Thursday, December 20, 2012

Best of the season; see you next year

At this time of year, the news about magazines slows down and it's an opportunity to take a break. So today's the last posting on Canadian Magazines until January 2, when we'll post our ever-popular look back at the high- and low-lights of the year 2012. Best of the season to all our readers and to all our friends and colleagues who work to make this a great industry.

D. B. Scott

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Revived Canadian Cover Awards and new logo
take flight

We kinda like the new logo for the Canadian Cover Awards -- the renamed Canadian Newsstand Awards, co-sponsored by Magazines Canada and the Circulation Management Association of Canada (CMC). As we reported in an earlier post, the awards were started in 2002 by Masthead, but it decided last year to discontinue them. However, it was such a valued program that the new partnership was struck to carry them on, albeit under a new name. 
The new logo was created by K9Design's Norm Lourenco, who says of it:
"The new logo represents the Canadian magazine industry, and aspires to instill pride in the nominees and winners. Magazine visuals, have been done to death. The Canada Goose, illustrated with feathers like pages, represents many aspects of the awards: the Canadian content, the leader of the flock, the best, the winner…it’s a bird in flight – it’s all good.”
The awards program is open to English- or French-language magazines and must have single copies sold in Canada, containing a minimum of 80% Canadian editorial content. The awards are sponsored by Masthead, Covers Sell, K9Design, LS Travel and the Alliance for Audited Media. Submissions are accepted starting January 7 and close January 25. Single entries are the same as the newsstand awards were ($95) but multiple entries are discounted ($75 for second entry, $55 for each additional). Entries may be submitted online. Full list of categories.  Scores will be determined half by single copy sales  half by a panel of industry judges including a retailer, a wholesaler, a circ director, a national distributor and an art director. Newsstand Marketer of the Year will continue to be awarded.
The new logo seems to complement the logo for the National Magazine Awards, created a few years ago by Hambly & Woolley. 

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Magazine world view: launches like 2007; post office hustles subs; Vice buys style bible i-D

9 out of 10 surveyed say Canadian magazines
are essential

90% of Canadians surveyed this summer say that access to Canadian magazines was important. Canadian content, they said, is essential. A Canadian Press story noted
— About seven in 10 Canadians said they read print magazines, while three in 10 said they download digital magazines.
— Of print magazine readers, about half said all or most of their reads are Canadian, while 32 per cent of digital magazine readers said they mostly read Canadian publications.
— The main reasons given for not reading print magazines were a lack of time (24 per cent) and lack of interest (21 per cent). For digital magazines, the reasons were preferring print (24 per cent), not owning an e-reader or tablet (13 per cent) and a lack of time (10 per cent).


TC Media making iPad versions of four major titles available

TC Media has announced the availability of tablet versions of homegrown versions of four of its leading consumer magazines on the Apple Newsstand. Canadian Living, Coup de pouce, ELLE Canada and ELLE Québec will be available for the iPad with interactive enhancements including videos, audio clips and slideshows.
“Our iPad editions are yet another way TC Media is expanding its multiplatform offering, allowing current and new readers to enjoy our award-winning magazines,” commented Pierre Marcoux, Senior Vice President, Business and Consumer Solutions.“Readers can expect to find the same inspiring and relevant content we have always offered in our print editions with exciting interactive features tailored for iPad.”
Current subscribers to the magazines can access a selection of issues with their existing subscriber information. Through the new app, single issues can be purchased for $C3.99 and annual subs C$19.99.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

This Magazine looking for readers to finance year-end review of stories big media missed

This Magazine is endeavouring to crowdsource $3,500 to produce its first-ever special seventh issue which highlights 25 stories that big media missed in 2012. The campaign ends December 25. 
Newsstands are crowded with year in review issues, but this isn't your standard year in review coverage. There will be no best hook-ups and break-ups of 2012. We don't care what's hot or not hot! No newsmakers, trendsetters or one's to watch. You will not see the words "baby bump" anywhere. We promise! No best movies of 2012! Worst movies of 2012! Movies you should have seen in 2012, but didn't! 
What you will find are stories about rights, the people and places that don't have them, but should. These are the stories you need to read. Stories about the lawsuits companies are using to muzzle environmental activists. A report on that other B.C. pipeline. An investigation of Nunavut's suicide crisis. You'll find all these stories, and more, in our first-ever Year in Review issue.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Industry manages to cut Ontario blue box levy increase for magazines by two-thirds

