Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Let the good times roll; September Vogue

If we are looking for harbingers of things looking up in the magazine business, you can hardly do better than take your wagon to the store to bring home the ad-heavy September issue of Vogue
It is an absolute monster, at 758 pages (in 2010, it was 700) and it's so chock full of ads that there are 68 back-to-back ad pages before reaching editorial and editor Anna Wintour's letter doesn't even appear until page 218! The cover has model Kate Moss in a fetching purple frock by McQueen; Moss's exclusive wedding pictures are inside.

World view: Lord Black objects; Sue over riot info demands; teaching magazine; falling paper prices?

Quarto Communications names Sellwood COO, Caldwell director of content development

Major changes and added responsibilities are part of a reorganization at Quarto Communications, one of Canada's most highly regarded mid-sized publishers.
  • Terry Sellwood, who was general manager, has been named chief operating officer of the company.
  • Penny Caldwell, editor-in-chief of Cottage Life has been named director of content development for the company. Part of her responsibility is to get six episodes of the new Cottage Life show in the can to run in the fall on the Travel & Escape channel. (Working with her on the project is Jake Thomas of Riley Lake Productions,who was involved in an earlier venture of Quarto into television.)
  • Patrick Walsh, has been named brand manager  of Outdoor Canada magazine in addition to being editor of the magazine.
  • Randy Craig has been named brand manager of Cottage Life and explore magazines.
  • Douglas Thompson, editor of Canadian Home Workshop has also been named brand manager for the title.
  • Rebecca Caldwell, a former senior editor at Chatelaine who covered managing editor Michelle Kelly's mat leave, has joined the CBC as an associate producer for the George Stomboulopoulos show.
  • Caldwell
  • Quarto has hired a new circulation manager, Nancy Parker, who came from distributor Disticor. She replaces Heather Maxwell-Tufford who left to join the about-to-be launched SportsnetChatelaine magazine at Rogers Publishing.
The changes come soon after Quarto sold a 15% stake in the company (with an option for up to 10% more)  to Blue Ant Media Inc., a television and digital startup, launched by Michael MacMillan, the former executive chairman of Alliance Atlantis. One of the avowed aims of the partnership with Blue Ant was to expand Quarto's audience reach. Blue Ant already has interests in such properties as GlassBOX Television and a range of digital and broadcast properties including BITE TV, AUX TV and the Travel & Escape Channel (see above). (The company has applied for a license for a TV specialty channel called Cottage Life TV which is now wending its way through the approval process at the CRTC.)
Company president and CEO Al Zikovitz says that the addition of content and brand management to traditional job descriptions is a reflection of existing realities and the continuing need  to expand all the brands in all forms of media.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

U.S. freelancers need to be counted properly,
union demands

The Freelancers Union in the U.S. is demanding that the Bureau of Labor Statistics do a better job of counting freelancers. The Union says independent workers make up 30% of the U.S. workforce; the BLS says its 4%, according to a story carried by the blog WordCount. The item quoted a Bloomberg Businessweek article that reported that because of lack of funding, the BLS hasn't done a tally of so-called "contingent workers" since 2005. The Freelance Union is asking the bureau to make its language more inclusive when it tabulates the ranks of permanent, full-time freelancers and other self-employed independent workers.
In the Bloomberg Businessweek article, Freelancers Union founder and founder and executive director Sara Horowitz argues in favor of tossing out the term “contingent” worker and categorizing people as independent based on their work, not whether they think of themselves as business owners.
The Freelancers Union, which calls itself "a federation of the unaffiliated" and says it has more than 160,000 members, notes that despite all that freelancers contribute to the American economy, they are taxed more than traditional employees, can't access affordable insurance and have limited access to unemployment insurance, retirement plans and help with unpaid wage claims. 


Zite sale to CNN confirmed; bye-bye Vancouver, hello San Francisco

CNN has confirmed that it is buying Zite, the Canadian tablet software developer for an undisclosed price (said to be in the area of $20 million). With the purchase, however, Zite is decamping from Vancouver to San Francisco. A story on the CNN site said that Zite will operate as an independent company (CNN's headquarters are in Atlanta). Zite's sole product is an iPad application that aggregates users' favourite topics based upon what they choose to read and how they rate what they read.

