Thursday, May 31, 2012

Magazine world view: Jubilee lowers paywall; journalism by degrees; the "boomerang" generation

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quote, unquote: Hey, Quebec, it's not all about you

"We’re cheeky, outrageous, provocative, pushy and occasionally hyperbolic with everyone— not just Quebec. Maybe we should publish a notice on every non-Quebec cover. Here’s Uncle Sam, giving the ‘up yours’ motion to Maclean’s readers. Here’s the pope, literally turning his back on the Catholic Church’s myriad sex scandals. Here’s Adolf Hitler, making an ideological return to Europe, Pakistan and Russia. You see, Quebec? It’s not all about you."
-- Maclean's Quebec bureau chief Martin Patriquin, responding to a miscellany of criticisms from various other media outlets (whom he characterized as "self-appointed defenders") concerning last week's cover (shown) about the student uprising.


Kids these days: some print products have never been more popular among the young

According to data analysis done by Condé Nast of historical data from the media research company Gfk MRI, some print products have never been more popular among the young. A story published by Audience Development reports some surprising trends in consumer readership.
Some categories -- fashion/beauty, men's, celebrity, health and upscale lifestyle titles -- attract more young readers today than they did 10 or even 20 years ago. Scott McDonald, senior vice president of marketing research for Conde Nast says a higher gross audience can be attributed in part to the simple existence of more magazines in some of the growing categories, such as fashion and beauty.
For food, travel and upscale lifestyle titles, the gross audience of people 18-24 has seen its index jump from 11 in 1991 to almost 25 in 2011. However the recession took a real toll on shelter titles, which were 13 in 1991 and are 10 now.  There has been a decline in titles within the women's service category and news, he said.
“There’s always a certain amount of turnover within a category,” says McDonald. “Women’s service magazines are going through the same kind of long term decline as news magazines. There has been some dynamism within the category, though. You have the arrival of new kinds of women service magazines like O, The Oprah Magazine and Real Simple that have been successful, but their growth hasn’t offset the ‘seven sisters,’”(referring to Better Homes & Gardens, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Ladies' Home Journal, McCall's, Redbook and Woman's Day.)
“It’s fundamentally wrong to say young people don’t read magazines printed on paper,” says McDonald. “In just the basic ink on paper proposition: you’ve had enough growth that’s kept up with the interest of the population; they’re (young people) still reading it. It’s a more complicated story, and if it’s dominated by looking at the decline of Reader’s Digest, TV Guide or the ‘seven sisters,’ then it’s missing the real story of what’s going on.”

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Sharp Magazine partners with The Bay to pick Canada's Sharpest Man

Sharp Magazine and The Bay are partnering to determine who's Canada's Sharpest Man. The national one-month contest begins June 1. Until June 10, men are invited to visit one of the colourful photo kiosks set up by the men's departments of the Bay in downtown Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver and capture themselves in their stylish duds.
The photos will be uploaded to After June 10, men across Canada may submit their photos online. Readers will vote and select the top three entries from each city and the top three online.
From these 15 finalists, a panel -- Jeremy Freed, Sharp Magazine editor-in-chief, Suzanne Timmins, fashion director of The Bay and Shawn Hewson, Project Runway Canada judge and Bustle clothing designer -- will select the winner, who will receive a $5,000 shopping spree in The Bay's West End Shop and be flown to Toronto to be in a four-page photo shoot for the magazine's September Style issue.


Regional magazine volunteers of the year named

Volunteers of the Year for 2011 have been named by the five regional magazine associations from across the country, thereby joining Joyce Byrne, who was recently named national volunteer of the year. The five who will be honoured, with Byrne, at the Magazines Canada luncheon on Thursday, June 7 during the MagNet national conference, are: 
  • Magazine Association of BC -- Jenn Farrell, freelance writer and editor and former managing editor of subTerrain. Currently vice-president of MagsBC;
  • Alberta Magazine Publishers Association --  (co-winners) Bobbi Beatty, managing editor of Other Voices; and Kayla Nash, editorial assistant at Lethbridge Living;
  • Magazines Ontario -- Christopher Purcell, vice-president of consumer marketing at TC Transcontinental, overseeing the circulation strategy for 15 English and French titles, including Canadian Living, Coup de Pouce, Elle, Style at Home, The Hockey News and Les Affaires;
  • Magazines du Québec-- Sylvain Bédard, editor in chief of TC Media's finance group ((Investment Executive and Finance et Investissement) since 2008, Bédard has also overseen Commerce, Commerce Prestige, Affaires PLUS, PME and Vision durable for three years. From March 2000 to December 2005, he served as editor-in-chief and associate editor of Finance et Investissement. He was co-chair of Magazines du Québec in 2010 and 11;
  • Atlantic Magazines Association -- Christine Beevis Trickett, editor of digital and print publications for Nature Conservancy of Canada, responsible for the bilingual print magazine The Ark/L'Arche. She has been published in a number of magazines including Saltscapes and The Coast. She is a board member of the AMA and co-chair of the Editors' Association of Canada Nova Scotia branch.