Magazines Canada has succeeded in convincing Stewardship Ontario to moderate its blue box levy for 2013. Where tonnage fees for the printed paper category were originally set to go up almost 56% to $0.0849/kg in the coming year, a more modest -- but still bracing -- increase of 18.7% to $0.0647/kg has been approved.
Stewardship Ontario publicly agreed that the proposed 2013 magazine rate was unfair and, as a result, worked within the Steward organization to find a solution [Magazines Canada said in a bulletin to members]. The rate situation is made even more egregious because Canadian publishers are paying for foreign publisher recycling. Foreign magazines contribute nothing to the financial operation of the Blue Box system despite contributing an estimated 30%+ of total magazine tonnage. It is called "free riding" and it is simply wrong. In addition to the fee reduction, Stewardship Ontario will undertake more studies on long-term fee impacts and free riders for use in 2014 rate discussions.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Paul Roelofs returning to Western Living
as art director; also Vancouver magazine

Paul Roelofs is joining Western Living, the flagship western publication of TC Media, as art director in January. He will also be art director of Vancouver magazine.
This is not Roelof's first experience with Western Living, of which he was art director from 1988 to 1993, before moving to New York, where he worked on Garden Design magazine and Saveur. He then joined Time Inc.'s launch of InStyle magazine as creative director from 1995 to 2005, during which time he also handled various spinoffs: InStyle Weddings, InStyle Home, InStyle The Look and InStyle Makeover.
Since then he has been several design ventures in Vancouver, including being creative director at Envisioning and Storytelling, AG Hair Cosmetics and, most recently, creative director and publication designer at Endpaper Publications Inc., specializing in the publishing of large-format illustrated books.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Prowling the trail of brown bears as
circulation builders

Circulation consultant Scott Bullock of Circ3 Smart Circulation Solutions has published a post on his Covers Sell blog about the ineffable (circulation) draw of brown bears as cover subjects in both Canadian Geographic and British Columbia magazines. (The blog is carried by Masthead.) Put a bear on the cover and you set single copy sales records, apparently, or at least have a higher sell-through.


Entries for Alberta Magazine Awards due by January 10

Entries are now being accepted for the Alberta Magazine Awards. The deadline for submission is January 10, 2013. The program is expanded and intends to honour the best individuals and magazines in the Alberta industry; the awards will be presented at a gala dinner March 14 at the beginning of the Alberta Magazines Conference. 
This year there are five awards categories that are open to anyone is the magazine industry; other categories are open to Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA) member magazines only. To see the details of the eligibility and the awards, go to Among the showcase awards:
  • Emerging Writer -- The Amber Webb-Bowerman award was established to honour the early work of writers in magazines who show a high degree of craft and promise; open to post-secondary students and interns in the four western provinces.
  • Achievement in Publishing -- open to all magazine professionals in various areas of publishing, including but not limited to publishers, editors, art directors, freelancers, sales managers and circulation experts.
  • Editor of the Year --  Magazine editors must have been employed by an Alberta magazine and worked on at least two consecutive issues in the year 2012. Editors of magazines that do not abide by the national Magazine Advertising-Editorial Guidelines are not eligible.
  • Best New Magazine -- open to Alberta published magazines that began 18 months ago or less
  • Volunteer of the Year -- open to anyone who has contributed more than 30 volunteer hours in 2012 to AMPA or a member magazine.

Acting editor of Canadian Geographic, Dan Rubinstein, leaving magazine

Dan Rubinstein, who for four years has been managing editor of Canadian Geographic and lately acting editor, is leaving to write and to take on a contract with the Canada Foundation for Innovation. In a memo to writers and artists with whom he'd worked and with other contacts in the industry, Rubinstein said he wasn't ruling out a return to magazines sometime in the future. He finishes with CanGeo December 21.
"Over the last four-plus years, one of the true pleasures of this job has been working with so many talented and creative contributors across Canada. I will miss that immensely. I’m proud of the work we have done together, and I have learned so much about the craft of magazine-making through your professionalism, patience and passion." 