New CPF funding formula puts the emphasis on reaching readers

At long last, Canadian Heritage has released its revised formula for support under the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF). The new rules under the Aid to Publishers (ATP) segment, the core of the program, had been significantly delayed and a good many publishers have been anxious about the changes being contemplated.
  • The new formula is based on circulation levels and success in reaching readers (rather than postal or editorial costs, as in predecessor program, the Canadian Magazine Fund); 
  • Magazines will receive higher funding per copy than newspapers;
  • Paid circulation will receive higher funding per copy than request; 
  • Funding is weighted to benefit small circulation publications (for instance, a magazine with 25,000 paid copies could receive a maximum of $31,000; 
  • A third of recipients will see their amounts change by more than 50%; most publications will see increases, but some will see decreases.
  • The cap on funding remains $1.5 million, applied to the largest publications. 
  • The new formula will be phased in over a three-year period, starting in 2011-12.
 Here is an example of one of the tables that illustrate the application of the new formula under the ATP:
Magazines Canada said in a release that the new formula would create some subtantial changes in levels of support, compared with last year and that this would be a significiant challenge for many titles; however it said that it welcomed the three-year transition. 
The CPF was announced in February 2009 and in the 2011 federal budget, long-term stable funding was committed. The program receives $75 million annually and is distributed among some 900 Canadian magazines and non-daily newspapers.
In addition to ATP, the CPF funds business innovation for small and mid-sized printed and digital magazines and collective initiatives for industry organizations for research into new technologies, business planning and marketing.

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Briarpatch moves away from themed issues

Briarpatch, the feisty Regina-based magazine, is shifting away from its longtime habit (shared with many indy magazines) of having themed issues.
We expect that releasing ourselves from the constraints of adhering to specific themes will enable us to respond more meaningfully to current events and pressing issues as they arise, and to more actively seek out the highest-quality and most relevant content for every issue [the editors said in an e-letter].
The 38-year-old magazine has three unthemed issues planned for 2012.  


Monday, August 29, 2011

Wordstock professional development day has been cancelled

Wordstock, the annual full-day professional development session for journalists and freelancers held for the past 15 years at Ryerson University, has been cancelled, according to a post on the Toronto Freelance Editors and Writers listserv.


Magazines Canada/Zinio digital newsstand will be offering post-2005 back issues

Magazines Canada is offering participants in its digital newsstand (a partnership with Zinio) a limited opportunity to create replica editions of back issues of their titles. Some 120 magazines are signed onto the digital newsstand, which was launched two years ago, and 70 of them are live. Participating titles have until the end of September to provide a priority list of back issues from January 2005 on, which would could then be converted over about the next year.

Family matters when it comes to sharing newsstand look and feel

Canadian Family magazine from St. Joseph Media has developed a distinctive look and emphasis with its logotype and covers which feature parent and child together, emphasizing the child. A friend points out that the very successful U.S. magazine Real Simple has created a special issue called Real Simple Family which is sharing the crowded parenting section of newsstands and looking remarkably like Canadian Family, right down to font and image treatment. Such line extensions are sometimes just one-offs but can often be tests for launch of a new periodical.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Quote, unquote: It's my magazine, my cover and my campaign

“I worked for eight years building this magazine, I did it on my own, we have no other shareholders,” said Ms. Thomson, who was a candidate in last year’s Toronto mayoral race. “I put my blood, sweat and tears into the company and I think anybody else could do the same thing, they could start a magazine.”
-- Sarah Thomson, publisher of Women's Post magazine, quoted by the Globe and Mail. She was explaining why she thought there was nothing wrong with putting herself on the cover of her magazine, and distributing it in the Tinity-Spadina riding where she is running provincially. (Her NDP opponent, incumbent MPP Rosario Marchese, expresses himself less than pleased.) The text of Thomson's thinly disguised campaign pitch is here.


More editorial changes at Today's Parent magazine

The shakeup of the editorial staff at Today's Parent magazine (Rogers Publishing) continues with the move of senior editor Dafna Izenberg (over to the incipient Sportsnet magazine) and the decision of managing editor Laura Bickle to go freelance starting next week. These departures follow the surprise layoff of the magazine's art director, Jo-Anne Martin Grier earlier this month. 
Some of the moves are probably not coincidental with the preferences of the editor-in-chief Karine Ewart, who joined TP in JanuaryJune, replacing longtime editor Caroline Connell.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Quote, unquote: On readers putting their money where their mouths are

"I cannot stress enough how important it is for readers to put their money where their mouths are. It kills me when would-be literature aficionados balk at buying books or mags—for likely less than the cost of the beer you’d drink at a launch."
-- ARC Poetry editor Katia Grubisic, replying to a question on The New Quarterly's blog The Literary Type about how she defines success for her magazine; part of the it comes from subscriptions and people buying the magazine, she says.


Magazine world view: Project's tweak; fast Firefox; RIP American Printer; newsstand declines


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Will e-tailing of short stories hurt literary magazines like The New Yorker?

