Friday, April 29, 2011

Brian Segal retiring as president and CEO of Rogers Publishing

Brian Segal, the President and CEO of Rogers Publishing Limited, will be retiring at the end of August, staff were told today in a memorandum from Keith Pelley, the president of Rogers Media. 
The memorandum described Segal's career as "nothing short of spectacular".
Fresh off being the president of the University of Guelph and, before that, president of Ryerson University (1980-88), Segal joined Rogers as publisher of Maclean's in 1992 and became CEO of Rogers Publishing in 1999.
In his 12 years at the helm of our publishing company," [Pelly's memo said] Brian has established himself as a formidable influencer and leader not only within our walls, but also in the publishing and media industry in general."
[More as more is known, including who will likely replace him. Suggestions?]


Photographer Alex Waterhouse-Hayward honoured for lifetime achievement by Western Magazine Awards

 Jan/Feb 2011 Vancouver magazine
The Western Magazine Awards has announced that its 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award winner is to be presented to Vancouver-based photographer, writer and artist Alex Waterhouse-Hayward.
"When one considers the range, depth and quality of his magazine photography, which is his overriding passion, and his persistent involvement in the industry since its formative years in Western Canada, no photographer is more deserving," said his nomination package.
A commercial photographer who's at home in art, editorial, portrait and commercial work, Waterhouse-Hayward (shown at right in behind and in front of the camera simultaneously in a story in the January/February 2011 issue of Vancouver) is best known in the magazine world for his detailed and specialized photo illustrations for magazines such as Vancouver magazine, Georgia Straight and Western Living as well as many American titles. 

His award will be presented at the 29th annual WMA gala  Friday June 17, 2011 at the Marriott Vancouver Hotel Harbourside.

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Vancouver magazine receives 23 nominations for Western Magazine Awards

Vancouver magazine has been nominated 23 times for the Western magazine awards. Among the other leading in nominations were Swerve magazine, a supplement to the Calgary Herald with 15, BC Business with 12, Western Living/Western Living Condo with 9 combined and Vancouver Review with 8.
A full list of nominees is available.  The winners will be announced at the 29th Annual Western Magazine Awards on Friday June 17, 2011 at the Marriott Vancouver Hotel Harbourside.
Nominees for best new magazine are
  • Canada's New World
  • Diverse
  • Hearts of the Country
  • Sandbox Magazine
For trade magazine of the year, the nominees are
  • Enterprise
  • New Technology
  • Oilsands Review
  • Oilweek
Nominees for magazine of year by region:
  • AlbertaViews
  • Swerve
  • The Tomato Food & Drink
  • Up Here
  • Up Here Business
  • BCBusiness
  • KNOW
  • Malahat Review
  • Mountain Life Magazine
  • Vancouver Magazine
  • Vancouver Review
  • Yes Mag
  • Border Crossings
  • Canada's History
  • Prairie Fire
  • Sandbox Magazine
  • Blackflash
  • Grain Magazine
[Disclosure: I was a judge in one of the categories.]


Canada's History magazine wins three "Maggies" in Manitoba magazine competition

[This post has been updated] Canada's History magazine won three times in the third annual "Maggie" awards which wrapped up the annual conference of the Manitoba Magazine Publishers Association. The history title, published by Canada's National History Society in Winnipeg won as consumer magazine of the year, for best editorial package for its feature "Shell Shock" and best non-fiction feature for the article "Isolation", by Cec Rosner. 
The awards were given out at a ceremony at the Inn at the Forks Thursday evening.
Other awards included:
  • Business-to-business magazine of the year: Canadian Journal of Green Building and Design
  • Best cover: CV2 : Winter 2010 Issue “At the Root of Voice” which featured Poet Elizabeth Backinsky
  • Consumer best regular column or department: "Bordercolumn" by Robert Enright in Border Crossings
In addition to the 16 magazine categories, three student awards were presented for the Red River College creative communications program's annual magazine project competition. The student competition is adjudicated by the MMPA and the best project gets $1,000.
All other awards are made by a jury that included Stephen Benstead, novelist and bookseller; Judith Kearns, chair of the Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications at the University of Winnipeg; David Roberts, non-fiction writer and a juried artist and illustrator; and Jill Wilson, editor of the Winnipeg Free PressTab and Detour sections.
Each winner received an individually crafted awards plaque created by Manitoba artist Jolanta Solkalski of Clear Energy Glass Studio.
[Update: details and pictures of all winners in all categories are now available.]

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Quote, unquote: That sinking feeling

"It was very similar to when my parents got divorced. My parents always got along really well, and then one day my mother called me aside and I just knew what she was going to say. And this was the same thing.
"I had heard rumors about Domino, but it really was successful. Its newsstands sales were up when everyone else's were down or flat; it was growing and had all this consumer engagement. So I didn't really believe the rumors. And then Tom Wallace, who was the editorial director, called me up -- and he would call me up all the time -- but for some reason that day when he called me up it was the same thing, just a pit in my stomach. Like, 'This isn't going to be good.'"

-- Deborah Needleman, talking to mediabistro about Conde Nast's shock closure of the well-regarded Domino magazine she edited. Needleman is now editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal magazine.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Canadian Society of Magazine Editors' luncheon about getting sh*t done

We presume that the pressure to get things done still allows time for lunch. The Canadian Society of  Magazine Editors (CSME) is holding one of its periodic Toronto lunches, this time with the topic Be a Task Master: Take control of your priorities and get sh*t done.Presenters are time-management expert Steve Prentice and This Magazine editor-in-chief Graham Scott discussing organizational strategies for magazine editors.

