Thursday, October 30, 2014

Vice Media and Rogers team up in $100 million content creation hub in Toronto

Rogers Communications and Vice Media have entered into a $100 million joint venture partnership to create a multimedia studio in Toronto that will produce content for mobile, web and TV, starting in 2014. The focus is the 18-34 market, according to a story in Marketing magazine, creating news, drama, documentaries and original programming built around food, sport, fashion and tech.
The two companies say the Vice Canada Studio is intended to address the “dramatic shift” in media consumption, with nearly 70% of adults 18-24 now receiving news and entertainment from mobile and digital devices, compared with only 30% of adults 40+.
The content will include
  • Daily mobile blasts of Canadian-made news and information, including exclusives for Rogers and Fido customers;
  • Vice TV Formats, a new slate of TV formats developed, produced and made with Canadian talent;
  • Vice Plus, mobile adaptations of Vice’s new and best-known franchises, including the environmental show Toxic and F*ck That’s Delicious, starring rapper and former chef Action Bronson;
  • Pilots for new Vice shows
Vice Media co-founder Shane Smith said in a release
 “It was 20 years ago, deep down in the port of Old Montreal, that we set out to try and make a magazine that didn’t suck, This year we return to the homeland, all our hard lessons learned, to build from scratch a completely horizontally and vertically integrated ultra-modern media entity.Essentially we are building a content creation hub that will generate premium video for a cutting edge media company." 
Vice got its start in Montreal in 1994 as an alternative magazine and has since become major international media player.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

PMB fall data shows readership of digital magazines up 57% in past 12 months

The fall 2014 Print Measurement Bureau information says that overall readership of digital magazines, which PMB has measured since 2013, has increased by 57%  to 2.9 milllion in the last 12 months.It also found that most digital magazine readers (80%) also read printed magazines. Only 20% read only digital. And the printed versions of the 81 PMB-measured titles has kept steady, reaching an average of 1 million readers per issue.

The data shows that in fall 2014, digital smartphone magazine readers increased 162% (927,000 to 1.6 million) and digital tablet readers 115% (582 to 1,251). It also showed that digital magazine reading is 55% higher in Toronto than in the rest of Canada. And the fused PMB/comScore database shows that incremental website reach of print magazines + websites has increased to 25%, compared with 15% in 2010.
The fall 2014 data, based on sampling over the past 2 years, shows the top 10 magazines in total readership:
Total readers
Reader's Digest 4518
Canadian Living 3448
Canadian Geographic 3375
Kraft what's cooking 3348
Cineplex Magazine 3033
Chatelaine 2871
People 2730
CAA Magazine 2407
Maclean's 2074

In terms of measured readers per copy, the top 10 were:
The Hockey News Magazine 22.0
Canada's History 21.7
Outdoor Canada 20.6
Canadian Geographic 20.5
People 20.5
Canadian Gardening 15.6
Cottage Life 14.3
Sportsnet Magazine1 13.6
Dernière Heure 13.6

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Jonathan Kay of The National Post is named as editor of The Walrus, succeeding John Macfarlane

Jonathan Kay, the National Post's managing editor for content, has been named the new editor in chief of The Walrus magazine, succeeding John Macfarlane. 

Kay has been with the National Post for 16 years and has been responsible for the past decade for the NP's editorial, letter and ideas pages; he has also been a regular media panelist on CBC Television's The National and CBC Radio's Q. 

Kay will join the Walrus Foundation on December 1 and there will be a transition period while he takes the reins of the renamed position -- editor-in-chief content platforms.
“John Macfarlane has done a fabulous job of bringing The Walrus magazine to where it is today. John and I are both thrilled that Jonathan Kay will come on board as the perfect person to take The Walrus—on all content platforms—to the next level,” said Shelley Ambrose, executive director of the foundation and co-publisher of the magazine, in a release.
“I am honoured to have this opportunity to work with The Walrus,” said Jonathan Kay. “In the coming months, I look forward to collaborating with the magazine’s staff to help make the publication’s renowned content widely read on a wider range of platforms, and to infuse into the Walrus Foundation some of the energy that has characterized the National Post during the sixteen wonderful years that I worked there.”
Related stories:

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Editor of Walmart magazine now editor of TC media flagship, Canadian Living

Sandra Martin, the editor in chief of Walmart Live Better magazine has been scooped from Rogers Media to become the new editor in chief of Canadian Living magazine at TC Media. Martin has been with the promotional lifestyle publication, published by Rogers on behalf of the mammoth retailer, for a little over two years. 