A blog post published by Publishers Weekly asks whether the advent of short stories sold discretely in the Amazon Kindle Singles store might have a huge impact on literary magazines. 
In particular, Gabe Habash muses whether the e-tailing of short stories might both benefit authors and put weekly magazines like The New Yorker in the shadow of Amazon. 
The blog post looks at the $1.99 cost of the story "The Bathtub Spy" by bestselling novelist Tom Rachman and calculates that, at 40 minute's reading time, it works out as the equivalent value of a two-hour movie. He says that Rachman would have to sell roughly 5,400 copies (at the customary 70/30 split) to make the same money he might have been paid for his story published in The New Yorker
If you’re a reader, you obviously get more bang for your buck if you pick up The New Yorker, and you get a lot of quality content surrounding the short story if it turns out you don’t enjoy it. However, if Amazon were to start putting up quality short stories every week (and you could argue they already have), the consumer has the benefit of picking and choosing stories to put down money for every week. If Amazon released a story that didn’t sound good to you, you could just save your money and wait for next week’s story.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Vancouver-based Zite magazine app may be bought by CNN

It is being reported by Techvibes that cable news giant CNN may buy Vancouver-based iPad tablet magazine Zite for up to $US25 million. 
Zite is an iPad app that, for now, is available for free from the App Store; it aggregates content (mostly news) based on users' personal preferences -- essentially a personalized web search engine.
CNN has understandably relied heavily on video for its own iPad app. It may be that it wants to incorporate Zite's technology to provide users with a more personal experience. Zite evolved from technology developed at UBC. Techvibes noted that Zite has had some recent bother from mainstream meadia sources unhappy with the "misappropriation" of their content; among the companies applying pressure are The Washington Post, the AP, Getty Images and, ironically, Time Warner (CNN's parent company). 

Zite: Personalized Magazine for iPad from on Vimeo.


Forest industry study: tablets may cut mag paper use by as much as 50% within 15 years

Because of the spreading use of tablets, the North American demand for paper for magazines will drop by as much as 20% by 2015 and perhaps as much as 50% over the next 15 years, according to a forest product industry study. A story in Folio: quotes global forest products information provider RISI which notes that there are already over 10 million tablets in use today, with many more to come.
As print circ falters in the magazine industry (about 45 percent of consumer magazine report circ losses in ABC’s half year report), publishers have been putting an enormous amount of time and resources into producing digital editions for magazines. More publishers are striking deals for subscription sales with Apple (last week, Reader’s Digest joined a growing group of publishers including Conde Nast, Time Inc., Hearst, etc. who now offer digital subscription and single copy for purchase through the App Store.) Time Inc. also recently announced that its entire magazine portfolio (21 titles in total) will be available for the iPad by January 2012, while it and other publishers like National Geographic are developing apps for Android-based tablets as well.


Convenience store exec says magazines sections are shrinking because they're too much trouble

Magazine sections at convenience stores are shrinking and one of the reasons is that stocking and shelving magazines is too labour intensive, according to Peter Chappell, senior category manager for Mac's. He told a Toronto meeting last week of the Periodical and Book Association of America (PBAA) that magazine sales represent just one per cent of sales at Canadian convenience stores, while foodservice sections were markedly more profitable.
For the first quarter of 2011, magazine sales are down six percent compared to the same period in 2010, a downward trend that shows no sign of flattening,  he said, and said that while suppliers of potato chips, soft drinks and other products help stock shelves at Mac’s, "magazine wholesalers do not service convenience stores." In other words, store personnel have to fill and tidy the racks and arrange for returns.

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And then there was one: Canadian Plastics absorbs Plastics in Canada

In what was clearly its strategic intention all along, the Business Information Group (Glacier Media Inc.) is erasing a former publishing rival Plastics in Canada, leaving the 68-year-old Canadian Plastics as the only trade book serving the Canadian plastics industry.
PiC had ceased appearing in print in June 2010, but Rogers Publishing Limited kept the brand alive through a website and an e-letter until May, when it was sold as part of a package of 15 trade pubs and digital brands to Glacier's Business Information Group. The erstwhile arch-rivalry went back to the days when Plastics in Canada, had been a Southam Business Publications title. At that time Southam matched Rogers title-for-title in many trade publishing categories. 
At the end of the month, all traces of PiC will be folded into Canadian Plastics and subscribers to the e-letter will now receive its weekly e-letter instead.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

