Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Advertising services revenues up 2.2% to $7 billion in 2010, mostly due to online display

Operating revenues for advertising and related services in 2010 were up 2.2% and reached almost $7 billion, according to information released by Statistics Canada. The increase was attributed mostly to display advertising services, which saw a 17.3% increase, largely due to the use of new technologies (read: online advertising). (See summary table)
  • Salaries, wages and benefits fell 3.2% while operating profits rose to 11% from 9% in 2009. 
  • Ad agencies got most of the operating revenues (41.2%), though they also saw the largest decrease in revenues compared with 2009, which went down 2.8%.
  • Operating profit was 11%, up from 9% in 2009
For comparison, previous Statscan data released in December for periodical publishing showed that the industry had $2.2 billion in operating revenues, down 1.2% from 2009. The largest decreases were in the Prairies, down 6% year over year. Operating expenses fell by 4.2%, resulting in profit margins rising to 8.5% compared with 5.7% in 2009.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Magazine world view: 16 million tablet pubs; RIP Sat delivery?; £20k competition; re-cut Uncut


YES and KNOW kids' science magazines
closed suddenly

January 2012
[This post has been updated]The sudden closure of YES, a science magazine for youths 7 to 14  and KNOW a science magazine for kids 6 to 9, published by Peter Piper Publishing Inc. of Victoria, B.C., may be an object lesson for small publishers.YES started in 1996; KNOW six years ago.
In August, 2009, the Mad Science Group, based in Montreal, bought out Peter Piper Publishing, owned by David Garrison and his wife Shannon Hunt. The intention had been to seek investment in the magazines and the fit seemed good, including promoting the titles to the many franchises and customers for Mad Science's in-school and after-school science programs around the world. 
The Garrisons continued to work for the magazine but the support and promotion they had expected didn't happen and circulation began to slip.
March/April 2004
According to the company's website, Mad Science was started by two brothers, Ariel and Ron Shlien in 1986 in Montreal. At first running its own program, later it began francishing the concept and, by 2000, had 86 franchises operating around the world and had opened offices in Toronto and Miami. Among its many activities were partnering with the publisher Scholastic in creating a series of 12 books under the Mad Science brand, selling more than 1 million copies. It ran kids' science programs aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships.
In other words, the Garrisons had every reason to believe their magazines were going to get the investment and the attention that they hoped for.
Suddenly, on January 26, Mad Science telephoned, told the magazine to cease immediately and not to talk to vendors, suppliers or customers. Six employees lost their jobs.  At the time, YES had about 13,000 subscribers, KNOW about 12,000. The websites were closed down and a simple message displayed:  
"Due to current market conditions of the publishing industry combined with the decline in subscriptions, it became extremely challenging to maintain the operations of the magazine. We sincerely regret any inconvenience this may cause."  
There was no indication of the status of existing subscriptions. [UPDATE: Mad Science was asked for a statement, but essentially reiterated the sentence above.]
While they were forbidden to tell anyone about the closure (and given virtually no time to find other investors or a viable alternative), Hunt did write a poignant farewell e-mail to their regular contributors, saying (in part):
It's been a draining week, helping Dave and Sue pack up 16 years worth of my life. So many many memories...starting so hopefully with a single computer in a corner of my parents' living room, wondering if it was really possible for two people to make a magazine, trying to proofread pages with a baby sleeping on my chest, making the big move to a real office after years of working in our basement.

It's been challenging -- never quite being able to take the magazines from surviving to thriving -- but I'm not sorry we tried. We made some great magazines together. Thank you all for the articles, the art, the photos, the poems. We've enjoyed working with you all, such a talented group of people. I will miss reading your articles, poring over your illustrations.

Dave and I will soon be back in a corner of a living room, wondering what to do next, but one thing is for sure, we will be wishing you well, watching for your names in print and on the net, and who knows, maybe we will be lucky enough to bump into you again one day. After all, anything's possible, right?
The general tone of bewilderment and anger carried over in various blog postings by writer and former KNOW editor Adrienne Mason and illustrator Glen Mullaly.


