Friday, August 30, 2013

Paywall for videos would let readers watch a little, then ask them to pay

Press+, which helps publishers erect paywalls on their sites, has launched a new tool that will do the same thing for the increasingly numerous of videos magazines are posting. While the Press+ paywalls let people read a set number of articles before payment is required, the video metering system allows users to watch a few minutes before they're asked to pay. So far, most publishers are simply providing video free to drive site traffic, but more and more are looking for ways to gain incremental revenue. Essentially, they are finding that ads are not enough. 
"Press+ cofounder Steve Brill told The Wrap that the videos likely to work best for this are longer ones “with some kind of narrative arc” and that “the way to get people into video stories is to let them watch it for a little while.”

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This Mag kicks off fundraiser film series with doc about Wal-Mart

This Magazine is kicking off its new series of the Every Film is Political on September 25 with WAL-TOWN, a documentary about the business practices of the mega-retailer Wal-Mart. The kickoff coincides with the September/October issue of the magazine's annual Corporate Hall of Shame issue. And it sheds light on events that are taking place a few blocks from the This Magazine offices.
With Wal-Mart Canada eyeing Toronto’s historic Kensington Market neighbourhood for future development, public attention has again turned to Wal-Mart and the radical effects of the retail giant’s business practices. When RioCan announced plans to install a 125,000-square-foot Wal-Mart in the former site of Kromer Radio (just beside the distinctive, fabled Kensington Market), the Friends of Kensington Market formed to oppose the deal, and Toronto City Council passed a bylaw to freeze current development on the Bathurst strip.
The film series at the TRANZAC (292 Brunswick Avenue) in Toronto is a fundraiser for This Magazine's Red Maple Foundation. Tickets are $15 at the door or available in advance at the online shop.

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Professional respect can be won, but it's
a matter of constant vigilance

I was asked to write a post for NetWords, the blog of the Toronto chapter of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC). It was about the Best Practices Guide which I was involved in drafting on behalf of the magazine industry. It was the result of an industry-wide online survey and a series of roundtables across the country, involving writers, editors and publishers. But since the Guide was written and posted on the PWAC website, there has been -- at least from my perspective --relatively little discussion about it. So, for the post, I agreed to say something. 
"If magazine writers want to be treated with respect, they will have to insist on the reflection of The Guide’s principles in their day-to-day working relationships with editors and publishers (and other writers). Writers have a vested interest in provoking discussion about the professional obligations The Guide details. These guidelines were, after all, derived from the shared experience of writers, editors and publishers. Only by citing those experiences and expectations in negotiations and disputes will writers accustom publishers and editors to regard it as a reasonable, broadly acceptable way of working together."

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Quote, unquote: On the doorstopper magazines of September fashion

"The fashion world's manifold September issues are among the most influential markers of the industry's year, despite the oft eulogized end of print. It provides a feel-good bible for both publishers and their advertisers, and its heft assures us that the industry continues to flourish. Big advertising campaigns make their debut in the magazines’ front-of-book, followed by fashion features and back-of-book editorials. It remains the doorstopper issue that excites with its authoritative edit, delivery of trends, and forecasted fantasies on how one's fall wardrobe can turn it all around."
-- from Big Issues: The Business Behind September's Fashion Magazines by Rea McNamara in the international art and culture site BlouinArtInfo. (Disclosure: I am quoted in the article.)


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Quote, unquote: The wrongheaded Xs and Ys of business modelling

I think the b-to-b market has lost its way in many respects.... The category has considered technology and delivery as its form of innovation as opposed to content that actually helps the user/reader/attendee do their job better. More investments in delivery and [fewer] investments in the content itself is what has plagued the market. 
I also believe that the b-to-b space is constantly trying to dig itself out of a hole. How do I make up for the loss in revenue in X by doubling down on Y, but not totally leaving X so I can get whatever money is left? I think that is the wrong approach and screams of the lack of agility in business modeling that traditional b-to-b players have.
-- John Siefert, CEO of Virgo Publishing, in a Q&A with Folio: 


If we can sell in-content links, should we?

Is this a good idea? A Colorado company, LinkSmart, is looking to set up a bidding system called LinkSmart Marketplace whereby publishers can buy and sell in-content hyperlinks. A post on emedia vitals says publishers upload URLs of pages where they want to boost traffic and set a maximum cost-per-click and budgets for how much they want to spend.
"The existing LinkSmart platform....only kicks in when a visitor reaches the publisher’s website; with its new Marketplace, LinkSmart is looking to extend its business by helping publishers bring in traffic from third-party sources."
The Marketplace is still in private beta, but planned to be generally available for late fall or early winter.