It's on Thursday, May 5, noon - 1:30 pm at the Arts and Letters Club,14 Elm Street, Toronto. Admission is $25 for members; $40 for non-members (includes a delicious lunch). RSVPs are mandatory to by Friday, April 29, to indicate whether you prefer a meat or vegetarian option.

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Jared Bland, ME of The Walrus, to join publisher House of Anansi

Fresh off the launch of an anthology he edited for the benefit of PEN Canada, Jared Bland, the managing editor of The Walrus, is leaving to join the publishing firm House of Anansi. He'll leave a big gap in the front line of The Walrus, having played a key role in managing the publication and overseen the fiction, poetry and arts and culture sections of the magazine. He also blogged regularly for the magazine about books, authors and literature.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Saltscapes restaurant venture to be first in an Atlantic Canadian chain

Just catching up with a recent article about the up-and-running Saltscapes restaurant and general store in Truro, Nova Scotia named after the magazine. Our recent post was short on details, so here's more about this very interesting extension of the nimble, ambitious publishing operation.
Co-publisher Jim Gourlay told the Chronicle-Herald in Halifax that the transition into sectors besides publishing is consistent with the company’s desire to position itself as a promoter of the benefits of the Atlantic Canadian lifestyle.
The new 170-seat dining room and attached "buy-local" retail outlet is intended to be the first of a chain to be located strategically along Atlantic Canada's highways.
Gourlay said a partnership between Millbrook First Nation and Pacrim Hospitality Services Inc. was the driving force behind the appearance of the Saltscapes moniker....

"The focus of the restaurant and the store will be on Atlantic Canadian products," Gourlay said. "It will celebrate the best of the region’s food and products in the same way we feature the lifestyle of the region and its products in our publication at the Saltscapes expo."

One thing that won’t be found on the menu at the restaurant is marine-farmed products such as salmon, which Gourlay said is unsustainable. But products from seafood-growing operations located on land will be featured on the menu, he said.

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A river, a flood, a tidal wave of information

Information over the web has grown more than 50% today, compared with a year ago, according to a new survey by reported by MediaPost. The sheer volume is partly the result of always being "on" and partly the result of proliferating numbers of devices and services. 
(In a paradoxical way, this may work to the advantage of magazine editors and publishers who curate, filter and package information.62.5% of respondents said they wished they could filter out the flood of data, though this wish seems a bit pious when you read that 35% answer work emails while with children and 43% answer texts and emails while on dates or at social occasions.)
Connected To The Web
Connection to the Web (% of Respondents)
Wake up to bed time
9am to  9pm
Most of the work day
Source:, April 2011 
Steven Rosenbaum, author of Curation Nation, concludes that "... (since) the volume of raw data coming at us has increased more than 50% in the past 12 months... (and) as more digital devices and software services proliferate... data and speed of increase will grow exponentially... (and) will be unsustainable... "
He goes on to suggest that "... algorithmic solutions, better spam filters, smarter search, and more connected devices will fact-expand the problem... (while) human data management, shared and community filtering, and personal recommendations will allow ‘content' consumers... (to) consume curated content... (and) surf less... "


Monday, April 25, 2011

Quote, unquote: the fall of the perfect marriage of image and word

"A year or so before he died, Jay Chiat, who did as much as anyone to make television the coolest advertising medium, was baiting me about the hopelessness of magazines. He argued that the problem with magazine people is that they all really wanted to be movie and television people and so had turned magazines into a swamp of images, which made it impossible to have an ad stand out. We’d out-huckstered the hucksters.
And then the Internet—where we cool boys went, creating a vastly deeper swamp of image and distraction."
-- Michael Wolff, the editor of Adweek, lamenting the fact that advertising copywriters and art directors fell out of love with magazines, the result of editors' own decisions.


Mary Berner steps down as Reader's Digest CEO, days after new board appointed

Mary Berner
Mary Berner, who in her four years as president and CEO of Reader's Digest Association Holding Ltd. led the company into -- and out of -- Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (August 2009 - February 2010), is stepping down. According to a story from min, the industry newsletter
Successor in both roles is RDA senior VP/chief financial officer (since Nov. 2008) Tom Williams. In addition, Randall Curran, who joined the RDA Holding Co. board of directors in an April 18 restructuring, was named chairman.
Berner is a past publisher of TV Guide (1990-1995) and Glamour (1995-1999), and she was president of Fairchild Publications from 1999-2006 when it was a separate unit under Condé Nast chairman S.I. Newhouse, Jr. She assumed her RDA roles in March 2007 as the point person in the $2.6 billion purchase by Ripplewood Holdings that took the company private. The bankruptcy led to new investors.
According to a Folio: story
Last week RDA named a new board of directors, initially saying that Berner would retain her seat on the board. Randall Curran, CEO of telecommunications company DELTACOM, Inc., now takes over as chairman of the RDA board.
"With the board transition last week, this was a natural point to move on," said Berner in a statement. "I am extremely grateful to all of the employees at RDA for their hard work during my tenure at the company. I am also very proud of the management team and that together we put the company on a path to profitable growth. "


Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Brunswick magazine came to
publisher in a dream

Photo: Kate Braydon, Telegraph-Journal
A woman in New Brunswick decided to launch a magazine called It's Your Life because the idea came to her in a dream. According to a story in the Saint John Telegraph-Journal, Terri-Ann Cormier had been selling other people's magazines from elsewhere in Canada in her eco-store in Rothesay, but found they didn't meet her customers' needs.
"They really didn't pertain to what was going on down here. We're very different from out west. We're several years behind. What they were saying in their magazines didn't really resonate with people down here."

