Saturday, November 30, 2013

Maclean's names Rob Ford
"Newsmaker of the Year"

There was lots of news and lots of individuals on which it pivoted this year, but it is difficult, if not impossible, to disagree with Maclean's declaring Toronto mayor Rob Ford as 'Newsmaker of the Year' for 2013. The pronouncement was made  in the 108-page Newsmakers issue, which features five other public figures, including royal heir Prince George, astronaut Chris Hadfield, girls' rights activist Malala Yousafzai, suspended senator Mike Duffy and Pope Francis. 
“Rob Ford was a larger-than-life figure whose story transcended borders. In a year of some great successes and heroics—and some great, roiling scandals—he was impossible to ignore, and the clear choice as our Newsmaker of the Year,” said Maclean’s Editor Mark Stevenson.

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Friday, November 29, 2013

NOW magazine will distribute 20,000 copies on the Toronto subway

NOW magazine, which has for several decades relied on street boxes and racks throughout Toronto's core to distribute its weekly magazine, has struck a deal with Gateway Newsstands. Starting January 23, 20,000 copies of NOW will be distributed at Gateways' 65 newsstands throughout the Toronto Transit Commision subway system. It will continue to be available free every Thursday from over 3,310 racks, boxes and newstands across the GTA, online at and on the iPad. 
"We are all very excited about this new distribution deal with Gateway, it's yet another way for NOW to engage with our dedicated readership base both within, and outside, of the downtown core," says NOW Editor/Publisher, Michael Hollett [in a release]. 
NOW Editor/CEO, Alice Klein, agrees saying "We are beyond thrilled to say that after 32 years of publishing NOW, our paper will be available in the TTC for readers to pick up and enjoy while riding the subway and going about their daily routines."

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Coast to Coast outsources regional sales and back office functions to Jim Pattison-owned Comag Marketing Group

Coast to Coast Newsstand Partnership (CTC) has announced that it is outsourcing most of its  back office accounting functions to Genera Solutions LP, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based company owned by Comag Marketing Group (CMG) of Princeton, New Jersey, which is co-owned by The Jim Pattison Group (JPG) and Hudson Media. Genera will be handling all billing and collection, print order and galley preparation as well as other administrative functions. North American field force distribution services will be provided by Comag Marketing Group

The changes, which are effective January 1, are understood to affect 14 of the 28 employees, though some of the regional sales managers will be moving to CMG. Although a special announcement circulated to customers yesterday did not say so, effectively CTC, one of Canada's leading national distributors, has been taken over by Comag. Details of the deal were not available. 

Glenn Morgan, the president and CEO, will continue to run the company, and it will maintain its headquarters in Toronto; from the perspective of publishers who are clients of CTC, it is said to be business as usual for now, with all manager, account execs, the marketing department, IT and publisher payables remaining in Toronto.

Headed by Canada's fifth richest man, according to Canadian Business magazine, with a net worth of $7.4 billion. JPG bought CMG from Hearst Corporation and Condé Nast Publications, Inc. last January. CMG had been jointly owned by the two publishing giants since 2000, providing sales, marketing and promotional services in the mass market, direct-to-retail and specialty market channels. CMG represents over 20% of the single copy market for magazines in North America.

JPG is a privately owned BC-based conglomerate which also owns North America's largest magazine and book wholesaler, the News Group.It is involved in automotive, media, packaging, food sales and distribution, magazine distribution, entertainment, export and financial industries and with more than 35,000 employees, the Jim Pattison Group is the second largest private company in Canada. It owns TNG, North America's largest magazine and book wholesaler as well CMG.

"Like all in the newsstand, network distributors are actively seeking ways to cost effectively streamline operations. Utilizing the collective experience and abilities of Genera and CMB affords Coast to Coast the opportunity to realize significant efficients and economies of scale," said the announcement.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mag world view: Farm stake; 200th Stylist; Spanish Icon; Print Pitchfork; doomed Wiki case

Magazines now available on Google Newsstand
for Android

Users of Android-powered devices, smartphones and tablets, can now easily access magazines and newspapers using the Google Play Newsstand. This is an upgrade of the existing Google Play Magazines app that has been available in Canada. It is going directly up against Apple Newsstand and Next Issue Media (including Next Issue Canada).

Among the magazine singles and subs available are Better Homes & Gardens, The Economist, Esquire, Fast Company, Forbes, Game Informer, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Shape, TIME, Vanity Fair and WIRED. There are something like 1,900 free and paid, full-length publications.