I'm wondering how much is too much in such an idea (ranging from nothing to many) and whether, once engaged in such a business, publishers will be able to resist the temptation to lard their editorial with commercial links with the aim of building traffic and revenue. I also wonder what their other advertisers will think about competing with in-content links or being driven to using them themselves. 

I'd be interested to have some comments about experience with this or similar marketplaces and how publishers decide how far is too far when it comes to selling in-content links. I'd also like to know what readers think. If you want to comment, just click on the word "comments" at the bottom of this post. 

Lads' mag push-back against "fundamentalist feminist nonsense"

A former editor of Front, one of the so-called "lads' mags" that the giant UK supermarket chain Co-Op is requiring to be sold in "modesty bags", attacked the chain for caving in to "fundamentalist bullying". According to a post on Press Gazette, Piers Hernu (now a features editor at the Daily Mail) said the Lose the Lads' Mags campaign was "fundamentalist feminist nonsense".

The publishers of other such titles, Nuts and Zoo, have told the Co-Op that they won't stock their titles in the stores rather than comply with the edict. They had already agreed to "tone down" their covers to avoid a ban by Tesco, the biggest retailer. Hernu is not convinced.
“Magazines all sell on their front covers so if you obscure it you’ll strangle it at birth,” said Hernu. “So you are consigning it to economic doom.”

Responding to claims from Kat Banyard, founder of UK Feminista, that magazine such as Front, Zoo and Nuts were pornographic, Hernu said: “Women in bikinis is not what I would call pornography.”


Domino said to be returning as e-commerce site and quarterly print mag

Domino, the interior design magazine much beloved of its readers, is returning, possibly as early as next month, as an e-commerce site, augmented by a quarterly print magazine, according to a story in WWD
Domino was closed in 2009 and has appeared infrequently since only as a brand on special interest pubs such as "Small Spaces". The relaunch is a partnership between Condé Nast, which created it in 2005, and retains the copyright on the name, and a startup e-commerce business called Project Décor. 
The partnership between the publisher and the start-up bears a resemblance to Condé’s other recent investments in digital assets, like the purchase of the recipe planner ZipList last April, and may presage a more serious relationship between the two companies. In 2010, Advance Publications, Condé’s parent, set up a $500 million war chest for acquisitions, mainly in the digital realm, led by a former Yahoo executive, Andrew Siegel, now senior vice president, strategy and corporate development. 


Embryonic Walrus magazine, now 10, got its start at Dooney's cafe

The late Dooney's 
As The Walrus magazine celebrates (well it might) its 10th anniversary with a special perfect-bound September issue and a $10 cover price, some of us who were involved even before it launched, recall the gestation took place largely at the sometimes-sticky little tables of Dooney's in the Annex (see right), now long gone. It was favoured because it  had a side patio where the principals could smoke and because its originator and co-founder David Berlin lived  just a couple of blocks away. (This was before the magazine rented the Duncan Street premises it now occupies.) 
10th anniversary issue

The original idea was far from what it is now; in fact the early gatherers who hashed over the idea would hardly recognize it. Originally, it was that it would be more like The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books and would resolutely eschew perennial "whither Canada" stories. The name of the magazine started as a joke because no one could think up a name. Much of the early buzz  in the business was around the idea that it was not only going to be a new market for long-form journalism, but that it intended to pay at the top of that market; this is not quite how it worked out, mind you. Various talented individuals dropped in and stayed...or left...and the makeup of the planning group ebbed and flowed, getting fairly fuzzy around the edges but solid at its core.

There were 15 or 16 runs at a financial model, but everyone knew that if the magazine was going to actually publish it was because it was through heavy subsidization -- to the tune of $1 million a year for five years --  by the family-run Chawkers Foundation and the scion of that family, Ken Alexander. The truth was that while there was a vision and a belief in the need for a writerly publication, early on the enterprise had the feel of an Andy Hardy movie (you know, we can use my dad's barn, my mom can sew the costumes...). It gave new definition to the term "work in progress". 

Whatever long-term view about how The Walrus would eventually be managed or governed could change from one meeting to the next and sometimes between the beginning of lunch and the end. The miracle was that it pretty much all started with some plotting at the little tables of Dooney's and went from there. Since then it has evolved into the widely admired, professionally run, award-winning thing we see today.

