and will be held at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, October 18 at the Rotman School, 105 St. George St.
Extending its programming and increasing its membership outside the United States is a strategic goal for SABEW [says a release].

“To state the obvious, business is global,” said Lisa Gibbs, chair of SABEW’s international committee. “Many media organizations are expanding beyond U.S. borders, and we want to make sure our programs and training reflect the global nature of business news.

In addition, she said, SABEW wants to recognize excellent business journalism in other countries; it plans to add international categories in its next annual Best in Business competition.

Canada is a natural first step for this effort, noted committee co-chair Kevin Hall, given the two nations’ common language and shared border.
There is no exact equivalent of SABEW in Canada; the closest is the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME), which included editors of trade and b2b titles.


U.S. top 100 media revenues have bounced back, including magazines, says Ad Age

An analysis by Ad Age of the top 100 U.S. media firms shows that reported revenue climbed 6.1% in the first half of 2010, a 9.9% turnaround from last year's fully-year decline, the first since the magazine began measuring  media firms almost 30 years ago. 
All media have seen gains in the first half, except newspapers. Though it wasn't of the magnitude of cable, video and broadband advertising providers, magazines seem to have bounced back from an abysmal 2009, when revenue for the top companies slid 19.6%, according to the Media 100 data.
Magazine revenue has improved in 2010. Time Warner, parent of No. 1 magazine publisher Time Inc., said first-half magazine ad revenue rose 5%, driven by a $26 million gain in U.S. print advertising and a $21 million (or about 20%) jump in digital advertising. Digital advertising accounted for 14% of Time Inc.'s first-half ad revenue. In 2007, before the recession, online advertising accounted for only 7% of Time Inc. ad revenue.

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Magazine world view: Lennon resurrected; printing plant air; IPC sells off

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Provocation for the nation: Maclean's slammed for calling Quebec "most corrupt province"

October 4 edition
[This post has been updated]Maclean's magazine has provoked a good deal of anger with its October 4 cover story saying that Quebec is the most corrupt province in Canada. Clearly intended to have exactly that reaction, the story by Quebec correspondent Martin Patriquin got immediate response from across the country, according to a story in the Montreal Gazette and other sources.
Parti Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe sent an open letter to the media saying, in part
"Unfortunately, this attack is representative of a belief widely held in Canada that Quebec is racist, corrupt and always looking for a handout. It appears that the only group in Canada that can be singled out in this way, the only group that can be insulted, is Quebecers."
Quebec Vice-premier Nathalie Normandeau told reporters it was completely unacceptable and a "senseless" attack:
"Enough with the Quebec-bashing," Normandeau told reporters. "The magazine takes on our institutions, our history, our symbols, our events. Enough is enough, we are not going to tolerate this."
Liberal MP Marc Garneau said the story was “sensationalism.”
“I found this shocking. It’s not worthy of a Canadian magazine. It’s an image that divides the nation.”
[Update: The controversial issue was sold out in Montreal by Sunday, according to a story in the Toronto Sun.]
[ More reaction to come, doubtless.]


Early look at new-look Globe and Mail to be unveiled next Friday

The new-look Globe and Mail design and presentation is being allowed out in public; at least Friday, Adrian Norris, the managing editor for presentation and his associate, Jason Chiu, gave a glimpse and an overview to a workshop at the Society for News Design conference in Denver. The new, slimmer, Guardian-eque Globe with colour on every page debuts next Friday. [Thanks to Charles Apple at, the site of the American Copy Editors Society.]

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Peter C. Newman talks about writing about politicians in inaugural LRC lecture

The Literary Review of Canada (LRC) is holding a series of free lectures in Toronto, beginning on October 4 with Peter C. Newman talking about the challenges of writing about politicians. The talk takes place at The Gardiner Museum, 11 Queen's Park, Toronto at 7 p.m. Though it is free, seating is limited and the magazine asks for an rsvp at by September 27.