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Online magazine Hazlitt releasing a one-off
print version

Hazlitt, the online magazine published by the book publishing giant Random House of Canada Limited, is releasing its first print issue this week worldwide.It's a one-of-a-kind that will be distributed through bookstores, newsstands and specialty retailers in Canada, the U.S. England, Japan, Hong Kong and elsewhere at a cost of $17.95.

The online site reaches 150,000 unique visitors online and the 160-page print extension is a compilation of original material and some "greatest hits" from the magazine. It features George Saunders, Jhumpa Lahiri, Sheila Heti, filmmaker Xavier Dolan, Joseph and Amanda Boyden, among many others.

The editor is Christopher Frey, editor-in-chief of Hazlitt and the director of digital publishing at Random House of Canada who is a five-time National Magazine Award winner. The art director is Jeremy Laing, a Toronto designer who launched his own eponymous clothing line in 2005 and was a finalist for France's prestigious ANDAM Fashion Award.

Hazlitt was launched in August 2012 and, in addition to online content, produces a weekly arts, culture and current affairs podcast called The Arcade and e-books under the Hazlitt Originals brand.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Quote, unquote: Meeting a real need

"I truly believe that for a strong literature to emerge, writers need opportunities, they need doors to open, support in the from grants and nominations, all of which translates into visibility. If not, some writers will lose the opportunity, at crucial stages of their career, to perfect their craft. Literature is a craft that requires time, commitment, a paycheque at the right moment, publisher support, and intelligent critical response. Certainly, the astonishing works created by women writers in the 20th-century are a testament to this fact."
-- Writer Madeleine Thien, speaking at the LiterASIAN festival, a fundraiser for Ricepaper magazine. She was talking about need such a magazine fills. She was briefly editor of the magazine starting in 1999. [h/t to the National Post]


Monday, November 25, 2013

US freelance authors file new settlement proposal removing cap

Freelance writers and authors in the US seeking compensation from publishers for reprinting their work in online databases without permission or payment have asked the court to approve a revised settlement that would remove the cap on payments. A 2011 settlement for $18 million was rejected by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals because it was considered to shortchange authors who were not part of the class action by registering copyright in their works. The new settlement, if approved, will probably amount to $20 million plus. According to a Reuters story
In the newly drafted agreement, signed by all the parties involved except one company going through bankruptcy, the original $18 million settlement cap will be eliminated on what writers can receive for their archived work, which includes articles that go back to the 1980s. 
"The revised settlement provides a substantial benefit: millions of dollars in cash payments to class members who submitted valid claims," said the filing with the U.S. District Court for southern New York. 
Publishers in the lawsuit included Reed Elsevier , New York Times Co, News Corp's DowJones & Co, Thomson Reuters Corp and Knight Ridder, which was bought by McClatchy Co in 2006. 
Defendant Cengage Learning, formerly known as the Gale Group, is in bankruptcy proceedings and needs approval from the bankruptcy court to enter into the agreement, the document said.

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Frank magazine is back to mock,
provoke and expose

[This post was updated] Frank magazine is back and, as it says, under old management. The former editor Michael Bate has revived the satirical and muckraking national magazine and is seeking subscribers. Formerly best known in print, it is now available that way again (24 issues)and as a yearly online subscription  (either print or online for $129.95) or for a monthly online subscription of $14.95.
"After a well-deserved period of rest and relaxation (rehab and restitution, shurely!–ed.), we’ve resumed our mission to expose the guilty, provoke the greedy and mock the powerful....
"To commemorate the reigniting of national Frank, we're offering subscribers an authentic, first-edition, hand-painted Rob Ford Bobble-Belly™, absolutely free with a one-year subscription to Frank--online or in print."
[Update: Frank closed in October 2008 when it had about 5,000 subscribers, compared with its peak circulation of 20,000. There was discussion about it coming back in blog format, with a paywall and a monthly sub price of $15. Bate was the editor from 1989 until 2005 until it closed. Now he says the environment is ripe for its return (could it have anything to do with Rob Ford, the Senate? -- ed.).  

The national Frank, based in Ottawa, was a spinoff of a Halifax-based biweekly regional publication which started in 1987 and has continued since in both print and subscription-based online form.]


