Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The best of the season from Canadian Magazines blog; See you in 2014

Canadian Magazines wishes all its readers the best of the season and now that we're back in hydro after the big ice storm it's time to announce our annual holiday break.

Posts will resume on Monday, January 6, with the annual roundup of the best, most interesting and possibly the weirdest magazine-related stories of 2013. We figure that everybody has been taking up the oxygen in December with various "top" lists, so we are choosing to do our lookback to start the new year.  

See you in 2014. 

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

FUSE magazine announces it is ceasing after 37 years of publication

FUSE magazine, the Toronto-based arts and cultural title that has been published for 37 years in one form or another, has announced that it is ceasing publication, although it is going out in its own unique style. 

The current issue (Winter 2013-14) is printed in a newsprint tabloid format which is described as a "special-interest bulletin". 

An editorial signed by Gina Badger, the editorial director and publisher on behalf of the board and editorial committee says that the magazine has "endured chronic underfunding for many years" and that it is "coming to a close".
"After much planning and consultation with our elders, we have come to the conclusion that this is no longer a viable project under current conditions. With this in mind, we are planning a very special year with some dramatic shifts in what we do. Most significantly, we will not be producing a quarterly magazine, instead focussing our time and energy on two exciting projects: a commemorative issue of the magazine to be published in September 2014 , and the development of an accessible web-based archive of FUSE content going back to our first issue in 1976."
FUSE has been published quarterly by Artons Cultural Affairs Society and Publishing Inc. that was incorporated in 1984. It has been supported in part by grants from the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council as well as subscriptions, single copy sales and advertising. 

The magazine started out as a newsprint magazine called Centrefold based in Calgary in 1976.  Relocated to Toronto in 1978, it changed its name to FUSE, the founding editors of which were Clive Robertson, Lisa Steele and Tom Sherman. 


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cosmo pitch meeting livestreamed so readers can watch how it's done

That's kind of cool, or alarming, or both. Cosmopolitan.com, the website of the magazine, livestreamed an hour-long story meeting yesterday. 

According to a story in the New York Observer
Broadcasting a pitch meeting might be most journalist’s idea of Truman Show-like hell, but Cosmopolitan.com livestreamed their pitch meeting this afternoon because it knows how to reach its readership.
The story went on 
Sitting in front of computers, backlit by the Cosmopolitan logo and a TV playing a continuous yule log overlaid with periodic images of cup cakes and animals in Santa hats, the staffers started by throwing out some edgier topics (as per online editor Amy Odell’s request) like BDSM, latex fetishes and 69ing. The latter sex act reminded one staffer of a Sex and the City episode. Actually, Sex and the City came up more than once.

A shirtless, male staffer entered the room to propose a new feature called “Cooking With A Hottie” where the bare-chested fellow cooked food with a cute girl, a stunt that we are sure had nothing to do with the broadcast. That pitch quickly devolved into a discussion of quinoa, everyone’s favorite grain-like protein, “Cookie Butter” (apparently mashed up cookie crumbs and butter) and the differences between egg pizza, frittatas and quiche. The shirtless male staffer remained shirtless.
Readers were encouraged to tweet suggestions and make comments.  

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North American launches outpace closures 3 to 1

The North American magazine market in the first nine months of 2013 saw greater stability, according to a tally by MediaFinder which found that launches outnumbered closures by 3 to 1.  According to a report in Audience Development
With 185 new magazines in 2013, there were 18-percent fewer launches than there were in 2012, but closures fell almost twice as far. Just 56 titles shuttered in 2013, down more than 30 percent from the prior year and over 60 percent from 2011. 
Both the 185 launches and 56 closures are 5-year lows for the industry, but the distance between them is steadily growing. The two were on par in 2010 (193 launches; 176 closures), while there were 3.3 launches for every closure this year.
Top categories were food, regional and women's, with sports titles showing the most closings. In b2b, 20 new magazines were launched with 14 closures. 

MediaFinder is the largest database of U.S. and Canadian periodicals with 77,000 magazines, journals, newspapers, newsletters, directories and catalogues. 

MagAwards seeking two administrative interns

The National Magazine Awards Foundation is now accepting applications for two, paid administrative internships for the National Magazine Awards and the Kenneth R. Wilson Awards. Successful applicants receive $1,500 for the duration of the 5-month internship and work will range from 10 to 20 hours a week. Plus they receive two tickets to the National Magazine Awards gala, June 6. Deadline for applications is December 31. For more information http://blog.magazine-awards.com/category/national-magazine-awards/internships/


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gary Davies leaves as Canada Wide president; moving back to Calgary

Eighteen months after becoming president of Canada Wide Media Limited in Vancouver, Gary Davies has left the company and is understood to be moving back to Calgary. Davies had joined Canada Wide in July 2012 from RedPoint Media Group Inc., where he had worked for 16 years, latterly as executive vice-president.