She will replace Jennifer Reynolds, the former editor in chief who was let go from Canadian Living about four weeks ago, along with the magazine's art director Stephanie White.

A TC Media release said that her title will be multi-platform editorial director, responsible for strategic development and execution of all editorial content initiatives for the company's flagship brand across multiple platforms and formats.

Previous to Walmart, Martin had been executive editor of Today's Parent at Rogers and editor of its specials. Among other roles she had been senior features editor of MoneySense, personal finance correspondent for Global TV and FP Weekend editor and associate editor of WHERE Toronto.  


Monday, October 27, 2014

Canadian titles do well in IRMA awards

Canadian magazine members of the International Regional Magazine Association (IRMA) did well in the 34th annual awards, given out last night in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. British Columbia Magazine and Cottage Life each won eight awards, Yukon, North of Ordinary won a bronze for cover up to 35,000 circulation. 

Public issues
Award of merit -- British Columbia Magazine, Whale Song by Larry Pynn, June 2013

Nature and environment feature 
Silver award -- Cottage Life, Under the Wings of the Thunderbird by Jake MacDonald, Summer 2013

Travel feature
Bronze award -- British Columbia Magazine, Shore Leaves by Shanna Baker, June 2013

Silver award -- Cottage Life, The Seven Year Pitch by Jim Moodie,May 2013
Award of merit -- British Columbia Magazine, Island Character by Masa Takei, June 2013

Reader service article
Gold award -- Cottage Life, Total Loss by Ray Ford, June 2013
Award of merit -- British Columbia Magazine, Okanagan Day Hikes for Everyone by Jenny Manzer, September 2013

Award of merit -- Cottage Life, 97 Per Cent True by Guy Maddin, June 2013

Gold award -- Cottage Life, In Like Zim by David Zimmer, 2013

Single photo
Award of merit -- British Columbia Magazine, The Secret Lives of Bears by Brad Hill, September 2013

Gold award -- Cottage Life, How the Nest was Done by Byron Eggenschwiler, May 2013

Gold award -- Cottage Life, Puttering by Martin Zibauer and Vicki Hornsby, 2013

Food feature
Award of merit -- British Columbia Magazine, Sea Change by Andrew Findlay, December 2013

Cover (Up to 35,000 circulation)
Bronze award -- Yukon, North of Ordinary, Northern Portraits by Manu Keggenhoff, Tara McCarthy and Dave Brosha, Fall 2013

Cover (over 35,000 circulation)
Silver award -- Cottage Life, Smoke It! by Kim Zagar and Penny Caldwell, June 2013
Award of merit -- British Columbia Magazine, The Secret Life of Bears by Ken Seabrook, September 2013

Companion website
Silver award -- British Columbia Magazine by Agilitey and BC Magazine staff Jane Zatylny, Ken Seabrook, Shanna Baker, Lesley Christian ad Cindy Connor, 2013. 

Read more »

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Recalling the rise and fall of The Grid

When The Grid was shut down this past July by the Star Media Group after an exciting three years of publication and 162 issues, many, many of us lamented the loss of it. 

But often, when a publication closes down, explanations are few and some of the texture and background of its existence simply vanishes. Staff moves on, collective memory is lost, readers accommodate themselves to its disappearance.

