Monday, December 22, 2014

Best of the season; see you in 2015

As we do each year, Canadian Magazines is taking off Christmas week and we will start up again on January 5, with our annual look back at the significant events in the magazine year. Meanwhile, have a very merry and a happy and see you in 2015.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Capilano Review reaches fundraising goal to transition to be an independent magazine

With time to spare, The Capilano Review has raised more than its $20,000 Kickstarter goal in order to reinvent itself as an independent magazine. The fundraiser was a necessity when Capilano University in North Vancouver cut its $85,000 operating support, ending 43 years of association with the magazine, which is now planning to move to Vancouver and needed to raise at least $20,000 in order to finance a six-month transition. 


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2014 magazine launches outpace closures 2:1

In the first 9 months of 2014, 142 magazines launched and 65 closed according to, the largest database of U.S. and Canadian publications. Launches are down slightly from 145 to 142. Closures are up from 45 in 2013 to 65 this year, the company said in a release

During the first half of 2014, the top category for new consumer magazine launches was “regional interest”, followed by "health & fitness".


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Time Inc. to accept bitcoin for some of its subs

Time Inc. has announced that it will now accept Bitcoin, the digital "virtual currency" in payment of subscriptions for some of its magazines. A press release said subs for Fortune, Health, This Old House and Travel + Leisure can be paid using the bitcoin wallet platform Coinbase.
“For a major publisher like Time Inc. to embrace bitcoin sends an important message to both its readers and to the broader media community,” added Brian Armstrong, CEO & co-founder of Coinbase. “In addition to providing consumers with an easy, convenient way to pay for their subscriptions, it also opens the door for Time Inc. and publishers like it to familiarize themselves with the Bitcoin technology and explore new applications across the industry.”

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Herald magazine discontinued by Nova Scotia's Chronicle Herald newspaper

November 2014 edition
As part of a major layoff and cost-cutting exercise, Halifax's Chronicle Herald newspaper is discontinuing its award-winning current affairs publication, Herald magazine. The decision was announced by Chronicle Herald CEO Mark Lever. 

The Facebook page Friends of the Chronicle Herald Newsroom has reported frequently in recent weeks on the layoffs, buyouts and early retirements being imposed on the newspaper. 

Deborah Wiles, the editor of the magazine and 26-year veteran, is leaving. The magazine had been included with the newspaper  and was available by digital-only subscription. 

When 20 layoff notices (about a quarter of the staff) were made to unionized newsroom staff in October, CEO Lever said they were necessary "as the company adjusts to the rapidly changing environment for newspapers". A union spokesperson said the company was trying to save $1.4 million in the newsroom. Previously, six union members and two non-union members had taken offered early retirement. In 2009, the paper cut 25 positions. Almost all if it was attributed to a significant decline in advertising sales. 


Friday, December 12, 2014

Mag world view: BW and Bloomberg News merge; Adspend growth up in 2015; Pulitzer accepts mags; Google won't pay Spanish copyright

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Submissions now being accepted for National Magazine Awards; final deadline Jan 19

The 38th annual National Magazine Awards are now open for submissions in 45 written, visual, integrated and special categories. The early-bird deadline is January 11 (saves you some money) and the final deadline is January 19.

New this year in an award for Best Magazine Brand, a special award for a publication that delivers through at least three platforms (e.g. print, digital magazine, mobile app, tablet, social media, live events etc.)

This year, for the first time, all written categories are entered online; no more photocopies. 

Nominations are also being accepted through March 1 for the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement -- the highest honour for an individual whose innnovation and creativity in the Canadian magazine industry is exemplary.                   

Finalists for the awards will be announce May 4 and the awards gala will be held on June  5. 

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Building magazine and web publishing skills

Looking to build your skills in many areas of magazine and web publishing? Check out the following courses, open for enrollment in the Winter 2015 term of the Magazine and Web Publishing program at Ryerson's Chang School in Toronto. 

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Quote, unquote: Reasons for optimism delivering newsstand value and service

"There is a lot to be optimistic about. Publishers have never put out better products. Go down to the warehouse and check out what is coming in. You'll see the best product you ever have: full color, more pages, perfect bound. It's a bit more expensive for the customer, with cover prices creeping up, but it delivers the value."
-- Old-time independent wholesaler John Cowley (quoted by Linda Ruth in her Publishers' Dojo column on Publishing Executive) says, among other interesting things: wholesalers need to be more hands-on, not contracting out; that value and service is what's important; that wholesalers and publishers have to scrap scanning returns which he says costs him $1.4 million a  year and requires 28 people and move instead to pay on scan, . 