During his  tenure at Canada Wide, the company redesigned its longstanding magazine TV Week and did a multi-platform redesign of BCBusiness, produced an iPad edition of Westworld Alberta and saw BCLiving.ca expand from digital to print and produce a Chinese language version. 

Is a masthead necessary in a magazine?

There's talk that Time Inc. is considering eliminating mastheads in its magazines. What do you think? 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Next Issue Canada rolls out free 30-day trial for non-Rogers subscribers

Next Issue Canada, after a two-month head start for Rogers service subscribers, is now rolling out its free 30-day trial of the magazine bundling service to the rest of Canadians. Thirteen of the 115 titles being offered are Canadian-published, all by Rogers (though it is anticipated other publishers will later join, as they do with the direct mail Rogers Subscription service.) 
Unlimited basic includes access to 100 magazines for $9.99 a month; a premium service for $14.99 a month includes 115 titles, including Maclean's and Hello! Canada

The service, which is a joint venture with a consortium of major U.S. publishers, makes magazines available on Apple iPad, iPad mini and iPhone, Android tablets and Windows 8 PCs and tablets, using a free app.

Next Issue was a joint venture formed in 2009 by five leading U.S. publishers -- Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, NewsCorp, and Time Inc.-- a digital subscription service that offered unlimited access (only in the United States) to online magazines for a monthly flat fee. (It's sometimes called the "Netflix of magazines".) Rogers joined as a partner in September.

Canadian titles on Next Issue:
  • Canadian Business
  • Canadian Health & Lifestyle
  • Chatelaine (English & French)
  • Flare
  • Hello!Canada
  • L'actualite
  • LouLou (English & French)
  • Maclean's
  • MoneySense
  • Sportsnet
  • Today's Parent

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Publishers told that Publications Mail rate staying as announced for Jan 2014

Member magazines have been informed by Magazines Canada, the industry association, that the forthcoming changes announced last week by Canada Post (CPC) do not -- at present -- affect the Publications Mail rate, which was announced in July for January 2014. However, publishers will be faced with a major increase in lettermail (like any regular mail user) come March 31, affecting the mailing of publishers invoices. 
"Renewals and acquisitions sent via Addressed Admail rates remain the same as announced in late July 2013."
CPC is working with Magazines Canada and publishers to ensure that correct customer's mailing addresses are captured (rather than the physical address). And it is promoting tools such as Address Complete, which ensures that mailing addresses are complete (the #1 reason for returned mail is missing apartment or suite numbers, and the #2 reason is using the physical address instead of the mailing address.) A free trial of the Address Complete software is available.
Related post:

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Gauging the impact of Canada Post changes on the magazine business

We're interested to know what effects on the magazine industry readers of this blog expect  because of Canada Post's plans to transform the mail service. You can respond to the following question by clicking on comments below.
Canada Post is making major changes, including ending home delivery and dramatically increasing the cost of letter mail. What do you think will be the biggest effects on your magazine(s) or your magazine-related business?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mag world view: Soaring Allrecipes; Vice buys Carrot; Pope POY; Magzter goes global; Bookazines; Red Bull mag

U of T and Western back out of paying royalties to writers and publishers for copying

Two of Canada's leading universities -- University of Toronto and Western -- are walking away from a 20-year relationship with Access Copyright, the copyright licensing agency. And the Professional Writers Association of Canada is livid about it. As is The Writers' Union of Canada. Essentially, the decision means that the two schools will no longer pay a collective royalty fee to creators through an Access license; in fact it may mean they will pay nothing. 

The two schools had settled with AC in January 2012 and signed a licensing agreement, which was thought to provide a model for other schools to follow. Apparently minds have changed.   
“They seem to have been persuaded by the most fanatical ideologues in their midst that the recent reform of copyright law in Canada gives them free rein to copy at will without any regard for the realities of the marketplace”, said PWAC president Michelle Greysen. “Unfortunately this devaluation of creativity will lead to the general impoverishment of Canada’s knowledge base. As frontline knowledge workers, Canadian writers cannot accept this direction. We are looking at legal options up to and including mounting a class action suit against the universities for infringing upon our economic rights.”
A PWAC press release elaborates
We realize that digital technology has changed in education. But the fact that it is easier to reproduce text and images because they have been reduced to ones and zeros does not mean that the process of creation — the sweat and inspiration and hard critical analysis that goes into professional writing — can be reduced to zero in terms of compensation for the widespread use of a given piece of writing, be it a textbook, a poem or a piece of investigative journalism. Universities don’t provide any other services without paying for them — why should content be free?
Read more »

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Submissions open for National Magazine Awards; deadline Jan 15

Submissions are now being accepted now for the 37th annual National Magazine Awards. Entries can be made in 48 print and online categories, including a new one this time around -- Infographics. 