Congratulations to everyone who contributed to its first ten years. 


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mag world view: NYT hacked (again); big data for b2b; regionals surge; dogs and iPads; Feedly reads


Alberta Venture celebrates top 250 companies issue with homage to iconic Fortune cover image

The homage
In a bold and complicated homage to an iconic magazine cover image, Alberta Venture is unveiling its September issue with its annual list of Alberta's 250 biggest companies. The windows of Calgary's Bow building are photographed lit up at dusk to spell out the number 250. It was, said a blog post from the magazine, "a symbol of Alberta’s rise to prominence on the national and international scenes and a poignant reminder of the spirit that allowed this province to recover quickly (for the most part) from the devastating June floods." In this it is giving full credit to the July 1964 cover of Fortune magazine which arranged to light up the windows of New York's Time & Life building (where the magazine was headquartered), a tour-de-force which has been long remembered by magazine mavens everywhere. The idea of the homage came from associate publisher Joyce Byrne and art director Kim Larson.

Unlike the art directors then, today's art directors have Photoshop and could have merely spliced the whole thing together on the desktop, whereas their inspiration had to be achieved by having the huge Time & Life building all dark then arrange to have only those offices lit which spelled out the number 500. In AV's case, the whole building was to be lit up, then windows would be darkened using the software to leave only those lit which spelled out 250. 
The inspiration

Read more »

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Kobo launching an expanded "magazine store" for its digital e-readers

Kobo Inc., the tablet manufacturer and e-reading service, has announced the enhanced availability of mainstream magazines in an expanded digital magazine store. It has signed agreements with various large magazine publishers to make many more of their titles available in North America starting in September using its free e-reading apps for iOS and Android on various tablets and smartphones. 

Of course those free apps are a way for readers to pay to subscribe to the magazines, making it a potentially lucrative market for publishers.  

Titles to be available as part of what is being presented as Kobo's Guided Reading Experience, include those from as Rogers Publishing Limited, and Reader's Digest in Canada, Conde Nast,Hearst Corporation, American Media, Mansueto, Bauer Publishing Group and Mondadori. Guided Reading promises to replaces panning and zooming around a page as readers now do with so-called "replica" or "flipbook" digital publications, with a one-tap interface that intelligently moves from one column of text to the next.
"Removing distractions so readers can focus on the content, Kobo eliminates the need for toolbars – creating a more crisp and clean interface," said the company in a release. "The new experience, developed with the same digital publishing tools Kobo offers to publishers, significantly improves the magazine reading experience, letting readers enjoy magazines for what they are – the perfect mix of ideas, entertainment, and design."
Michael Serbinis, the president of Kobo, said in a story in the Financial Post:
“Tablets are generally not designed for people that are readers first. They’re designed to be multi-purpose devices. 
“You think about Netflix and movies, and Starbucks and coffee — that’s what Kobo is focused on being with reading. So when it comes to the new tablets, it’s about creating the best tablets for readers.”
Read more »


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Jack Illingworth joins OAC as literature
officer Sept 3

Publishers of Ontario-based cultural magazines will be pleased to know that the Ontario Arts Council has named as its  literature officer someone who definitely gets it. Jack Illingworth has been until now the executive director of the Literary Press Group and is deeply knowledgeable about Ontario’s literature sector, especially independent, Canadian-owned publishers, and is also a former literary critic. He will be joining the council September 3.

Illingworth joined the LPG in 2009 from working with the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP). He comes into a job that has been managed on an interim basis by former literature officer Lorraine Filyer, who stepped in when the previous officer, Michael Schellenberg, lasted less than two months in the job after succeeding John Degen (now executive director of The Writers Union of Canada (TWUC)). 


Monday, August 26, 2013

Magazines Canada consolidates DM, digital and retail promotion efforts

Magazines Canada has merged three of its circulation campaigns and, beginning this fall will promote for its members Canadian Magazines Everywhere -- direct mail, the digital newsstand and Independent retail promotions. Participants in the combined program, promoting delivery of magazines on many different platforms, including desktops and tablets, will contribute one print ad and active participation in promotional e-mails and/or social media (previously they had provided their subscriber list to MC and contributed two print ads.)
"By integrating our marketing efforts, this project will leverage the strengths of each program and create better efficiencies and results. Running one program instead of three also means that your contributions are simplified," [said a bulletin to members].
The deadline for signing a participation agreements is September 3, 2013. 