Rogers's Pelley intent on using magazines as feedstock for its other media

The National Post feature on the weekend largely focussed on Keith Pelley's strategy for Rogers Communications' magazine division. The outcome will probably be to treat the magazine division as a content farm for Rogers' other media -- radio, television and various sports assets.
“I am focusing more on publishing, because a lot of our strong brands, and the opportunities, lie there ....You’re selling it as more than just as a print magazine. You want to move it towards selling it as a contented, branded company,” Mr. Pelley says, adding that that “in the coming months” Chatelaine will move into merchandise through an association with The Shopping Channel (another Rogers Media property).[As it turned out, Chatelaine launched its own organic coffee brand today.]
Pelley also says that, if he has his way (and it seems clear he intends to) he wouldn't hire someone to write for a Rogers magazine if he couldn't put them on radio and television, too.
He wants the public to encounter Rogers’ brands at every turn and the magazine division offers a wealth of source material for that endeavor.
[Note to Rogers magaziners: Brush up your multimedia presentation skills.]

[photo: Peter J. Thompson, National Post]

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Controlled magazine The Crossing Guide to circulate in lower BC to lure Canadian shoppers to northwest Washington

A Washington State marketing company is launching a quarterly magazine called The Crossing Guide to lure Canadian customers -- particularly those in southern BC -- to shop across the border. 

The controlled circ magazine will distribute 30,000 copies starting Boxing Day in the Lower Mainland, Victoria, Sidney, Vancouver, on most BC Ferries and the Victoria to U.S. ferry, plus having an online presence. The goal is to expose potential customers to Whatcom, Skagit, Island and Snohomish Counties. The magazine will focus on shopping, recreation and entertainment. 

A full page 4-colour ad in the 100-page magazine is $2,500, according to its online rate card and it is offering half pages for $850 through to the end of November. 

Publisher Marisa Papetti  owns the Bellingham, Washington marketing firm fifthonsixth Inc. and she says that she found it was difficult for local companies -- particularly those in downtowns, rather than at big box malls -- to reach the Canadian market. There is more to Northwest Washington than Costco.

According to a story in the Bellingham Herald, shopping trips by Canadians in Whatcom County have quadrupled since 2007, some 310,000 vehicles passed through the five border crossings this summer. 
The percentage of those interviewed that listed shopping as the primary reason for crossing the border was 45 percent, up from 19 percent in 2007.
Among the attractions for Canadians is that, with the dollar at or near par, they are finding how much they can save. And the increasing popularity of the NEXUS card gets travellers through the border more quickly.  

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Former Quebecor magazine VP Isabelle Peladeau killed in car accident

Isabelle Peladeau
[2005 file photo/Journal de Montreal]
Isabelle Peladeau, who had been heavily involved in the media side of Quebecor Inc. and at the age of 20 founded Filles d'aujourdhui, a magazine aimed at Quebec teens, has died in a car crash. According to a QMI story, she drowned Saturday night when her cara car in which she was a passenger slid into Achigan Lake in Saint-Hippolyte, Que., about 77 km north of Montreal.

She served as vice-president for the magazine section of Quebecor from 1994 and 2000 during which she managed several high-profile Quebec magazines including Clin d'oeil.
Isabelle Peladeau was the sister of Pierre Karl Peladeau, the former president and CEO of Quebecor.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mag world view: copyright; single copies; premature funeral; biggest BW; interns all work no pay; ad transformation

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Maxim sale to Darden Media Group may be in trouble

The announced  sale of Maxim magazine to the Darden Media Group may be on the rocks, according to a story in Adweek. The deadlines for closing the sale this fall have come, and gone.
Observers have long been skeptical about the value of Maxim itself. Maxim’s declining advertising and circulation and Darden’s plans to expand the brand to TV, radio and music platforms notwithstanding, Maxim remains a print-driven business, and keeping that going will require substantial investment. The 2 million-circulation monthly magazine would come with subscription liabilities—the cost to fulfill multi-year subscriptions that have already been paid for—which could run as high as $30 million.


Nuvo magazine celebrates 15 years of publishing

Nuvo magazine, the Vancouver-based oversized lifestyle quarterly, is celebrating 15 years of publishing with a winter issue that has a cover profile of the well-known architect Moshe Safdie. 

Founder and publisher Pasquale Cusano said this of his 15 years of publishing: 
"I have made it our mandate to consistently give young people with little formal experience the opportunity to work at NUVO. As I tell the team, NUVO is the stage—now how are you going to perform? We laugh, we fight, we eat, we share espressos, we create, we experiment, but only together can we send each issue out."
Editor Claudia Cusano says that, while the magazine showcases a 10-page retrospective of portraiture,
"We decided that the magazine's 15 years should be reflected in this issue but that it should not dominate it." will feature a weekly anniversary series and she said the anniversary issue has a new look as art director Mark Reynolds has reinterpreted the NUVO package.
"The bones are as strong as ever, the skin refreshed and revitalized with an envious glow".