Content from magazine websites and tablet magazines are eligible in most categories, including ones dedicated to digital: blogs; editorial package -- web; online video; website of the year and tablet magazine of the year.

The early-bird deadline is January 10 and the final deadline is January 15. Finalists will be announced May 1. The awards are on June 6.

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Montecristo, the Vancouver lifestyle quarterly, celebrates 5 years

The Vancouver lifestyle quarterly magazine Montecristo is celebrating its fifth anniversary covering high-end art, design, fashion, culture, food and wine, travel and business. The cover story in the winter 2013 issue is about actress Kristin Lehman and features, for the first time in print, the private collection of furniture and interior design items of design guru Nancy Bendtsen

A release quotes editor Jim Tobler:
"Montecristo is a magazine that has, both in its print version and in its online version, been an erstwhile, dedicated, energetic, participatory member of our community. I can recall, without effort, how this magazine began, and the people who facilitated it along the way;Douglas Coupland, Sarah McLachlan, Parviz Tanavoli, Pino Posteraro, Chan Hon Goh, Mario Gutierrez, and so many more."
Founder and publisher Pasquale Cusano maintains,
"Our vision is to highlight the many artisans and individuals that do great work but go unnoticed. Many of them make their home here in Vancouver but affect culture, design, and decisions around the world."
The magazine, which is a slick credenza or coffee table item that is distributed in upscale hotels and through select Vancouver retailers, says that it reaches about 100,000 readers per issue. Among other things, it prides itself on only taking full-page ads (or spreads) and giving advertisers right hand positions, separated from each other. As a result it carries ads from clients such as Ferragamo USA, Maserati, Mercedes and Michael Kors. The magazine sells a three-year subscription for $65, which comes with a 70-minute massage. One year costs $25 (but no massage).


Monday, December 09, 2013

Canadian Business absorbs Profit
and goes monthly

Profit, the magazine for smaller businesses published by Rogers Publishing is being merged with its big brother Canadian Business magazine, which is going to become a monthly (now publishes fortnightly during much of the year). 

Profit will become a section heading within Canadian Business. The change happens January 16. The new Canadian Business will publish 14 times a year -- 12 CB and 2 bonus Profit-themed issues.  The result, says Rogers, is a "powerhouse business magazine with a projected readership of more than 1 million." Ian Portsmouth, formerly publisher and editor of Profit, will be the publisher of the new, merged monthly. 
The final standalone issue

"The new frequency and enhanced content of the new Canadian Business allows us to do more of what we do best - provide intelligent analysis, context, and thoughtful features to the business community," said Duncan Hood, editor-in-chief of the new Canadian Business [in a release]. 
"The Profit section within Canadian Business will continue to deliver the actionable information that entrepreneurs need, while offering a larger audience access to the latest thought-leaders in innovative thinking."
Profit has been publishing for 30 years and, until now, came out six times annually, with a circulation of 84,632 and a total readership of 184,00. Canadian Business has a circulation of 85,027 and a readership of 897,000.  Profit also has had its own web presence with profitguide.com

Profit has been well-known for publishing specials about Canada's 500 fastest-growing companies, top new growth companies and top female entrepreneurs as well as Canada's best small and medium employers, all of which are being folded into CB
Read more »

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Friday, December 06, 2013

Miranda Purves leaving as Flare editor-in-chief

Miranda Purves, the editor-in-chief of Flare magazine, is leaving the magazine at the end of January to move back to New York "to be closer to her family". 

Purves, a Canadian, joined Flare in June 2012 from Elle (U.S.), where she was lifestyle editor. She had worked in the U.S. for 12 years (She replaced Lisa Tant who was abruptly moved to being publisher of Hello! Canada magazine  and later left the business entirely to work for Holt Renfrew.)

