Friday, February 27, 2015

Mag world view: Mag for dox; Donnelly/Quad romance cools; Mature Tablet; Charlie Hebdo ponders bittersweet success

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Winners in Canadian Cover Awards announced

Winners of all the categories in Canadian Cover Awards
Joan Brehl, AAM,
and (l.) marketer of the year
Anita Baldwinson of TNG
(Photos: Ron Sellwood)
The winners were announced last night at the Canadian Cover Awards in Toronto, presented by the Circulation Management Association of Canada (CMC) and Magazines Canada. The awards recognize sales success and presentation in eight categories, with sales accounting for 50% of the score.The other 50% is determined by a panel including a retailer, a wholesaler, a national distributor, a circulation director and an art director. 
The Newsstand Marketer of the Year award was presented to Anita Baldwinson, Manager of Retail Services & Marketing at TNG.
Below are the gold winners in the various categories (A complete list of winners and runners up):

General Interest, Arts, Lifestyle and Regional
Legion magazine, Victoria Cross special collector's issue

Home and Decor
Style at Home, November 2013

News, Business & Celebrity
Hello!Canada, August 25, 2014

SIPs and New Magazines
PRN Ignition, 2014 Handbook

Small Magazines
Canada's History, April/May 2014

Sports and Leisure
The Hockey News, Season Preview #40

Family & Kids
ChickaDEE , December 2013

Women's Service
Elle Québec, April 2014

Sponsors for the awards were:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Quote, unquote: How and why to save the CBC

"Some of our private digital companies and news agencies, whether it’s the Tyee or iPolitics or National Newswatch, may grow up into important services and become surrogates for newspapers and broadcasters, or they may not. It’s a very competitive market for advertising out there. And scale matters hugely. I’m not sure that five, ten years out any of the Canadian companies will generate enough scale in advertising to compete with the global companies. So, we may end up with a branch plant media and a range of local services lacking the scale to have real impact. 
"I think in those circumstances it might be very important to have an institution like the CBC that is particularly concerned about Canada and Canada’s national interest. Not as the lone voice, the sole voice, of a Canadian perspective but as a robust presence for Canada on the media scene. So rather than dismantling it or letting it die a slow death, I think we should be reconsidering the CBC’s mandate and preparing it as a service for a more globally competitive media environment five, ten years out."
-- Kenneth Whyte, senior vice-president of public policy at Rogers Communications, speaking about why it's more important than ever to save the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It was part of a longer Q&A with host Don Hill in the online journal C2C. (It's probably redundant to note that Whyte was publisher of Maclean's, once ran all of Rogers's consumer and b2b magazines and was editor of Saturday Night magazine and of the National Post.)


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Digital travel mag LaCARTE launched in Toronto

A new, digital travel publication La Carte has been launched in Toronto. It consists of a weekly e-newsletter, a quarterly digital magazine and ongoing social media content. The publication is led by editor and writer Maryam Siddiqui.

After a "soft launch" last month, the new publication has already had about 6,000 page views and 2,500 unique visitors. Its tagline is Travel Smarter, Travel Better. The target audience is said to be upscale and digitally savvy 25 to 50 year olds who draw a distinction between a vacation and travelling.

"As an avid adventurer, I set out to write the travel magazine that I wish existed, and I found out I was in very good company," says Siddiqi. "La Carte fills an unique gap in travel content that is smart, discerning and relevant — and of course, fun."

Siddiqui's experience with travel was best demonstrated by her 193-day, round-the-world trek (21 countries) that she chronicled in 2013 for the National Post. Among the contributors to the new digi-mag are Karen Cleveland, former senior manager, marketing and communications at St. Joseph Media, Barry Hertz, the executive producer for features at the National Post and art director Geneviève Biloski, also at the National Post.