Magazines Canada has enjoyed considerable success in its annual cooperative direct mail marketing campaign since its launch in 2003. Its most recent Buy 2, Get 1 Free campaign, which ended in February, had about 190 titles participating  with over 100 available in both print and digital (most pdf replicas through the MC partnership with Zinio). The DM campaign has sold more than 10,000 subs annually (the biggest result was 2009, with 14,600.) In the past three years, that totals 267,000 copies delivered.

However funding has become tighter in recent years, necessitating the consolidation of promotional efforts. The various campaigns are largely subsidized by the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) as well as through support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, Canada Post, Consumer Intelligence Group and CDS Global. 

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Mag world view: Luxe hotel mags; Seven West posts loss; September song; Surging shows; Elmore Leonard


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cottage Life specialty channel to launch
September 4

The Cottage Life specialty channel is launching on Wednesday, September 4. Owner Blue Ant Media is rebranding its channel bold to be called Cottage Life, keying off the well-known magazine brand, and it will be available as a national preview to 9.2 million potential homes. They can then subscribe by contacting their cable provider. 
“We’re thrilled to be taking this historic brand to the next level. TV audiences will love the blend of lifestyle content that truly embraces our tagline – where every day is the weekend’ said Vanessa Case, EVP of Programming, Blue Ant Media [in a release]. “The programming for this channel has proven appeal and is a perfect addition to Blue Ant’s quickly growing roster of targeted media properties.”
Among the offerings:
  • My Retreat premieres Thursday, September 5 at 9:30pm ET/PT travelling coast to coast to reveal iconic, quirky, and ultimate dream escapes, from cozy cottages and chalets, to charming cabins and farmhouses.
  • The Fabulous Beekman Boys premieres Tuesday, September 10 at 10PM ET/PTand follows former Amazing Race competitors Josh Kilmer-Purcell and his partner Brent Ridge as they leave New York City, learn how to become farmers and launch their lifestyle brand, Beekman 1802.
  • Compete To Eat premieres Thursday, September 5 at 10pm ET/PT Chefs Aldo Lazillotta and Joanne Lusted square off with teams of Cottagers who have one hour to prepare a three-course cottage feast using whatever ingredients they can find in their pantries. 
Blue Ant Media owns specialty channels Bold, 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, AUX Magazine, a monthly music tablet magazine and recently launched Travel+Escape Magazine, a monthly travel tablet magazine. Producing over 400 hours of original content, Blue Ant Media develops both in house programming and co-productions with international partners. It recently acquired Cottage Life Media publishers of the eponoymous magazine and associated websites. Blue Ant Media was named Marketing Magazine’s 2012 Media Player of the Year.

Here's a promotional video that was produced last year:

Related posts:

US magazine ad spending share projected to stay steady through 2017

Digital is projected to gain the most advertising market share in the U.S.over the next four years, according to information published by eMarketer. Magazine ad spending stays essentially flat at $15.1 billion, as do newspapers, outdoor and TV though it must be noted that the magazine data is for print only and doesn't include any incremental digital revenues for the publications.

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Ad scam for non-existent magazine
bedevils Calgary

It's enough to give magazines a black eye. Calgary policy are warning people about a telephone scammer who claims to be selling ads for a police magazine. According to a story in the Calgary Herald, the magazine -- Calgary Police News Magazine -- does not exist. 
“There is no Calgary Police News Magazine and the Calgary Police Service does not solicit advertisers,” said duty inspector Jim Stinson .Stinson said the police have identified a few more complaints through social media, though he doesn’t know how much money the victims were asked to pay.
The caller, whose number has been traced to Virginia, presses aggressively for the ads and asks for personal information and credit card numbers.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Quote, unquote: Controlling the narrative about single copy sales

“The perception issue is that we are going away; we’re dinosaurs, and we have horrible press. We also seem to be our own worst enemy, because in the name of transparency we now trumpet our sales results on a quarterly basis, so news writers – who don’t really understand the business – can write articles about the ‘Continued Problems of the Newsstand: What Should Be Done!’"
-- Joe Berger of Joseph Berger Associates, a circulation marketing and consulting firm in Chicago, quoted in an excellent summary article about the newsstands by Samir "Mr. Magazine" Husni in the July/August issue of Publishing Executive magazine. Berger says that change needs to happen by having the magazine distribution industry control its own narrative.