That's why it is so good to see an interview by the Society for News Design with former creative director Vanessa  Wyse. Here are some of the things she said about The Grid's vision, its storytelling sense and its evolution:
"We focused on “Street-level” as a starting point and branched out from there. Most of the staff came from magazine backgrounds so we basically used all of the magazine storytelling tools we knew and loved and applied it to a newspaper format. This strategy created a kind of hybrid publication with the best of both worlds. Utilizing relevant stories, large documentary photography, clean and contemporary design, loads of entry points and graphics, and a fun editorial tone throughout the magazine." 
*  *  * 
 "A few months before we closed the publication, The Grid scaled down its physical size making it even closer to an over-sized magazine. I could even bleed images, which was very exciting. 
"When we decided to make the change, it was very tempting to try and redesign the entire publication. My team and I played around with a few attempts, new fonts, grids etc. But the truth is that The Grid was never broken. The design decisions we had made originally still held up. We just had to rethink the editorial message slightly and change the size. Freshen it up a bit. So that is what we did."
 *  *  * 
"Aside from the personal loss, I feel like it was a huge loss for Toronto as a city. No one was telling the kind of stories the way The Grid was telling them. Whether it was our political coverage, our food and booze content or our design and photography, it was a different view of our city that seems missing right now. 
"Announcing the news to the staff was very difficult; everyone was in shock. We were doing something we believed in and to have it disappear just like that was hard to get past. But with media landscape as it is, we simply ran out of time." 
*  *  * 
"When the news hit Twitter we couldn’t believe the outpouring of support. Thousands of tweets instantly went up, some using words like “heartbroken” and “devastated”. Some people are still posting messages about how much they are missing the paper each week. Our readership was extremely engaged, committed, loyal, and was still growing. Even though we had been unsuccessful from a business standpoint, we had 20-30 year old’s reading print. That’s unheard of these days!"
Full text of interview 

CSME mixer concentrates on being poised for job interview success

Acing your next job interview, next week or next year, is the topic when the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME) is hold its next Toronto mixer Wednesday, Oct 29 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. 

A panel consisting of  Christine Felgueiras, associate director with the etiquette and leadership training firm Corporate Class; Sharon Alderson, global lead for media-focused recruiting agency Creative Niche; and Steve Maich, the head of Rogers Publishing will discuss how to take a career to the next level. 

The event is in the 2nd floor Stealth Lounge at The Pilot Tavern, 22 Cumberland Street (Bloor & Yonge). $15 for members, $20 for non-members in advance, $20 and $25 at the door.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Martha Stewart titles outsource sales, circ and production to Meredith Corporation

Beginning November 1, Meredith Corporation will be handling all the sales, marketing, circulation, production and other non-editorial functions of Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings (and associated web properties) in Canada  under a 10 year licensing agreement with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Editorial for both books will continue to be done by the MSLO team.

Meredith chair and CEO Stephen M. Lacy described the deal, which applies to Canada and the U.S., as a "winning arrangement" that will be invisible to the consumer.

The deal packages the MSLO brands with Meredith's leading titles, including Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Allrecipes and Traditional Home, giving a potential audience and advertising reach of more than 100 million unduplicated American women, and a digital reach of more than 65 million unduplicated monthly unique visitors. In a Meredith release, Meredith National Media Group president Tom Harty said
 "We believe it will be very appealing to clients and agencies alike, and expose Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings to a wider consumer audience."


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A grave offer: Taddle Creek gets with the Hallowe'en season

The Toronto literary journal Taddle Creek is making a Hallowe'en-themed subscription offer of $10 for two years of the twice-a-year publication, which works out to $2.50 an issue. In its usual wacky way, it explains the offer: 
"Subscribe to Taddle Creek (or renew your current subscription) by midnight on All Hallow’s Eve and pay the frighteningly affordable price of only $10—a sum lower than the bottom of a freshly dug grave!"
A two-year, four-issue sub normally costs $18 or $4.50 an issue. 

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Mag world view: Engaged Time; Life after Times; Time to cooperate; The Onion's funny business; Non-elite journals

Quote, unquote: Becoming a critical part of readers' lives

"There are people, as much today as ever before, who will pay for valuable information that helps them make smarter and better decisions. I can’t speak for why other publishers don’t do it, but for us it’s always going to be a value proposition for the reader, which really goes back to why we did all of this. We have to remain invaluable to all of these readers because that is our business and our revenue model. So the deeper we’re engaged with them, the more meaningful discussions we have with them, the more we’ve become a critical part of their lives, to the point where they don’t make big decisions without working with us."
-- Consumer Reports vice-president and general manager Brent Diamond about the magazine's no-ad, hefty subscription model. He was responding in a Q & A with Mr. Magazine about the major redesign of the magazine, launched with the November 2014 issue. Among other things, the magazine is introducing feature articles in what had previously been heavy on data and reviews. 