Then one night last fall, Cormier headed to bed."I went to sleep and the idea came to me: 'Do your own, Terri-Ann'. I swear I don't ever remember my dreams, but I woke up the next morning and I said, 'OK. I'm going to do it.'"
Though she didn't know anything about publishing, she was an experienced businesswoman and had started a networking group for business women in the Saint John area. (She operates a decor business and Naturally for Life, which operates a year-round store in Rothesay and a summer business in St. Andrews, selling green-friendly products.)
"So I do what I do best and I started researching. I went out and bought every health magazine and lifestyle magazine and I started ordering them all and I started calling printers. I sat down with them all over the floor, took a look at them and asked myself what do I like best about them and what don't I like about them."
Last month, she unveiled the quarterly magazine, which is distributed by Canada Post to 28,000 homes in southern New Brunswick. The magazine can also be subscribed to for $20. 


The buddy system applied to subscription marketing: Geist and Poetry is Dead

Geist magazine of Vancouver is promoting a 2-for-1 deal for subscriptions both to it and Poetry is Dead.
We love Poetry Is Dead. It's the quirkiest, edgiest and newest poetry magazine in Canada. We know you'll love it too. Subscribe now for $29.99 and receive BOTH magazines.
Usual sub for Poetry is Dead is $12; for Geist $21.

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Ivor Shapiro named chair of
Ryerson School of Journalism

Ivor Shapiro, at one time the managing editor of Chatelaine magazine, has been appointed to a five-year term as chair of the Ryerson University School of Journalism in Toronto, effective July 1st. 
Shapiro had been undergraduate program director after holding a number of posts  in the school since joining the faculty as an assistant professor in 2001. His new position gives him overall responsibility for the school's academic and operational affairs including the ongoing review of the future direction of undergraduate and graduate programming. Ryerson is very well known for its emphasis on magazine education. 
At present, Shapiro chairs the ethics advisory committee of the Canadian Association of Journalism, and is the founding editor and is ethics editor of the Canadian Journalism Project (, a national website which provides information, commentary and resources related to the practice of journalism.
He has written for a number of magazines, including Toronto Life, Maclean's, The Walrus, and Report on Business Magazine and Saturday Night. He has also authored the critically acclaimed book What God Allows: The Crisis of Faith and Conscience in One Catholic Church, published by Doubleday in New York. (Shapiro took undergraduate and graduate degrees in religious studies.) The Ryerson release adds:
In addition to his feature writing and editing, Ivor has produced numerous papers for refereed journals, conferences and associations. In 2009, he edited The Bigger Picture: Elements of Feature Writing, which is now prescribed in journalism schools across Canada and elsewhere.  
More recently, he contributed the chapter "What's a good story? Recognizing quality in journalists 'work' in The New Journalist: Roles, Skills and Critical Thinking
He has been honoured six times at the National Magazine Awards and in 2004, was a finalist for the Canadian Association of Journalists Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism. Since 2002, Ivor has been awarded three separate research grants and seven Travel Grants from the Faculty of Communication & Design. He has also received a SSHRC Standard Research Grant in collaboration with a colleague at Laval University for the 2010 - 2013


TVA Publications adopts eco-paper policy

The largest magazine publisher in Quebec, TVA Publications (a subsidiary of Quebecor) has announced concurrent with Earth Day that it is adopting an eco-paper policy. As a first step, according to a press release from Canopy, the campaigners for sustainable forest management and green publishing, TVA has switched 90% of its 52 magazines -- such as Clin D'Oeil and Tout Simplement Clodine -- to FSC-certified paper.
The change means that Canada's four major consumer magazine conglomerates have environmentally friendly paper policies in place, with a preference for FSC and recycled content, not fibre sourced from endangered or ancient forests.
“TVA Publications is excited to contribute to the conservation of our forests. Places like Quebec’s Boreal forests belong to future generations, making it imperative that we work with our suppliers to ensure the industry continue to strive towards more sustainable forest practices and conservation,” said Chrystal Healy, manager of environmental affairs at Quebecor.
“This is the result of both the publisher, printer and paper producers working together to reduce their impact on endangered forests such as the Boreal. I hope TVA Publications example will further inspire supply chain shifts throughout the North American magazine publishing industry,” observes Neva Murtha, magazine campaigner with Canopy.
The announcement complements another  one recently by Canopy, which published its Printer Leadership List of leading North American green printers who have gone beyond paper policies and become active in forest conservation and the development of eco-paper. 

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Magazine world view: Get me rewrite; RD buys Haven Home; struggling with apps; Country Life royal-watches


Quote, unquote: Apps aren't magazines

“We shouldn’t be doing magazine apps. It’s a different format entirely from a print publication. We should be spending the resources to come up with special extensions of the brand....Consider the fact that iTunes doesn’t even have a dedicated ‘magazine section,’ so we’re effectively competing with Angry Birds and Flipboard at the same time.” 
-- an anonymous publisher, quoted in an article on paidContent about the scramble by magazine publishers to rationalize their pursuit of online designs to suit an ever-growing variety of devices and formats. 