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Canada's oldest magazine, The Canadian Sportsman, to cease publishing in December

The Canadian SportsmanCanada's oldest magazine [note: see comment], will cease publishing in December 2013. Dedicated to the sport of harness horse racing, The Canadian Sportsman produced its first edition in 1870 and ran continuously for 143 years. The monthly trade magazine has been published since 1989 out of the small southwestern Ontario hamlet of Straffordville. It has a total circulation of 5,500, 4,200 of which is paid. 

The president of Sportswood Printing, Gary Foerster, places much of the blame for a severe contraction of the industry and a decline in advertising and sub revenue squarely on the Ontario Liberal government. It decided, on very short notice, to scrap a revenue-sharing agreement for slot machines at racetracks, knocking out a support that had been buttressing the horse racing industry for several years. 
"Several factors have led to this very difficult decision," said Foerster. "Print magazines face unprecedented challenges in the digital age and the demographics served by the magazine pose their own unique challenges...."
"Our major source of advertising revenue has traditionally come from Ontario horse breeders. Since the Ontario Liberal government under then Premier Dalton McGuinty  announced in 2012 that it was scrapping the Slots At Racetrack Program  (SARP) in just a matter of months, the breeders have suffered dramatic losses. The adverse financial circumstances visited on the breeders, and the industry at large, have been reflected in our advertising sales and subscription revenue which have plummeted to the point where, after nearly a century and a half, this magazine is no longer economically viable." 
"The current Ontario government has announced some details of a plan designed to support racing on a vastly reduced scale. Regrettably, we do not envision a scenario whereby our publication can continue to exist."
Read more »


Monday, November 18, 2013

Canadian Home Workshop closed by Cottage Life Media, after 37 years of publication

The final cover
[This post has been updated] Canadian Home Workshop, the do-it-yourself magazine published by Cottage Life Media, is being discontinued after 37 years of publication. There has been no official announcement or press release,  but advertisers have been informed [see also letter to contributors, below]. The reason is apparently a long term decline of advertising support for the 85,500 paid circulation magazine. 
"After more than 37 years of publishing, it is with great regret that we announce the final edition of Canadian Home Workshop with our Winter 2013 issue," said a letter to advertisers, signed by editor Douglas Thomson and publisher and CEO Al Zikovitz. 
"Although Canadian Home Workshop has continued to attract a loyal audience of passionate readers, the ability to sustain a viable revenue model is not possible in today's fragmented media environment." 
Subscribers' remaining issues will be fulfilled by Family Handyman magazine, published by Reader's Digest Association Inc.
Read more »


Friday, November 15, 2013

Google wins round in copyright suit by U.S. authors; does scanning really increase book sales?

A decision on Thursday in a long-running lawsuit between authors and Google Inc. was decided in Google's favour. It was about Google scanning 20 million books for an online library without the authors permission. U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin accepted Google's argument that theirs was "fair use" under U.S. copyright law. 

The judge also accepted Google's argument that they were making research easier for students, libraries and researchers and that the digitization was "transformative" and, by making "snippets" of text available, was likely to boost rather than reduce book sales. It essentially argued that it was more akin to a digital card catalogue. 

The Authors Guild, which brought the suit, was naturally disappointed, but plans to appeal. 
"Google made unauthorized digital editions of nearly all of the world's valuable copyright-protected literature and profits from displaying those works," [executive director Paul] Aiken said. "Such mass digitization and exploitation far exceeds the bounds of the fair use defense."
Curiously, in all the reporting about the case, I haven't seen any evidence that the scanning actually led to an increase in book sales.

The case citation is: Authors Guild Inc et al v. Google Inc, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 05-08136.

Rebecca Philps leaves Vancouver for Toronto Life; art director partner goes with her

Rebecca Philps
Rebecca Philps, the senior and online editor of Vancouver magazine is leaving to become a senior editor at Toronto Life, starting in early January. And, in something of a double whammy, her partner, Brennan Higginbotham, is moving to Toronto with her and thus leaving as Vancouver and Western Living's associate art director, as well as art director of Western Living Condo

In a memorandum to staff, John Burns, the editor-in-chief of Vancouver, referred to the changes as "bittersweet" and said that they'll be difficult to replace.
"Rebecca and Brennan have been here for 18 years between them and together hold a strong institutional memory for this place and for the many colourful characters who've passed through. I'm sad to see them go -- they've been a big part of our editorial success and of my joy in working here -- and I'm also thrilled to see them embrace the many opportunities that Toronto will offer them."