TC Media to rep added U.S. Hearst digital properties as well as Homes Group sites

TC Media has extended its digital sales partnership with Hearst Magazines and taking over exclusive digital ad representation  for Hearst's Canadian sales of U.S. sites,, and 
It will now also will represent digital ad sales for sites operated by Canadian-based Homes Publishing Group of Toronto, incliuding,,, and
TC Media sites reach13.7 million unique visitors per month in Canada through more than 1000 websites, and show an inventory of 25 million online video clips played every month in the country, the company says. It had already represented the digital sales of Canadian franchises with Hearst,  ELLE Canada and ELLE Québec.
"TC Media is our publishing partner for ELLE Canada and ELLE Québec, so it was only natural to have them represent our US-based brands, and in the Canadian market," said Kimberly Lau, Vice President of Business Development at Hearst Digital Media in a release . "We are pleased to extend our partnership which will enable Canadian advertisers to seamlessly reach the Elle audience through TC Media’s creative multiplatform offerings.”
The Homes Publishing Group has some 18 titles concentrated in the shelter market and has been built on the success of Homes magazine, starting in 1985. HPG also produces consumer and trade books and web sites for the renovation, design, relocation and home show segments of the shelter market, as well as related association member publications. The aggregate annual distribution of HPG publications is over 4 million copies, plus over 10 million online page views per year.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

ZoomerMedia has a net loss in Q2 of $137,000

ZoomerMedia Ltd., the publishers of Zoomer magazine, had a net loss in the second quarter of $136,439 for the period, a negative turnaround of more than $1 million, compared with a profit of $901,464 in the same quarter in 2010, it was reported today by Canadian Press. The company had revenues of $15.3 million, down from $16.9 million in the same quarter in 2010.
The Toronto-based company's properties include multi-faith specialty channel Vision TV, classical radio station CFMZ-FM in Toronto, Zoomer Magazine, and website


Sportsnet magazine highlights the hottest athletes

3-time U.S. World Cup overall downhill champion Lindsey Vonn
Canadian Sheldon Souray, a three-time hockey All-Star  
'Tis the season for sex and sports (actually when isn't it?) but hard on the heels of the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, Canada's Sportsnet magazine from Rogers has come out with its March 12 Beauty in Sport Edition  featuring 30 of the buffest, most attractive athletes, men and women, Canadians and otherwise. Readers are given the online opportunity to rank the top 5 most beautiful males and females.

Editor-in-chief Steve Maich says people look at sports differently in comparison with years past and tells how “sporting talent, sex appeal, charisma and marketing savvy today combine to form an incredibly potent cocktail that can be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Print takes a back seat in Rogers's "multiplatform" sponsorship arrangements

For all the talk of integration of multi-platform marketing and sponsorship in large companies like Rogers Media, its large stable of consumer print publications seems to take the rumble seat. A recent press release trumpeting the addition of five, heavy-hitting sponsorships to the launch of the show Canada's Got Talent on Rogers's Citytv starting March 4, gives nary a mention of the company's considerable print side (boldface emphasis added):
The five sponsors – BlackBerry® maker Research In Motion (RIM), Wrigley’s Excel, ConAgra Foods’ Orville Redenbacher’s, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada, and The Division of Tourism and Transportation of the Tobago House of Assembly – will receive variations in multiplatform sponsorship integration across Rogers Media platforms, which include television, online and mobile devices. Activations also entail on-site presence, in-show content, brandsell opportunities, billboards and bumpers, in-store point-of-sale, co-branded promotions, and an online microsite within
“The breadth and depth of our assets give us the unique ability to create customized integrated business solutions to meet our sponsors’ brand objectives,” said Dale Hooper, Senior Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, Rogers Media. “We are thrilled to round out our strong portfolio of sponsors for Canada’s Got Talent with these iconic brands.” 
These brand partnerships join previously announced Canada’s Got Talent founding partners Nissan Canada Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., and Tim Hortons Inc.  