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

NOW asks Toronto integrity commissioner to censure Mayor Ford for trying to ban it

NOW magazine has filed a complaint with the Toronto integrity commissioner, claiming that Mayor Rob Ford's office infringed freedom of expression by trying to ban the weekly from all city-owned properties (see previous post). The action was taken after a clearly photoshopped cover picture that put Ford's head on a near-naked body, illustrating a story called The Naked Truth about Rob Ford. A story posted on the NOW website says, in part
The affidavit filed with the integrity commissioner names Ford as the subject of the complaint and asserts that any attempt by the mayor's office to remove copies of NOW from city property amounts to a violation of the Code of Conduct for Members of City Council.
In particular, section VIII, which states “No member of Council shall use the influence of her or his office for any purpose other than for the exercise of her or his official duties.” The affidavit also cites section XIV of the Code, which reads “All members of Council have a duty to treat members of the public … appropriately and without abuse, bullying or intimidation.”
The story says if the integrity commissioner found  Ford had violated the Code of Conduct, he could face a reprimand from Council [unlikely, given that he and his supporters predominate] or the suspension of  his pay for up to 90 days. A formal apology could also be ordered. 

A story
on quoted editor Alice Klein saying  that NOW has solid evidence that "someone in the Mayor's office felt empowered to order the removal and disposal of all our newspapers from all city buildings and facilities including all libraries." This apparently refers to the e-mail memo from Lorraine Pickett, a custodial service supervisor at city hall, sent out an email suggesting the Mayor's office demanded the magazine be removed from city buildings.


The Dance Current publisher and founding editor is looking for two people to replace her

It's not your everyday situation when the founding editor and guiding light of an important small cultural magazine not only announces that she is relinquishing her role (or most of it) but also looking for two people to succeed her.That's the case with Toronto's Dance Current magazine. (The magazine is published in Toronto's distillery district.)
Megan Andrews, publisher and founding editor, a dancer who started a magazine because she felt dancers and audiences needed one, has decided after 13 years that it is time to move on. The magazine is looking for a publisher and an editor, both part-time, to whom Andrews can pass the reins. Applications are being accepted until April 26.


Quote, unquote: Better than crappy,
that's our motto

"All we're doing is going to the marketplace and saying, ‘You were OK with a crappy product, now how can you not be even more enthusiastic about an obviously better product?'"
-- Michael Wolff, editorial director of the relaunched Adweek magazine (which subsumes Brandweek and Mediaweek), quoted in a story from Folio:


Canada Council latest benchmark study for cultural magazines has been released

[This post has been updated] All Canada Council for the Arts-funded magazines will shortly receive a copy of the latest benchmarking study, allowing the publications to compare their performance with similar magazines of their type. Since Staticstics Canada several years ago did away with its census of magazines, good comparable data has been hard to find. This latest is based on 2009 data and is the second report from the Canada Council (the first was in 2000). [Update: The study was commissioned and funded by Magazines Canada through its cultural magazines committee. Our regrets for not noting this originally]
"The 2010 Benchmarks study is the first “industry portrait” cultural magazines have had in 10 years and it provides cultural magazines with a basis on which they can compare themselves to their peers in a variety of categories: circulation, marketing, promotion, editorial and production costs, overhead, etc."[says a posting on the Magazines Canada website]. "Each magazine in the study will receive the Benchmarks data pertaining to their language group and specialization (art or literature), and their own magazine’s 2009 figures."
The data was compiled by Rowland Lorimer and Jane Hope at the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing at Simon Fraser University. Stephen Osborne, Publisher of Geist, member of the board of directors and member of Magazines Canada’s Cultural Magazines Committee, provided assistance and feedback on the design of the study and presentation of the results.
The English language benchmark study is available for downloading. (A French version is imminent.)
An in-depth discussion of the results of the benchmarks study will take place on June 8, 2011 during the State of the Cultural Magazine Nation session at MagNet: Canada’s Magazine Conference. Study participants and cultural magazines in general are encouraged to take part in that session and also join the discussion online at


Four Canadian indy mags are finalists in Utne Reader independent press awards

The finalists have been announced for the prestigious Utne Reader independent press awards and four Canadian indy magazines are in the running. The awards are for the best of the independent press and recognize the best in independent political, social/cultural, arts, environmental, international, body/spirit, and science/technology coverage as well as best writing and general excellence. Nominees are selected by the magazine's editors. 
This way, the magazine honors the efforts of smaller, sometimes overlooked publications that provide innovative, thought-provoking perspectives. All elements, from covers to coverage, are taken into consideration when selecting the nominees and eventually the winners.
The nominees appear in the May-June issue, which is on newsstands April 19, and online at Winners will be featured in the July-August 2011 issue.
According to a release these Canadian titles are represented in a variety of categories:


Monday, April 18, 2011

Up Here magazine's North Poll exposes southern Canadians' ignorance

The May issue of Up Here magazine from Yellowknife, NWT, contains the results of the North Poll -- a compilation of Canadians' knowledge of the north that is by turns hilarious and downright embarrassing. What it found, among other things, according to a release published by Sun Media was that
  • 69% of Canadians believe northerners live in igloos, while 38% didn't know the term Inuit has replaced Eskimo;  
  • 28% of those surveyed said penguins live in the Arctic, while 46% said they were unsure, meaning just 25% of Canadians know it's not true.
"We came up with the North Poll to get a sense (of) how widespread the misconceptions really were," said editor Katherine Sandiford. "The results only confirm our suspicions. They were shameful."