"Writers' editor" Youngblut leaving Calgary's Swerve to join Globe

Shelley Youngblut, the creator and editor of Swerve magazine at the Calgary Herald, is leaving the magazine to become a western editor for the Globe and Mail. She informed staff and contributors in a message on Friday. 
It's a blow to freelancers who found her eager for and open to new ideas, perhaps one of the principal reasons that Swerve won so many editorial awards.  As one writer told us:
This is an incredible loss for Swerve and the Calgary Herald. Hard to overstate, really. She's so well-respected here, and has done so much for magazines not only in Calgary, but in western Canada. I always say she's the best editor I've worked with, and I mean it. She simply lets writers and artists do what they're best at, and gives them the space to do it.
Photo: Heather Saitz
Swerve, which is a weekly supplement to the Herald, has a circulation of 110,000 and is quite unlike any such publication in Canada, in format, approach and regard. Just in December, it launched, an ambitious online extension of the magazine.
Under Youngblut's direction, the magazine has received over 100 national, regional and international award nominations, winning 53 times; in its first year of publication (2004), it was named best new magazine and magazine of the year at the Western Magazine Awards. Youngblut herself was given a lifetime achievement award by the WMAs.
An excellent profile of Youngblut by Marlee Kostiner in the Ryerson Review of Journalism details her peritpatetic career (and how she wound up in Calgary) and explains that the prototype of Swerve that Youngblut created varied considerably from the garden-variety events and listings pub which the newspaper had in mind (and which Swerve remains, in part). Instead, the square magazine with the feel of an old rotogravure has pursued longer-form journalism, audacious visuals,  big, well-researched cover stories and a fairly quirky take on arts, culture and city life, (all on a relatively paltry budget). 
“I hate magazines that make you feel that if you don’t have the right haircut or eat at the right restaurant or you don’t know the right people, your life is shit,” [Youngblut told the RRJ]. “We can appeal to the best in people by celebrating everybody.” That’s also how she treats her contributors. Maybe it’s the fact that she thinks she’s a bad writer, or that she considers writing the hardest thing to do, but contributors see Youngblut as a writer’s editor.
Related posts:


Friday, August 19, 2011

Quote, unquote: On pulling for the underdog

“As a kid I was like the patron saint of lost causes in sports. I cheered for the Whalers, the Seattle Mariners, and the New Orleans Saints when they were the worst franchise in football. I think about that a lot because the passion of sports fans is more emotional than rational. It’s about appealing to peoples’ hearts as much as their heads. These were teams that rarely won, but there was something in the struggle of an underdog that appealed to me, even as a kid. So while other kids were putting up posters of George Brett and Wayne Gretzky, I was asking my mom to find me posters of Mark Langston and Ron Francis.”
-- Steve Maich, publisher and editor of the forthcoming Sportsnet magazine from Rogers, quoted in an article in the current issue (August 29) of Marketing magazine, out today.  


"Are you really going to eat that?"; magazine launches mobile diet reminder

Self magazine is launching a new text-based diet program for mobile devices which reminds users to eat healthy, drink water and exercise, according to a story from MediaDailyNews. The Self Diet Tapper costs $0.10 a day and delivers five daily reminders about calorie goals, "hydration reminders" and a daily cardio plan with the goal of losing up to two pounds a week. Research has apparently shown that reminders allow users to lose five times the weight of people who aren't reminded.
Self editor in chief Lucy Danziger explained the Diet Tapper is "like getting a gentle reminder tap on the shoulder from your healthiest girlfriend, but in this case, she's a registered dietitian or a fitness trainer."


Canada Post Group reports major drop in earnings

Magazine publishers won't be surprised, but will continue to be concerned, that Canada Post saw pre-tax earnings in 2010 decline by 27% to $233 million, according to its annual report, tabled Wednesday in the House of Commons. 
It saw its main lettermail business decrease by 4.5%, the fourth consecutive year-over-year drop. Total volume for the Canada Post division (including mail, parcels and direct marketing) fell by 1.8%. Canada Post accounts for 80% of  Canada Post Group volume (comprising Canada Post, Purolator, SCI Group and Innovapost).


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

HighwaySTAR magazine publishes final issue, merges with Today's Trucking

Newcom's HighwayStar magazine celebrating the truck-driving life, has published its last issue. According to a story in Masthead, the b2b magazine founded in 1999 never quite recovered from the recession. Its circulation will be rolled into that of its sister magazine Today's Trucking, with perhaps some additional editorial aimed at owner/operators. 
The controlled circulation of HighwaySTAR was 36,500; merged with Today's Trucking, the reach will be 65,000 and the merged magazine will be made available in highway restaurants, parts counters, heavy-duty repair shops and trailer dealerships, in addition to its existing mailed circulation.

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BBC Worldwide sells off 34 magazine titles and all but exits the business