Magazine Packaging course expanded online

[sponsored content] Most of Canada’s most successful magazines do service journalism – how-to information that readers can use in their everyday lives. Well-packaged service stories effortlessly inform and entertain readers, and make magazine brands a must-have, and so editors who can package service journalism for multiple platforms have an edge in today’s editorial department.  
For several years, the Magazine and Web Publishing program at the Chang School Ryerson University in Toronto has offered a night school classroom course on Magazine Packaging. Then we launched a distance education version so editors and writers anywhere in Canada can take the 7-week course at their own pace and in the comfort of their own home or office. (All that’s needed is a computer and internet access.) Now, because of student demand, we have added an extra online course, starting January 12, 2015.
Jessica Ross, Tablet Publishing Manager at TC Media, will take students through a set of lessons, examples, discussions and exercises, after which students will be practiced in concepting and assigning multiplatform service journalism. From features to flow charts, timelines, Q&As to quote collections, this course will prepare students to approach editorial planning with variety, pacing and reader engagement in mind.
Fee: $370.80

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Descant magazine is to be discontinued after 44 years

The penultimate
Descant, no. 166
Karen Mulhallen, the longtime editor-in-chief of the respected literary magazine Descant has announced on its website that the next issue of the quarterly -- number 167 -- will be its last. Part of the reason is financial and part of it is about an unsuccessful attempt to find a successor for Mulhallen.
"This has been a very hard decision to make. For the last three years Descant has been in a deficit position, and as head of the Descant foundation and Editor in Chief of the magazine, I carry all the debts. 
"Our vigorous fund-raising campaign this fall was very successful and I want to thank all of you who donated to the magazine. Unfortunately, we did not raise enough money to offset the shortfall. Grants have been in decline for more than five years,
Karen Mulhallen
although other revenues such as sales and subscriptions have held steady or increased. We have cut costs everywhere we could, but many expenses over which we have no control have continued to spiral up. 
"I have personally searched for a solution, but have been unable to find either a patronage base or an editor (or editorial collective) to replace myself and take over the magazine, and be responsible for its publication and its foundation."
Descant started in 1970 mimeographed and is now in its fifth decade as a very handsome bound journal, with an international following for its mix of emerging and established writers. Mulhallen has been with Descant almost from the beginning and has been its editor since 1973. 

Through its Descant Arts & Letters Foundation, an incorporated non-profit charity since 1988, it has been running literary workshops, reading series and publication projects for youth since 2005. Among other things, Descant has offered the Winston Collins/Descant prize for best Canadian Poem, won in  2014 by Andy Verboom. 

Descant had total 2013 revenues of $113,276 and total expenses of $153,928, for a deficit of more than $40,000, according to Descant's latest filing (2013) with the Canada Revenue Agency.  About 73% of its revenues were government support (principally Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council), but this is declined more than 58% since 2011.


Sunday, December 07, 2014

NOW magazine vows to defy ban on ads
for sexual services

Toronto's iconoclastic NOW magazine says that it will defy the ban on advertising escort and other sex trade that took effect Saturday as part of the new federal prostitution law Bill C36. Long a source of classified ads in its back pages which promoted a wide variety of sexual services, the controlled weekly maintains it is on solid ground because it should not be asked to discriminate against workers in the sex trade. Editor and chief executive officer Alice Klein told the Canadian Press:
Now Magazine started taking sex ads because we take ads, that’s how we support ourselves and we have always refused to discriminate against sex work and sex workers. 
“We are committed to free expression and we don’t believe it’s our right to say which advertisers are allowed to advertise and which advertisers aren’t.”
The new law was the government's response to the Supreme Court striking down Canada's old prostitution laws last spring; the old law had penalized prostitutes for selling sex. In response the government is criminalizing the purchase -- rather than the sale -- of sexual services; concurrently targetting those who profit from the sale of sex, including publication which carry such ads.  Last July, justice minister Peter MacKay said
“We will hold those who are advertising — not the prostitute themselves, but those who are advertising these services either through papers or online — also to criminal account.” 
Klein, who said the magazine has taken legal advice from Alan Young, the Osgoode Hall law professor who led the charge against the old laws, said the constitutionality of the new law is highly questionable:  
"NOW has benefited from the advertising dollars this category of business has brought in. But it has also paid a price in real dollars and cents, because there are many potential advertisers that won’t advertise and haven’t advertised as a result," she said in a published statement on NOW's website.  "With costs and benefits on both sides of the ledger, NOW has made a principled choice to stand against discrimination and further marginalization of sex workers. As a publication in print and online, NOW stands for sexual freedom between consenting adults and for the normalization of the reality of sexual diversity....
"Supported by a substantive study of the wording of the law, we believe that running ads placed by sex workers themselves is still legal and we are transitioning our business to comply with this new regulation.
She told the Canadian Press: “This is another area of the law which just makes the lives of sex workers really difficult and of course attacks their ability to earn a living. 
“But the law does say that sex workers themselves are allowed to advertise, and our legal advisers understand that to include the publication of their ads in our publication.”
 Alice Klein's full published statement.