BBC Worldwide to explore selling stake in its magazine business

[This post has been updated]Following a review of BBC Worldwide's operations last year, the BBC Trust has said that the BBC can explore the sale of  all or part of its magazine division. It includes such large and well-known titles as Radio Times (the most profitable publication in the group), Top Gear and Lonely Planet and last year made a profit of £18.4 million.
The BBC has already sold its audiobooks division as part of the review, which concluded that BBC Worldwide needed to be more internationally focussed and needed to shed some of its domestic operations, according to a story on the BBC News site.
"The Trust has agreed that Worldwide can explore with the market options for the future of its magazines business, as long as it does so without making any binding commitment at this stage," the BBC Trust said in a statement.
"The Trust's focus will be on delivering the best deal for licence fee payers and any specific proposal would require our formal regulatory clearance."
According to the story, some 30 potential bidders have expressed an interest in buying a stake in the titles. There would be restrictions on a sale because it depends on approval by competition authorities. And, for a title like Radio Times -- both a magazine and a BBC program guide -- any deal would depend on assurances about content, since the magazine is a crucial promoter of BBC programs, services and products.
BBC Worldwide publishes several magazines that circulate in Canada including BBC Music Magazine, BBC Sky at Night, BBC Focus, Homes & Antiques, Top Gear, BBC History Magazine and BBC Knowledge.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Narrative journalism and essays the core of new Edmonton magazine Eighteen Bridges

A new cultural magazine called Eighteen Bridges is being launched in Edmonton. It has the tagline "Stories that connect" and describes itself as "a heady mix of narrative journalism and first-person essay" and contributors include local writers such as Timothy Caulfield, Lynn Coady, Marina Endicott, Curtis Gillespie, Sophie Lees and Paul Matwychuk. 
The magazine is co-founded by Curtis Gillespie and Lynn Coady and has had the support of the University of Alberta's Canadian Literature Centre. 

 Curtis Gillespie is an author and magazine writer, winner of three National Magazine Awards -- a gold and silver in 1999 and a silver in 2000 as well as being a finalist many times.  Coady is a novelist, editor, magazine writer and journalist who has been a finalist twice for the NMAs.
"We come into being with extensive ambitions in the spheres of cultural enrichment, political participation, and excellence in writing, and we have a clear plan to realize them," say the founders.
The launch event, co-presented by The Edmonton Literary Saloon and LitFest, Edmonton's non-fiction festival, takes place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 7 at the Matrix Hotel, 10001 107 Street in Edmonton.


Canadian Newsstand Awards finalists announced; Scott Bullock is newsstand marketer of the year

Scott Bullock
Finalists for the Canadian Newsstand Awards have been announced today. Thirty-five magazines have been nominated and the marketer of the year award goes to Scott Bullock , well known in circulation circles. He is the owner of the Circ3 consulting agency and a former executive at such firms as Coast to Coast Newsstand Services, CDS Global, Toronto Life and others.
Extra large magazines (>200,000 circ.):
Large magazines (75,000 to 199,999 circ.):
Mid-size magazines (10,000 to 74,999 circ.):
Small magazines (>10,000 circ.):
Best newsstand issue, special interest publications:
The winners in each category will be announced at a special reception November 1 at the Spoke Club in Toronto starting at 5 p.m. The Canadian Newsstand Awards are run by North Island Publishing (Masthead) and is partnered by HDS Retail, Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) and the CMC.


    Ontario not-for-profit mags eligible for new 3-year fund; for-profit mags get something, too

    The government of Ontario has announced a new, three-year $27 million arts investment fund to be managed by the Ontario Arts Council (OAC). The fund, which is designed to strengthen not-for-profit arts organizations that are funded by the OAC, will be augmented by an additional $1.1 million over three years for English and French magazine and book publishers -- including for-profit companies which are ineligible for the arts investment fund. Ontario's many not-for-profit literary and cultural magazines will, however, be eligible for the arts investment fund.
    “We are augmenting the province’s generous support to the arts by directing some of OAC’s administrative surplus to the English and French book and magazine publishing sectors ,” said Martha Durdin, OAC Chair. “This investment recognizes the contributions made by book and magazine publishers to our literary identity.”
    The OAC has hired Cathryn Gregor, former CEO of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, as manager of the fund.
    Further information on the fund will shortly be sent to eligible organizations.