In a complicated deal that has taken many months to come to fruition, BBC Worldwide has sold off its portfolio of 34 magazine titles and is mostly exiting the magazine business. 
The deal with Exponent Private Equity LLP, is for £121m and involves taking over all the non-BBC-branded magazines (such as Radio Times) outright and publishing BBC-branded titles such as Top Gear under a contract publishing deal. There had been interest in the magazine properties from such companies as Bauer and Hearst, but the entanglement of many of the magazines with co-branded television programs seemed to make them shy away.
According to a story in the Guardian
Radio Times, which the BBC has published since 1923, will be among 11 sold outright along with a number of other titles deemed to be "less closely aligned to the BBC" such as Olive and Gardens Illustrated.
BBC programme-branded titles, such as Gardeners' World and BBC Wildlife, will be licensed to Exponent. While BBC Worldwide will not retain ownership of these 18 titles it will keep a "strong continuing editorial interest under licensing agreements".
The third category comprises four titles including Top Gear, Good Food and Lonely Planet which will be retained by BBC Worldwide but published by Exponent under a contract publishing agreement.
The deal also includes BBC's stake in Dovetail, a subscription fulfillment operation run jointly with Dennis Publishing and a distribution front end called Frontline, jointly run with Bauer Media and Haymarket Publishing. (The various interlocking arrangements may be one of the reasons that it took so long for BBC to make the complicated deal.)
Exponent publishes a number of parenting, motorcycling and outdoor magazines and runs the online media jobs service Gorkana; it was the former owner of the Times Educational Supplement. Richard Lenane, Exponent director, said: “Exponent invests exclusively in market-leading businesses which have strong growth potential and great people. We believe that BBC Magazines is such a business.”
At the same time as making its deal with Exponent, BBC Worldwide sold its 50% stake in Worldwide Media, an Indian firm which publishes editions of Hello, Top Gear and Lonely Planet, to the owners of the Times of India. It also is buying the 61% it does not own of Origin, a specialist publisher that publishes a dozen titles such as 220 Triathlon, Blonde Hair, Hair Ideas, Koi and Perfect Wedding. The 100% stake will then be transferred to Exponent.
Most BBC staff and operations will transfer to Exponent.
BBC Worldwide generated profits of £160m on sales of £1.1bn in the year to March.
Related posts:

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Magazine world view: Too many posties? Bonnier tab-mag; Nuts relaunch; HuffPo OK in UK?

Friday, August 12, 2011

As if she wasn't skinny enough; British glossy admits to cinching the Duchess

Grazia magazine in Britain admits it somehow managed to make the Duchess of Cambridge's extraordinarily slim profile even skinnier by photo manipulation. The Photoshoppers were "mirroring" her left arm to give her back a right arm (which, inconveniently, had William on it and had to go) and somehow also reduced her already tiny waist in size, according to a story in the Guardian, reporting on a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission.
There has been a continuing controversy on both sides of the Atlantic about the extensive manipulation of female models and celebrities.
In a statement, Grazia said it "would like to reassure all our readers that we did not purposely make any alternations to the Duchess of Cambridge's image to make her appear slimmer, and we are sorry if this process gave that impression".

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Budget cuts lead to dismissal of Homemaker's magazine editor in chief

September 2011 issue
Kathy Ullyott, Homemakers' magazine editor in chief, has left the magazine due to budget cuts. She recently led the 45-year-old magazine through a successful repositioning, and this year it won magazine of the year at the CSME Editors' Choice Awards.  
Homemaker's is published by Transcontinental Media, Canada's largest publisher of consumer magazines.
Art director Annette Waurick is also leaving the magazine; she is pursuing opportunities in her home country, Germany.
Jessica Ross, Homemakers' executive editor, has taken over as acting editor in chief, while associate art director Rose Pereira becomes acting art director. 
Ullyott was executive editor at Canadian Living until 2005 when she took over Homemaker's and had previously been at Modern Woman and Flare.  
In 2008, Masthead magazine named Homemaker's one of the 20 most influential Canadian magazines of all time.


More time at the office the price of premium salaries for U.S. editorial managers

One of the most unsurprising things in the just-released online 2011 editorial salary survey from Folio: shows that  those magazine managers at U.S. consumer and b2b titles who work more than 50 hours a week get paid the most. For the most senior (editorial directors/editors-in-chief)...
Those who clocked out with an average work week of 40 hours earned $69,900; editors spending 41-49 hours per week in the office were paid $83,900; and respondents who put in 50 hours or more at the office earned $98,200.
For managing or senior editors, those who work 40 hours earned an average $52,200 while those who worked 50 hours plus earned $76,700, a 47% premium. 
The salary gap between senior men and senior women widened at all levels. At the most senior, the average female executive got $77,600, the average male $99,300, a spread of 30%.
The survey was based on a sample of 2,000 subscribers and conference attendees and had a 24% response rate (479 usable responses).