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Saturday, December 06, 2014

It's a revenue problem, not an audience problem: TVO panel on Canadian magazine industry

For those who didn't have a chance to see the show segment on TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin about magazines, Thursday night, here is a link to a video clip. The guests were Sarah Fulford, editor of Toronto Life, Steve Maich, vice-president and general manager, Rogers Publishing, Haley Cullingham, editor of Maisonneuve magazine and Jonathan Kay, editor-in-chief of The Walrus. 

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Friday, December 05, 2014

Mobile is inexorable when it comes to consumer media consumption

If you're feeling pressure for your publication to provide mobile-delivered content, the above chart from eBusiness Insider may explain part of the reason. Only mobile is growing in consumer media consumption, year by year, in the U.S. The data was compiled by BI Intelligence.


Thursday, December 04, 2014

Bloomberg Businessweek celebrates 85 years of publishing and disruptions

Bloomberg Businessweek is celebrating its 85th anniversary with (count 'em) 5 different covers, each featuring one "disruptive idea". These and 81 others are featured inside the magazine. Among the disrupters, according to a post on FishbowlNY, are the VCR, Twitter, Starbucks, GPS, gay marriage and email. Editor Josh Tyrangiel said:
"This special issue chronicles the most disruptive ideas of the past 85 years, those entrepreneurial earthquakes whose tremors are still being felt. Disruption is a trendy word, but it’s used here without endorsement. To add a little tension, we’ve gone to the trouble of ranking these 85 disruptions and counting down to an overall world-changing champion. Comparing the importance of television to the impact of the Laffer Curve or Google to the AK-47 isn’t meant to yield scientific results. It’s meant to start some interesting arguments and remind us how dramatically business can change society."


Investment in Next Issue will expand platform, raise awareness of flat-rate magazine sub service

The U.S. consortium of large magazine companies which run Next Issue Media and with which Rogers partners on Next Issue Canada, has raised $50 million from investment firm KKR to expand the service. It plans to add capabilities to its tablet and smartphone app that include content search, discovering and sharing, according to a story on MediaPost. At least in part with the new investment, Next Issue intends to launch a multiplatform ad campaign on TV, digital and in print. Richard Sarnoff, managing director at KKR and head of the firm’s media & communications investment team in the Americas, stated: 
“Today's consumer demands mobile access to large catalogs of premium content, anytime, anywhere. Next Issue's proven success applying this model to magazines has created a compelling consumer proposition that will serve the interests of readers, publishers and advertisers alike.”
Next Issue was formed in 2009 by Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp. and Time Inc.Currently, Next Issue offers subscriber flat-rate access to 145 consumer magazines ($9.99 a month or $14.99 a month including weeklies such as The New Yorker). Next Issue Canada offers its members about 100 titles on the same terms, including most of Rogers's better known titles such as Maclean's, Today's Parent, Chatelaine and Canadian Business as well as U.S. titles. 

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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Rogers Media forcing issues of sexual assault out into the open with year-long Project 97 campaign

Rogers Media is getting a lot of attention -- and praise -- for its Project 97. Over the course of the next 12 months, Rogers publishing and broadcasting outlets, including Chatelaine, Maclean’s, Canadian Business, Flare, Today’s Parent, Châtelaine, L’actualité and CityNews will explore, on air, in print and online the issues of sexual assault, abuse and harassment as it affects both women and men.
The name of the project is drawn from the fact that 97 per cent of sexual assaults against women in Canada are either never recorded as crimes by police or assault victims come forward and then withdraw their testimony because many find the highly adversarial courtroom experience to be as grisly as the original assault.
“The best solution, if there is such a thing, is for people to know that it’s not going to be quiet anymore,” says Cheri DiNovo, a Toronto member of the Ontario legislature who shared her own story of rape by an ex-boyfriend for the project.”This is not going to be hush-hush.”