Publishing changes at TC Media: Andrews handles consumer; Chambers handles custom

Top publishing jobs at TC Media's consumer and custom content divisions have been reorganized

Caroline Andrews adds responsibility for Canadian Living magazine and Elle Canada to her portfolio of Style at Home, Canadian Gardening, Western Living, Vancouver Magazine, The Hockey News and TV Guide as she is appointed vice-president and group publisher, consumer solutions, Toronto and Vancouver.

Lynn Chambers, who had been responsible for Canadian Living and Elle Canada, has been named vice-president, custom content and general manager of Totem Brand Stories. Chambers had been responsible for the launch of Fresh Juice magazine, a partnership with Loblaws and had been vice-president and group publisher responsible for Canadian Living, Fresh Juice and Elle Canada. Andrews had been vp and group publisher, Sports, Home, Entertainment and Western titles.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Customer complaint leads Loblaws to remove National Enquirer issue from Newfoundland stores

Loblaws supermarkets in Newfoundland has removed current issue of the National
Enquirer from the racks of Dominion stores because of a customer complaint about its "Best and Worst Beach Bodies" theme and cover.

According to a story from Global News, teacher Brandon Field posted an open letter to Loblaws on his Facebook page. Loblaws operates Dominion stores in Newfoundland.
"More and more, we are seeing the detrimental effects of bullying in our school system," Field wrote. "These magazines, which are displayed prominently at every checkout, are a very real form of bullying."
Global News published the full text of his letter and Mark Boudreau, Director of Corporate Affairs for the Atlantic Region said:
"I can assure you that it is definitely not our intent to upset customers while shopping in our stores," Boudreau said. "All magazines entering our stores are based on an authorized list with titles that we approve based on sales performance in the marketplace as well as popularity among various demographic groups....We will continue to be diligent in reviewing our policies on these types of materials entering our stores, but in the meantime, we have removed the issue of the magazine from all our Dominion stores in Newfoundland," he said. 

Halifax journalist wins inaugural long-form competition and will be published in The Walrus

A reporter for the Chronicle-Herald newspaper in Halifax has won a journalism prize that includes a $7,500 commission and see her work with the editors of The Walrus magazine and publish her long-form article there.

Selena Ross won the inaugural Canadian International Council-Walrus Long-Form Competition with her proposal (one of more than 100 submitted by journalists, academics, grad students and others) for a story about scientific research in Canada's Arctic.

The prize was judged by a selection committee of academics and senior international affairs journalists including Tony Burman, Adam Gopnik, Janice Stein, Lyse Doucet, Nahlah Ayed, and the editor and co-publisher of The Walrus, John Macfarlane.
Macfarlane, The Walrus editor and co-publisher, said  [in a release] the judges were “impressed by the quality and breadth of the entries we received, and we’re pleased that Ross will be working with The Walrus to produce the kind of high-quality, long-form journalism that our readers have come to expect.”

Ross, 29, grew up in Ottawa and has been a general assignment reporter with The Herald since June 2011.

In Halifax, she has reported on such topics as health care, gender issues, domestic violence and the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Details of "e-book showdown" revealed by Canadian Writers Group's Derek Finkle