See how you do with the poll.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cannabis Culture publisher denied transfer to serve US sentence in Canada

Marc Emery, the publisher of Cannabis Culture magazine and now imprisoned in the U.S. has been denied a routine transfer to a Canadian prison to serve out his sentence. It means that he will likely spend the majority of his five-year sentence in US federal prison, according to a posting on the Cannabis Culture site. 
Unusually, neither Emery nor his lawyer were told of the refusal, but heard it from the Canadian consulate, which had apparently been in conversation with U.S. justice authorities. 
The US government said it would not approve his treaty transfer back to Canada due to "the seriousness of the offence" and "law enforcement concerns". 
Emery was extradited to the US in May 2010 after a lengthy court battle. He had been arrested for selling marijuana seeds through the mail. While he ran a profitable business, even the Drug Enforcement Administration in the US acknowledged that much of the money went into funding groups that campaigned for the decriminalization and the legalization of pot possession.
"This refusal is a terrible affront to the sovereignty of Canada," said Emery's Canadian counsel, Kirk Tousaw. "Marc is a target of political persecution that appears to have transcended his conviction and now infects the treaty transfer process. He qualifies under every relevant factor and should have been allowed to serve out his jail term in Canada, close to his wife Jodie and in the country in which all of his activity took place. We call upon Prime Minister Harper and the leaders of the Liberal Party and NDP to stand up for this Canadian hero and demand his immediate repatriation."
Ironically, this decision has come in the same week when Canada's national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, published a lead editorial in favour of decrimininalizing marijuana, which is what Emery has been campaigning for for many years and for which he is now paying the price. 
The Globe reported  that, in addition to denying Emery the transfer, US authorities have moved him from a minimum- to a medium-security prison in Mississippi. His lawyer speculated that this was because of displeasure over the regular blog that Emery published, criticizing the conditions where he was held. (We wrote last year  about Emery blogging and podcasting from jail. He was put in solitary confinement for podcasting.)

Previous related posts:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Magazines Canada welcomes seven new members

Magazines Canada has announced that the following magazines have been approved for membership:


Get magazines cheap; rope in your friends

In a nod to the current mania for couponing sites, online agency is offering discount subscriptions through Facebook. For instance, Fitness magazine, which is being offered for $5 for 10 issues. According to an item on MediaPost
Using the Moontoast platform, is offering consumers the ability to share special deals on magazine subscriptions with their friends, with the chance to obtain a substantial group discount if they can recruit enough buyers. Companies can also sell magazine subscriptions through their own Web sites or partner Web sites. The Facebook platform allows marketers and consumers to keep the entire shopping experience within the social stream, if desired; they can also deliver messages about the subscription deal directly to fans of the particular magazines on offer.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

After a reflective year off, Coastlands magazine back and mission-focussed

After a year's hiatus, while editor Rachel Brighton took a sabbatical to work on her Masters degree, Coastlands: the Maritimes Policy Review, is back, with a new Spring 2011 issue. 
Patient subscribers will have their subscriptions extended accordingly, says a note from the editor.
The issue's theme is agriculture in Atlantic Canada with a cover story by Deborah Stiles and Greg Cameron detailing how small-scale farmers are being squeezed out of the food production system.
We asked Rachel what has changed, in the magazine and in her thinking, as a result of taking a year off from publishing and here's what she told us:
I spent 2010 wrestling with the question of whether the content of the magazine was worthy of the financial difficulty of publishing a very focused print magazine in a digital era. I decided it was and the Spring 2011 issue of Coastlands was printed in March.The next three issues will be published in June (Summer), September (Fall) and December (Winter) 2011.
Coastlands is the same magazine that it was before the break in publishing, but with a more mission-driven focus. At root, it asks how a concern for human dignity and social justice should inform public policy. The range of subjects covered in each issue has also been narrowed down to community economics, education, food and agriculture, health, immigration, justice and poverty. Focusing on key subjects should enrich the value of the magazine for readers, by providing greater continuity and depth and expert insight from contributors.
The only other change, apart from using more photography inside the magazine, is the decision to include religious perspectives in the editorial mix. This reflects the fruits of my thinking while I have been on ‘sabbatical’ for the past year and is a natural progression for the magazine as it engages more deeply with the question of how human dignity and social justice should inform public policy. I think the best way that Coastlands can provide a critical perspective is by drawing insight from the widest possible circles, including the civil and religious sector, academia, government, business and the arts. In this way, Coastlands can serve as a compendium of current ideas to inform and inspire readers in the Maritimes and beyond.
On the marketing front, Coastlands is being sold through more niche retailers that cater to customers with a concern for sustainably sourced products, whether that’s health food or boutique gifts, and more libraries are including it in their collections. These partnerships are helping to establish the core of repeat customers and subscribers, which bodes well for the future.
(An individual sub is $40 plus applicable taxes or $10 an issue. The magazine is beautifully printed by Gaspereau Press.)

Related posts:

Maclean's reprimanded by Quebec press council for "corrupt" cover story

Maclean's magazine has been reprimanded by the Quebec press council for declaring it was "the most corrupt province in Canada" in the cover story of its October 4, 2010 issue.
The council released the results of its March 18 decision Tuesday, criticizing the magazine for "lack of journalistic rigour" and for its inflammatory headline. The decision said that Maclean's journalist Martin Patriquin and columnist Andrew Coyne did not offer proof, but merely their perceptions.
"We are forced to conclude that they (the comments) reveal prejudice and are all the more condemnable under the circumstances as they carry prejudices against all Quebecers," the council wrote.
Following the appearance of the article Rogers Publishing -- but not Ken Whyte, the publisher and editor of Maclean's --  issued a tepid apology. Later, Maclean's and the Quebec winter carnival settled out of court over the use of the image of Bonhomme Carnival as an illustration of the controversial story.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

U.S. freelancers file $105 million class action lawsuit against Huffington Post over unpaid blogging