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Tab Times, a new digital magazine all about tablets, delivered as a free iPad app

Just as there sprang up magazines about personal computing when the PC was launched 20 years ago, a new online business magazine entirely devoted to tablets has been launched in New York called TabTimes, delivered as a free iPad application.
"The iPad has already changed the lives of tens of millions of people," said a release. "TabTimes for iPad will report on the front lines of this revolution with a business perspective. It will focus on how tablets are used for business, work and productivity, with a mix of news, features, reviews, interviews and how-to articles."
The magazine is updated throughout the day, with a main feature published every weekday evening at 8 p.m. EST and early in the morning on weekends.
The app is available at the App Store under the business category.


New column for This Magazine explores the stories that don't get done

This Magazine has launched a column called Stories Undone, to highlight stories that should be covered by the Canadian media but aren't. It's to be posted on the This website every second Monday and is written by Bilbo Poynter, the co-founder and executive director of the Canadian Centre for Investigative Reporting.
"Sometimes I’ll offer why it is I think a given story hasn’t been taken up," he says, in his opening column, "while other times I’ll simply identify a story I think should be done. Not all of them will be investigative in nature, but many of them will be. The inspiration for Stories Undone lies somewhere in-between the worthwhile Project Censored and the more recent column by Steven Brill for Reuters."
In his first column, he asks the very apt question about why coverage of the Quebec tuition hike story makes no mention of Canada's signature of the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, wherein it committed to higher education being made “equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education;”
Poynter has worked as a researcher, associate producer and reporter on numerous investigative projects, including with the CBC’s award-winning Investigative Unit. He was the first Canadian to work at the Center for Investigative Reporting in California and is a past recipient of a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism in Washington, D.C. He also developed and teaches the investigative journalism course at Mohawk College. His reports have been seen and heard on CBC National Radio News,, As It Happens, the Canadian Press, The Montreal Gazette, J-Source and CTV.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Débrouillards and L’actualité tie for Quebec Magazine of the Year

Magazine of the Year award in Quebec was a tie this year: Débrouillards, a scientific magazine aimed at youth (celebrating its 30th anniversary), and L’actualité, the French-language counterpart of Maclean's. Alec Castonguay of L’actualité was awarded the Prix Jean Paré, named in honour of a former editor of the magazine. The annual awards are presented by the Association Quebecoise des Editeurs de Magazines (AQEM). 
Sylvain  Bédard of Transcontinental Media was named Volunteer of the Year and Francine Tremblay received the award for outstanding service to the magazine industry.

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Magazine world view: NUJ skint; Layoffs, the movie; Hot Rod relaunch; Press Gazette goes mostly digital

"Quick Hit" tools for magazine ad sales released by Magazines Canada

Health & Beauty
Magazines Canada has released a series of "Category Quick Hits", tools for adaptation by magazines sales professionals for discussions with media planners and advertisers. 
The focus is on how their brands fit in and can succeed with magazine media in five categories:Automotive; Financial;Travel;Consumer Packaged Goods;and Health and Beauty.
Based on the latest and most compelling third-party research, the Quick Hit documents provide a response to why magazines are essential to advertisers in key advertiser categories.
PDFs are available for download in both French and English.


Finalists named for PWAC's
Editor of the Year award

Finalists have been named for the Editor of the Year award presented annually by the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC). They are
Rob Kelly, Editor-in-Chief, The Lawyers Weekly
Jennifer Reynolds, Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Family
Diana Swift, Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Health
“This year we received more nominations for our Editor of the Year award than in any previous year, meaning these finalists rose to the top of a crowded field,” said PWAC President Craig Silverman. “This is a special award because it enables Canada’s freelance writers to recognize the work of Canadian editors. Our finalists are respected professionals who treat writers as partners and peers. Congratulations to all three of them.”
The Editor of the Year and two honourable mentions will be named during the Writers’ Awards Luncheon at the MagNet magazine conference on June 8 in Toronto.
Written nominations are submitted by PWAC members and a panel of three member judges evaluate the nominees based on criteria that includes editing and communications skills, the ability to bring out the best in writers, and the fairness of pay rates and contracts.
PWAC, established in 1976, is the national organization representing close to 700 freelance writers and journalists in Canada.