Magazine publishers large and small would do well to take the time to read and heed a long, three-part article just published by Derek Finkle on Story Board. It's called The E-Book Showdown and centres on the contractual issues and rights of independent and freelance writers and their future business relations with publishers. 
Finkle's thesis seems to be that we are at a watershed moment where both publishers and writers have to recognize the importance and financial potential of electronic rights and the need to find a reasonable accommodation.
What gives this article particular resonance is that Finkle names names and quotes correspondence and conversations with three of the major players in the Toronto market -- Toronto Life, Toronto Star and The Walrus. While this may chagrin or enrage the participants, it at last lays a public table for a conversation about how writers should be compensated beyond the fees they have traditionally been paid for print publication. 
"The Canadian Writers Group has had a front-row seat on early negotiations – some might say tugs-of-war – between writers and publishers over single-length e-book rights. In this series, I’d like to focus on the negotiations our agency has had around these issues on our writers’ behalf with the Toronto Star, Toronto Life and the Walrus. I will also share some insights about our experience publishing e-books on behalf of our writers. I am doing so to help spark a conversation around these issues and in the hope that my experience will help writers considering publishing e-books independently – or those who have been approached by publications wishing to publish e-books of their work – make informed decisions."
It should be made clear that Finkle's Canadian Writers Group is both an agency on behalf of writers and, now, a publisher of e-books itself. But let's take that for now as a positive -- at least the CWG is engaged and has inside information (though I imagine that publishers and editors will be exceedingly careful in future about what they say.)
The argument that magazine publishers have made in recent years was that they weren't making any money on electronic rights and websites and therefore couldn't afford to pay writers additional fees.The nub of Finkle's article is that such arguments no longer hold, particularly as writers discover they can profitably retain such rights for themselves.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Quote, unquote: On whether journalists' job is to ferret out political lies

"Blaming a lazy or partisan public for politicians’ lies seems more than a little odd, especially since there are people whose job it is to hold politicians accountable: Those people are called “journalists.” And if they do not make politicians pay a price for lying, those politicians are not likely to stop any time soon."
-- Fairness and Accuracy in Media (FAIR)'s Peter Hart in his critique of Michael Scherer's October 15 cover TIME magazine cover story about political lying.


Canadian magazines and printers receive Ancient Forest Friendly awards

Several Canadian magazines have won 2012 Ancient Forest Friendly awards, indicating their contribution to the protection of old-growth forests, climate and species by their on-the-ground conservation initiatives. 

Ancient Forest Friendly™ Gold is awarded to Alternatives Journal, Now Magazine, Quill & Quire, and Watershed Sentinel.

TC Media also receives a "Conservation Supporter Award" for its continued progress and significant increase in the use of eco-papers between 2011 and 2012. 

"Best in Class" awards went to TC Transcontinental Printing  (printers over 250,000 tonnes)  and St. Joseph Media and Garden Making magazine (consumer magazines), EarthColor (printers over 25,000 tonnes), Hemlock Printers (over 2,500 tonnes)  and Ecoprint (under 2,500 tonnes). 
The awards are organized by conservation campaigner Canopy and were to be presented Thursday at a reception. 
“It’s exciting to see the change this year’s Ancient Forest Friendly Award winners are spearheading in their industries,” says Canopy’s Campaign Director Amanda Carr. “These companies are showing their competitors, customers, and advertisers what real sustainability and environmental leadership look like.”

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Quote, unquote: Value is more in content than format

"We feel the value is in our content more than the format so that’s why we set the digital to be the same as print and we plan to test the uptake of a print and digital bundle at a higher price."
--  The Economist's senior vice-president-head of circulation Michael Brunt, quoted by Audience Development about the magazine's decision to unbundle print and digital. A reader can now get a print or a digital sub for $127 or both for $160. He says about 10% of their file is paid, digital-only circulation, but they are now noticing that a quarter are taking digital-only, a quarter print-only and half are taking the print-digital bundle.


Cottage Life Media now wholly owned by
Blue Ant Media

Cottage Life Media, the publishers of Cottage Life, Cottage, Outdoor Canada, Canadian Home Workshop and their associated websites and consumer shows, has been purchased by Blue Ant Media.