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ink on paper is in renaissance, says
editor of Wallpaper*

Magazine publishers are among the people being featured in a new series of short films by an international paper manufacturer talking about what paper means to their companies. A new film will be launched every month by UPM Paper Europe and North America website. The first film in the Talking Heads series features Wallpaper* magazine editor Tony Chambers. He says, among other things
“I’ve noticed much more interest in how you use paper and how you use ink on paper, and experimenting with getting more from it. Because if you’re going to invest in putting your content into paper, then you need to make the most of it and I think there’s a real renaissance now in how content is delivered on paper.” 

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Mag world view: Not so Lucky; courting Hispanics; Hugo Lindgren out at NYT Mag; 6 out at Time Out


Quote, unquote: Remnick on cultural serfdom

“I think this business of getting people to write for free is obscene, and it’s a kind of cultural serfdom that’s wrong, especially for places that can find a way to pay."
-- New Yorker editor David Remnick, speaking to New York University students...(he then clammed up when someone pointed out that his owners, Conde Nast, was ending internships.) 


Quote, unquote: Living in a world saturated with details

"In a world humming with “meaningful moments,” how do we maintain that meaning? How many shootings before we rally for gun control or just forget it's a problem altogether? How many natural disasters need to decimate a country before we start thinking critically about global warming or we decide it's “just one of those things”? It's no longer media 's job to just deliver meaningful moments; instead, we need to deliver meaningful commentary and analysis on those moments."
-- Ketelyn Belyus, audience development and digital marketing manager for The Nation, writing in Folio: about why quality and engagement matter as sources of content multiply.


Canadian Business and Maclean's given gold for tablets at COPAs

Canadian Business and Maclean's magazines each won gold for best overall companion website and best tablet edition in their respective sections of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The awards were presented in Toronto on Wednesday evening.

Here are selected results of particular interest about magazines (detailed results for all categories available here)

Red division (consumer magazines and websites)

Best overall companion website:
  • Gold --
  • Silver --
Best overall online-only publication website:
  • Gold -- Hazlitt
  • Silver -- RedNation Online
Best digital edition (replica):
  • Gold -- Real Style Magazine
Best tablet edition:
  • Gold: Maclean's magazine
  • Silver: Best Health 
Blue division (business-to-business media)

Best overall companion website:
  • Gold --
  • Silver -- Canadian Cattlemen
Best overall online-only publication website:
  • Gold --
  • Silver -- The Pain Project
Best digital edition (replica):
  • Gold -- IT World Canada
  • Silver -- CGA Magazine
Best tablet edition:
  • Gold -- Canadian Business
  • Silver -- Canadian CIO

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Indy mags and books featured at Indie Literary Market

Several small independent magazines are joining similarly small independent literary publishers ventures in the Indie Literary Market this Saturday 16th in Toronto. It's at the Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick, from noon to 4:30 p.m. Showcased are the smallest of micropresses to the biggest small presses and the bpNichol Chapbook Award ($2,000 to the author, $500 to the publisher) will be announced. 

Among the small indy magazines taking part are Carousel Magazine, Exile, Rampike, subTerrain and Taddle Creek.

The event is organized by Meet the Presses, an all volunteer collective created to meet the spirit of the same-named original begun in the mid-'80s by Nicholas Power and Stuart Ross. The current collective was founded by five local writers and small pressers who were former coordinators of the Toronto Small Press Book Fair: Gary Barwin, Paul Dutton, Beth Follett, Hazel Millar, Leigh Nash, Nicholas Power and Stuart Ross


Monday, November 11, 2013

Jane Francisco leaving Chatelaine to become EIC of Hearst's Good Housekeeping

The giant Hearst Corporation has announced that it has hired away Chatelaine editor-in-chief Jane Francisco to be editor-in-chief of one of its core titles,Good Housekeeping. Francisco replaces Rosemary Ellis who is leaving the company at the end of December.

Good Housekeeping is one of the original "seven sisters" women's magazines. It has an audience of 25 million each month and is iconically well-known for its Good Housekeeping Seal, bestowed on favoured advertisers by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute.

Francisco has been with Chatelaine since 2009 and what she has done with it since apparently counts big time with Hearst president David Carey.
“Jane is an incredibly versatile editor, leader and branding expert, with the experience and vision to build on the lively, friendly energy of the revamped Good Housekeeping,” Carey said. “We thank Rosemary for the work she has done stewarding this brand, one of the most respected in the media industry.”
Carey continued, “Chatelaine is the largest circulation women's magazine in Canada, and we've been highly impressed with how Jane executed a top-to-bottom modernization of the brand. We're thrilled to have her [Francisco] on the Hearst team, leading one of our core titles.”
Francisco, who refers to her new title as being with "the ultimate women's magazine". was editor-in-chief of Style at Home before going to Chatelaine. Prior to that, she was founding editor-in-chief of St. Joseph’s Media’s Wish from 2004 to 2008, and was appointed editorial director of the company’s Lifestyle Group in 2006, with additional responsibility for Gardening Life and Canadian Family. In 2001, Francisco was named launch editor-in-chief of the beauty and health-focused Glow, where she served until 2004.