The freelance writer and union organizer who took on the New York Times -- and won -- in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case is now leading the charge against the Huffington Post. Jonathan Tasini, whose name is forever attached to the case Tasini et al vs New York Times*, is heading up a $105 million class action lawsuit against HuffPo, Ariana Huffington herself and AOL, which recently bought the company. A story by Jeff Bercovici was published on his blog.
The NYT case was very similar to the Robertson case in Canada, in which freelancers sued a whole range of media companies for damages for reselling their articles without negotiating secondary rights or compensation. The case being made against HuffPo is that it was built upon the work of unpaid bloggers and then sold to AOL for $315 million. 
At the same time, The Newspaper Guild, representing 26,000 U.S. media workers, has asked unpaid bloggers to erect an "electronic picket line" by refusing to continue to supply free content.
"We feel it is unethical to expect trained and qualified professionals to contribute quality content for nothing. Working for free does not benefit workers and undermines qualify journalism."
 Tasini, a former president of the National Writers Union, was apparently a six-year contributor to the Huffington Post until he stopped posting on February 10, three days after the AOL sale; his past blog posts can be found there. (Although for how much longer is anyone's guess.) According to Forbes, Tasini has vowed to make Huffington
"Anyone blogging for the Huffington Post now is a scab," Tasini was quoted  by Bercovici. "They're a strike breaker. They're producing content for somebody who is attacking workers.
*Ironically, the Tasini case was something of a Pyrrhic victory; following the decision, the Times announced that it would expunge thousands of articles from its database unless writers gave explicit permission to leave them there -- without compensation -- and many did.

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All Kennedys, all the time; The New Republic parses Vanity Fair's obsession

The New Republic rather acidly reports in the current issue that Vanity Fair  magazine is so obsessed with the Kennedys that about one-third of the issues since 2003 have had at least one article about a Kennedy, written by a Kennedy or mentioning a Kennedy at least seven times.
Eliza Gray, a reporter-researcher with TNR points out that Vanity Fair did an April Fool's satire of its preoccupation with a story making a dubious genealogical link with the soon-to-be British princess Kate Middleton and the Kennedy family. But that it publishes stories every bit as ridiculous in an effort to keep the flame of Camelot alive.
I had an instinct it ran deep, but rarely has an investigation—inspired by a hunch—proved so satisfying....
In the past seven months, the magazine has published four additional articles related to the Kennedys. November’s “Marilyn and her Monsters” included a diary passage describing JFK and his brother-in-law. The January issue excerpted a passage from Greg Lawrence’s recent book Jackie as Editor. The February issue dedicated more than 6,000 words to Kennedy’s inauguration, uncovering groundbreaking material like: JFK felt fat, he had a “dark tan” attained in Florida, and ate “broiled bacon” for breakfast. The May issue includes an Annie Leibovitz portrait of the Shriver family, with a lengthy caption listing the subjects’ accomplishments. Vanity Fair, as even an occasional reader could tell you, has got a thing for the Kennedys.
Gray points out that Jackie has been mentioned more than the current first lady, Michelle Obama, and twice as many mentions as Sarah Palin.


Mind my back; Men's Fashion in polybag makes Fashion invisible

I note that on my local Shoppers Drug Mart rack, the current (spring) issue of Men's Fashion, polybagged with its parent, Fashion magazine, is strongly evident. The two magazines are back-to-back in the bag, which means that May issue of Fashion magazine is facing the rack, completely hidden. I'm somehow sure that this wasn't the intention...
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Monday, April 11, 2011

No contract, no Tweeting or Facebooking, union says to the AP

In what gives a new and modern twist to the concept of "work to rule", the union News Media Guild is recommending that its members working for The Associated Press refuse to do social media postings of their work for the wire service. According to a story on MediaPost, the members are being asked to silence their Facebook and Twitter feeds on Monday and Tuesday in an attempt to pressure The AP management to move ahead with coming to a contract.
In that sense, this new strike tactic illustrates how social media can empower rank-and-file content-producers. While they are still producing content (which still belongs to the AP), the ability of individual reporters to build up their own online followings gives them a measure of control over the total audience size.
Forgoing social media distribution can also serve to bring their labor dispute to the attention of supporters, who might then exert pressure on the AP.
The social-media stoppage also has the advantage of putting pressure on management without breaking any rules or requiring an actual strike, which can do more harm than good. Union president Tony Winton told CNN: "We're trying to basically communicate through social media the unity of our group in trying to negotiate a fair contract with AP."


Eye weekly to be repositioned as weekly city magazine The Grid

Bye, bye Eye
Eye weekly, Torstar's urban weekly, is being rebranded and (as anticipated) relaunched as a city magazine. The renewed publication -- now called The Grid -- will be out on May 12, according to a Twitter announcement by publisher and editor-in-chief Laas Turnbull. 
The repositioning more or less sees the publication vacate the alt entertainment newsweekly and listings field in Toronto to its bigger rival NOW. Eye was originally created to compete head-to-head with NOW. Turnbull told Marketing magazine about the strategic thinking behind the change:
The new handle is not some sort of Tron reference, he said. “It’s actually more descriptive than anything. If you look at a map of the city and take out the background and just emphasize all the roadways—North, South, East and West—it looks like a piece of graph paper. So that notion of looking at the city from a street level and a neighbourhood level is very much the direction we’re going editorially,” said Turnbull, who stepped into his role at the Torstar-owned Eye seven months ago.

The name change is part of a move in a radically different direction for the publication, he continued.