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Mag world view: Cook with Mutti; Estonian Hello!; Times profit; Homepage diehards

What can happen at a newsstand? Anything

To prove that there are Canadian magazines for virtually any interest and to show it, trade association Magazines Canada has partnered with K9 Strategy + Design and a team of Ontario filmmakers to create mini-movie promotion called Anything Can Happen at a Magazine Stand. Readers can view the movie, use the store locator on the Canada's Magazine Store website and find a retail outlet that carries that they're interested in. 

The promotion is part of Magazines Canada's ongoing audience growth and engagement project, which aims to lure audiences to retail outlets, subscription sites and digital products. 

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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Canadian Living marks 40th anniversary with 12 monthly guest editors

Olympic star Hayley Wickenheiser will be guest-editing the January issue of Canadian Living magazine, one of twelve accomplished people to do so during 2015 as part of the celebration of the magazine's 40th anniversary. Wickenheiser will also be part of a live Twitter chat on December 17 between 12 and 1 p.m. EST.
Canadian Living’s evolution from a quarterly publication to a truly multiplatform brand is remarkable. I am thrilled to be joining the team at such a pivotal time in the brand’s history,” says newly hired multiplatform editorial director Sandra E. Martin. “With an estimated 13.6 million brand impressions per month, Canadian Living has always been a tremendous resource for women across Canada, and I plan to continue the tradition of delivering truly accessible food, health, fashion, beauty, entertainment, travel and home decor content to our readers, friends and followers.”
A digital facsimile of the first-ever issue of the magazine is available on the magazine's iPad app. And later this year, the magazine is publishing a 40th anniversary cookbook.


Monday, December 01, 2014

Entries open now for the
Atlantic Journalism Awards

Entries are now being accepted online for the Atlantic Journalism Awards. The AJAs are for all kinds of media, but there are three specific Atlantic magazine categories and some other categories open to magazines.
Details of each category can be reviewed at under Category Definitions. Judges Guidelines can also be seen on the same web site. The deadline for entries is midnight, Monday February 2, 2015. Judging panels from coast to coast select three finalists in each category, except for the Lifetime Achievement Award which has one finalist. The finalist are announced in early April. 
The selected journalists will be honoured at a gala dinner and awards event at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel on Saturday, May 9, 2015.

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Up Here magazine and Up Here Business to be combined into one

Up Here Publishing Ltd. of Yellowknife is merging its two magazines -- Up Here and Up Here Business -- into one starting in January. In a note to its readers under the headline "We're expanding", the company said
Despite the great successes that Up Here and Up Here Business have had separately, it’s become increasingly obvious that they’re both telling the same story—one of an entrepreneurial Northern people, excelling against great odds....
Up Here Business was launched seven years ago as a merger of our Far North Oil and Gas and Canadian Diamonds magazines, and grew to be something far greater: a trusted, award-winning resource on everything business in Canada’s North,” says Marion LaVigne, publisher. “An expanded Up Here is the natural progression—it will be the trusted, award-winning resource on everything in Canada’s North.”

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Alberta Venture names ATB Financial CEO business person of the year

Alberta Venture magazine has selected Dave Mowat, president and CEO of ATB Financial, as its Business Person of the Year for 2014. Michael Ganley, the editor of AV, said 
"Dave Mowat has led ATB Financial to its best year ever, from a profit standpoint. He's also reinvigorated the corporate culture over his seven years as CEO with his friendly, down-to-earth, inspirational manner."
The award is to be presented at a luncheon January 22 at the Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton, at which Mowat will speak of Alberta's potential. $10 of every ticket sold will support a Dave Mowat Student Bursary at the University of Alberta. Further information about tickets is available online. 

ATB Financial is a crown corporation providing banking services to people in Alberta. Alberta Treasury Branches began in 1938 when the Social Credit government created a system of financial institutions to provide Depression-era Albertans -- principally farmers and small business people -- with an alternative source of credit.