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Post a magazine job 
for about $1 a day. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Condé Nast strikes deal to offer print and digital magazine subscriptions through Amazon

Condé Nast has struck a deal with Amazon to have the online retailer handle print and digital subscriptions for such titles as Vogue, Vanity Fair and WiredAccording to a Reuters story, this is the first time a publisher has collaborated with Amazon in this way, simplifying its subscription process whereby consumers can subscribe, manage and renew using their Amazon account. The arrangement is not exclusive; subscribers may continue to go directly to Conde Nast or use other partners such as Apple and its Newsstand. But it also exposes these big, glossy magazines to new potential customers among Amazon's worldwide 200 million customers.
"We are using the partnership with Amazon to make purchasing and renewing subscriptions as easy as humanly possible," said Bob Sauerberg, president of Condé Nast  in an interview last Wednesday. "We want to go from selling print subscriptions to selling access to all our content."
“Combining Condé Nast's must-have content with Amazon's 1-Click shopping platform is a huge win," said Sauerberg [in a company release] “Our influential and loyal customers want to be the first to know, purchase and share, which is why we wanted to be the first to develop a service like 'All Access' with Amazon, the world’s most trusted and proven e-commerce platform.”
 Digital subscriptions will be made available on various mobile platform, including the iPad, Android and Kindle.
"Condé Nast will offer introductory bundled rates for $6 or less for six months for both print and digital versions of Vogue, Glamour, Bon Appetit, Lucky, Golf Digest, Vanity Fair and Wired," said the Reuters story. "It plans to roll out its other 11 consumer titles including the New Yorker later in the year. 
"Magazines have real deep value in both formats," said Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Kindle Content at Amazon. "A lot of consumers want to keep one foot in both camps."

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Monday, August 19, 2013

St. Joseph's FASHION launches online
shopping platform, published by St. Joseph Media, has launched an online shopping platform called FASHION Shopping. It features 1,500 items  including clothing and accessories selected by the editors of the website from its retailing partners. It's available on desktops and smartphones.
“From a business perspective, FASHION Shopping makes so much sense,” says Angie McKaig, director, digital lifestyle brands, St. Joseph Media. “Our mandate is to bring the world of international fashion home to our style-conscious readers and that’s exactly what we’re doing by partnering with both Canadian and global retailers, showcasing their e-commerce offerings. The revenue-sharing model is a win-win for everyone involved.”

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Mag world view: Huffpo Live turns one; USPS loses big; Men's books lead digital...or hang on; shakeups at Condé; golden age?


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Quote, unquote: Vice Media sells
a little piece to Murdoch

"The reality is that MTV was bought by Viacom and CNN went to Time Warner. We have set ourselves up to build a global platform but we have maintained control."
--Vice Media co-founder Shane Smith commenting about the 5% stake that was sold to Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. The deal allows it to expand in Europe and India. So far Vice Media has sold 25% of its share to various minority interests. 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Big money tallied by Maclean's

It will -- and probably already has -- caused some buzz; Maclean's magazine's tally of who earns what in Canada in its September 2 issue. Compiled from a variety of sources, it  tells you the annual earnings of the following:
  • Soccer superstar Christine Sinclair -- $350,000
  • Justin Trudeau, incipient Liberal leader -- $245,000
  • Bill Blair, police chief of Toronto -- $367,719
  • Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne -- $209,272
  • Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin -- $379,900
  • Hockey superstar Sidney Crosby -- $12 million
  • Hockey loudmouth Don Cherry -- $800,000
  • Cirque de Soleil CEO Guy Laliberté  -- $1.5 million
  • Ontario Art Gallery director Matthew Teitelbaum -- $281,008
  • Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra -- $597,740


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

U of Ottawa suspends its
Bachelor of Journalism program

The University of Ottawa will not be accepting students in its Francophone four-year Bachelor of Journalism program this fall and it may discontinue the program altogether. It has been run in partnership with Algonquin College and La Cité. A story in Le Droit, says that the decision is an outcome of a scathing report issue in May 2012 by the university Senate.
"It seems that these" programs "are nothing more than experiments. They are poorly constructed and undermine the reputation of the University," said the previously confidental report, obtained by the paper. "In light of the extent of the difficulties faced by these programs," the committee said a complete overhaul of these programs was warranted - or their outright abolition. The committee said the problem had essentially been ignored for a decade by U of O administration. 
Students who are enrolled now will be able to carry on as will 36 freshmen enrolled for September. Other students will begin their studies in journalism in one of the colleges. 