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Carry On regardless: MagsBC promotes its 2-day professional development conference

The Magazine Association of BC, which is coping at the moment with a funding crisis, is plunging ahead with a professional development conference called (irony intended, we're sure) BCALME & Carry On. It's a two-day event with workshops, presentations and is aimed at helping BC magazines grow and flourish.
It is on Friday, March 23 and Saturday March 24 at BCIT's downtown Vancouver campus. There will also be an evening reception and keynote address at the Bill Reid Gallery.
More information can be found here, or on a Facebook events page

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"Liquid layout" said to answer demands to deliver mags on multiple devices

Condé Nast was among the first of the world's major magazine companies to jump onto the iPad, but even their enthusiasm is being tested by the variety of devices and somehow getting their content onto various-sized screens looking halfways decent. 
Scott Dadich, the vice-president of content innovation told a London advertisers' briefing on Wednesday (reported in paidContent)  that getting a coherent workflow that will adapt to multiple devices -- including mobile phones -- has a been a real challenge. 
Frankly, the technology really hasn’t caught up to that notion of a high-fidelity design that is adaptive. The adaptive web is teaching us a lot about what that’s going to look like. We’re working toward liquid layout with our friends at Adobe. It has springs and cushions in it so it can fit on different screens with the same kind of experience.”
According to the story, an upcoming upgrade to Adobe InDesign will allow designers to make pages through HTML5 that adjust for different device sizes, following "liquid layout rules". It's the holy grail for Condé Nast (and for its competitors) which has always maintained that it wanted to publish something once and distribute it everywhere. It's been elusive and hard work.
There was a sneak preview of the "liquid layout", that can be seen in the video below.

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Pierre Juneau launched his career with the magazine Cité Libre

Pierre Juneau, the champion of Canadian content whose death has been announced, got his start in media when he launched the political magazine Cité Libre in Montreal with Pierre Trudeau, whom he had met at the University of Paris. This was long before Trudeau's political career and eventual prime ministership and before Juneau helped found the Montreal International Film Festival, and before his long career as head of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and of the CBC.
Cité Libre's existence starting in 1950 was the very definition of punching above its weight. There are those who say it was the seedbed for the "Quiet Revolution" that swept Quebec in the 1960s. The magazine opposed the conservative government of Premier Maurice Duplessis and attracted an astounding masthead including Gérard Pelletier, René Lévesque and Pierre Vallières. In an era when the Catholic church dominated Quebec politics, the magazine was anti-clerical. In a repressed era, it spoke out about civil liberties and opposed the infamous Padlock Law and supported the Asbestos strikers. It ceased publication in 1966 (though it was revived briefly in the '90s).


Quote, unquote: Getting readers to buy stuff

“Magazines used to be just about raising awareness for brands. Today brands like Glamour are going well beyond that. We are bringing readers closer to purchase consideration and sale."
-- Glamour executive vice-president and publishing director Bill Wackermann speaking to the New York Observer's Off the Record blogger during Fashion Week in New York. Using tags embedded in the redesigned magazine's pages, readers can buy stuff using their smart phones using something called "m-commerce".


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Quote, unquote: On publishing what seems
right and funny

“It’s surprised all of us that it’s successful.We’re not driven by market research or whatever other people do. We’re just doing what feels right and funny to us. If that makes us weirdos, that’s fine. If we were ever described as ‘average,’ that would be the end of the magazine.”
-- David Chang, chef and owner explaining to Diner's Journal in the New York Times how the food magazine Lucky Peach breaks the "rules" of conventional publishing and pleases itself; as a result the third issue, out early next month, will have a print run of more than 80,000. The magazine is produced in collaboration with McSweeney's.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Quote, unquote: On not being defeated by digital

“We can’t accept defeat just because digital has arrived."
-- Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra, predicting that the post office is entering a decade of duality, where people might get a magazine in print as well as on their iPad. He was featured in a Toronto Star story.


UK consumer mags saw circ fall 1.4% in 2nd half 2011; digital subs increase

Total average circulation among consumer magazine titles in the United Kingdom fell by 1.4% during the second half of 2011. Among the biggest decliners in ABC reporting, according to a story in MarketingWeek, was the women's lifestyle category, down 1.3%.
The number of magazines reporting sales figures for their digital editions increased four fold to 72 titles. Men's Health topped the list, with 7,779 paid digital subs. Conde Naste’s GQ had a digital circulation of 5,731, Dennis Publishing’s Men’s Fitness 3,987 and 3,745 for Hearst’s Esquire.
Paul Keenan, chief executive at Bauer Media, says that magazine brands will continue to build strategies around their core print titles, but adds that new platforms will place a greater focus on tailored content.
He adds: “Advertisers don’t see barriers they just see business and that’s how we have to deliver our solutions.”