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Spacing magazine looks on the light side of disaster with "end of the world" trailer

Video promotions are becoming more common for magazines these days, but Spacing magazine's effort on behalf of its "Disaster" issue is uncommonly good and good fun -- a parody of an "end of the world" movie trailer morphed out of illustrations and photos from the issue.
Among the features in the Toronto magazine's summer 2012 issue are columnist John Lorinc writing about the restoration of the RC Harris Water Treatment Plant; Shawn Micallef tweeting a fictional American invasion of the city in 2018; A story asking how Toronto would change if there were to be a serious fuel shortage; and whether the CN Tower could withstand an inevitable earthquake.
Video Production, Editing, and Graphics: 
Sam Javanrouh; Photos: 
Sam Javanrouh, Rob Pinciuc, Toronto Archives; Illustrations: 
Steve Murray, Mathew Borrett, Matthew Blackett;Script: Todd Harrison & Matthew Blackett

Friday, May 25, 2012

Canada Council suspends Flying Squad applications while it undertakes program review

The Canada Council for the Arts has suspended the October 2012 competition for the Flying Squad with the intent of undertaking a comprehensive program review. The Flying Squad has been an important source of organizational assistance and improvement for arts organizations of all kinds. In 2008 the Flying Squad's remit was expanded from mentorship and consultations for theatre and dance companies to include book and magazine publishing and, in 2010, was expanded again to include assistance to associations and festivals.
“The Flying Squad was innovative in its design and intent when it was created in the 1990s and it has had a very positive impact on the milieu. We know, however, that the context for arts organizations has evolved,” said Director and CEO Robert Sirman. “This review is an opportunity to chart a future course that retains the best successes and learnings of the program. Our objective is to benefit the arts sector with a well integrated approach to organizational support. With our financial situation stable for the next three years, we can move forward with this review as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure our programs continue to be relevant, cost-effective and responsive to the changing needs of the community.”
Applicants to the most recent April) deadline for the program will follow the normal process and successful applicants will be funded from the existing budget.The results of the program review is expected before the spring of 2013.


Maclean's "does it again", says La Presse of the current hard-hitting cover

The newspaper La Presse notes that Maclean's magazine has "done it again" with its controversial current cover on the student strikes and demonstrations in Quebec.
'The latest issue shows the a photo of a protester in fury, whose red mask reveals only the eyes, under the title "Quebec's new ruling class."
The newspaper points out that it's only a year and a half since Maclean's raised a furor with (and was reprimanded for) its cover image of Bonhomme holding a briefcase full of money and a coverline calling Quebec "the most corrupt province."
The main feature of the current issue is by Quebec bureau chief Martin Patriquin, accompanied by a column by Paul Wells.
Patriquin tells La Presse that he does not believe the new issue gives a distorted picture of the situation. "I am completely comfortable with the coverage," he said.

Writers' Union unveils updated Writer's Bill of Rights for the Digital Age

The Writers' Union of Canada (TWUC) is releasing A Writer's Bill of Rights for the Digital Age: 2.0. It's an updated version of a document unveiled in 2011 with changes based on feedback from writers.
It's largely concerned with protecting the digital rights of writers and ensuring that they receive their fair share of proceeds from the sale of ebooks. It also calls on libraries to buy digital copies only from rightsholders or their approved licensing agencies.
"The Bill is aspirational and directional and will evolve as the landscape changes," says a message from chair Greg Hollingshead.  "We may not get to where we want to be overnight, but we hope that by working with you we will soon be able to assure writers their due rights and incomes in the digital age."

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U.S. "non-traditional" circulation methods pass newsstand circ for the first time

The recent tectonic shifts of the U.S. consumer magazine business is probably no better illustrated  than by the report of alterations in circulation business practices over the past four years (2007 - 2011).
Publishers are apparently discovering the favourable economics of replacing the newsstand circulation they have lost to recession and changing technology with so-called "Paragraph 6" circulation and "replica editions".
Paragraph 6 refers to the segment of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) form where publishers report alternative methods of circulation (verified, sponsored, partnership, paid sponsored, award (mostly airline miles redemptions), combination (selling two or more publications at reduced prices, usually below half the basic price.)
According to an extensive roundup story in Audience Development, Paragraph 6 circulation (37 million) in 2011 exceeded the amount of newsstand circulation (31 million) for the first time.
"These sources are generally considered of “lesser quality” than individually sold circulation sources. That’s why they are categorized separately on ABC statements. Paragraph 6 sources have become a powerful and steady influence in economically sustaining circulation levels."

Read more »

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Toronto Life launches "Neighbourhoods" offering "the perfect Saturday"

Toronto Life is launching its newest line extension -- Neighbourhoods -- which is a guide to 300 of the best places to shop, eat and drink and detailed itineraries for perfect Saturdays in the city. The guide is on newsstands now. The magazine is celebrating the launch with an event in association with the Shops of Summerhill, the well-known Rosedale strip of high-end stores (sometimes called "The Five Thieves" even by people who love them). The stores are featured on the cover of the guide. "Perfect Saturday at the Shops of Summerhhill" is a drop-by event on Saturday, June 9 for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.where shoppers can sample various items, enter a contest and meet Toronto Life's editors. 
(The magazine's online site already has a Rosedale-Summerhill Guide as well as similar guides to such destinations as Gerrad Street East, Bloor West Village, St. Clair West, The Danforth and The Path.)