Monday, October 20, 2014

Cheers! Free wine is a subscription lure for magazine

The liquor laws are decidedly different, but here's a premium idea from Britain that's too good for Canadian publishers to pass up. Get on it, will you? 

£92 subscription to the New Statesman saves £113 over the newsstand price of the weekly, plus the subscriber gets 6 free bottles of wine worth £61.94 (in the United Kingdom, only).

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Opportunity for paid internships at National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Awards are looking for a few good -- paid -- administrative interns to help it run the program and event. The contract is for an average of 15 hours a week at $11 an hour between November 3 and June 30 2015. Details and further information

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Quote, unquote: Apple Newsstand failing to alert readers to new digital issues

“The challenge is engagement. Readers are subscribing, but then they forget to come back.”
-- Vidia Gopel, National Geographic's director of digital marketing and membership, commenting in a Digiday article about how publishers feel the Apple Newsstand is failing them.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

TC Media publishes free article on how to live with anti-spam legislation

Some digital marketers experienced 40 to 70% churn in their databases when they sent reconfirmation messages trying to meet the requirements of Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), according to a paper being distributed free by TC Media. The paper, "Suffering from Post-CASL Database Withdrawal?" by Ryan Moss, director of 1:1 Messaging and ISP Relations at TC Media, is one of several items about CASL in its resource section.

Moss says that experience with some TC Media brands such as ELLE Canada had a happier outcome, with an attrition rate of 18%, but increased opening rates. The paper sets out three steps to remaining CASL compliant and yet increase the (for instance, subscriber) database. 

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Joyce Byrne named president of National Magazine Awards Foundation

Joyce Byrne, the publisher of Avenue magazine in Calgary, has been elected as the new president of the National Magazine Awards Foundation for 2014-15. She has served on the board of directors since 2010 and as its vice-president from 2012-2014. She is also a silver medal NMA winner. 

Three new members announced and elected to the board were:
  • Christopher Frey is the editor-in-chief of Hazlitt and director of digital publishing at Random House Canada. As a journalist he has twice been a gold medal winner.
  • Terry Sellwood is the president of Cottage Life Media, a division of Blue Ant Media and publisher of Cottage Life, Canada’s magazine of the year. Previously he served on the board of the National Magazine Awards Foundation, including as president from 2001-2003.
  • Melony Ward is the Publisher of Canada’s History magazine and Kayak: Canada’s History for Kids. She serves on the magazine advisory committee for Ontario Media Development Corporation and previously served on the board of Magazines Canada. 
Byrne succeeds Douglas Thomson, the editor of ROM Magazine who has been president for the past two years and will serve as past president on the 2014-15 executive. Vice-president will be Terry Sellwood, secretary will be  Brian Morgan, the art director of The Walrus, treasurer will be Liana Bell, a partner in the Clark Henning Group. 

Other directors of the foundation:
  • Theresa Ebden, director, marketing & communications, Accenture
  • Curtis Gillespie, Editor, Eighteen Bridges
  • Graeme Harris, vice-president, CEO communications & media Relations, Manulife Financial
  • David Hayes, freelance journalist
  • Angela Jones, integrated advertising consultant 
  • Steve Maich,  senior vice president, general manager, Rogers Publishing
  • Dominique Ritter, managing editor, Reader's Digest
  • Lisa Whittington-Hill, publisher, This Magazine

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mag world: Meredith runs Martha; Bonnier buys production co.; 6x Time Out; Norway singles