The purchase is not wholly a surprise, since Blue Ant bought a minority stake in the 25-year-old Cottage Life Media (formerly Quarto Communications) and has been widely believed to be primarily focussed on the value of the Cottage Life brand as a specialty television property. Blue Ant, helmed by former Alliance Atlantis CEO Michael MacMillan, recently bought Bold TV from the CBC and is seeking to rebrand it as Cottage Life TV. Blue Ant is 25% owned by Torstar.
“The acquisition by Blue Ant will provide strategic extension and expansion of the Cottage Life brand, positioning it for continued success in the rapidly changing media environment,” said Al Zikovitz, CEO, and President, Cottage Life Media Inc. (Zikovitz will continue to lead the company.) "It will give our readers and our advertisers increased media options that feature coast-to-coast interests."
“We are excited to have the outstanding team at Cottage Life join Blue Ant Media and we look forward to continuing to build on the strong equity of this treasured brand,” said MacMillan, CEO, Blue Ant Media. “Our goal is to be leaders in content creation and distribution and this allows us to leverage broadcast, digital and publishing to engage a targeted audience across all platforms.”
Blue Ant Media owns specialty channels Travel+Escape, Bite TV and AUX TV along with four premium, commercial-free channels Oasis HD, HIFI, eqHD, radX and their companion websites. Blue Ant Media’s digital publishing division produces daily content for its web and mobile sites and recently launched AUX Magazine, a monthly music tablet magazine.

Related posts:

Rogers Media to custom-publish magazine for Wal-Mart starting in April

Rogers Media is to custom publish a magazine for Walmart Canada called Walmart Live Better. It's the outcome of a request for proposal earlier this year and the ministrations of the ad agencies JWT Toronto and Mindshare Canada which developed the concept and strategy for the magazine. 

Rogers will create the content (food, home, health, beauty and fashion) for the 6-times-a-year magazine, starting in April, according to a story in Marketing magazine. Rogers will also sell 3rd-party advertising and a full-page ad will cost $27,000. Walmart will handle distribution of 1 million copies an issue  through its Walmart supercentres.
“We’re creating a vehicle to really extend that brand promise of live better, and a magazine with deep content is the way to do it,” said Jacqueline Loch, vice-president of Rogers’ Content Solutions group. “It’s a believable, credible way to get engagement with consumers.”
There are plans to produce a French edition starting before the end of 2013 and an iPad version. There will be the usual ancillary items such as a dedicated microsite, an e-newsletter and e-blast and branded social media.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Canadian Magazines Job Board (over there on the right) is an effective way to reach out to find the right person for the position. If you've never used it, try it for half price with our limited-time offer. Simply go to POST A JOB, complete the form and insert the code NEWBIZ.

Magazine world view: Dead Daily; dead laptop; jumping recipes; record launches


Canada's History to publish album marking
The Great War

Canada's History magazine has struck a deal with Harper Collins Canada to mark the centennial of the start of the First World War with Canada's Great War Album. The history magazine is asking its readers and other Canadians to share letters, stories, artifacts and images from that conflict to be gathered together and published in 2014. They prefer photos (or letters or other ephemera) that have been digitally scanned to 300 dpi, as jpegs. Submissions will be accepted until August 2013.
(Image: Inspection of the 4th Canadian Division by His Majesty the King George V, Dominion Day, 1916, Aldershot, London and Portsmouth. Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-022663)

Redesigned Coup de pouce magazine a hit with single and sub buyers

The redesign of TC Media's Coup de pouce magazine has been a hit with readers, measured by the record-breaking sale of single copies of the November 2012 issue. There were 79,259 sales (augmenting its 173,945 subscriptions -- up 23,000). The website had over 3.1 million page views in October.  
“These successes are the result of the outstanding work done by the Coup de pouce team, and particularly the one of its Editor-in-chief by interim and content development director, Sylvie Poirier, who guided the project with great skill from the very beginning,” said Lise Paul-Hus, Publisher and Vice President, Consumer Solutions, Montreal for TC Media. “We are very proud to see that we were able to change while remaining close to our female and male readers. It is a great mark of their loyalty and trust in us.

PR panel hosted by CSME to tell editors how they can work together

This Thursday evening in Toronto, the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME) has asked three professional public relations practitioners to tell editors how they can work together. The mixer at Dominion on Queen, 500 Queen St. E (east of Parliament), Thursday, December 6, 6:00 pm and is $10 for members, $25 for non-members in advance ($15 and $30 at the door). Book in advance, and get more information at CSME site. 