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Best Practices Guide for Canadian magazine industry released for discussion and comment

A collaboration between the Professional Writers Association of Canada, the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors and Magazines Canada led recently to the creation of a Best Practices Guide for the Canadian magazine industry. (A draft has been released and can now be downloaded here.)
(I have a particular interest because it was my suggestion originally that we try to capture the various obligations and responsibilities that editors, publishers and freelance contributors have to each other and to the magazines for which they work.) 
Part of the reason this document was thought to be a good idea was that there were widespread misunderstandings about what best practices were and how we should behave with and to each other, not least because of disagreements about contracts, rights, payments and working conditions.
Read more »

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ontario Bar Association unveils its new
magazine JUST.

The Ontario Bar Association has unveiled a virtually new publication called JUST. for lawyers in Ontario. The six-times-a year magazine (tagline: "For people with a calling") was unveiled Wednesday night at a reception at the Trump International Hotel on Bay Street in Toronto.

The OBA has been producing a house-organ style publication Briefly Speaking for its members for 33 years and since 2006 it has been a magazine. But based on readership research it has repositioned and completely redesigned it to provide a balance of industry and lifestyle content. The relaunch process has been directed by editor Catherine Brennan and the rebranding and new design was done with the assistance of Espresso Inc. The art director is Janet Weldon. Part of the magazine's content is written mostly by practitioners and is bilingual, French and English; in French, the magazine is called JUSTE.
"JUST. is the only legal magazine that specifically targets Ontario lawyers," said a release. "As the voice of Ontario's legal profession, the OBA draws upon the diverse expertise of its membership to provide content that is interesting and relevant.
"We talk to our readers as people, not just lawyers, and get that there's more to the industry than the everyday workday. We are enlightened, engaging and relevant, committed to being the only magazine for all things legal in Ontario."
The print edition has a controlled distribution of 18,000 including 17,000 lawyers, judges and law students across Ontario who are OBA member. A digital edition is available at, and through a mobile application; the publication will be available as a tablet edition in June for Apple and Android devices.
A one-time, full-page ad in the magazine is $3,025.

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Quote, unquote: On never not being editor-in-chief

“I was always a great believer in starting at the top. I really think that focusing on a career and working your way up is way way way overestimated.”
-- Glenda Bailey, editor-in-chief of  Harper's Bazaar, quoted in the New York Observer from a TV interview with the TV show The Conversation


Sportsnet delivers content on a branded sports page in Toronto freepaper Tonight

Rogers's Sportsnet magazine and other media content is now the branded source of sports information in the Toronto freevening paper Tonight. For instance, in a sample issue online, there are columns by Mike Farwell and Sid Seixeiro of radio station SN590 and a story by Kasie Hollins, the digital content editor.


Joyce Byrne of Venture Publishing named Magazines Canada volunteer of the year

Joyce Byrne, an indefatigable and generous contributor to the magazine industry in Canada generally and Alberta magazines in particular, has been named Magazines Canada's Volunteer of the Year for 2011. One award is made annually to someone whose outstanding volunteer contributions have had a national impact. 
"Joyce is a wonderful mentor for the magazine community," said Deborah Morrison, the chair of Magazines Canada's board and president and CEO of Canada's National History Society. "She's a talented publisher who is always enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge and networks with others. Most importantly, she always does so with warmth and humour."
Byrne, who is vice-president and associate publisher of Venture Publishing of Edmonton, has been on the Magazines Canada's board for 10 years and currently sits on the government relations committee and MagNet curriculum task force. She has chaired the professional development committee since 2007. In Alberta, she serves on the board of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association and sits on the association's conference committee.
Prior to joining Venture, Byrne was publisher of Toronto-based This Magazine.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Veteran art director Ken Rodmell to be feted at Regional Design Awards

Ken Rodmell, considered by many to be the dean of Canadian art directors, will be celebrated on June 26, 6 p.m. at The Hoxton, 69 Bathurst Street, Toronto as part of Design Edge Canada's Regional Design Awards (the Reggies). The event is presented in collaboration with the  Toronto chapter of the Communication Designers Association (CDA). According to a Design Edge post Rodmell will present a short retrospective of his life's work, sharing stories of his methods, mentors, career and craft.
Rodmell, winner of the Les Usherwood Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Advertising & Design Club of Canada, as well as the National Magazine Awards' Lifetime Achievement Award, has art directed such prominent publications as Canadian Art, Canadian Business, Quill and Quire, Where, Toronto Life, and Toronto Life Fashion. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design, Rodmell went on to be a long-time instructor in OCAD University's Graphic Design program.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Magazine world view: Print still big in OZ; is USPS really broke?; LA Magazine shuttered


Quote, unquote: On the mistaken pursuit of counting customers

"Publishers willing to sell a magazine like Wired, Vanity Fair or GQ for a mere $5.00 for the entire year, need to blame no one but themselves if their newsstands sales are declining.  For the magazine industry to survive and thrive we have to start charging the fair value for the content and experience magazines deliver, whether on the newsstand, digital or by subscription."
-- Samir "Mr. Magazine" Husni, writing about a business model where magazines sell themselves for practically nothing.