Ryerson magazine ad sales courses deliver knowledge, skills and understanding

Funny thing. Though most magazines most of the time depend on advertising for their survival and prosperity, there is relatively little interest in developing or refining sales skills. We certainly find that with our two ad sales courses at Ryerson's Magazine and Web Publishing program. It can't be that everybody knows everything, can it?
There's nobody who can gun you up better than Gwen Dunant, one of the best consultants in the country about advertising sales. Her course Magazine Advertising Sales & Marketing (CDJN201) starts Monday October 27, so there's no time to lose; only a few days to enrol. It's a 7-week evening course and anyone who has taken it says it's worth every penny. But there's no time to waste. Sign up now. On average, Canadian magazine advertising sales representatives earn more than magazine editors and find it easier to step into the role of publisher. (All magazine publishers must have a thorough understanding of advertising sales.) This course provides students with the knowledge and skills required to sell magazine advertising in today's highly competitive marketplace. 
Starting in Thursday, 15 January there is Marty White's course called Ad Sales on the Web (CDJN208). Ad sales in the digital age requires traditional persuasive skills, but operating in a whole new world of design, accountability, and instant measurement. Digital delivery is a big part of the future of magazine publishing. Become familiar with the ways online advertising is priced, pitched, measured, designed, and packaged. Learn about rich text, standard ad formats and pricing, positioning your publication against such heavy-hitting competitors as Google, and exercising your creativity to meet online advertisers' needs. Understand the metrics that matter most to advertisers and agencies and how to package and deliver them. 


Success and Pitching, two new Magazine and Web publishing courses at Ryerson's Chang School

Two new evening courses are due to begin very soon at Ryerson University's Chang School. They are each 7-weeks, each very practical, each the result of listening to what people have been telling us they need and want. Each can be taken as a one-off and both can be applied to the Magazine and Web Publishing certificate program. Don't delay.
  • The Art of Pitching (CDJN124) a practical, step-by-step course on how to research, tailor and deliver a saleable magazine pitch to the right editor(s). Taught by prolific freelancer Rosemary Counter (Starts Wednesday Oct 29)
  • Success as a Freelancer (CDJN123) is a primer on how to run a freelance business as a writer or editor. It's taught by experience freelancer and instructor Diane Peters. (Starts Thursday Oct. 30)

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This was where Naomi Klein got her start

Photo: Ed Kashi
Even the great and mighty oak was once a nut...The announcement that Naomi Klein had won the 2014 Hilary Weston Prize for Nonfiction  for her book This Changes Everything is big news and deserved praise. The Canadian social activist gets a lot of attention from many quarters. But, curiously, she seems to have disconnected from her journalistic roots. 

Her bio on her own website, justifiably trumpets her publishing successes ("No Logo", "The Shock Doctrine") and celebrity (a profile in Vogue) and being a contributing editor of Harper's, a reporter for Rolling Stone and a regular columnist for The Nation and The Guardian. But not where she got her start in spending a little more than a year as editor of This Magazine in Toronto. Like many famous writers and journalists, she built her career on a foundation laid at a little Canadian magazine, the kind that's often the seedbed for later success.

State of the Magazine Nation to highlight innovative ideas, November 6

Magazines Canada's annual event promoting innovations in magazine media is being held November 6 in Toronto at the Arcadian Court, Queen & Bay. 

Aimed unabashedly at advertising professionals as well as publishers and editors, State of the Magazine Nation will talk about mobile as the dominant platform, big data, video and native advertising. The centrepiece is a presentation by John Wilpers of Innovation International Media Consulting and Editor of FIPP’s 2014 World Report of a series of global case studies drawn from the report. Free admission, registration required

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Blue Ant merges Outdoor Canada with Outdoor Group Media (Western Sportsman et al)

In a major consolidation of the outdoor publication sector, Outdoor Canada magazine is being merged with Western Sportsman, BC Outdoors and Outdoor Edge in Outdoor Group Media. The deal involves Blue Ant Media  becoming 50% owner of the existing Outdoor Group Media and makes it the largest publisher of outdoor publications in Canada.
As a result, Mark Yelic of Keywest will be the new publisher of Outdoor Canada, while the current editorial and art staff (editor-in-chief Patrick Walsh, managing editor Bob Sexton, associate editor Scott Gardner and art director Sandra Cheung) remain in place and in their offices at Cottage Life Media.
“Our talented and knowledgeable editorial teams look forward to continuing to serve Canada’s passionate outdoor enthusiasts in new and exciting ways,” said Terry Sellwood, president, Cottage Life Media, a division of Blue Ant Media [in a release]. “The merging of this expertise will further enhance the quality of the content for readers on a national level.”