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Friday, November 08, 2013

Canada Wide Media launches "multi-platform" lifestyle magazine BCLiving -- in print, too

Canada Wide Media has launched its new lifestyle magazine BCLiving with an event in Vancouver. (see video below) It is a multi-platform publication available 10 times a year in print in select Vancouver retail locations, as the already established and eponymous website and as an iPad edition; there will also be a newsletter expected to have 12,500 subscribers and a quarterly Chinese language version. 

The print magazine will have a total distribution of 31,000, including 15,000 inserted in the west coast edition of the Globe and Mail.

Despite its name, the magazine is resolutely urban and concentrates mostly on the lower Mainland, covering home decor, fashion and design, food and outdoor life. It has more than a passing resemblance to the Avenue magazines in Calgary and Edmonton (published by Red Point Media Group). 

This launch is a courageous step for Canada Wide, whose last venture into consumer print and online publishing -- Granville -- petered out. It started as a classic city magazine, then shifted to a "green" magazine, then to online only and eventually ceased altogether in January 2012, after about two and a half years. When it closed, it promised that its content would now be found in

There is probably room in the Vancouver market for another city magazine. Vancouver Lifestyles and Vancouver View both no longer publish in print and pretty much have left the field to Transcon's Vancouver magazine and sister publication Western Living's BC edition, plus Canada Wide's own BC Home & Garden. Another competitor is H&L (Homes and Living magazine), which distributes 40,000 copies in the Vancouver market. 

Tom Gierasimcsuk, the vice-president, editorial of Canada Wide told Marketing magazine a few weeks ago: 
“It’s essentially to fill what we feel is a gap in the marketplace. I think there’s a real lack of a 360-degree media lifestyle brand in this space. There are great local public publications, great local blogs, but there’s nobody that offers a higher-end audience.”
He said that he felt its "robust" digital presence through the established site gave it a distinct market advantage, particularly in offering advertisers "multi-platform partnerships". (The website is Canada Wide's most popular digital product, with 500,000 monthly page views.) 

Here's the promotional video shown at the launch:


Mag world view: Gun mag editor fired; NYT paywall working; Press+ 4 sale; Princely editor; The Onion ends print; UK Glamour supersizes

Straight Goods News closes, merges with

Straight Goods News one of the oldest independent Canadian online magazines has gone out of business and merged with, joining the forces of two of Canada's leading online progressive news sources. According to a releaseStraight Goods contributors and staff have already started working for rabble on such events as covering the recent Conservative convention., based in Toronto has been providing free news content for 12 years; Straight Goods News, based in the Ottawa Valley, has been around 13 years.
"It's hard to say goodbye to a dream," said founder and publisher Ish Theilheimer in the final editorial "but speaking and writing truth have never been lucrative. We launched in 2000, when online news was new and untested. It was the era of so-called 'media convergence,' when ultra-rich conservatives like Conrad Black and Rupert Murdoch were creating huge media monopolies designed to flood the public with their right-wing views while  laying waste to the jobs of thousands of reporters and others working in news. 
"Truth-telling has actually become considerably more difficult since then. The difficulties we had trying to expand the readership and support base for SGNews are very typical of what many others doing serious work encounter on the Web." director of emerging media, Wayne MacPhail, said:
"Combining the strengths of both publications is great news for our shared readership, as well as for our funders and members. This merger can only enhance's ability to harness emerging media to tell compelling, progressive stories in new ways."

Toronto Life cover is right up to the moment

When the genie comes out of the bottle, always ask for perfect timing. The about-to-be-released Toronto Life December issue. You've got to be good to be lucky; or lucky to be good. It's nice when you can be both.

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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Final issue of CMA magazine now online

The final issue of CMA magazine is now available online in a special collector's issue. The journal of The Society of Management Accountants of Canada (CMA) is understood to be merging at the beginning of 2014 with CA magazine from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) to create a new publication (still under wraps). It will be the publishing flagship of the consolidated organization, the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA), created when CICA and CMA merged last January.
"The past eight months saw a flurry of activity as we pieced together 93 years of CMA history," says Mara Gulens, CMA magazine's editor-in-chief. in a press release. "It's hard to say goodbye, so we decided to go out in style with a special collector's issue."