Mighty uncomfortable choices

I feel uncomfortable when confronted with the RBC Emerging Artists Project which is running a poll to decide which of six arts organizations will get an additional $25,000 donation from the bank's foundation (they each all already receive some RBC funding). My bias is to select Canadian Art Foundation which publishes Canadian Art magazine (and I probably will), but why should I have to choose between Canadian Art and the Writer's Trust of Canada or Canadian Stage or TIFF? What exactly is RBC trying to find out through this arbitrary ballot?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Canadians don't know much about energy industry and don't trust feds and oil companies
to inform them

Alberta Oil magazine says that a national survey conducted in late December with Leger, the Research Intelligence Group, shows that Canadians are both largely uninformed about the energy industry and unlikely to trust the federal government and oil companies when it comes to finding out about it. 
(The National Survey on Energy Literacy was based on online interviews with 1,396 online interviews, including 508 Albertans.)
Max Fawcett, the editor of Alberta Oil, reports some of the highlights in an online newsletter
When asked who they trust on key issues related to energy literacy, Canadians consistently ranked oil and gas industry groups, oil and gas companies and the federal government near the bottom of the list. On carbon emissions, for example, only 10.2 per cent of Canadians said they trust oil and gas companies. Independent organizations and NGOs, on the other hand, were trusted by 40.1 per cent, with the academic community scoring the highest at 53 per cent. 
The survey also revealed that Canadians remain, by and large, uninformed about many key issues related to energy production and distribution. They did not know, for example, that BC is not the only province with a carbon tax or levy (Alberta has one as well), or that they’re directly invested in the energy sector through the Canada Pension Plan. Their lack of knowledge about energy issues isn’t a mystery to them, mind you – only 31 per cent of Canadians said that they felt well informed about issues related to energy production and consumption. 
Other interesting results include the deep vein of opposition to the energy sector in Quebec, which suggests that the forthcoming conversation about the proposed Energy East pipeline will be just as rancorous as the ones in British Columbia have been, and the relatively strong support for a meaningful price on carbon. Indeed, there’s more support in Alberta for such a policy than there is in B.C. 
If there’s a silver lining in the results for the energy sector, it’s that the majority of Canadians have not yet made up their mind on issues like hydraulic fracturing and pipeline projects – and are therefore open to being brought around to their perspective. But they have their work cut out for them, as this survey shows.
The magazine provides an online energy literacy test so readers can assess how well they understand the sector.  

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Canada's History magazine undergoing a "refreshment" of design and presentation

Feature opening
Canada's History magazine is undergoing a refreshment of its design which will be unveiled with its April-May issue, now at the printers. The magazine will be marking its 95th birthday this year.
While the redesign pretty much leaves the cover architecture and logo alone (so as not to jeopardize the gains the magazine has made on the newsstand), the inside pages and the front and back of the book have been substantially modified by the editorial team, looking to reflect the contemporary relevance of history. 

The visual redesign was handled in house by art director James Gillespie, working with consultant Karen Simpson. The new look includes new fonts and font sizes to improve readability. Editor-in-chief Mark Reid says of it
"Both the front and back of book sections have been streamlined. The Currents section is now more visually dynamic, and some regularly recurring items — such as "Brush Strokes" — have been re-imagined for a modern audience. Our former Reviews Section is now titled Books, and will feature not only book reviews but also interviews with authors, book excerpts and other items of interest to readers. 
"The features section also received a makeover, and now employs a tasteful design that showcases — rather than competes with — the words, pictures and paintings. Layouts are cleaner thanks to the creative use of white space. 
"As many readers know, Canada's History used to be called The Beaver, and we have not forgotten our historic connection to that iconic publication, or the Hudson's Bay Company, which launched the magazine in 1920 as an internal newsletter. In Canada's History you will find many nods to our past; we’ve retained our Trading Post column that showcases fur trade-era artifacts; every feature article ends with a small beaver icon; and we’ve renamed the Letters page “The Packet,” as it was called back in 1920 when the magazine was launched.
Currents opening

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Updating Eustace Tilley for The New Yorker's
10th decade

To mark its 90th anniversary, The New Yorker commissioned nine different covers that key off  the iconic, monocled and top-hatted figure of Eustace Tilley which appeared in the very first issue of February 1925 (the one above was reprinted in 1995), drawn by art editor Rea Irvin. Among the contributors to the Feb. 23-March 2 2015 issue is Toronto-based artist Anita Kunz.

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Finalists named for Canadian Cover Awards

The finalists have been announced for the Canadian Cover Awards, presented by Magazines Canada and the Circulation Management Association of Canada. The winners in each category will be announced February 24 at a 6 p.m.reception in Toronto at the Courtyard Toronto Downtown. The prestigious Newsstand Marketer of the Year award will also be announced then. 