Quote, unquote: Freelancers should be nice, deliver on time and write well. Pick at least two

"You get work however you get work, but people keep working in a freelance world (and more and more of today’s world is freelance), because their work is good, because they are easy to get along with and because they deliver the work on time. And you don’t even need all three! Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. People will forgive the lateness of your work if it is good and they like you. And you don’t have to be as good as everyone else if you’re on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you."
-- The "secret freelancer knowledge" shared by author and comic book writer Neil Gaiman as part of his commencement address at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. [Thanks to David Hayes for alerting me to this.]


Thursday, May 17, 2012

New ad promotes magazines by turning its
back to the TV

Magazines Canada has released a new promotional ad to its members for publication in their magazines. It's called Magazines Engage and shows a living room couch turned towards a rack of magazines and with its back to the big-screen TV, to show where consumer engagement is really strongest. 
Advertising creative was developed by doug & serge, responsible for other ads in an ongoing association campaign.

The ad is intended to appeal to advertisers and promote the special relationship readers have with their magazines, selecting them based on their interests and passions. 
The ad first ran in the Magazines Canada quarterly Canadian Magazines Canadiens and member magazines can download it.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Banish "insalubrious emphasis" and write from life; Geist offers two writerly workshops

Geist magazine is offering two writerly workshops in Vancouver on the weekend of June 2 and 3. The one is Writing from Life with Mary Shendlinger, a writing and publishing teacher and co-founder and senior editor of the magazine. The other is The Art of the Sentence, with Geist publisher Stephen Osborne. Each is $50; together, they're $75.The workshops are from 1-4 at the Project Space, 222 East Georgia Street.
  • Writing from Life is a workshop "for the emerging writer, the seasoned professional, and everyone in between who is writing (or thinking about writing) a memoir, true story, or personal essay."
  • The Art of the Sentence "offers practical tips, handouts and copious examples on how to liven up your writing by using strong verbs and precise language, and how to spot trouble by rooting out excessive modifiers, insalubrious emphasis and weak constructions. You're guaranteed to leave the workshop with at least one great sentence."


Bloomberg Businessweek wins magazine of the year from Society of Publication Designers

Admirers of the design of Bloomberg Businessweek (of which I am one) will be pleased to know that the Society of Publication Designers (SPD) has named it Magazine of the Year. According to a story in Folio:, BBW beat out IL – Intelligence in Lifestyle, Lotus, New York, Port, TIME and  last year's Gold winner, GQ.
(Those who've been fortunate enough to get tickets for the June 5 MagNet Marquee event at the MagNet conference will hear from the head of the team that won the award, creative director Richard Turley.)   


Tight money is at the root of joint NMAs and KRWs, says Canadian Business Press

Money, or the shortage of it, is the principal reason for the shared evening between the Kenneth R. Wilson awards for b2b press and the National Magazine Awards, according to Jim Hall, a board member of the Canadian Business Press, which is co-producing the awards with Magazines Canada. He told Masthead that the unaccustomed alignment was based on financial considerations.
"We did have a reduction in funding, as most awards programs did, from the Department of Canadian Heritage. There is still funding, but they've cut back significantly in terms of awards programs," said Hall. "This looked like a reasonable approach from a financial perspective to co-stage the awards at the same time, and to do it in a very professional way."
Apparently when the KRWs and the Magazine Awards announced the joint schedule in April, some of their message did not get through to trade publishers. For instance that, while NMA attendees get a sit-down dinner, KRW attenders must pay for ticket if they want to join them following their own awards and a joint cocktail reception. But KRW ticket holders are invited to watch a simulcast of the NMAs on screen in the Round Room at the Carlu and join the Magawards people for dessert at no additional cost.   
Hall said that the CBP is "in the process of developing new purposes and bylaws, with a new statement of purpose, and one of the key elements in the statement is education and the ongoing KRW awards." That involves a "very much expanded KRW" for 2013, integrating a full day of education, he added. The educational component could involve KRW judges offering their thoughts on submissions, said Hall. 
"This is a transition year, and we hope it transitions to a dynamic platform," said Hall. "KRW is a super event, I've been going to it for 32 years, it's something I wouldn't miss." 
Related posts:

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New short fiction award honours founder of
The New Quarterly

There's a new fiction prize being offered in honour of Peter Hinchcliffe, who was instrumental in the founding of The New Quarterly. It's sponsored by St. Jerome's University at the University of Waterloo, where Hinchcliffe was a lecturer for many years.
The $1,000 top prize will be awarded for a work of short fiction by a Canadian (citizen or resident) writer who has not yet published a first novel or short story collection. Though there is only one top prize, all submissions will be considered for paid publication ($250) in the magazine. Submissions must be previously unpublished. There is no word limit. All submissions will be judged blind.
The entry fee is $40 per submission, which includes a 1-year Canadian subscription (or subscription extension) to The New Quarterly. Deadline is May 28.