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Weddingbells presents new SIP called...Weddings

Weddingbells magazine is publishing its first-ever special interest publication,  called Weddingbells Weddings which features 16 real weddings of real Canadian couples. 
  “Every one of the weddings is stunning and unique – I guarantee each will inspire our readers in one way or another,” said Weddingbells editor-in-chief, Alison McGill.   
The 120-page newsstand product is out February 20, selling for $11.99 and there's a video preview.
The mothership -- Weddingbells -- is published twice annually in 11 different regional editions.

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MagsBC gets temporary financial reprieve

The Magazine Association of BC has received what it describes as "a stay of execution" as Canadian Heritage has reviewed and approved one of the two applications that had earlier been rejected. This gives MagsBC $125,020 to fund a number of projects (some of which have alreadywell advanced and for which money has already been spent) such as the 2012 magazine directory, MagsWest 2011 (held last June) and the association's BC Ferries initiative with the News Group. The $25,000 application for industry market research will not be revived.
MagsBC was thrown into crisis by the turndown in funding and warned its members that it was within weeks of closing its doors. 
The association says it may not see a cheque from Heritage until April, after an amended contribution agreement has been signed, though the ministry has said it will expedite things. As a result, the task force meeting was held Feb. 9 to consider ways of reacting to the crisis, current and ongoing and means of finding new ways to function and become self-sustaining. Among the suggestions is to expand the membership to other content providers and media publishers.

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Father Rémi steps down and Isabelle Marcoux becomes chair of TC Transcontinental

Rémi Marcoux steps down as chair of Transcon
The orderly transition at the top of TC Transcontinental Inc.took its next step today at the company's annual general meeting in Montreal with the retirement of Rémi Marcoux as chair of the company -- the largest publisher of consumer magazines in Canada -- and the succession by his daughter, Isabelle. M. Marcoux will remain on the board as a director.
Isabelle Marcoux steps up
“My dream was to found a company that was built on my values and that would last for a long time," said Marcoux . "Every day I have had the great pleasure of realizing this dream. In addition to enjoying seeing Transcontinental grow, I also have a great feeling of pride. We are members of the select group that has been in business for 35 years or more, and this is a wonderful achievement. It shows our ability to weather storms and change. We had to adapt, anticipate trends, transform ourselves and take calculated risks. In this period when the print, media and marketing communications industries are in a state of transformation, I am certain that Transcontinental will continue to find excellent opportunities for growth.”
Francois Olivier, the president and chief executive officer of TC Transcontinental, which makes most of its money from the printing side, told the AGM
“I would describe 2011 as a year of major change at Transcontinental. We have redefined the basis of our future development. Whether this involved modernizing our values, positioning and our new branding; or setting up programs to promote innovation; or markedly improving the performance of our print network; or announcing the acquisition of Quad/Graphics Canada; or amalgamating our Media and Interactive sectors, we have had a single aim throughout: to serve our customers better.”
He emphasized the continuing high effectiveness of print, with 46% of advertising spending going into print. He also reported that TC's more than 1,000 websites now reach more than half of all Canadian web users and that digital and interactive marketing now accounts for 10%, or about $200 million, of TC Transcontinental's consolidated revenue. 
Related posts:

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Grid and National Post win as best-designed newspapers in the world

The Grid, Torstar's free weekly magazine (it calls itself that), has won the prestigious Society for News Design's top prize as best-designed newspaper for its circulation category. And Canada has done superlatively well given that another of the five winning papers was the National Post
The judges* for the 33rd annual SPD awards said:
The Grid has the feel of an underground paper minus most of the political coverage, but there are engaging story forms on every page that make its readers laugh or shake their head. The Grid’s journalists know their audience and they reach it brilliantly.
Read more of the judges' comments here.

Of the National Post, they said
 The National Post revels in its narrow page width and tells stories visually as well as any newspaper in the world.
Of the best newspapers, they said they all share
a certainty about who their audiences are and a bold, sure-footed approach to reaching them. All have a unique voice. All are superb. All share a commitment to print that other newspapers should emulate. They never waste a page, never waste their readers’ time. These newspapers look healthy, well-staffed and richly resourced — even if they are not. It was inspiring to see international journalists who still believe in excellence in print.
*Bill Gaspard, China Daily, Beijing
Scott Goldman, The Indianapolis Star and
Rhonda Prast, Missouri School of Journalism
Søren Nyeland, Politiken, Copenhagen, Denmark
Bob Unger, The Standard-Times, New Bedford, Mass.