Finalists are:

General Interest, Arts, Lifestyle and Regional
  • Homes & Living Calgary, December 2013/January 2014
  • Legion, Victoria Cross issue
  • Vancouver Magazine, June 2014
  • Vancouver Magazine, Eating & Drinking issue
  • Zoomer, June 2014
Home and Decor
  • Canadian House & Home, December 2013
  • Canadian House & Home, January 2014
  • Décormag, July/August 2014
  • Les idées de ma maison, 15 mai 2014
  • Style at Home, November 2013
News, Business & Celebrity
  • 7 Jours, 13 juin 2014
  • 7 Jours, 11 juillet 2014
  • Hello! Canada, August 25, 2014
  • Maclean's, November 25, 2013
  • Zoomer, November 2013

Read more »

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Tick, tick, tick. KRW B2B awards entry deadline is 5 p.m. today

There's still time -- only a very little time -- to make an entry in the Kenneth R. Wilson awards (usually called the KRWs) for excellence in business-to-business and trade publishing. Entries close at 5 p.m. today
One of the Canadian media industry’s most cherished institutions since its founding in 1954, the Kenneth R. Wilson Awards each year celebrate and promote the work of hundreds of publications, writers, editors, and artists dedicated to supporting Canada’s vibrant professional and trade industries.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Achievers announced for Alberta
Magazine Awards

The Alberta Magazine Awards give out two kinds of awards: their showcase awards across a number of categories (see earlier post); and the Achievement Awards, recognizing the accomplishments, innovation and creativity of individuals and publications in the province's magazine industry. The Achievement Awards are announced in advance of the gala which takes place March 5 in Calgary, plus the final shortlist of 3 is announced for Magazine of the Year.) The gala is part of the two day 19th annual Alberta Magazine Conference at the Carriage House Inn in Calgary March 5 and 6. 

This year's achievers are:
  • Achievement in Publishing, Chris Bird, Fly Fusion Magazine
  • Editor of the Year. Steven Sandor, Avenue Edmonton
  • Volunteer of the Year, Jennifer Schmidt-Rempel, Lethbridge Living
  • Best New Magazine (Recipient), Grains West
  • Magazine of the Year (Shortlist) 
    • Avenue Calgary
    • Avenue Edmonton
    • Glass Buffalo

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Six-month AAM magazine circ data shows consumer magazines down 4.8%

The Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) reports circulation data for Canadian consumer magazines showing paid and verified circulation down 4.8% for the six months ended June 2014. Paid subs were down 10.1% and single copy sales increased 3%. Digital replica editions comprised 255,764 or 3% of the total paid, verified and analyzed non-paid circulation, nearly three times what it was in the same period a year ago. 

The circ data shows the top 25 Canadian consumer magazines, led by Chatelaine.  The biggest increase in total paid and verified total circulation was Sportsnet magazine, up 27.5%; the biggest drop was Reader's Digest Canadian English edition, down 28.6%.

[click to enlarge]

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Mag world view: Lower-case Harper's B; Mailers grumbling; Songlines bought by Gramophone; Magazine-making musing

E-book sub service Scribd offers content from 10,000 comic books

Scribd, the e-book subscription service, has partnered with the publishers of more than 10,000 comic books and graphic novels, according to a story on The Verge. Subscribers to the $8.99 per month service will now be able to read classic runs of comics like The Avengers and X-Men. The companies with whom Scribd has partnered include heavyweights like Marvel, Archie, IDW and Arcana. 
Users will be able to search by title, publisher, and character, and Scribd's author profile pages will live alongside character profile pages that contain trivia about comic book heroes like Spider-Man and G.I. Joe. The app will also feature a "binge button" at the end of each comic book, which will allow users to jump immediately to the next title in a series.
Marvel VP Daniele Campbell said that with the partnership, they hope to reach readers "who wouldn't normally find themselves inside a comic shop." 

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Deadline looms (March 1) for nominating candidates for Outstanding Achievement award

It's a club in which I am proud to be a member. The National Magazine Awards Foundation each year selects one person to receive the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. (Sometimes people call it the "lifetime achievement", though there's no  chronological requirement.) 

The selection is made based on nominations from the community and the judging committee and the standard is simple: recognizing innovation and creativity through contributions to the Canadian magazine industry. The deadline for nomination is March 1. 