    ABC annual conference in Toronto in November to talk about "media in transformation"

    Matt Freeman
    The Audit Bureau of Circulations is holding its North American annual conference and annual general meeting in Toronto November 10 and 11.It's headlined:  “Media in Transformation: Harnessing Today’s Digital World”
    Co-keynote speakers on Thursday 11 will be Matt Freeman, CEO of Mediabrands Ventures and Paul Godfrey, president and CEO, Postmedia Network Inc. 
    Paul Godfrey
    A panel addressing the challenges and opportunities of e-readers will be moderated by  Ted Boyd, CEO, 58Ninety Inc. Panelists include Gilad Coppersmith, managing director, digital and emerging media, OMD; Veronica Holmes, president, Zed Digital, ZenithOptimedia; Kim Machado, director and group general manager, digital consumer publishing division, Rogers Media; Anthony Novac, CEO, co-founder, Spreed Inc.; and Andrew Saunders, vice president of advertising sales, The Globe and Mail.
    Another panel, moderated by Brian Segal, president and CEO, Rogers Publishing, this panel will feature representatives from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, as well as other publishing companies.
    Complete program details and registration information


    Online publishing awards finalists announced

    Magazine finalists for the Canadian Online Publishing Awards have been announced.
    In the overall website (magazine) category the finalists are
    In the overall website (online only) category, the finalists are
    The winners in each category will be presented on Wednesday, October 20 at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto 5 - 7 p.m. A $20 advance (or $30 at the door) ticket includes one drink and hors d'oeuvres. The event will be hosted by CBC radio technology columnist, blogger and researcher Jesse Hirsh.
    Full list of finalists


    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    New fused PMB/comScore database shows we're no.1, says Reader's Digest

    [This post has been updated] Reader's Digest says that the new, fused data from the Print Measurement Bureau and comScore demonstrates that the combination of its print magazine and website delivers the largest audience of any other PMB-measured competitor.
    [Update: the net unduplicated audience of Reader’s Digest magazine and is 6,115,000 for Adults 18+ (the magazine alone reaches 5,883,000.) The fused database also shows that 73% of the audience is exclusive of or is not counted among the PMB-defined readership for Reader’s Digest.
    The print-web combination for Sélection and sé, the French version where the combined net reach was 1,057,000 and 9 out of 10 readers were not readers of the print magazine.
    (No test can be made of RD's claims because PMB has not released topline data for other magazines in the new, fused database, as it normally would with its own print data.)


    Transcontinental Media launches digital ad rep house; partners with Demand Media

    Transcontinental Media has announced the launch of a digital rep house, partnering with several North American online publishers to sell advertisers. In a press release it said that it has now entered into a two-year agreement with Demand Media so that the display advertising for Demand Media websites in Canada becomes part of the ad inventory marketed by Transcon. Including Transcon's own, considerable stable of websites such as Canadian Living and Elle Canada the new rep house, the company said, now reaches close to 9 million Canadians.
    "Transcontinental Media's representation house offer is a natural extension for our digital business that builds on our long-term, established relationships with brand marketers and advertisers across Canada," said Dominique-Sébastien Forest, Vice President, Digital, Transcontinental Media. "Transcontinental Media's own robust portfolio of online destinations representing premium brands, coupled with key digital publishers like Demand Media, means we deliver greater value to advertisers by offering them more ways to connect with potential customers."
    The new digital sales initiative comes at the same time as Transcontinental's appointment of Brune Leclaire as its senior VP for the new media and digital solutions group. Leclaire was the co-founder of and the president of Canoe Inc. for six years. 

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    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Today's Parent uses "tumble cover" concept to sell 12 pages to Kraft Foods

    The October issue
    The "tumble cover" for Kraft
    Rogers Publishing's Today's Parent magazine has collaborated with Kraft Foods on a so-called "tumble cover", where the outside back cover of the magazine is the cover of a special advertising section that looks like a different magazine.

    According to the story published in Masthead, the 12-page "special promotion" (note, it doesn't say "advertising") was pitched to Kraft's agency, Mediavest, by the Today's Parent sales team.
    The magazine is very careful with the partnerships it forms, only choosing ones which stay true to its mandate and add value to readers,said national sales manager Whitney  Grove.
    The Today's Parent brand is not in evidence on the special section, which has a prominent Kraft Foods logo, although the creative department at the magazine created the pages, the story says.