Rob Ford's "political train wreck": Maclean's

Maclean's magazine pulls no punches (as how could they?) with its November 18 issue on newsstands tomorrow. 

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Condé Nast Traveler relaxes "truth in travel" rules

Junketing seems to have arrived at Condé Nast Traveler magazine as, under new management, the longstanding policy of paying full freight for hotels and travel, thereby being able to promote that its content promises "truth in travel" has been relaxed.

According to a story on the online travel site Skift, until now the magazine's mission statement stated that contributors "pay the same price you do and travel unannounced, except in rare cases where it's impossible to do so." Contributors were recently informed they may request media rates from travel providers while writing stories for the magazine.
The article says the new approach is indicative of the shakeup by editor-in-chief Pilar Guzman who joined CN Traveler in August.
“Truth in Travel” was essential to how former editor-in-chief Klara Glowczewska viewed the publication’s mission. She was known to openly disregard reader surveys that demonstrated a majority of the magazine’s readers didn’t think “truth in travel” was all that important.
The policy had started eroding in 2011 when was launched and relied on lower-paid freelancers for its daily blog. 
The statement was amended with “Although some of the contributors to our Daily Traveler blog engage in work outside Condé Nast Traveler that does not always follow these rules, when writing for us they adhere to our standard and are transparent about any of their affiliations and sponsorships.”


Steve Maich named vp and general manager of publishing at Rogers Media

Steve Maich, the founding editor-in-chief and publisher of Sportsnet magazine, has been promoted to be senior vice-president and general manager, publishing of Rogers Media, effective immediately. It means that Maich is taking over most of the duties, though not the title, of Rogers Publishing president Ken Whyte, who recently became president of the company's new marketing venture Next Issue Canada

Maich will be responsible for 58 consumer, business to business and related digital assets. Among the titles for which he's now responsible are Maclean's, Chatelaine, L'actualité, FLARE, Today's Parent, HELLO! Canada, Sportsnet, Marketing, The Medical Post, Advisor's Edge and Canadian Grocer.
"Steve not only possesses deep knowledge of the publishing industry and brand development expertise, he also has a strong vision for the future of publishing content within the evolving media landscape," said Rogers Media president Keith Pelley. "We will be counting on Steve's leadership not only within publishing, but as part of my senior leadership team, where his strategic insight will add great value across the Rogers Media organization."
Maich has worked with Rogers in various capacities, including as group publisher of its consumer business magazines (Canadian Business, PROFIT and MoneySense) and editor-in-chief of Canadian Business. Before that he was executive editor of Maclean's, when Whyte was publisher. Before Rogers, he was a reporter and columnist with the National Post and the Halifax Chronicle-Herald
"I am truly honoured to have this opportunity to lead Canada's best collection of publishing brands into the next phase of their lives," said Maich. "These are challenging times in the publishing business, but also incredibly exciting times. Millions of Canadians continue to look to our brands for information, entertainment and inspiration. And we've never had more tools at our fingertips to reach our audiences, across multiple platforms, anytime and anywhere they want."
The appointment come the day after Rogers Media laid off 94 people, some of them from the magazine division. 

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Nexus, the U of T law school alumni magazine, wins international awards

Nexus, the alumni magazine published by the University of Toronto faculty of law, has won four platinum and two gold international MarCom Awards. The awards recognize creative work from corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, PR firms, design shops, production companies and freelancers.

The magazine's Spring/Summer 2013 edition won platinums for cover design (print) and for magazine writing. The Fall/Winter 2012 issue received platinum awards for educational institution magazine and magazines writing.  Both issues won gold awards for overall print-magazine design. 

Nexus also won a silver at the 2013 Content Marketing Awards for best university publication. 

Nexus is published by the law school’s advancement office, with Kate Hilton as editor-in-chief, Lucianna Ciccocioppo as executive editor, Dylan Reid as copy editor, and Nancy Reid as publication assistant, together with an award-winning freelance contributing team. Art direction  is provided by Katina Constantinou of Sugar Design.


Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Rogers Media lays off 94 people

Rogers Media has announced the layoff of two per cent of its work force -- 94 people -- in response to declining advertising revenue. Rogers Media includes the magazine division, the City and Omni television networks, a string of 55 radio stations and specialty television channels such as FX Canada and Sportsnet.
The only operating units unaffected by changes were in the sports entertainment division, specifically Rogers Centre and the Toronto Blue Jays baseball operation.
President Keith Pelley said in a memo to employees:
“Today we made changes to our business that will allow us to continue to make investments in our priority brands and strategic growth initiatives, and better position us for the future… Decisions like these are never easy, but are necessary.”
More as it is known. 