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Treating social networking like it's done
on office time

If you want to corral and tame voracious social networking, the best thing to do is to treat time online the same way as if you were in a virtual office, say UK writers Kate Marillat and Ros Barber who write on their blog that they say they share with many freelancers (and many salaried people, too) the problem of being distracted for much longer than they intend or can afford; one interesting link leads to another, a half-hour evaporates and they "freefall into fanciful social networking".
You wouldn’t spend all day chatting to a work colleague in the same way you talk to a friend over a glass of wine. The conversation does not need to be constant and should be entered in when you:
  1. have something meaningful (or funny) to say
  2. it’s work related and
  3. it will help the other person in some way with their own tasks.
This simple tip has helped me manoeuver away from spending hours on Twitter, following links and running out of time for my other projects.
 [H/T to Suzanne Boles via TFEW]


Quote, unquote: Seeking the "porridge zone", just right for every reader

“People love their iPads and want to experience journalism through the iPad. If that’s the way they want it, we’re going to make it as seamless and wonderful as we can.”
-- Bob Cohn, editorial director of Atlantic Digital, explaining  to NiemanLab the company's decision to bring all of its content together under one app, which goes way beyond a digital version of the magazine. It's a streamlined, unified look and the app is free. Non-paying users will get all the web stores and access to one magazine story a month. Digital subscribers get all content for $21.99 a year. Hard to believe that only a few years ago at The Atlantic was pigeonholed as one of those marginal, toffee-nosed, eastern elite "thinkies" that were somehow doomed to irrelevance....


Our company, Impresa, is the word of the day

Well, what do you know? The word of the day is impresa, which is the longstanding name of our consulting company (Impresa Communications Limited). 
Most clients a) think we made it up and b) misspell it (adding an extra 's' in the mistaken belief it is based on the word impress). Here's what the website A.Word.A.Day gives as the definition:
noun: An emblem or device, usually with a motto.
From Italian impresa (undertaking), past participle of imprendere (to undertake), from Latin in- + prehendere (to grasp). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ghend-/ghed- (to seize or to take), which is also the source of pry, prey, spree, reprise, surprise, pregnant, osprey, prison, and get. Earliest documented use: before 1586.
[H/T to Joyce Byrne]


Skill-building for magazine online and print publishing at Ryerson's Chang School

The Magazine and Web Publishing Program at Ryerson University's Chang School in Toronto starts its fall term in September and there are a number of excellent skill- and career-building opportunities. Here what's on offer in the fall term  -- only a few short weeks away. (Note: I teach two of these courses*.) Feel free to forward this posting to anyone who might be interested.

CDJN 112 — Magazine and Website Publishing*
An overview of the business challenges and opportunities confronting magazine publishers today. All aspects of managing magazines, print or web-based, are touched upon: editorial, marketing, management, integration of web and print, advertising, production, and distribution; plus the challenges in starting a new publication. Guest speakers from the industry provide insights and the chance to ask questions and discuss issues. This course complements all other courses in the certificate program.  
An intensive, two-day course  [Friday and Saturday] that covers all practical aspects of launching a magazine today, in print or online.[This is another course I teach.] Offered 21-22 October, 27-28 January.
Penny Caldwell, the award-winning editor of Cottage Life magazine teaches a  practical, step-by-step introduction to print and online magazine editing. The emphasis in this fourteen-week course is on learning job skills in a workshop environment.
Well-known freelance writer and author Margaret Webb has created a fourteen week course aimed at those with a serious interest in writing and selling non-fiction articles to magazines. It is an introduction to the basics of conceiving, focusing, pitching, researching, structuring, writing and revising a full-length feature magazine story.
Veteran freelance writer David Hayes leads a project-intensive fourteen-week advanced course is designed for serious students of magazine feature writing to further develop their reporting and narrative skills. Pieces written for this course now routinely find their way to publication in major magazines, sometimes before they’ve been graded. (Usually taken following the course above.)
Bernadette Kuncevicius, the senior editor at CA magazine, introduces students to the skills and knowledge required to ensure a high degree of clarity, consistency, and accuracy, as well as precise and appropriate use of language, in magazine editorial copy - print or web-based. Students often say this course and fact-checking (see below) makes getting an entry-level position in the business that much easier.
A seven week (half) course taught by Bernadette Kuncevicius (see above). In the magazine business, fact-checking is a key entry-level job, a way for aspiring writers or editors to learn how a magazine works and how professional writers put together a story, and to develop relationships with editors that can lead to assignments or jobs. For writers, the more they know about what happens to an article in fact-checking, the better prepared they'll be to provide what editors want - and to protect their copy.
Gwen Dunant is very well-known across Canada as a teacher and mentor for people involved in the critical area of selling magazine advertising. This seven-week (half) course provides students with the knowledge and skills required to sell magazine advertising in today's highly competitive marketplace.
Editors at magazines of all sizes are expected to have some knowledge of design and page layout software programs, principally Adobe InDesign to coordinate text and layout with art departments, to organize editorial production and copy flow, and to edit and format text. This seven-week (half) course happens Saturday mornings, taught by Shannon Griffiths, and will provide you with the basics.
CDJN 206 — Creating Website Editorial
Kat Tancock is writer, editor and digital consultant who has worked on the websites for Reader's Digest and Best Health magazines Canadian Living, Homemakers, Style at Home and Elle Canada. This seven-week course provides students with a valuable understanding of web tools and opportunities to workshop appropriate content for them. It also addresses the most common strategic, logistical, and business-related challenges that come with producing great magazine websites.