    Magazine world view: Go east? Nope; Southern Living loses its way; Outside back to monthly

    Billionaire Russian tycoon brings Сноб (Snob) magazine to the U.S.

    There is a certain virtue in calling a thing for what it is; it's certainly true for Snob magazine, which is aimed at the super-rich elites in Russia. Now, the billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, said to be the second-richest man in Russia, is planning to bring the Russion-language magazine to the U.S. He is prepared to spend $100 million on the project, says a wire story published by the Calgary Herald.

    Prokhorov owns the New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and recently bought the Barclays's Center in Brooklyn, where he is planning to move the team in 2012.

    Part of the reason he sees potential in Brooklyn is that some 330,000 former residents of the Soviet Union live there.
    A report in the Wall Street Journal says
    Snob was the brainchild of Vladimir Yakovlev, who in 1989 founded "Kommersant," the first private daily business newspaper in Russia. After selling his publishing company in 1999, he took a decade-long sabbatical during which he says he began to perceive a need among affluent Russians living abroad for a way to connect and communicate about topics such as business, culture, food and sex.
    He pitched the idea to Mr. Prokhorov, who invested $150 million in the launch in 2008 of a magazine and website targeting well-to-do professionals in Russia. About a year ago, Snob expanded to the U.K.
    Most of the initial 20,000 circulation will be sold for $8 a copy in the New York area at Barnes & Noble stores, though it will also be available in other cities including Chicago, Boston and San Francisco. Executives said they have no doubts that Snob will catch on quickly given its already significant Web audience among New Yorkers.
    "In New York, it's really difficult to walk for more than five minutes without hearing Russian," Ms. Gessen said.
     It's not known if the magazine will be made available in Canada.


    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Making magazine websites effective and accessible

    Here are some of the things that Rhett Soveran, web editor of Westjet’s up! magazine told an Alberta Magazine Publishers Association digital learning seminar recently about how to make a magazines's website effective:
    • a user should be able to go three levels into your site and easily return to the homepage 
    • Think of your magazine website as more than just an extension of your magazine, but rather as an entirely separate product
    • If it’s your own social media that is driving traffic to your site, maybe it’s worth devoting that extra 30 minutes per day to provide new information to your friends and followers.

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    PMB and comScore combine to provide customers with a hybrid print/online audience database

    The Print Measurement Bureau (PMB) will next Tuesday roll out a new, fused database that combines data from the biannual PMB study of print readership with comScore Canada's data about online usage.
    The new combined product, will be available to both PMB members and comScore Canada clients, PMB said in a joint release.
    Specifically it will provide PMB’s publication members with the ability to demonstrate greatly enhanced combined audience value across two of the major delivery platforms - print and online. Agency and advertiser members will also gain deeper insights into Canadian consumer behaviour, helping them to optimize multi-media planning against valuable target segments.
    This first fused database will be based on PMB 2010 Spring data combined with comScore Canada information (average UV’s and page views over the first three months of 2010).
    A comScore release quoted Bryan Segal, president of comScore Media Metrix Canada saying:
    “The combination of online and offline audience data breaks entirely new ground in the Canadian media industry. This service will offer valuable consumer insights to publishers, agencies and advertisers that can be used in optimizing media buying and planning throughout the industry.”

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    Turnbull says he aims at provoking fearlessly as he remakes Eye Weekly