Readers spend similar times with print, digital and both, says Condé Nast Britain study

A British study of readers and their print and digital tablets has found that readers use them much the same way and with similar "dwell times" (a term used in the British magazine industry for reading time.)

Carried out by Condé Nast Britain, the publisher of Vogue, Glamour, Vanity Fair, GQ and Wired the research , which is reported by Campaign magazine, is said to be the first such "like-for-like" study of print and digital tablet reader relationships.  

The reading behaviour study questioned 6,965 subscribers who read the titles in print or digital, including iPad, Android and across platforms (both print and digital) and it was verified by YouGov. It found that in addition to time spent, print and digital magazines were read in a very similar way – eg, front to back – irrespective of format.
Nicholas Coleridge, president of Condé Nast International and managing director of Condé Nast Britain, told Campaign: "This research debunks for all time the assumption that people read print and digital magazines in different ways, and for different periods of time."
(The research results were released just ahead of the release of six-monthly Audit Bureau of Circulations figures which, like in North America, are expected to report significant falls in newsstand sales.)

Among the dwell times reported by Condé, Vogue showed 122 minutes for print, 116 for digital and 162 minutes for print and digital. Vanity Fair showed 169 minutes for print, 154 for digital and print plus digital was 188 minutes. 

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Magazine and web publishing program builds skills for digital and print

The Magazine and Web Publishing program at Ryerson's Chang School is broad and deep and offers excellent professional development opportunities. Of course I think that since I'm the coordinator of the program and this is a shameless plug, but whether you want to take the certificate program (7 credits) or any one of the individual courses, here's a brief summary of what's on offer this fall starting the week of September 9  [To find out more, go to]:

39-hour, 13 week courses
  • CDJN 112 — Magazine and Website Publishing -- An overview of the business challenges and opportunities confronting magazine publishers today. Industry guest speakers provide insights. Taught by me.
  • CDJN 113 — Magazine and Website Editing -- A step-by-step introduction to print and online magazine editing, with an emphasis on learning job skills in a workshop environment. Taught by Rebecca Caldwell, managing editor Cottage Life
  • CDJN 117 — Writing for Magazines and the Web -- The course is an introduction to the basics of conceiving, focusing, pitching, researching, structuring, writing, and revising a full-length feature story. It is intended for those with a serious interest in writing and selling non-fiction articles to print or online magazines. Taught by author and freelance writer Margaret Webb.
  • CDJN 118 — Advanced Feature Writing -- A project-intensive advanced course designed for serious students of long-form magazine feature writing to further develop reporting/narrative skills. Taught by award-winning freelance writer David Hayes.
  • CDJN 119 — Magazine Copy Editing -- Learn to ensure a high degree of clarity, consistency, and accuracy, as well as appropriate use of language, in magazine editorial copy. A critical skill for any magazine editor in print or digital. Taught by Bernadette Kuncevicius, senior editor, CA magazine
  • CDJN 205 — Magazine Production -- Covering the fundamentals of print production and the basics of multi-purposing for the web and creating content for digitally formatted documents to display on a variety of devices (e.g. e-readers, tablets). Students will learn about both print and digital formats, advertising delivery through ad portals, pre-media, printing processes and quality control across all platforms. Taught  by Kim Latreille, production consultant specializing in   publishing and digital media.
19.5-hour, 7-week courses
  • CDJN 121 — Magazine Packaging -- Learn to tailor content; how to package information that enhance readers' lives in tangible ways. It’s at the core of many of today’s successful magazines and websites.  This is a classroom course; it is taught in the spring by distance education -- Taught by Jess Ross, Tablet publishing manager, TC Media.
  • CDJN 122 — Advanced Magazine Editing -- Concentrating on the effective editing of individual magazine articles – sometimes called “substantive editing” – to help writers to grab readers’ attention at the start and keep them reading to the end of print or online articles. A must for anyone planning to edit longer manuscripts and a very useful course for anyone planning to write them. Taught by Jacqueline Kovacs, editor in chief of Professionally Speaking.
  • CDJN201 Magazine Advertising Sales & Marketing -- This course provides you with the knowledge required to sell magazine advertising in today’s highly competitive marketplace. It includes fundamentals such as using standard research tools, working with ad agencies and, all important, closing sales. Taught by Gwen Dunant, consultant. Note: starts October 28.
  • CDJN 204 — Layout Software for Magazine Editors -- Editors use design and page layout programs, too; with this hands-on course, learn how Adobe InDesign helps to organize editorial production/copy flow, and to edit/format text. This course is taught in a Macintosh computer lab. Taught by Shannon Girffiths, senior graphic designer and print production artist.
  • CDJN 206 — Creating Website Editorial — available via Distance Education Learn to address the most common strategic, logistical, and business-related challenges that come with producing great magazine websites. Taught by Matthew McKinnon, online editor, The Walrus.  Note: starts October 26 via distance education. 
  • CDJN 207 — The Online Publishing Toolkit -- Today’s publisher or editor needs to deliver content to readers whenever, wherever and however they wish to receive it. The modern, multi-platform, multi-media digital environment demands an understanding of the tools that are available, from content management systems to mobile apps, “the cloud”, mobile editions, social media, microsites, analytics and more. Taught by Graham F. Scott, managing editor, Canadian Business magazine.
  •  Plus CDJN 101 — So You Want to Start a Magazine -- Designed for those intending to start their own print or digital magazine in the next six months or a year, this two-day seminar delivers practical, actionable information from one of Canada’s best known magazine consultants. Taught by me.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