Quote, unquote: Truth lies in the renewal rate for digital magazines: Zinio CMO

The key thing publishers are starting to focus on now is on renewal rates. You can get a mass number of people to sign up for a free 30-day or 90-day subscriptions, but as the market is rolling into a full first year for a lot of these different devices, we’re starting to see renewal rates. And that’s where a lot of the truth is going to come out -- not only which devices are best for consuming content, but which devices and which [newsstands] offerings are really gathering consumers’ interest on an ongoing basis.
--  Zinio CMO Jeanniey Mullen talking to Online Media Daily about how digital reading and the proliferation of platforms are having an impact on the company's business. (It's a partner with Magazines Canada in its digital newsstand.)


City of Toronto remembers June Callwood with tower lights, book launch, park dedication

The CN Tower will be lit up in pink and green on Wednesday night in honour of June Callwood. She died five years ago and was known for her prodigious journalism and for her passionate advocacy in many causes. 
She is being honoured at the Parler Fort speaker series at Fort York in Toronto marking the recent release of a commemorative book It’s All About Kindness: Remembering June Callwood,(Cormorant Books), edited by Margaret McBurney. The book contains recollections by nearly 60 people who knew or worked with Callwood. The event, hosted by the CBC's Michael Enright and with music by singer Molly Johnson, will coincide with the groundbreaking of a park nearby built in her name and May 16 is being proclaimed "It's All About Kindness Day" in Toronto. An article in Quill & Quire reports
For McBurney, the book’s main purpose is to keep Callwood’s name and legacy alive among younger generations. It was inconceivable to the designer and historian that her dear friend – who wrote 30 books and more than 1,500 magazine articles, was a founding member of PEN Canada and The Writers’ Union of Canada, and had been integral in the establishment of community organizations such as the AIDS hospice Casey House, Nellie’s shelter for women and children, and Jessie’s Centre for Teenagers (now called the June Callwood Centre for Women and Families) – might vanish from popular memory.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Entries now being accepted for Canadian Online Publishing Awards 2012

Entries are now being accepted for the 2012 Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPA) which will be held in October. Deadline for entries is June 22.
Now, in a book
The awards program has been enhanced with a new "data visualization" category (e.g. interactive maps, animated infographics) and the publication of a print year book. All winners, finalists and sponsors will be published now in both an online gallery and in a book which will be distributed to all attendees of the 2012 awards. The COPAs are moving, too, to a to-be-announced downtown venue.
The awards program, produced by the publishers of Masthead, honours editorial-based online and digital publishing in 15 categories in three divisions: newspapers and broadcasters; consumer, custom, religious, and public association publishers; and business-to-business, professional association, farm, and scholarly publishers. Categories cover design, writing, and packaging, in different digital formats including websites, tablet editions, digital replicas and apps.
To be entered, work has to have been published between June 1, 2011 and June 22, 2012. Entry rules.

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KRW b2b awards are playing 2nd fiddle, says publisher, and he's boycotting them

Rumblings of discontent among people in the Canadian business and trade press about  this year's Kenneth R. Wilson Awards have now bubbled to the surface with the wide circulation of an e-mail by Jim Glionna, the president of Newcom Business Media Inc.who says he's boycotting the event.Newcom publishes Today's Trucking, Canadian Technician, Truck & Trailer, Transport Routier and Plumbing & HVAC.  
The KRWs have been a standalone event celebrating excellence in business-to-business publishing until this year when, for the first time, the two events are being held on the same evening. The KRWs are being held in the late afternoon, then share a reception before the National Magazine Awards in the evening.

Here's the text of Glionna's e-mail which has been sent to a large number of people in both business and consumer publishing:
Dear Publishers and Editors:
I am quite concerned and upset by the way in which KRW Awards are being presented this year.
Whether intended or not, the optics are not good.
The KRW Awards for excellence in B2B journalism are clearly playing second fiddle to the National Magazine Awards. Great journalism should neither be judged on the target audience it serves nor by the amount of revenue generated by the magazine in which it appears. Great journalism is great journalism… period!
For the first time in 18 years I will not be attending the 2012 KRW Awards presentation. Nor will any of our editors and publishers be attending.
My protest does not end here. I intend to do whatever I can to change the current situation. In all fairness B2B writers, publishers, and designers deserve to have their best work portrayed as being just as good as their colleagues who toil in the popular press. 
If anyone would like to assist me in this effort, I’ll take all the help I can get.
Yours truly, Jim Glionna
The background to these developments is complicated and is best followed by reading related posts from the past few years:

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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Magazine world view: New-found optimism; PG online; Peeves about PR; Speech and search

Natalie Larivière leaving as president of TC Media after six years

Natalie Larivière, the president of TC Media, is leaving the company after six years. She announced her departure in a memorandum to staff today, effective the end of June. Her note said, in part
"I am leaving TC Media satisfied that we have accomplished what we set out to do. In 2006, we set ourselves the goal of becoming a company that could drive our content, and the content of our customers, on multiple platforms. We also aimed to develop the skills necessary to offer customized promotions and content. Today our company provides improved products and services that meet the new communication needs of businesses and consumers."
Before joining Transcontinental Media, Larivière had been president and CEO of the Quebecor Media Book Publishing Group and prior to that was CEO of Groupe Archambault Inc. 
There is no word yet on who will succeed her. François Olivier, President and CEO of TC, told staff he will be stepping in on an interim basis.