The very first person named, in 1989, was Prue Hemelrijk, a superlative copy editor and fact-checker. Selecting her was done strictly on its merits, but was intended also as a signal that this award doesn't necessarily go only to editors and publishers (though it certainly can and has gone to fine examples of each.) It also recognizes other important roles and contributions including circulation experts, teachers, marketing, sales and promotion professionals, production managers - in short, every outstanding contributor in the industry.
Recent winners include Kim Jernigan, Stephen Trumper, Heather Robertson, D.B. Scott, Terry Sellwood, Cynthia Brouse, Charles Oberdorf, Neville Gilfoy,John Macfarlane and Paul Jones.

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Monday, February 09, 2015

Mags Canada unveils set of standard metrics for digital editions

Magazines Canada has published a new set of standard metrics to provide advertisers, agencies and publishers with a consistent measure of engagement and readership in digital magazine editions. 

The guidelines outline a set of standard measurements in five categories of audience data. 
  • total unique readers per issue
  • total number of sessions per issue
  • total amount of time spent per reader per session
  • average number of sessions per reader per issue and 
  • total accumulated time spent per reader per issue.
These would be measured over a period of 30 to 90 days (depending on the frequency of the title.) The information would be reported as a 6-issue rolling average on a 14-week release. Provision is made for special interest publications (SIPs) to offer a 120-day metric.
"This is an important first step in marketing our magazine media brands on multiple platforms," said Mark Jamison, CEO Magazines Canada. "By working together and with our partners in measurement organizations, Canada's magazine media will provide a better understanding of the remarkable connectivity audiences have with our brands on every device."

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Sunday, February 08, 2015

Manover in Alberta

Makeovers should cut both ways, we suppose. AirdrieLIFE magazine is offering one to -- or for -- men. Publisher Sherry Shaw-Froggatt set the terms in the following Facebook post:
Does your man need a makeover? Has he had the same hair, glasses and sweats since 1998? Send us your plea with a photo of him to BEFORE Feb 20th and we might pick him for the MANOVER in the June issue!!!

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Mags Canada presents free webinar on making the most of digital editions and their advertising

Magazines Canada is offering a free webinar on February 26 called Making the Most of Advertising on Tablet Editions. The expert presenters are Jessica Ross, tablet publishing manager of TC Media and Sylvain Coutu, director of operations at TVA. Moderator is Sharon McAuley, publisher, marketer and business consultant. Learn how Canadian publishers are making the most of their digital editions.  Registration is online; capacity is limited. 

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Blue Ant, publishers of Cottage Life, named Marketing's media player of the year, again

For the second time in the four-year history of the Marketing magazine awards, Blue Ant Media has been named Media Player of the Year, this time for 2014. The February/March issue is on newsstands now.

The company casts its net wide into, among other things, music (a partnership with the Polaris prize) and digital content production and broadcasting, with the recent purchase of a majority stake in New Zealand broadcaster Choice TV.

The exemplar for Blue Ant's multimedia strategy is Cottage Life, which co-CEO Raja Khanna says provides advertisers with the opportunity to surround a coveted high-income group, from a print magazine and a dedicated specialty TV channel, to YouTube and Facebook and its consumer shows.
“We don’t think there’s another brand in Canada that’s better than us at talking to the people who own cottages or aspire to own cottages.That’s a very distinct group of people, attractive to advertisers.”
The team at Cottage Life  posed at right for a fun-fake cover in honour of the award:

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Alberta Magazine Awards showcase
finalists named