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Apple working on a slightly smaller tablet to meet the competition

Apple is apparently working with its suppliers to create a new tablet computer with a slightly smaller, 8-inch screen that is clearly aimed at striking back at competitors like Amazon's (7.5 inch Kindle Fire) and Samsung (5.3inch Galaxy Note). 
According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, Apple is to announce its new iPad 2 early next month, which will have a higher resolution screen but the same size as at present. The smaller tablet would therefore allow it to price aggressively and offer more choice.

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Ontario Arts Council employees form a union

Employees of the Ontario Arts Council have formed a union. A new bargaining unit has been established as part of  The Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario (AMAPCEO) following a vote supervised by the Ontario Labour Relations Board held on February 6. The new union covers granting, communications, research, outreach, administrative and finance staff employed at the OAC's Bloor Street headquarters in Toronto as well as two representatives in Sudbury and Thunder Bay. This includes staff in the literature office, which most often interacts with literary and cultural magazines. 
The union was established in 1992 and represents employees both inside the Ontario public service and outside of it: such agencies as the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth; Waypoint Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene; Public Health Ontario; the Ontario Racing Commission; and Health Quality Ontario.
"We are honoured that the OAC staff chose AMAPCEO," said Association President and CEO Gary Gannage in a release. "The OAC and its employees do important work in promoting the arts and providing funding to the arts community in Ontario. A collective agreement will go a long way to ensure that they are able to focus on those responsibilities and continue to serve their stakeholders without having to worry about job security, working conditions and compensation." 

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Zoomer sells three separate covers, with high value coins, instead of people

Zoomer magazine has created three, complementary covers [one inside the next] for its March issue,each with a coin illustrating the magazine's Money issue.
$1 MM Maple Leaf
The covers are sponsored by and backed by an ad for Sun Life Financial. 
Usually, Zoomer spotlights a mature personality on each of its covers; this is the first time since it was launched that highlights an iconic object, in this case collector coins -- The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, a 10-kilogram gold coin with a face value of $100,000; the silver-plated 25th Anniversary Loonie; and the Maple Leaf $1,000,000 100-kilogram (220 pounds!) gold coin.
Victoria Wisdom, Vice President Sales and Associate Publisher, Zoomer magazine, says in a release:
“Advertisers are looking for creative and differentiating ideas to reach our audience. The triple cover concept for the March issue was just the right environment for Sun Life’s beautifully created ad campaign promoting the launch of its CARP-recommended program. Zoomer has already enjoyed a positive uptake from the ad community about this concept, and we are happy to create this and other special advertising concepts for all our interested advertisers.”

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PWAC offers 18 months of membership for the price of a year

The Professional Writers Association of Canada has launched a membership drive that offers new and returning freelancers 18 months of membership for the price of 12, provided signup by March 31. Plus, memberships($20 a month or $240 a year; $40 for students) give a discounted rate on the MagNet industry conference, a voucher for one free workshop and the chance to win a full MagNet package of four workshops, social events and meals.
Part of the reason for the drive is that PWAC is about t0 launch a rebooted 2.0, a searchable electronic marketplace connecting writers with editors and publishers and allowing online sale of new or existing work. People who sign up now get the opportunity to lock in free access.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

History magazines KAYAK and Canada's History take an international perspective

Both magazines published by Canada's History Society this month focus on an international perspective. Canada's History for the first time devotes its entire issue to Canadian history made beyond our borders. 
The February 2012 double-sized issue of KAYAK, its history magazine for kids 7 - 12 is being distributed to an estimated 20,000 schools across the country through support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Canada’s History Publisher, President and CEO Deborah Morrison said in a release: 
“This issue of KAYAK highlights our proud history within the international community, informs kids about some of the critical issues facing people their age in other places, and shows how they can play a part in easing some of the world’s tough problems.”
Digital editions:
KAYAK and Canada's History