enRoute magazine called number one inflight by CNN International

CNN International has named Air Canada's enRoute magazine, published by Spafax, as number 1 among the 12 best inflight magazines in the world.
It says in fairly waspish terms that inflights are "Always glossy, sometimes stupid, they await you in every seat-back pocket. But which in-flight mags are worth the read?". enRoute wins its praise for concentrating on travel rather than general interest.
"An almost ridiculously tricked-out version of the in-flight concept, Air Canada’s mag is oversized, beautifully designed, generally well written and essentially snickering at the competition.
"Just about every other mag on this list could learn something from enRoute’s classy, of-the-moment design and fantastic original photography....
"Balances breezy globalism (the issues we reviewed visited Bellingham, Washington, the Black Forest, Patagonia and seemingly everywhere else), and that Canadian thing (stories about the Northwest Territories, beer-drinking hockey players)."
The sole criticism is of heavy-handed promotion of the sponsoring airline's vacation packages.

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Recycling costs result in $32 million charge against earnings of Quebecor's TVA Group

The impact of the huge increases in recycling fees for magazines in Quebec has translated into a quarterly loss for its largest pulishing group, TVA Group Inc. According to a story in the Montreal Gazette, the company, which is the publishing division of Quebecor Media, had a loss of $1.66 a share in Q1, largely because of an impairment charge of $32.2 million logged to cover waste recovery fees for 2010, 2011 and 2012. 
President and CEO Pierre Dion said the new fees applied to magazines are arbitrary and “legally invalid.”
“They seriously compromise the financial viability and stability of an industry that makes a positive contribution to the cultural sector of our society,” Dion said in a statement.
“We are currently examining the legal remedies available to ensure that our rights are respected.”
The province of Quebec increased its charges for the Blue Box recycling program last June and, according to Magazines Canada calculations, publishers will see payments up about 340% in 2012, the year the industry is being expected to cover 90% of the costs of recycling magazines. 
The fees being charged to Quebec publishers are approximately seven times what is charged in Ontario and, under Bill 88, they can no longer use contra advertising to pay for their fees. The whole issue of U.S. and foreign magazines paying nothing towards the program has yet to be addressed.

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Rogers's closure of sends "terrible message", says its founder

Rogers Publishing didn't seem to know what to do with the various digital properties it acquired, according to the founder of, Joanna Track. In a very unusual move, she has written a highly critical article in the Globe and Mail about the closure of Sweetspot and 7 other of Rogers's sites last week. She describes the  "big fail" as not integrating the properties into the larger company's ecosystem.
"Rogers had gone blazing into the market acquiring digital properties, but there seemed to be no thought or foresight about how to integrate them into its (behemoth) system. It would be an understatement to say that the company’s digital strategy has not performed well. It doesn’t appear to have had a digital strategy."
She was critical of the treatment of the people working for the site, saying the company "started pulling them out like Jenga pieces and leveraging their skills to grow other properties."
Track saw her management contract cease late in 2010 after Rogers -- which had originally taken a minority stake -- took full ownership. She went on last year to create an online fashion and beauty site called Dealuxe
"Clearly I’m not objective, but I think Rogers has sent a terrible message to Canadians about big companies, about their future direction – instead of evolving with the times they are going back to the same old stuff they’ve been doing forever – and to entrepreneurs across the country.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Home is where the tablet is

It may be good news for magazines that research shows tablet use is most often at home, where most subscribers would be reading their magazines anyway, in whatever form. The graph, drawn from research done for Viacom, comes from a story in the eMarketer newsletter and shows that three quarters use their tablets at home and most people use them in the living room or the bedroom. Out of home,they're most likely to use them in airports/on airplanes or in coffee shops. eMarketer estimates there will be about 55 million tablet users in the U.S. by the end of this year.

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Monday, May 07, 2012

Magazines Canada outsourcing single copy warehousing to Tilwood Inc.

Magazines Canada, which provides direct to retail newsstand distribution to many of its members intends to outsource its warehousing and pick-and-pack operation to Tilwood Inc. of Brampton, effective in June.
It means that magazines using Magazines Canada distribution will be shipping draw copies to Tilwood rather than the trade organization's offices on Adelaide Street in Toronto. Client magazines will continue to deal with MC staff.
Tilwood is a marketing support, fulfillment, distribution, warehousing and data management company. Magazines Canada distributes member magazines to almost 200 retailers, and to wholesalers who supply a further 150 stores, including Chapters and Indigo.