"PitchFest" offered to Edmonton freelancers

Freelancers will learn to put it right across the plate at a two-part "PitchFest" in Edmonton, presented by the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA). The event happens on consecutive Saturdays, September 7 and 14. 

There will be a seminar by Shelley Youngblut on Saturday, Sept. 7 starting at 10:30 a.m., followed by a panel with Max Fawcett (managing editor, Alberta Venture), Tim Querengesser (senior editor, Alberta Venture), Steven Sandor (editor, Avenue Edmonton) and Lindsay Shapka (editor, Where Edmonton). On Saturday, September 14 the panelists will be available for one-on-one sessions starting at 1 p.m. to fine-tune their story queries.

Youngblut was the founding editor-in-chief of Swerve, the Calgary Herald’s weekly magazine, which won 65 national, international and regional awards (and 115 nominations) under her direction. She was most recently the western editor of The Globe and Mail, and is a regular member of The CBC Eyeopener’s Unconventional Panel. She was previously an editor at ESPN the Magazine, Seventeen and Cosmopolitan All About Men. The author of three sports books, she has written for Entertainment Weekly, Salon, Martha Stewart Living and many Canadian publications.  


Friday, August 09, 2013

Downhome magazine has readers scouring the Newfoundland shore for message in a bottle

Downhome magazine has set afloat 25 bottles in Conception Bay, Newfoundland in what is a spin on the "message in a bottle" meme. Each has the name of a finalist in a competition called "Give a Gift of a Dream Cruise Vacation". The person whose name is in the first bottle found wins the cruise. The person who finds the bottle gets a $100 gift certificate to the Downhome retail shop in St. John's and a free subscription. The promotion, in which entrants were nominated by readers over the past six months,  is being conducted in collaboration with Universal Travel. 


Thursday, August 08, 2013

Flare unveils new look in September issue

Rogers Media is unveiling a new look and feel for Flare magazine effective with the September issue that will be on newsstands this week. It features American actress Amber Heard, promoting the movie "Paranoia".

The last major print redesign was in September 2007, with new logo, fonts and coverlines, new department pages and a change in the flow of articles. 

Racy "lads' mag" publishers defy demand for coverups; pull titles from 4,000 British stores

The publisher of racy lads' mags Nuts  and Zoo are pulling them from the shelves of the Cooperative Group's 4,000 stores in Britain,according to a story in the Guardian. It is a response to the Co-op's demand that such mags as Nuts, Zoo, Front and Loaded be given "modesty covers" to hide their explicit, lurid front covers or be banned from its stores. IPC Inspire, which publishes Nuts, is the first of the titles to refuse, saying that the Co-op is trying to prevent shoppers from freely browsing a legal magazine. "Co-op's knee-jerk attempt to restrict access to a product that consumers have enjoyed for nearly a decade is wrong,"  said Paul Williams, managing director. 

Bauer, which publishes Zoo, had been attempting to respond to the Co-op's ultimatum by toning down its covers, but said it, too, would now boycott Co-op. [Photo: Dave Thompson/PA]

Tesco, a leading grocery chain in Britain and one of its biggest retailers, had  demanded that the lads' mags "tone down" their covers. The retailer and others were trying to meet demands of consumer groups such as UK Feminista which were lobbying for such magazines to be removed from the shelves altogether. 

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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Mag world view: Funke gets Springer mags; defying bankruptcy; UK Vogue revenue soars; Woman's World tops Cosmo; Iceberg buys Titanic?