From a March profile for the in-house Rogers Publishing newsletter: 
Purves previously spearheaded the launch of the stand-alone colour fashion newspaper US Fashion Daily and worked as a senior fashion editor at Mademoiselle. In Canada, she has worked for both Saturday Night and the National Post. Purves has also done freelance writing for the likes of the New York Times and the Paris Review.
Her relatively short reign attracted some catty comments such as gossip columnist Shinan Govani's critique in the National Post last November: 
"Her eye contact needs work, her body language is off, and she overall just seems like someone who’d be more comfortable in her garrett, sipping mint tea, studying the oeuvres of the two Ediths — Head and Wharton. All of which makes me wonder why she’d even want the job of an editor-in-chief in the first place, especially that of a modern fashion mag — a gig that is almost antithetical, amazingly, to the life of a writer, and chiefly involves being diplomat, cheerleader and pitchwoman."
Who knows what comments her departure will attract? 


Thursday, December 05, 2013

Anti-spam legislation going ahead in July, without addressing some industry concerns

Canada's anti-spam legislation (CASL) will be enacted July 2014 and Magazines Canada is telling its members that there are many issues that various industry groups have not been able to resolve and which remain challenging. 
We recommend reading Barry Sookman's  point of view. He is a been a member and advisor to the national CASL business coalition in which Magazines Canada is an active member. We recommend that individuals in magazine media companies responsible for these matters take a careful look immediately.  This is NOT PIPEDA plus.
For instance, the new legislation will worry publishers and circulators particularly when it comes to customers or potential customers being required to specifically "opt in" rather than presuming they agree to the use of their names to be sent commercial messages, such as direct mail (in other countries such as Australia and New Zealand, this is sometimes called "inferred consent".)


Double Dot magazine celebrates
Winnipeg and Minneapolis

Double Dot, a Toronto-based magazine that celebrates sister cities, is launching its 4th issue featuring Winnipeg and Minneapolis with a party Dec. 12, 8 p.m. at Toronto's Mama Loves You Vintage, 541 Queen St. W. 

The magazine is the inspiration of and was founded by three ex-Walrus interns: Shannon Jager, Barry Chong and Julie Baldassi. Jager is the art director at Quill & Quire magazine, and previously worked as a designer for Elle magazine. Chong is a former staff writer at Toro Magazine, and the creator of a new podcast series with Torontonians called Hogtown Talks. Baldassi is a staff writer at Quill & Quire who has contributed as a writer and director to several short films.  

The goal of Double Dot is to create relationships between cities across the world and explore the cultural and creative relationships between them. Past issues have featured Chicago and Toronto, and Montreal and Amsterdam. Jager  says in a release:
“With past issues on Chicago and Toronto, and Montreal and Amsterdam, Issue 4 focuses on the often-overlooked sister cities of Minneapolis and Winnipeg—places that seem to go unnoticed when pitted against the cultural giants like New York and Paris. As sister cities, Minneapolis and Winnipeg share geographic, economic, and historical ties. And as Double Dot’s fine contributors have discovered, they also share a similar creative spirit.”
Issue 4 (which is for sale at the party for $10) features filmmaker Guy Maddin, Minneapolis hipster rapper Lizzo, and The Royal Art Lodge collective, as well as new photography by Fantavious FritzBen Freedman, and Sarah Blais, and new writing by Jake Tobin Garrett and Kyle Carsten Wyatt. 

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

IAB releases "playbook" for "native advertising"

What used to be called "advertorial" (ads imitating stories) is now called "native advertising" and it has been a bit of a wild west out there, with no one knowing what the standards or rules were. Well, in its role as the new sheriff in town, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has prepared the IAB Native Advertising Playbook", which is available for download

Though mostly concentrating on the web and the interface between traditional TV and the internet, the new standards bear on what print and digital magazines do, too. 
“Marketers are already embracing native strategies and publishers are looking for a roadmap that will allow them to take full advantage of the trend,” said Peter Minnium, Head of Brand Initiatives, IAB. “The more we can define and structure the framework surrounding native advertising, the easier we will make it for brands to easily incorporate it into their ad buys.”
“I firmly believe that advertising on the modern internet will be defined by meaningful content, not standard ads. There’s a movement happening, away from interruptive, traditional ads, and towards thoughtful brand stories — and native ads are the most potent and effective distribution strategy for content-based advertising,” said Dan Greenberg, Founder and CEO, Sharethrough, and Co-Chair, IAB Native Advertising Task Force.

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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Quote, unquote: Writing the script for the future

"We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rewrite the definition of what it means to be a content provider. I think you have two options: you can hold on to the old model for dear life and squeeze as much time out of that as you can or you can write the script for what the future of this business will be."
-- Howard Mittman, publisher of Wired magazine, in the December 2013 issue of Publishing Executive magazine.