    Laas Turnbull says in an interview with Marketing magazine that he has big, aggressive plans for Eye Weekly, Torstar's paradoxically "alt" weekly. 
    Turnbull, who was at one time editor of the Globe and Mail ROB magazine and, after a detour into management at Brunico Communications (Strategy etc.) has now taken on as editor-in-chief  the repositioning and top-to-bottom redesign of the publication, which will emerge as a weekly city magazine.
    "I'm interested in something that's smart, open-minded, compelling and provocative," he said. "We collectively made the decision here that we're going to try and be as innovative as possible. I think what that means is we're going to be unafraid to make mistakes, we're going to take chances and we're going to [screw up] occasionally. But I'm hoping that being fearless and taking those chances will really set us apart and grab people's attention."
    He said that the youth brand and the audience is very important to Torstar; the revitalized magazine will be aimed at 18- to 40-year-olds, "young, sophisticated urbanites", a much younger demographic than Torstar's flagship Toronto Star. The relaunch is planned for the spring, though incremental changes will be made over the intervening months.  (Already, as can be seen by this week's issue above, Turnbull's influence and provocativeness is showing.)
    "It's a nice story–reinvesting instead of cutting–which has been the trend across publishing for the last few years. We're understaffed at the moment. There's no way we're able to put this thing out every week and go through a process of change and produce something week-to-week that's provocative and smart and compelling without having more people."
    [For those with long memories, the Star launched a weekly glossy magazine venture called The City magazine in 1977. It was editorially fun and adventuresome, but it was a marketing disaster, principally because it had a huge circulation (going in every copy of the Sunday Star) and advertisers were never willing to pay what it was charging, based on that circulation. It was a mass general interest feature magazine in an era when that model was failing. Disclosure: latterly, I was the editor.] 


    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    Quote, unquote: Plugging for the home team

    "It must be awfully tempting to go beyond simply leveraging media opportunities in the publications you own when you can not only run ads for free but also ensure positive news coverage of your products and services."
    -- Eric Blais, the president of Headspace Marketing Inc. of Toronto, writing in in his blog What Quebec Wants raising questions about convergence when a company like Quebecor Media uses its own publications to promote its wireless products.


    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Border Crossings and Toronto Life featured in Globe and Mail weekly magazine column

    Border Crossings magazine and Toronto Life are featured in the magazines column by James Adams in this week's Saturday Globe and Mail.


    Talking about changing pages: free MagsCan seminar on October 21

    Magazines Canada is accepting registrations for the free morning seminar on October 21 called State of the Magazine Nation: The Future of Magazines. The keynote speaker will be Richard Levine, Vice President, Editorial Operations, Condé Nast, joined by a panel including Brian Segal, President & CEO, Rogers Publishing, Jocelyn Poirier, President, TVA Publishing Inc. and Karen Nayler, Leader, MindshareCanada; the moderator will be Jerry Brown, Director, Entertainment & Media Practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers.


    Running on empty, editor of Edmonton's Notebook magazine gives up print and goes online

    Notebook magazine,  a quarterly published by an Edmonton art collective, will be releasing its last, 12th, print issue and going online this fall. According to a posting on Prairie Atsters forwarded to us by a friend, editor Steven Teeuwsen has mostly been operating the magazine as a solo business venture. 
    The magazine, which essentially created a gallery space in magazine format, was launched in January 2007 and has featured hundreds of Edmonton artists and  writers and their work across the country. The magazine's view was that work from Edmonton was constantly undervalued culturally and set out to change that.
    But the financial returns and the editor's energy hasn't matched the magazine's ambitions.
    "I haven't put out an issue since January and I stopped paying myself,"[says Teeuwsen]. "I was waiting on funding, but that's not sustainable, unless I sell a lot of advertising. I've fallen behind on that, partially because I'm burnt out. A lot of people warned me about burning out when I started, but I didn't give it much thought. I thought it was an excuse for being lazy! Now, I think it's very real...
    "I definitely have mixed emotions. It's bittersweet. I'm really excited to be able to work on something else, but the print magazine was something special too. When I started, I wanted to work on it for three to four years, and I've done that, and I was able to work full time at it for the better part of that time."

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    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    A magazine about architecture & design, shaped like a house

    To celebrate its 50th issue, the South African design and architecture title Visi carved the top of its magazine to resemble the peak of a house, then used the offcuts as promotional item -- a flipbook of a house being constructed out of Lego. This reported by Magculture. Visi is published by New Media. The company also publishes digital and mobile magazines and does contract publishing.