Quote, unquote: Talking about real money

"If you break down the numbers between print and digital revenue streams for magazines around the world you’ll also see double or high digit growth for circulation and for digital advertising figures. This is from a smaller base – but it is growing over time. What we were talking about ten or five years ago was minuscule. Now we are talking about real money."
-- Martha Stone, CEO of WNMN, giving a taste of her analysis of the digital magazine marketplace, which she has written for the FIPP World Digital Media Factbook and which she will be presenting to the FIPP Congress in Rome next month. 


Canadian Dimension magazine hosting author and muckraker Chris Hedges in Toronto, Sept 20

Canadian Dimension magazine is presenting an evening with author and muckraker Chris Hedges on Friday, Sept 20, 7:30 p.m. at Bloor United Church in Toronto. Hedges is to be introduced by Simon Black and CAW economist Jim Stanford. The cost is $20. It is part of a series of events across the country -- another, probably for Montreal, is soon to be announced. Tickets available online

Hedges is a regular columnist on the progressive site Truthdig and had an extensive career as a foreign correspondent for, among other things, the New York Times, where he was part of the team of reporters who were awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for coverage of global terrorism. (He left the Times after being issued a formal reprimand for denouncing the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq.) He's a senior fellow at the Nation Institute in New York and has written 12 books, including Death of the Liberal Class (2010) and Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012)


Tuesday, August 06, 2013

"Magazines Connect Canadians" video promotes the multi-platform strengths of Canadian magazines

Magazines Canada has released a promotional video that celebrates Canadian magazine media. "Magazines Connect Canadians" was produced by the Toronto-based creative agency Wolfson Bell (which, for many years, produced the slick audio-visual presentation of the National Magazine Awards).

The short presentation talks about the "anytime-anywhere-on any platform" approach to meeting consumer needs, while not losing sight of the continuing strength of print.

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Hold on a minute, says MPA of AAM circulation first-half circulation figures

The Association of Magazine Media (MPA) takes issue with the gloomy first half circulation Snapshot published by the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM), noting that the tally includes only a third of total magazine audience and tracks only a small number of newsstand titles. A statement issued by Mary G. Berner, the president and chief executive of the MPA (the principal U.S. magazine industry association) says 
"Despite what is going on in newsstand, the audience for print plus digital editions (excluding online) increased by +3% from Spring 2013 vs. Spring 2012 (GfK MRI) for titles common to both studies."
The statement went on to say that a preliminary analysis of the AAM's Snapshot shows:
  • Almost a third (30%) of the titles (177 of 390) titles saw an increase in total circulation
  • More than half (56%, or 217 titles) posted an increase in subscriptions
  • Slightly less than a quarter (23%, or 91 titles) showed gains in single copy sales

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AAM six-month data on Canadian consumer mags shows 7% decline in total paid and verified circ

[This post has been updated]Paid and verified circulation of Canadian consumer magazines tracked by the Alliance for Audited Media was down 7% for the first half of 2013, compared with the same six months in 2012. (Similar U.S. results were down approximately 1%.)   Paid subscriptions were down 7.4%  (they were flat in the U.S.) and single copy sales down 5.4% (10% in the U.S..) Of the top 10 Canadian magazines by paid and verified circulation, only MoneySense magazine had a significant increase. Reader's Digest (English) had the largest decline, at 17.1%.  AAM audits the performance of about 60 Canadian magazines ans 290 U.S. consumer magazines. 
In single copy sales, Readers's Digest (English), Chatelaine and Maclean's showed significant increases; Reader's Digest up 52.5% from 2012. 

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Saturday, August 03, 2013

TVA Group publishing revenues down 8% for Q2

The second quarter of 2013 saw an 8% drop in revenue  from the publishing side of the TVA Group, a subsidiary of Quebecor. Revenue from publishing was $15.8 million, down from $17.2 million the same quarter last year.

TVA Group said is had $111.5 million in total revenue for the quarter, down about 1.8% from the same period the year before. Profit was $7 million, down 31%; most of the drop was attributed to operational restructuring.  

French-language publishing  is a relatively small part of the company's main operations in Quebec,which includes the TVA television network and related digital and other print products. TV had flat revenues for the quarter ($96.5 million, down from $97.3 million ) TVA also currently owns 49% of Sun News. 


Friday, August 02, 2013

Mag world view: Ag group harvested; multitasking; RD emerges (again) from bankruptcy; RS Tsarnaev cover sells big; print sells digital