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Sunday, May 06, 2012

Atlantic Business magazine wins
best cover award at AJAs

Atlantic Business March-April 2011
The 31st Atlantic Journalism Awards were presented Saturday in Fredericton. Gold and silver awards in magazine categories were as follows:
  • Atlantic Magazine Article
    The gold winner was Carol Moreira - Nova Scotia Open to the World (Halifax), A Place to Think; silver finalists were: Jon Tattrie - Halifax Magazine (Halifax), Justice Delayed; and Sara Jewell - Saltscapes Magazine (Bedford, NS), The Circle of Life.
  • Atlantic Magazine: Best Cover
    The gold winner was Atlantic Business Magazine (St. John's, NL), The Rise of Generation Plus, (March-April 2011); silver finalists were: East Coast Living  (Halifax), Back to Life (Winter 2011); Halifax Magazine (Halifax), Going to the Big Leagues (October 2011).
  • Atlantic Magazine: Best Profile Article
    The gold winner was Jack MacAndrew - Saltscapes Magazine (Bedford, NS) - Snowbird by Birth; silver finalists were: Alec Bruce - Atlantic Business Magazine (St. John's, NL), The Beautiful Dreaming of Wadih Fares; Jessica Burns - Halifax Magazine (Halifax), Brain Candy.
The awards have celebrated journalistic excellence and achievement in Atlantic Canada since 1981.They are managed by a volunteer industry board of directors representing print and broadcast news organizations.
Full list of gold winners and silver finalists in all categories.


Friday, May 04, 2012

Bitter lament for the young women who made

Sabrina Maddeaux, Toronto Standard's style editor and an erstwhile contributor for gives a different perspective on this week's announced closure of that site and 7 others by Rogers Media. She points out that Sweetspot was the #1 site for women aged 25-52, pulling in an estimated 125,000 unique visitors and 1.2. million pageviews per month, significantly more than either or And she points out the loss of good part-time and full-time jobs for women as a result of the closure.
"Ironically, Rogers announced an increased commitment to female consumers just weeks ago-- clearly a Rick Santorum-like commitment to women that doesn’t include choice or supporting young women in the workplace....
"The events of this week should result in some tough questions for those who control large portions of the Canadian media scene. With the axing of Sweetspot, the outlook for young female journalists and readers just got a lot more sour."


Writer Sean Rossiter to receive Lifetime Achievement Award from WMAs

Sean Rossiter
The Western Magazine Awards have announced the finalists, with winners to be named at the 30th annual gala at the Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel on Friday, June 15. A full list of finalists is available here. Winners in four gold categories will receive $1,000 each; in all written and visual categories, $750. Among the highlights
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award is to be presented to perennial Vancouver magazine writer and author Sean Rossiter. For many years he wrote the 12th & Cambie column in Vancouver magazine .
  • Finalists for Best New Magazine are 
    • Eighteen Bridges
    • HERS
    • Leap
    • S-Magazine 
  • Finalists for Trade Magazine of the Year are:
    • Alberta Oil
    • Border Crossings
    • CGA Magazine
    • Enterprise
    • Massage Matters Canada
  • Finalists for Best Online Magazine
    • BCBusiness
    • Boulderpavement
    • The Tyee
    • Wine Access
Magazine of the Year finalists (with the winner of each provincial award forming the list of finalists for Western Canada Magazine of the Year)
  • Albert/NWT
    • Alberta Venture
    • Eighteen Bridges
    • Swerve
    • Up Here
    • Up Here Business
  • BC/ Yukon
    • BCBusiness
    • Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine
    • Malahat Review
    • Vancouver Magazine
    • Western Living
  • Manitoba
    • Border Crossings
    • Canada's History
    • Geez
    • Prairie Fire
    • SANDBOX Magazine
  • Saskatchewan
    • BlackFlash
    • Grain Magazine
    • Saskatoon HOME Magazine
(Photo: Alex Waterhouse-Hayward)

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Time magazine named U.S. Magazine of the Year

Time magazine was named Magazine of the Year at Thursday evening's U.S. National Magazine Awards event presented in New York by the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). The selection was based on its issues about the death of Steve Jobs, the killing of Osama bin Laden and its "Person of the Year" issue The Protester.
Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter accepted the columns and commentary award on behalf of Christopher Hitchens, who passed away in December.  It was the second year in a row that the award went to VF and Hitchens.
Terry McDonell, who as Editor of the Time Inc. Sports Group oversees Sports Illustrated, was elected into the Magazine Editors' Hall of Fame.
Other winners and finalists for the coveted "Ellie" (an elephant sculpture created originally by the artist Alexander Calder) were:
  ♦ Inc. (active and special-interest magazines)
  ♦ Bloomberg Businessweek (general interest magazines)
  ♦ House Beautiful (lifestyle magazines)
  ♦ IEEE Spectrum (thought-leader magazine)
  ♦ O, The Oprah Magazine (women's magazines)

  ♦Gentlemen's Quarterly

  ♦ The New York Times Magazine

  ♦ Zoetrope: All-Story

  ♦ Saveur

  ♦ Harper's magazine

  ♦ Glamour

  ♦ Vogue

Digital Ellies were presented at March 20 ASME luncheon

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