Rather than remain an alternative newsweekly heavy in arts, entertainment and listings, The Grid will essentially be a city magazine for people in their 20s and 30s. “So a younger, hipper, more provocative version of Toronto Life in a weekly guise,” he said.

“We’re pretty excited about it because there’s never been a weekly city magazine for young people in Toronto and we think there’s a real appetite for it,” said Turnbull. He added that Torstar has put a lot of resources into the launch.

“There really hasn’t been a big print and online media brand launch in this town for a long, long time. Dose was probably the last thing that would even approach this scale.”


First quarter U.S. magazine launches outnumber closures 2-to-1

Two magazines were launched  in the U.S. for every title that closed during the first quarter of this year, according to magazine database As reported by Folio:
During 2011’s first quarter, 54 new magazine titles were launched, more than double the number (25) of publications that debuted in first quarter 2010.
The number of magazines that folded increased slightly from 2010’s first quarter to first quarter 2011; 22 ended in 2010 and 25 titles folded in the first three months of 2011.
New launch categories that dominated 2011’s first quarter were regional interest, food and women’s titles. Some of these titles include Plum Miami, Gourmet Italian Kitchen and Harmony Magazine.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Keeping The Walrus's head above water

Reading an interesting editor's note in the May issue of The Walrus magazine, I recalled the conversations in which I was intimately involved during its formative stages about the need for a "third stream" of revenue.
That's what editor and co-publisher John Macfarlane writes about and how this third stream (charitable donations from people who wish the magazine and its works well) remains critical to its future.
The other two streams (circulation -- subscriptions/single copy sales -- and advertising) are sufficient for most mainstream magazines to make a modest margin and to stay in business. But for a magazine like The Walrus, which retails ideas and long-form journalism, something more is needed. That something else is apparently there so far in sufficient amounts to keep The Walrus afloat. 
Macfarlane reports that in 2010, supporters gave more than $1.6 million to The Walrus Foundation to make up the difference between what it costs to produce 10 issues a year (about $3.3 million) and what it can raise through the traditional two streams ($1.625 million).
He recalls his Quixotic quest to keep Saturday Night magazine alive (it died later, but not on his watch) with a similar mission under similar strictures.
"Is such a magazine sustainable? Our contract with the foundation’s patrons is not so different from our contract with the magazine’s readers; both oblige us to deliver the goods. So yes, as long as we can continue to convince patrons and readers alike that its existence is vital, The Walrus will survive. Shelley Ambrose, our co-publisher and executive director of the Walrus Foundation, calls it an “optimistic national project,” which it is. But for me, it is also personal, because in The Walrus the spirit of Saturday Night lives on."

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Friday, April 08, 2011

PWAC awards entry deadline extended to April 22

The Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) awards have extended their deadline for entries to April 22. There is a feature writing award (for articles of 1,201 words and over) and a short articles writing award (for articles up 1,200 words in length). First prize in each is $500 and a one-year membership to PWAC, which is worth approximately $250.


Clélie Rich named Mags BC
volunteer of the year

The Magazines Association of BC has announced that Clélie Rich, senior member of the volunteer collective that runs ROOM magazine, is the MABC 2010 volunteer of the year. The award recognizes volunteer achievement by those who provide inspiration for bright up-and-comers and better the magazine industry through their involvement.
ROOM is Canada's oldest journal of writing and art by, for, and about women and Rich spent several years with the magazine in the 1990s and returned in 2004 when the collective needed her institutional memory and organizational skills, according to an item in the MABC newsletter.
Fellow ROOM collective member Melissa Edwards says the recognition is well deserved: “Clélie dedicates hundreds of hours each year to the education of young editors and the stabilization of ROOM, including making herself available to all collective members on Skype every Saturday morning to answer questions. The women she mentors go on to edit issues of ROOM themselves, and then to contribute their growing skills at paying jobs at other publishers in BC and across Canada.”

A past volunteer chair of the Federation of BC Writers, Rich also volunteers much of her time as a working board member of the Western Magazine Awards. Corey Van’t Haaff, WMA executive director, says, “There are few volunteers I am aware of who can match Clélie Rich’s dedication to task, perseverance and skill. Throughout it all, she remains professional, affable, engaged, thorough and delightfully available.”

Rich is also a published poet and freelance editor. She will be honoured at Magazines Canada’s Cross-Canada Volunteer Appreciation Reception in Toronto on June 9, during MagNet.

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Quebec association of magazines award finalists announced

Finalists have been announced for the Quebec Association of Magazines/Association québécoise des éditeurs de magazines annual awards. 
Candidates for magazine of the year are:
  • L’actualité (Les Édition Rogers)
  • Québec Science (Vélo Québec Éditions) and
  • LE must alimentaire (Edikom)
Finalists for the Prix Jean Paré are:
  • Jonathan Trudel, L’actualité 2010
  • Valérie Borde, L’actualité 2010
  • Catherine Dubé, Québec Science 2010
A full list of finalists in all categories
Winners will be announced at Magazines Day, May 10 at the Hotel Windsor in Montreal,


Thursday, April 07, 2011

Q1 magazine ad pages in U.S. increase 2.5%

Ad pages in U.S. magazines increased by about 2.5% in Q1 of 2011, compared with the same quarter a year earlier. According to figures released by the Publisher's Information Bureau, reported by Folio:, in the first quarter there were sold 35,755 pages. The increase hasn't yet clawed back to where the magazines were two years ago -- in Q1 2010 there was a 9.4% decrease.
The biggest jump in ad pages was Rolling Stone magazine, with a 70.6% increase; 207.5 pages.
According Andrew Jung, chief marketing officer of the Association of Magazine Media, 2011’s first quarter marked the fourth consecutive quarter of growth in ad pages and PIB revenue, which rose 6.1 percent in 2011’s first quarter, compared to 2010’s first quarter.