Monday, December 02, 2013

Magawards names three new directors

The National Magazine Awards Foundation has elected three new directors:
  • Theresa Ebden is the director of media and analyst relations (Canada) at Accenture and a former journalist with The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Business News Network and others.
  • Steve Maich is the senior vice-president of publishing at Rogers Media, prior to which he was the founding editor-in-chief and publisher of Sportsnet, and group publisher of Rogers consumer business magazines.
  • Dominique Ritter is the managing editor of Reader's Digest, former editor-in-chief of various titles at Spafax Canada and a freelance writer and editor.


Quote, unquote: On being less frequent, but better

“We’ve talked about this for a while and you can’t help but get wistful about it. But I would be more concerned if we didn’t address how the market and people’s reading habits have changed. I would not be doing this if I didn’t believe we could make a better magazine and continue to grow what we do both in print and online.”
-- Adam Moss, editor in chief of New York magazine speaking about the decision, come March, to reduce the frequency of the weekly to fortnightly. Reported by David Carr in the New York Times.


Senator Patrick Brazeau to work as freelance reporter for Frank magazine, Halifax

Suspended (disgraced shurely? -- ed.) senator Patrick Brazeau has found a way to occupy his time, as a freelance reporter for the regional version of Frank Magazine in Halifax. This is apparently despite the fact that he has no experience. According to a story in the Chronicle Herald, Frank Magazine editor Andrew Douglas said 
"Your guess is as good as mine how this is going to work out. Who knows, he may give us a couple columns every week of interesting and insightful stuff. Or it could not work out, I have no idea." 
Brazeau plans to apply for admission to the Parliamentary Press Gallery.  

Seven new, diverse, exotic and erotic member magazines approved by Magazines Canada

Magazines Canada's board has approved seven new member magazine members, diverse and in some ways exotic in their subject matter. 

Anokhi is a 4x fashion lifestyle and entertainment publication targetted to south Asians in western society. 

British Columbia History is a 4-times a year magazine focussed on social, political and economic history in B.C. 

In My Bed is an erotic literary arts publication published 4x annually. 

Mixtape, is a quarterly music magazine based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Real Style is a quarterly fashion, beauty and celebrity magazine. 

Viet Sun is an 11x bilingual (English and Vietnamese fashion lifestyle and cultural magazine aimed at Vietnamese-Canadians and Vietnamese-Americans. It is the first Vietnamese-language member of Magazines Canada. 

Tesla Magazine is a 4x celebration of the contributions of the Nikolai Tesla, who among other things invented alternating current.


Sunday, December 01, 2013

Cottage Life rebrands Cottage as Cottage Life West, launches Edmonton consumer show

Cottage to go West
Cottage Life Media is rebranding its recently acquired Cottage magazine as Cottage Life West, starting in March 2014. And concurrently, it is launching the Edmonton Cottage Life & Cabin Show, much like its successful eastern counterparts.

In July 2012, Cottage Life Media and OP Publishing of Vancouver negotiated a swap by which OP's Cottage magazine moved over the Cottage Life Media (and Explore magazine to OP). It was clearly a means to a somewhat more national buy and readership than the heavily Ontario-based Cottage Life could offer advertisers. Cottage Life has a paid circulation of 70,000; Cottage's circulation is 20,000.

The rebranding of Cottage and the creation of a complementary consumer show is part of a national strategy being pursued aggressively by Cottage Life Media after it was purchased by Blue Ant Media in the fall of 2013. This includes the launch of a digital specialty TV channel with the Cottage Life brand.
“While Cottage is already western Canada’s leading recreational living publication, as Cottage Life West, readers can expect the same strong western Canadian focus, but even more great content thanks to the added expertise and resources Cottage Life Media brings to the table” said Peter Robson, editor, Cottage Life West [in a release.]
The first Edmonton Cottage Life & Cabin Show (a nod to the western habit of referring to their second homes as cabins) will be April 25-27 at the Edmonton Expo Centre and is expected to feature more than 100 exhibitors. Consumer shows with cottage lifestyle products and services have been a major strength of the Toronto-based Cottage Life Media for 21 years, including its Spring Cottage Life Show attracts more than 30,000 attendees and 500 exhibitors and the Fall Cottage Life Show with more than 10,000 attendees and over 200 exhibitors. The new Edmonton show will tap into a strengthening western Canadian market of recreational property owners. A report compiled in 2012 by Westcoast CED Consulting Ltd. says the resource-based economy in Alberta and Saskatchewan is creating strong markets for recreational properties and fuelling demand for log and timber frame home builders.
“More than 365,000 people in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan own a vacation property in Canada,” said Al Zikovitz, president, Cottage Life Media. “Our objective is to be the leading media brand offering the best in local content for readers and show attendees, along with fully-integrated media solutions for advertisers and exhibitors.”

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