New magazine says it will be all about happiness

One of the drawbacks of living outside the GTA is that sometimes the controlled circulation magazines that fall out of the Globe and Mail from time to time don't quite reach the 519. Hence, I have not seen a physical copy of the magazine What Makes You Happy, distributed today (Feb 10). If you are like me in this, you can read a digital edition.
Johnny Lucas, the editor, says in a release that -- not surprisingly, given the title -- the magazine is about all things happy.
“We conducted in-depth research on the concept for this magazine and every person – without exception – was energized to talk about happiness and eager to hear what makes others happy – so that’s what we’re about!” said Johnny Lucas, the magazine’s editor. “No one didn’t get it. Everyone was interested in reading about positive things and happiness. Advertisers in particular were clear and enthusiastic about wanting to be associated with positive messages.”
The first 68-page issue has the result of an international happiness poll conducted by the research firm Ipsos, which began tracking people's happiness in 2007. (In the survey, 27% of Canadians described themselves as "very happy".) The cover story is about Newfoundland comedian Rick Mercer, crowing that he has the best job in the country.
The magazine, published by Everybody Eats Corporation, is scheduled to be published six times a year and will, in addition to newspaper controlled distribution, be available by subscription. The next issue is due out in mid-June. The circulation for the first issue was 54,000 copies, but Lucas told Mastheadonline that forthcoming editions will have a national reach of 150,000, although not on newsstands.


Thursday, February 09, 2012

Shane Smith of Vice to talk about secrets of success at Toronto conference

 Marketing magazine is featuring Shane Smith, the co-founder of Vice magazine and Vice Media as the keynote speaker in its Young Influencers conference, Thursday, Feb 23 8 a.m. to 4 the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library. Not coincident with his appearance is a feature by Marketing's editor Tom Gierasimczuk  in this week's issue relating how the hipster bible, launched only a decade ago in Montreal, is showing the way for media by essentially leaving behind its "magazine" beginnings in order to pursue the creation of content across platforms and verticals and grow into a company valued at $1 billion today.
“The magazine is less than 5% of our total revenue,” growls Smith, bleary eyed from the previous day’s flight from Los Angeles where he and creative director Eddy Moretti shopped their new independent film and photo project. The plan is for it to live as an online branded content community, joining an expansive network that Vice already curates and sells to complementary brands....
Smith is fond of saying that he handed the magazine over to the interns years ago. It’s a typically effective anecdote to demonstrate that these days, he and Toronto-raised Alvi and Moretti, are busy following the money to where brands are spending it on Vice’s verticals and platforms. Last month’s billion-dollar valuation by Forbes magazine had to do with the verified statement by Smith that “if we don’t answer our phones in 2012, we’ll double—likely triple—in size.”
[Update: All free tickets have been claimed.] Tickets for the conference are $425 each and we have five of them to give away, courtesy of Marketing. The first five readers to send their coordinates (name, e-mail) to canadianmags[at]gmail[dot] com will get them.
Related posts:

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Magazine world view: Domino back, as special; Thomson Reuters heads off strike; HELLO! doesn't "copy approve"

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Second half 2011 FAS FAX results show 4.6% over all circ decline

Canadian magazines that are measured by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) showed an average decline of about 4.6% in total audited circulation in the last 6 months of 2011, compared with the same period the year previously. According to ABC FAS FAX data just released, Canadian ABC-measured titles had total circulation of 9.3 million compared to 9.8 million a year ago. Total paid and verified circulation, net of controlled copies, was 6,648,000 in 2011 compared with 6,994,000 in 2010 and was down 6.3%. Subscriptions were down about 5.9% and single copy sales down about 4.2%.
Among the largest major gainers in total circulation were Hello! Canada, Chatelaine, Today's Parent, LouLou and Elle Canada. Among the largest major decliners were publications of Reader's Digest Canada, including RD itself, its French counterpart Selection, Our Canada, More Our Canadaand Best Health; also Canadian Gardening.
Among the big gainers in single copy sales were major Rogers Media titles:  Maclean's (up 77%), Chatelaine (up 32%) and LouLou (up 15%).

U.S. FAS FAX results reported by Folio: showed that total paid circulation was down about 1%, from 305.5 milion to 302.45 million. Subscriptions were up about 1%, though single copy sales were down almost 10%.
Canadian magazine gainers and decliners in ABC FAS FAX results:
Gainers Avg. 6 mos 12/31/11 Avg 6 mos 12/31/10 % +/-
MOI & LA CUISINE 14,189 10,420 36.2
BC OUTDOORS SPORT FISHING 14,724 12,993 13.3
COOL! 48,750 43,894 11.1
ANIMAL 14,734 13,486 9.3
HELLO! 137,025 125,494 9.2
RENOVATION BRICOLAGE 33,123 31,107 6.5
CHATELAINE 536,447 504,681 6.3
MOI & CIE 63,693 60,073 6.0
L'ACTUALITE 159,651 155,237 2.8
TODAY'S PARENT 134,214 130,909 2.5
LES AFFAIRES 74,595 72,904 2.3
DERNIERE HEURE 15,654 15,394 1.7
ELLE QUEBEC 79,352 78,346 1.3
ELLE CANADA 121,828 120,941 0.7