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Toronto Standard launches tonight

Tonight is the launch of the Toronto Standard, a "daily digital briefing", based in Toronto but with a global outlook. Its flag is a revival of a shortlived publication that came out from1848 to 1850. 
The editorial director of the venture (what do we call it? paper? magazine? website? blog?) is Christopher Frey who told Masthead:
“The Standard will primarily be a website0. “It will also be tablet-ready, smartphone-ready, and tailored dynamically to a wide selection of platforms.”
 Frey is a two-time gold medal winner at the National Magazine Awards and a contributor to The Walrus. He was a co-founder and editor of Outpost magazine.


Magazine use made easy

Designer Khoi Vin has taken the mickey out of the sometimes complicated navigational instructions issued with new devices such as the iPad by creating a poster about how to read a magazine.I particularly like directions such as "Fold along the spine to switch to carrying mode" and "Start reading in the upper-left hand corner, move across to your right and then down". The thumbnail here was found on;  apparently anyone who subscribes to the Stack America magazine service gets a letter-sized print of the poster with their first mailing.


Wednesday, April 06, 2011

[UPDATED] Mischief or mishap? National Magazine Awards finalist list said to be "counterfeit"

[This post has been updated. See below.]
For a brief period this morning, a list that was said to be all the finalists for the National Magazine Awards was circulating, with a link to the awards' website. Since the finalists were not supposed to be announced for another month and since judging processes are not completed, it was suspicious as well as surprising. 
A note from Barbara Gould, the event organizer, said the list was "counterfeit", which would suggest someone created it on their own and were up to no good. 
However, it is more likely that the list is an internal work-in-progress that was somehow made  available online in error [see below]. In which case, the NMAF should say so. 
A lot of public relations damage is already done, both to those who may have been misled that they were not finalists and to those who are listed who may not wind up on the official list which is issued May 2.
[UPDATE: The magazine awards foundation has now posted the following explanation on its website:
How did this morning's inaccurate nominee list get created and released? The NMAF and our web developers have spent the day figuring this out, and here's what appears to have happened.

Last year, the NMAF created a page called the 2010 Nominees Report to provide not only a list of nominees but also links to all nominated work. The NMAF’s computer system, including the submission, judging and reporting functions used to manage the Awards, all require a manual update each year to put last year’s information into an archive, and to open a new set of information for the new year. This usually happens after the judging is complete, in preparation for the public announcement of the current year's nominees. This process has not yet been done by NMAF staff or by its web provider for any of the 2011 nomination/winner reports. However, unbeknownst to NMAF staff, the Nominees Report –in unusual fashion—was configured to automatically changeover to the new year and dynamically generate a new report without a manual update.

The live link to the 2010 Nominees Report was removed from public view (toggled “off” in the system and links on content removed) in July 2010. Today, as everyone knows, a “live link” was uncovered and featured a list of 2011 NMA nominees.

So how did this happen? Our web provider informed us that the “off” toggle malfunctioned (it has since been fixed). It appears that someone who had bookmarked last year's report clicked on the report link, and that triggered the system to automatically update the report, pulling from unverified, unchecked data elsewhere in the system. The list generated by the system has –until today—not been seen or vetted by NMAF staff and is very much incomplete and subject to change.

To reiterate what we said earlier, the judging is not final and the NMAF has not yet created its own nominees’ lists for ANY of the categories for this year’s awards. We sincerely regret the excitement and confusion this may have caused among members of the magazine community.


Maclean's's university guide slims down
and bulks up

This year's Maclean's university guide has trimmed down. The special interest publication, which has been in the past a major money-spinner for Rogers Publishing, has a new design and a new format. 
The previous versions over 20 years have been standard magazine size. The new look is presented in a 9 x 7 inch size, according to a story in Marketing magazine.
The 2011 issue of the Maclean's Guide to Canadian Universities is on newsstands this week.
“It’s really meant to be a utility book,” [said Cathrin Bradbury, the manager of the Maclean's's intelligence unit.]. In addition to the format change to the easier-to-carry book-like size, the new guide features excerpts from Maclean’s annual University Rankings (which appear within the pages of a regular Maclean’s issue).
The guide has 256 pages and covers 81 schools, compared with 69 last year. It is augmented by iPad videos.
“The iPad really helps with the utility because we only have so much room in the guide,” said Bradbury.


Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Fellowship being created to honour memory of Toronto Star national affairs columnist Jim Travers

Families, friends, colleagues and admirers have banded together to create a fellowship in memory of Jim Travers, the Toronto Star columnist, according to a posting on He died suddenly March 3 from complications after surgery and his unexpected death (and their admiration for his writing and journalism) galvanized people to create the R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship. It will give an annual award of $25,000 to cover travel, reporting and research expenses as well as a stipend. 
Travers was a Southam News correspondent in Africa and the Middle East, general manager of the Southam news service, editor of the Ottawa Citizen, executive managing editor of the Toronto Star and for the past decade the Star's national affairs columnist. 
A seven-member steering committee  has set its sights on raising $500,000 that would endow the award in perpetuity; the first award will be made in 2012 and will be administered by Carleton University through its school of journalism and communication in the faculty of public affairs.
Details about donations to the fellowship and about the award can be found here.

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