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

American digital magazines ranked in terms of trust, interest and believability

Research from Affinity LLC indicates the leaders among American digital magazine brands in terms of various attributes among 170 titles considered by readers. This, according to a story in Folio:

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Reader's Digest names digital and consumer marketing veeps

Reader's Digest has appointed two new vice-presidents. Ray Philipose is the new vice president integrated solutions and digital and Marie-Josée Tessier as the new vice president consumer marketing.
Philipose was most recently with Canwest Digital as vice president, strategy and product development, and prior to that, he was director of media operations at Sympatico /MSN.
Tessier comes from the marketing side -- both the client and agency -- for a variety of leading national brands including Fido, Molson Coors and the National Bank of Canada.


Monday, August 08, 2011

Rural Delivery magazine's hand mowing championships shows if you can cut it

Rural Delivery magazine of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, is hosting its 8th annual Maritime Hand Mowing Championships on August 27 at the Ross Farm museum in New Ross, N.S., the province's only working heritage farm. If you're in the neighbourhood, demonstrations get underway 9 a.m. with the main event 1 p.m. after a BBQ lunch.
The event, which costs nothing to enter except to bring your own scythe, emphasizes speed, but also quality. If you wondered how the latter is judged, it's the "three S's" -- straight (leaving a straight edge), stubble (as short as possible) and smooth (even across the full width -- no "golf swings" and divots).
According to the RD website, the 2010 champ was Jonathan Zeidman from Summerville, Hants County, N.S. (shown above) competing for only the second time. 
(Photo: Bob Hutt)


Quote, unquote: More than booty

"If you saw the covers, you'd be like, 'All they want to do is look at this girl's ass.' But if you opened it, you'd be like, 'Wow, it's so much more than that.'"
-- Datwon Thomas, editor-in-chief of XXL magazine reflecting somewhat wistfully about the late KING magazine, of which he was a founder and editor-in-chief. He was quoted in the Huffington Post Black Voices blog.


Harrowsmith Country Life in limbo after firing six key staff

It would appear that Harrowsmith Country Life magazine is in serious difficulty. According to a story in Masthead, six senior staff were let go by Malcolm Publishing July 25. Word is that the six-times-a-year magazine has only published one issue so far this year (and then weeks late) and that the second issue, while printed, is sitting on the printer's floor but has not been mailed. 


Quote, unquote: When being big isn't necessarily an asset

"The biggest challenge in my opinion for magazine companies is that when it comes to digital publishing, cheaper software and low-cost entries level the field no matter how much money and people you put against it. The entrepreneurial guy probably has as much chance to survive as large media companies"
-- Tom Martin, vice president of manufacturing operations at Cygnus Business Media, in a Q & A with Folio: reflecting on lessons learned in a 37-year career.


New hand at the art tiller at Toronto Life with September issue

Though some might quarrel with definitions (the cover subjects moved to Dundas, Ontario, a town that probably can't be considered a suburb of Toronto). But the September issue of Toronto Life features the first cover design by new art director Christine Dewairy, late of Maclean's, Canadian Business etc.The issue is on stands August 11.
Photographs by Hudson Hayden and photo illustration by James Dawe


Friday, August 05, 2011

BC bringing up the rear in arts & culture funding

British Columbia is dragging up the rear when it comes to support for arts and culture, according to a story in Georgia Straight, based on Statistics Canada data.
For 2008-09, provincial per-capita spending averaged $92—only Ontario and B.C. came in under that figure, with B.C. last of all at $62. B.C. also came last in per-capita federal arts spending, at $51 compared to the average of $122.
Some, but not all, of the slack is being taken up by municipalities, with BC municipalities contributing $98, compared with the national average of $82. When all arts and culture support is aggregated,
B.C. still comes in last, at $211 per capita in total, compared to the average of $296. Quebec leads in overall spending, at $374, followed by P.E.I. at $306 and Saskatchewan at $281.
According to NDP culture critic Spencer Chandra Herbert B.C.’s low per-capita spending is reflected in a poor showing in levering federal funding.
“Canada Council and Canadian Heritage will provide greater resources if you can show you have provincial support,” he said. “But because B.C.’s support is so low, there are other provinces who invest more so their projects are further along, are more developed, and more attractive to funders.”