Decliners Avg. 6 mos 12/31/11 Avg 6 mos 12/31/10 % +/-
WHAT'S UP - CANADA'S  FAMILY MAGAZINE 5,315 47,523 (88.8)
A VOS PINCEAUX 6,131 8,094 (24.3)
FLEURS PLANTES JARDINS 43,207 55,485 (22.1)
TOUT SIMPLEMENT CLODINE 25,193 32,255 (21.9)
7 JOURS 67,024 85,532 (21.6)
OUR CANADA 177,133 225,429 (21.4)
TV HEBDO - TELEROMANS 28,994 36,668 (20.9)
MORE OF OUR CANADA 45,190 56,579 (20.1)
VITA 67,396 81,471 (17.3)
WILD 6,388 7,652 (16.5)
LE LUNDI 20,056 23,854 (15.9)
BEST HEALTH 85,184 100,575 (15.3)
CANADIAN GARDENING 100,017 116,143 (13.9)
ECHOS VEDETTES 25,798 29,799 (13.4)
PREMIUM 13,532 15,540 (12.9)
MAISON ET DEMEURE 19,190 21,882 (12.3)
MONTREAL CENTRE-VILLE 3,412 3,888 (12.2)
SELECTION READER'S DIGEST 156,227 176,710 (11.6)
READER'S DIGEST (ENGLISH) 557,701 627,197 (11.1)
CLIN D'OEIL 64,138 72,053 (11.0)

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Monday, February 06, 2012

Western Magazine Awards entries being accepted until March 2

Entries are being accepted for the Western Magazine Awards, with 30 categories reflecting 30 years of the awards program. Deadline is March 2. Winners will be announced Friday, June 15, 2012 at the Renaissance Vancouver Hotel Harbourside. There are four gold categories in which the prize is $1,000, with $750prizes in each of the written and visual categories. There is an online entry system.


Quote, unquote: Covers as conduits to websites

"As magazines are going throughout this transition from print to digital, a cover has to serve multiple purposes. It has to sell on the newsstands, but newsstands isn't that significant a part of the business model anymore, so you have to leverage what you can. Wherever that content lands you have to drive people to it. One part of the cover is that it's on the printed magazine, but a more significant part is that it drives people to the website. It's just kind of a promotional tool, to generate publicity and interest."
-- Richard Turley, the creative director of Bloomberg Business Week, in an interview on the Atlantic Wire

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Friday, February 03, 2012

Mags BC thrown into financial crisis with refusal of $150k in funding from Heritage

The Magazine Association of BC has been thrown into a crisis by the rejection of two funding applications -- totalling $151,694 -- by the Department of Canadian Heritage and its Canada Periodical Fund. In a message to its members, the MABC board said it had requested a meeting with the heritage minister James Moore, following receipt of a Jan 12 letter from Ramzi Saad, Director, Periodical Publishing Policy and Programs, Cultural Industries, which stated that the applications did not meet “The Government of Canada’s ongoing objectives … to fund projects designed to deliver measurable and tangible results, to optimize available funds, and to meet the needs of Canadians.” 
In the meantime
"We now face a seriously depleted cash reserve, and existing resources will only keep our doors open for a few more weeks. There were projects within both applications that we did not start. Unfortunately, other projects needed some up-front spending and incurred administration costs during the wait between the CPF application deadline and their decision, particularly MagsWest 2011 and the BC Ferries initiative. Projects rejected cannot reapply for funding, nor can we claim for any funds already spent. If we wish to continue any of these projects, we will have to find funding outside the CPF."
Current short-term programming is continuing, with support from the Canada Council for the annual professional development conference in March and the popular Mag Scene on Main is being financed from money received from Access Copyright. But the future of the organization lies with its 77 member magazines and their suggestions for finding funding outside the CPF , said the board.
"Our Board is refocusing on the collective nature of MABC, and will continue to work towards becoming a self-sustaining organization by first fostering relationships with our membership. We believe that our ultimate goal is to make the BC magazine industry the strongest in Canada. But we can’t do it alone.
"We need enthusiastic and committed Board members who aren’t afraid of tackling a funding crisis, and we need them now. Experience is valued, but so is gumption."
A task force is being formed to work over the next three months to problem-solve in four areas: grants/partnerships, fundraising/sponsorships, Board/Committee recruitment/development, and advocacy.
"It’s the Board’s view that our current predicament is a chance to rebuild from the ground up. We’ll be calling upon you, our members, to ask questions, get involved, and guide us through this time of transition. We’ll be reaching out to many of you directly in the weeks ahead for your input on specific issues and activities."