“This exciting new partnership gives the brands, both print and digital, coast-to-coast reach in the hunting and fishing market and a consolidated sales team for turnkey advertising campaigns,” said Mark Yelic, President, Keywest Marketing.
Both ownership groups are privately held media companies. Blue Ant acquired Outdoor Canada in 2011 as part of its purchase of Quarto Communications (later, Cottage Life Media) and is widely invested in television, magazines, mobile and the web. Keywest Marketing has been producing hunting and fishing magazines in western Canada for more than 20 years and co-produces BC-based fishing TV shows. 

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Annual Charles Oberdorf Memorial Award presented to Stephanie Young

Mechtild Hoppenrath (L) and Stephanie Young
The third annual Charles Oberdorf Memorial Award for excellence in magazine and web publishing was presented Thursday night to Stephanie Young. The award is given each year to a student nearing completion of the magazine and web publishing certificate in the memory of the longtime academic coordinator of the Magazine and Web Publishing program at Ryerson University's Chang School. The award was presented by Oberdorf's wife, Mechtild Hoppenrath at the Leaders in Learning awards event.

Oberdorf was equally well-known as a writer, editor, teacher and passionate advocate for the magazine form. During his some 18 years teaching at Ryerson, he shared his professional skills with his students, and imbued them with his own love of story-telling and journalism.The annual $1,000 merit award was created following Oberdorf's death in September 2011. (see below for information on contributing to the fund.)

Nico Mara-McKay
*  *  *
Also presented was the Terri DeRose Memorial Award in Circulation Management to Nico Mara-McKay. The award recognizes an excellent student who has completed a course addressing the topic of magazine circulation management and was established by the Circulation Management Association of Canada (CMC) honouring Terri DeRose's significant contribution to the circulation management profession as vice-president of consumer marketing at Transcontinental Media. 

Read more »

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Thursday, October 09, 2014

Corporate Knights mag relaunches website to feature daily sustainability news

Corporate Knights magazine is plunging into daily coverage of sustainability with the relaunch of its website The revitalized site will carry a range of stories and viewpoints about clean technology, low-carbon transportation, smart cities, responsible mining, social enterprise and sustainability in the workplace. 
"When Corporate Knights magazine was launched 12 years ago there was limited awareness of the importance of sustainability and its relationship to business success and economic growth, so it made sense at the time to be a quarterly publication," said editor-in-chief Tyler Hamilton [in a release]. "Today, sustainability issues are increasingly top-of-mind for companies and governments, and the demand for daily coverage of these issues has never been higher." 
"The new was created to meet that demand. It complements our award-winning print magazine and further supports our collective mission: using information to empower markets that, in turn, can make the world a better place," Hamilton added.


Wednesday, October 08, 2014

U.S. survey says city and regional publishers still rely heavily on print for revenue

The annual Folio: magazine survey of city and regional magazine publishers says that local titles rely on print for as much as 93% of their annual revenue. And more print products are scheduled to launch this year than at any time in the last 5 years. A report in MediaPost says
Along with the rest of the publishing industry, print peaked in the mid-2000s for city and regional magazines, notes the report. It accounted for up to 95.9% of overall revenue in 2005, but it hasn't dipped far from that point. While custom publishing contracts have taken the place of a few ad dollars, the print-to-non-print revenue ratio is just a few points off where it was 10 years ago. The numbers are almost exactly what they were in 2008. (about 94%)
The smaller the publisher, the tougher it is  to diversify, says the story, and such publishers still count on  print ad sales for 80% of their revenue, essentially unchanged over the last 4 years.

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Online, paid, reader-funded The Magazine is ceasing publication

The Magazine, a wholly subscriber-supported, paid online magazine, is going to cease publication after its December 17 issue. 

It has been publishing every other Thursday (and usually contains four offbeat features; a true "general interest" publication.) 

Subscriptions, which have cost $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year, will be refunded on a pro-rata basis and  the company may produce some e-books or other special projects. Going out with a bang is the way it describes its planned Year Two anthology, a crowdfunded project containing 29 stories from the magazine, for which it plans to pay writers reprint fees. (A class act.) 