    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Digital beauty magazine The Kit has been launched
    The Kit, the promised new, free digital beauty magazine led by former Fashion magazine publisher Georgina Bigioni, has launched. It is aimed directly at the lucrative beauty advertising that is a mainstay of traditional women's service magazines, particularly the fashion titles and, no doubt, very particularly Fashion. A release says
    The Kit targets Canadian women, delivering all the latest trends in a digital format that's timelier, more environmentally friendly and much easier to share than a traditional print magazine. This new medium is growing in popularity throughout the U.S., and The Kit is poised to be a Canadian leader in this digital movement, offering women a new, free and highly credible source for all things beauty.
    Advertisers include such well-known brands as L'Oreal, Chanel, Biotherm, Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Elizabeth Arden and Aveeno.
    There is a formidable editorial team, led by Doug Wallace, the former deputy editor of St. Joseph Media's Wish magazine.  Ceri Marsh, the former editor-in-chief of Fashion is the health editor, Janine Falcon, former beauty editor at Canadian Living is the beauty editor, Chantal Simmons, who was editorial director of is the hair editor and the fitness or body editor is Deborah Fulsang, once style editor at Chatelaine, fashion and deputy style editor at the Globe and Mail and style editor of Flare. The art director is Caroline Bishop, who was previously associate art director at Fashion and art director of Fashion18 before becoming art director of the ill-fated RogersTorstar startup Weekly Scoop in 2005.
    The magazine is scheduled to publish 6 full issues between now and next November and 11 e-letters. The magazine is being cagey about page rates and specs, requiring anyone to contact Bigioni or associate publisher Michelle Kalman to receive a media kit or make enquiries (which we will do; about which more later). In an earlier post we reported that advertisers were being offered a full page with an active web link in each of the fall and winter issues for $10,000 and that the magazine was targeting 200,000 unique viewers over those two issues.
    President and publisher Bigioni says in the release:
    "There really isn't a Canadian magazine for women that focuses on beauty inside and out. Women are searching for helpful, easy-to-follow advice that's current but realistic. The Kit brings together some of the best editors in the country and they have produced a gorgeous, uncomplicated and authoritative digital magazine."


    Video growth on magazine sites slows, but grows

    Videos streamed by magazine publishers have a higher rate of completion per video view than other media sites, according to the video technology platform company Brightcove, reported by minonline.
    Magazine websites that have video streams showed 174 million videos in the second quarter of 2010, according to Brightcove trending statistics. This was down 7% from Q1, but up 45% from the same Q2 in 2009.
    And how do they get those videos seen? Primarily, Facebook, the fastest growing source of referrals, up 48% from Q1 and Twitter, up 39%.
    The overwhelming majority of video views of magazine content occur on the brand’s own site (94.3%) with only 5.7% occurring via embedded code elsewhere.

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    Quote, unquote: the iPad outlook for magazines

    "We don't want to get into selling our content cheaper on the internet."
    -- Nicholas Coleridge, managing director of Condé Nast UK, told the Guardian he believes that 15 years from now, 30% to 40% of their readers will be paying to do so on such devices as the iPad.


    Magazine world view:RD on a roll; SEO no journalism killer; affluent non-reading

    Alphabet magazine got its start 50 years ago

    [This post has been updated] James Reaney, who is a journalist for the London Free Press, has written a blog posting  marking the 50th anniversary of the semi-annual Alphabet magazine, subtitled "The iconography of the imagination". Created and edited by his father, the noted poet, English professor and playwright James Reaney, for an important decade starting in September 1960 the little literary magazine was iconic in the emergence of what came to be known as CanLit. 
    Alphabet was one of the places where Margaret Atwood was first published and many now-well-known poets and writers contributed. That first issue had a cover [Update: shown here] and format by Allan Fleming the noted designer (famous for the unmistakeable CN logo). It carried the modest colophon "Edited and handset by James Reaney in 12 pt. Subscriptions can be sent to the editor at 17 Craig Street, London, Ont." 
    " My mom [poet Colleen Thibaudeau] was saying just the other day that’s she not sure dad ever paid anyone -- starting with himself -- for any of what went in Alphabet during its 10-year or so run of excellence. Perhaps lamentable, but its amateur status was part of the pre-grant world of Canadian arts, I would think."
     [Update: more about Alphabet can be read at   Thanks Susan Reaney.]