The panelists are:
  • Sarah Micak is an account manager at Veritas Communications who at present does PR for brands such as Arm & Hammer, Nair, Lise Watier and Target.
  • Emily Armstrong is a senior consultant at Marshall Fenn Communications and was most recently director of public relations for Fairmont Hotels and manager for Tourism Vancouver’s media relations program through the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. 
  • Chris Hollinrake has been in the public relations industry since 1997, and through his own agency Hollinrake Communication now works with clients such as Stanley Black & Decker Canada (CDIY Group), OMEGA and Longines luxury watches, MasterLock, and others.

Quote, unquote: On the challenge of creating a new brand

“There’s the challenge of creating a new brand, of being known by enough people. It’s not easy to have a mass audience of any kind today.”
--  Amy Mitchell, acting director of Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, in relation to  announced closure of The Daily tablet magazine.

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Monday, December 03, 2012

Rogers upgrades Chatelaine and Flare sites; ads separate and labelled

I'm usually critical of magazine websites that muddle together or blur the distinction between their editorial content and their advertisements. The redesigned Chatelaine and Flare, however are not open to that criticism. While the new sites have larger ad sizes and they are included in a grid with editorial stories, the advertising is clearly labelled; no chance of readers mistaking one for another.

National Magazine Awards announce entry deadline: January 16

The deadline for the 36th annual National Magazine Awards is January 16 (save some money if you submit by January 11). There are 48 written, visual, integrated and special categories and three new categories for digital content creation: Blogs; Online Videos; Tablet Edition of the Year. 
And changes have been made to several categories, including Editorial Package—Web;  Magazine Website Design; and Magazine Website of the Year.  This year almost all  categories are open to submissions from magazine websites and tablet magazines in addition to print. (See categories and eligibility and rules.)
The awards have a new address:
National Magazine Awards Foundation
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 3500
Toronto, ON
M4W 1A8

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Quote, unquote: On the devaluation of labour

"Unpaid internships are not an isolated issue. They’re one of many forms of free labour flourishing in the most celebrated quarters of the creative industries: citizen journalists contribute photographs, articles, and commentary to large, private news organizations; unpaid reality television participants replace paid actors on scripted programs; and professional writers work for free for large, profitable corporations. The cumulative effect of serial internships and zero-wages is the devaluation of labour, wage depression across the labour market, and the acclimatization of a generation of indebted workers to hustling from gig to gig with few expectations of their employers."
-- from an article in the November-December issue of Briarpatch magazine.

Delegation swarms the Hill with a message about magazines

A diverse and high-powered group of magazine people fanned out across Parliament Hill last week to lobby with MPs and senior officials to encourage continuing support for the magazine industry.
The central message they heard was that 
  • Magazines Canada supports the Government of Canada’s commitment to the stable, long-term funding of the Canada Periodical Fund.
  • Magazines Canada supports current policy that achieves a balance: high levels of Canadian content from magazines that publish in Canada; forbidding foreign magazines to produce “split run editions” that take Canadian advertising out of the market without producing Canadian editorial content; and giving consumers access to outstanding choice and variety of titles from around the world at very competitive prices, while promoting access to Canadian content.
The delegation was led by Magazines Canada's board chair Deborah Morrison (Canada's History) and government relations chair Doug Knight (Toronto Life) and there were publishers from coast to coast: 
  • Steve Ceron (Think Green Publishing)
  • Alastair Cheng (Literary Review of Canada)
  • Gary Davies (BC Business)
  • Dorothy Dobbie (Manitoba Home; Gardener Living)
  • Michael Fox (Garden Making)
  • Linda Gourlay (Saltscapes)
  • Robert Goyette (Reader’s Digest)
  • Niel Hiscox (Canadian Auto Dealer)
  • Mark Jamison (Magazines Canada)
  • Todd Latham (ReNew Canada)
  • Julie Osborne (Maclean’s)
  • Jocelyn Poirier (Clin d’oeil)
  • Chris Purcell (Canadian Living)
  • Jennifer Schmidt-Rempel (Lethbridge Living)
  • Terry Sellwood (Cottage Life)
  • Jennifer Varkonyi (Maisonneuve)
  • Melony Ward (Azure)
  • Grant Young (Downhome)