The magazine was founded in October 2012 by Marco Arment, the founder of Instapaper and the first employee of Tumblr. However it has been owned since May 2013 by publisher and editor Glenn Fleishman (who, among other distinctions, was a two-time Jeopardy champion.) In his blog, Fleishman says
"The sad truth has been that, while profitable from week one, the publication has had a declining subscription base since February 2013. It started at such a high level that we could handle a decline for a long time, but despite every effort — including our first-year anthology crowdfunded a bit under a year ago — we couldn't replace departing subscribers with new ones fast enough. We're a general-interest magazine that appeals to people who like technology, and that makes it very hard to market. "Pivoting" to a different editorial focus would have lost subscribers even faster."


Monday, October 06, 2014

Canadian Nieman fellowship offers journalist study and reflection in a year at Harvard

Every other year, a Canadian Nieman fellowship is offered to a working journalist to spend a year at Harvard University. The specifically Canadian award is financed by a trust established in the name of Martin Wise Goodman, the late president of the Toronto Star, who was a Nieman Fellow himself. 

(The Nieman Foundation for Journalism welcomes up to 12 foreign and 12 American  journalists to Harvard. Since 1938, there have been more than 1,400 fellows. The fellowships were established in the name of  Lucius W. Nieman, the founder of the Milwaukee Journal.) 

The Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University provides a mid-career opportunity to study and broaden intellectual horizons during the academic year (September to June) and covers the cost of attending Harvard University and a stipend for living expenses. There are no educational prerequisites; nor do fellows receive either course credits or a degree for work done during the Nieman year. Application is made by the individual journalist. 

The 2013 winner was Laura-Julie Perreault, a staff reporter at La Presse.

The deadline for applications is February 2, 2015. For further information about qualifications and to obtain application forms for the Canadian Nieman, go to   

For further information on the Nieman program, go to

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Mag world view: Bertelsmann buys out G+J; Issuu launches "You Tube for magazines"; Harper Collins to authors: sell direct, make more

National Post buys English language papers -- including Toronto Sun -- from Quebecor

Postmedia Network has bought The Toronto Sun and the rest of Sun Media Inc.'s 175 English language newspapers, specialty publications and associated digital properties from Quebecor Media Inc. for $316 million. According to a story in the National Post, Postmedia's flagship, the properties include Sun newspapers in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton. 
The deal also includes the London Free Press and the free 24 Hours dailies in Toronto and Vancouver. Postmedia will pay $316 million in the deal, which includes real estate holdings worth approximately $50-60 million. The deal is subject to regulatory approval, including from the Competition Bureau. That is expected to take several months. The deal excludes Quebecor holdings in Quebec. 
“This acquisition brings together an impressive stable of brands that collectively create a stronger Canadian media platform that is better positioned to compete against foreign-based digital offerings and offers a greater range of choices to our readers,” said Paul Godfrey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Postmedia.


Quote, unquote: The way consumers think
about advertising

When American consumers were asked in what ways will advertising evolve during the next decade, 58% said advertisers will have more personal data about consumers; 52%, advertisers will improve targeted advertisements toward certain demographic groups; 44%, the majority of billboards will become animated; 43%, geolocation services will help advertisers predict purchasing; 42%, and technology will use consumers' personal information to sell products.
-- from a MediaPost blog report about The Future of Advertising Survey, conducted online in the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Goo Technologies


Canadian Lawyer magazine apologizes for and withdraws controversial cover

Canadian Lawyer magazine is attempting to mend fences -- and its reputation -- over the illustration on its September 2014 cover, which purported to show the lack of diversity on the Canadian bench.  The monthly, published by Thomson Reuters Canada, issued an apology Friday and said it has withdrawn the cover from the website (see below*). 