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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Intern sues Harper's Bazaar over unpaid work

A recent intern for Harper's Bazaar magazine has launched a lawsuit against the magazine's owners, Hearst Corporation, saying that her four-month internship violated labour laws because it was unpaid. According to a story from Reuters
Xuedan Wang, 28, was an intern at the magazine's accessories department from August to December last year, where she typically worked at least 40 hours a week, and sometimes as much as 55 hours, without pay, according to her lawsuit filed on Wednesday.
"Unpaid interns are becoming the modern-day equivalent of entry-level employees, except that employers are not paying them for the many hours they work," the lawsuit says.
Wang's suit described interns as "a crucial labor force" at Hearst. 
"If the interns weren't doing the work then they would have to hire someone else to do it," Elizabeth Wagoner, one of Wang's lawyers, said in an interview -- a sign, she said, that labor laws are being broken.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a company can offer unpaid internships only if they have an educational benefit to the intern, and not necessarily the employer.
The department says that unpaid interns must not displace regular employees and that "the employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded."


Magazine to build virtual "Spacington" in search for the ideal 21st century city

Spacing magazine, which concerns itself with urban affairs, is using Sim City software to build the perfect city. On the magazine's Spacing Toronto blog, there is a "Welcome the Spacington" page, which promises that, over a period of time -- with the ministrations of Spacing staff and contributors -- will evolve a simulated urban city into a model 21st century urban city. Right now, it's just a forested shoreline that looks suspiciously like 17th century Toronto, but the readers of Spacing are being asked to comment and make suggestions on what is to happen on that all-but-blank canvas.
During the week the Spacing team and myself [writes Dylan Collie] will attempt to develop Spacington into a walkable, densely populated, diverse cityscape. Borrowing some suggestions from our urban theorist queen, Jane Jacobs, as well as the LRT focus of 21st century urbanism, Spacington will become a simulated version urban [of the] city we all want. Check the blogs every Thursday and keep on track with our city's evolution.

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Maclean's sums up the Shafia "honour killing" trial with special 22-page section + ebook

Maclean's magazine  has published an impressive 22-page special insert in its current issue, devoted to the so-called Shafia "honour killing" trial. Plus it is offering a 99-cent e-book for the iPad app. Writer Michael Friscolanti attended the three month trial and writes a narrative that gives an in-depth look into the horrific dysfunction of one family.
The story of the murders of the Shafia sisters and their "stepmother" Rona Amir Mohammed, is not just an account of what happened on that pitch-black night at the Kingston Mills locks, where the victims were found drowned. It's also a story of cries for help that were missed or ignored; sibling rivalry and family snitches; passionate young love; and old-fashioned police detective work. And it's a story about a custom-built courtroom, where father, mother - but not son - took the stand to proclaim their innocence.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Time Inc.'s Maghound single copy sales venture
is closing

Announced with considerable fanfare in 2008, Maghound, the Time Inc. venture to sell single copies of magazines at a discount, is to close. According to a story on Folio:, the division will be closing soon to focus the company on digital subscriptions (all 21 Time Inc. titles have now been digitized). Current users will be allowed a grace period and be advised to subscribe directly to their titles.
The Maghound service allowed people to buy subscriptions to mix and match individual titles, without locking into a subscription. At launch, it had 240 titles, somewhat less than it had projected when it announced the venture. Members of the service could sign up to receive up to 15 magazines from a range of titles and get one set for a monthly fee. The monthly fee was tiered depending on the number of titles: $4.95 for three; $7.95 for five, $9.95 for seven and $1 a title for eight or more.

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