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Magazines Canada partners with Consumer Intelligence Group for annual DM sub campaign

Magazines Canada has struck a partnership with private sector firm Consumer Intelligence Group (CIG) to help run its annual Buy 2, Get 1 FREE subscription campaign. The direct mail campaign has been a prominent program in support of member magazines, but has been under some pressure  in terms of funding. The most recent year's campaign was half the size -- in terms of delivered DM pieces -- as previous years and as a consequence saw a 36% drop in sold subscriptions.
The 7th B2G1F campaign will run September through February 2012, with CIG handling specialized list and data services.
The Consumer Intelligence Group is a relatively new player (launched in 2010) in the list marketing, data management and analysis field. The two partners in the firm are Tim Leys, formerly with Generation 5 and Kevin Klein, previously with the Cornerstone Group of Companies, one of the biggest players in list management and fulfillment for magazines.
The DM campaign at one time distributed more than 1 million free-standing brochures via addressed admail and magazine polybag outserts; this was supported by print ads, search engine marketing, e-mail promotions and social networking. In 2009, 191 titles signed up. Sub sales were about 14,000.
In the 2010-11 campaign, only 500,000 pieces were distributed in two tranches though, for the first time, it allowed people to subscribe to either print or digital editions from among the "nearly 200" participating magazines. As of March 20, the campaign had sold about 9,300 subs or about 64% of the previous year's results.

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Surprise layoff of Today's Parent art director

Jo-Anne Martin Grier, the art director of Today's Parent magazine, was let go last Thursday, to the considerable surprise of the staff. No public announcement has been made and no word yet on who will replace her. She had been in the position since January 2010.


Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Steve Maich named publisher and editor-in-chief of Rogers's new Sportsnet magazine

Steve Maich, the editor-in-chief of Canadian Business magazine and, as group publisher, of CB, PROFIT and MoneySense magazines, has been appointed publisher and editor-in-chief of Sportsnet magazine, which is due to launch in September. 
The national biweekly sports title with a projected circulation of 100,000 is the most ambitious startup at Rogers in many years, but is founded on the belief in the the synergies possible with Rogers's Sportsnet television, radio, digital and print properties.
The release announcing the appointment said that Maich will have responsibility for all operational and strategic business elements of producing the publication.Rogers Publishing executive vice-president Ken Whyte said:
"Steve is a terrific journalist and is very talented at assembling teams that deliver compelling content. He is a natural choice for leading the team that will bring Sportsnet to life in this fourth medium.  Steve has a deep knowledge of the brand, great enthusiasm for the subject matter, and a wonderful understanding of the Canadian spirit in sport."
Maich apparently relishes the challenge, after seven years as a writer, editor and publisher, including the complete redesign and relaunch of Canadian Business. He was executive editor of Maclean's before that.
"As a life-long sports fan, I've felt for a long time that Canada needed its own sports magazine, focused on the stories and icons that we are passionate about," he said.  "To be entrusted with the opportunity to help create the magazine I always wanted to read, with the resources, backing and expertise of a media company like Rogers, is a dream job. I'm honoured to be chosen for it."
There was no word on who will replace Maich at CB and the other finance and business titles.   
Related posts:


Magazine world view: TIME tablets; Hearst UK; Intelligent Life in HK, Singapore, India

MagsBC appoints Sylvia Skene as
new executive director

The Magazine Association of BC has appointed Sylvia Skene as its new executive director, effective immediately.She replaces Rhona MacInnes who resigned in June.
Skene was formerly with the Advanced Education Media Acquisitions Centre (AEMAC) at Langara College, responsible for updating two web sites and an online distributors’ database, CANDI as well as other administrative duties. She held a variety of instructional roles as Langara and was on its board of governors from 1998 to 2001 and Langara Council from 1996 to 1998.
These days [says a post on the MagsBC e-letter], Sylvia volunteers as part of the team of "Beautiful Minds," a show that focuses on de-stigmatizing mental illness, on Vancouver Co-op Radio. She also volunteers for Art for Life, an auction that is a major source of revenue for Friends for Life, a charity that supports people with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
In the same newsletter there was a farewell from Heidi Waechtler, who is leaving to enter the SFU Master of Publishing Program. Skene will be running a one-person shop for a while, largely an outcome of funding challenges in BC.


Toronto Life launches Stylebook SIP

New SIP, out Aug 18
Toronto Life magazine is launching another special interest publication to join its Home Guide, Eating & Drinking Guide and Wedding Guide. Not surprisingly, it is all about shopping.
Stylebook is on newsstands August 18 and focuses on urban fall fashion. It's notable that it's the first special issue under the hand of Maryam Sanati, editorial director of special projects. 
The 122-page issue is selling for $7.95.
According to a TL release the standalone showcases 
  • Toronto street style and top fall fashion trends
  • A list of the 200 best stores in Toronto. 
  • A roundup of Toronto's 12 most stylish locals chosen by a panel made up of Bernadette Morra (FASHION Magazine), Kevin Naulls (Toronto Life) Christopher Sherman (the Bay) and Anita Clarke (blogger). 
  • A "hall of fame" of perennial best-dressers. (Guess that counts me out) and 
  • A feature on a  stylish dinner party held by Rana and Richard Florida.

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