Meredith launches print companion of site

Meredith Corporation has launched a print version of the very successful online food site Meredith bought from The Reader's Digest Association Inc. in 2012 for $175 million. 

According to the company, a test issue last spring resulted in about 400,000 paid orders. The website gets more than a billion annual visitors, mostly women. 

While the new publication may be considered to be going against the prevailing print-to-digital stream, it also recognizes that there is a continuing appetite for beautiful, tangible printed magazines. According to a story in Adweek,
Food is also one of a few categories where advertisers are spending in print these days; food and food products advertising was one of the fastest-growing ad categories in the third quarter, with ad pages up 6.4 percent, per Publishers Information Bureau. For its launch issue, Allrecipes got ads from Diamond of California and Hershey’s, along with non-food marketers like Chevrolet and Crest.
The new six-time magazine, has a guaranteed rate base of 500,000 and a subscription is $12 a year (cover price $4.99). It will be up against sub, newsstand and checkout powerhouses such as the HGTV and Food Network titles, built on established TV brands, as well as longstanding food books such as Cooking Light, Bon Appétit and Meredith's own Eating Well. Allrecipes magazine will have a TV component, The Better Show, which airs on the Hallmark Channel.

The new magazine was promoted with a special edition booklet "sneak preview" included with subscriber copies of Better Homes and GardensLadies’ Home JournalFamily Circle, Every Day with Rachael RayFamily FunMore, Midwest LivingEating WellParentsFitness, and Traditional Home. Proof of the power of having a large, diverse, multi-title company.

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Halifax's Atlantic News marks 40 years as the go-to place to get magazines and papers

Michele Gerard
We're sorry we missed the party October 19 when one of Canada's best independent magazine stores, Atlantic News in Halifax, turned 40. It's quite a landmark for the store -- which carries 5,000 titles (!). Many of these are Canadian indy titles which are given loving care and attention by the current owners, Michele and Stephen Gerard. 

They took the business over in 1997. Michele told the Halifax magazine blog the secret to the longevity of the store is service and selection and getting to know their customers. She was asked how the business has evolved over the years:
“I don’t know that it’s changed dramatically since we've been here but there’s been a change in the newspapers that we get in and how they get here. I’d say one of the biggest changes is that we can print same day on-demand newspapers right here on the spot. I also think we are seeing more niche magazines being put out that are beautiful books, almost works of art, such as Kinfolk, Chickpea and The Gentlewoman magazines. They may be put out less frequently, but they are so beautiful and meant to be kept, almost like coffee table books or collectors’ items....
“I really think that people still enjoy relaxing with a hard copy of a magazine or newspaper. But nowadays, people spend a lot of their leisure time on-line on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc…. It’s all very addictive and it doesn’t leave as much leisure time to sit down and relax with a good magazine. Having news available on-line does affect our sales but we still have a local clientele that prefer to read the real thing.”

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Rogers Media withdraws magazine titles from library service offering free downloads

For many library card holders in Canada, it may have seemed too good to be true -- that they could download free digital copies of leading magazines such as Maclean's and Chatelaine, using a service powered by replica magazine service Zinio. As it has turned out, after a brief period of access,  it was. 

Rogers Media has withdrawn most of its magazines from the service, attributing the decision to advice from the industry trade association Magazines Canada. Mark Jamison, the president of Magazines Canada said it was because of "content delivery expectations and restrictions". According to Rogers, quoted by the Globe and Mail, the decision wasn't its own, but Magazines Canada's, of which it is a prominent member and major funder. 

It can't be a complete coincidence that Rogers Media's recently announced partnership with the U.S. group Next Issue Media  to form Next Issue Canada is based on the intention to sell digital magazines packages, its own and as many as 100 American titles. Essentially at least part of this story is the clash between "free" distribution and "paid". 

The Zinio subscriptions which libraries paid in order to be able to offer free magazines to cardholders was based on a combination of a flat license and user fees. My local library has been offering 50 titles to anyone with a valid library card, until now. Some of the more popular ones included Canadian Living, National Geographic (with interactive content), O, the Oprah Magazine, Women’s and Men’s Health, Style at Home, Maclean's, Chatelaine,  the Economist, Hello! Canada, House & Home, Maxim, Zoomer and Sportsnet. As can be seen, Rogers's decision will leave a fairly large hole.

A note on the Zinio site says: 
PLEASE NOTE: Effective October 2013 Rogers Publishing Group has removed the following publications from all library Zinio collections: Canadian Business, Chatelaine, Maclean's, Today's Parent and L'actualite. We are working on replacement titles.
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