The U.S.-based website Above the Law reported that, among others, a student group from McGill University took the lead in protesting the use of the illustration. In a letter to the editors, the students said:
"While we appreciate the attention called to the need to increase the proportion of women and visible minorities on the bench, we question why the stylized cover portrays an apparently incarcerated black man glaring at a white woman. This cover is troublesome as it reinforces existing negative stereotypes about visible minorities, women and criminality, and thereby affects how the important issue of diversity on the bench is framed and discussed."
Canadian Lawyer responded with what is usually called a "non-apology apology", although it said it sincerely regretted that the image was seen as reinforcing negative stereotypes and that it was never the magazine's intention.
"The intent of the cover was to illustrate a woman waiting and having to bide her time trying to figure out the password or key to get through a locked door, consistent with the theme of the article. The figure behind the door with a speakeasy-type slider is in the shadows, representing the gatekeeper of the establishment/old order looking askew at this person trying to break the code and get into the private club (ie: the bench)."
The students responded, in part:
"Such a response demonstrates to us a troubling lack of regard for a significant portion of your readership that took the time and effort to bring this issue to your attention. It also demonstrates a lack of concern for the issue of diversifying the judiciary with respect to visible minorities who make up an even less significant portion of judges than women. Regardless of your intent, your actions have left us with a troubling caricature of a black man as a symbol of the “old boys” network that acts to keep women off the bench – a symbol that is in contradiction to reality since black men make up a very small percentage of judges in Canada. Both the troubling and factually incorrect aspects of the image leaves us wondering about the extent of your magazine’s commitment to diversify the bench in regards to visible minorities and women."
Ultimately, Canadian Lawyer issued a full apology* dated October 3, including removing the image from its website. Editor Gail Cohen, who is editor of both Canadian Lawyer and Law Times, signed the statement which said, in part:
Canadian Lawyer team would like to apologize for the image on our September 2014 cover. The image was intended to reinforce the subject of the cover article — the lack of transparency in the judicial appointments process and the resulting limited diversity on the bench — but as we have heard from a number of readers, it conveyed a very different message and undermined this important discussion. 

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Friday, October 03, 2014

Kayak wins magazine of the year in the Maggies

Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids has won Magazine of the Year in the Maggies, the awards program run by the Manitoba Magazine Publishers Association. The People's Choice award went to The Cellar Door. Multiple winners were Canada's History magazine (4) and Prairie Fire (2). The awards were presented at a gala event on Thursday night:
  • Best single issue: Canada's History -- "Our Greatest Explorer"
  • Best regular column or department: Canada's History -- Christopher Moore
  • Best editorial feature: The Cottager -- "When Good Comes Out of Tragedy" (May-June)
  • Best mobile, digital or interactive: Canada's History -- "Canada's History Destinations"
  • Best cover photography: Geez -- "PerSisters"
  • Best cover illustration: Canada's History -- "Our Greatest Explorer"
  • Best brand extension activity: Anna Magazine -- Event studio, cooking classes
Business to business, association or custom
  • Best Business or individual profile: Conservator -- "Trensending from Tragedy"
  • Best professional, industrial article: Canadian Journal of Green Buildings and Design -- "Biophilic Design -- Materials and Health"
  • Best single issue: Canadian School Counsellor -- "Back to School, Fall 2013"
Arts & Literary
  • Best poem/suite: Rhubarb -- "The Wandering Heart of Cornelius Klassen"
  • Best short fiction: Prairie Fire -- "The Book about the Bear"
  • Best editorial...Creative non-fiction: Prairie Fire -- "The Moon in Scorpio"

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Thursday, October 02, 2014

Gardens West suddenly ceases publication -- as do companions Prairie, Central and East

Gardens West and its companion magazines Gardens Central and Gardens East, has ceased publishing. It was announced today in a Facebook post that the current issue, now on the stands will be its last. The subscriber page and online store have been closed down.

The magazine was published nine times a year for southwestern BC from Vancouver by Cornwall Publishing as was its Prairie edition for prairies and north. Gardens Central for Ontario and Quebec and Gardens East for Atlantic Canada were added in 2010.

The publisher was David Mulroney, who took over in 2013 when his mother, Dorothy Horton, retired. She had founded the magazine in 1987. The editor was Melissa Cornwell who had worked with the magazine for eight years and risen through the ranks. There are a number of contributors and columnists on plants, birds and gardening -- most of them freelance -- who are out of work with the sudden closure. 

A brief note on the magazine's website Forum page from reader Amy Aikman, dated September 30, put the situation bluntly:
"I'm so sad that the magazine is done for, and that the publisher is bankrupt. I will miss finding it in my mail box (real mail!), poring over all articles and gorgeous photos. Thank you to all of you at Gardens West who brought it to life!"

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