The Showcase Awards for the 2015 Alberta Magazine Awards have been announced. These finalists were selected from nearly 300 editorial and design entries and gold and silver winners will be celebrated at the awards gala to be held March 5 in Calgary. (The winners of achievement awards will be announced next Wednesday, February 11.)                                            
Alberta Story
  • Alberta Venture Fare Trade - Max Fawcett
  • Alberta Views Game Changer  - Arno Kopecky
  • Swerve Clap for the Wolverine Man - Michael Hingston
  • Swerve She Got Game - Marcello Di Cintio
  • Swerve The Fixture and the Hipster - Jeremy Klaszus
Art Direction Single Issue
  • Alberta Venture June 2014 - Kim Larsen, art director
  • Avenue Edmonton November 2014 - Pete Nguyen, art director
  • Georgie Issue No 3 W14 – Nathan Marshall, art director; Neil Mota and Aaron Pedersen photographers
  • New Trail Winter - Marcey Andrews, art director
  • Western Living October Issue - Paul Roelofs, art director; Naomi MacDougall associate art director, Jenny Reed, assistant art director
  • Avenue Edmonton Stephen Mandel - Curtis Trent, photographer; Pete Nguyen, art director
  • Georgie Issue No 2 F14 - Nathan Marshall, art director, Aaron Pedersen, photographer  
  • New Trail Autumn - Marcey Andrews, art director
  • Up!Magazine The Food Guide -Jill Foran, editor
  • Western Living September - Paul Roelofs, art director; Evaan Kheraj portrait photographer
Digital Presence
  • Alberta Oil 10th Anniversary Tablet Edition  - Alberta Oil staff
  • Alberta Venture Pipeline Dialogue - Justine Hunter, Dee Hon, Andrew Findlay, Tim Querengesser, Jim Sutherland, Max Fawcett
  • Avenue Calgary - Jaelyn Molyneux, web editor; Karin Olafson, assistant web editor
  • New Technology Magazine Multistage Fracking -Maurice Smith, editor; Cath Ozubko, art director; Jeremy Seeman, designer and web
  • Oilweek Oilweek Rising Stars -Dale Lunan, editor; Cath Ozubko, art director;  Jeremy Seeman, animation; Christina Borowiecki, designer
Read more »

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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Azure magazine poised to celebrate 30 years of architecture and design

It's always good to see an independent Canadian magazine grow and mature and that's more than true for Azure, the design and architecture publication which will be marking its 30th anniversary with its May issue (on newsstands March 30). From its start as a Toronto broadsheet (dig that crazy script logo), it has become a slick, sophisticated magazine with an international reach. The 30th anniversary special issue will spotlight the transformation of Toronto since 1985:
"As the city evolved, so did Azure, joining the ranks of a handful of significant design magazines worldwide," it says on its website. "As our coverage expanded to become more international, we continued to capture the major shifts in Canada, placing them within the context of a world increasingly aware of the power of great design and architecture."   

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Mag world view: Shape-ing up; Top Right sells two titles; Brill's longform play; 2015 lookahead; Marie Claire invests in beauty

Vogue named mag of the year in U.S. national magazine awards

The "Ellie" trophy: a "stabile"
by Alexander Calder
The [US] National Magazine Awards were announced last night in New York and magazine of the year was Vogue

New York magazine and The New Yorker each won three awards. 18 publications won awards in 24 categories, including first-time winners: The Atavist, The Hollywood Reporter, Pacific Standard and Nautilus.

The awards for general excellence went to:
  • The New Yorker (general interest magazines)
  • Glamour (service and lifestyle)
  • Garden & Gun (style and design)
  • Men's Health (active interest)
  • The Hollywood Reporter (special interest)
  • Nautilus (literature, science and politics)
Best tablet magazine was National Geographic.
It was nice to see one of The New Yorker's awards went to 90-ish Roger Angell for “This Old Man,” in the February 17 and 24, 2014 issue of the magazine. 

Full list of winners

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Monday, February 02, 2015

Former Toronto Life art director Jessica Rose is moving to Tatler magazine

The former art director of Toronto Life, Jessica Rose, has been working for some time at The Sunday Times magazine in London (at right is one of her recent covers.)

Now, she's moving to be the new art director of the high society and fashion magazine Tatler, published by Condé Nast Publications (see below).

She reports that one of the biggest pleasures at the ST was doing a series of front-of-the-book columns with Matt Rudd called the "God of Small Things". There's an archive of them on her website. 

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Northern dating, the cold truth

Painting: Nick MacIntosh
Maintaining a love life in the North is not all that easy, according to a post on Up Here's website aligned with upcoming Valentine's Day. According to her piece written for the magazine, writer and novelist Miranda Booth (who lives in Whitehorse but is writing a novel set in Yellowknife),
"To date in the North you need patience, a thick skin and, for heaven’s sake, a sense of humour. Remember, we’re all a bunch of parka-clad weirdoes looking for the same thing."
It's a matter, she says, of learning to live in a place with only two coffee shops and running into exes (defined, apparently, as someone you've dated at least once) in bars and most likely hooking up with someone who is only passing through. 
With all the mine workers, geologists, dentists, anthropologists, prospectors, journalists, doctors, explorers and countless other varieties of passers-through who touch down in the North for as short as a week or as long as three years (at which point they either leave or graduate to Northerner status), it’s a strong possibility that at some point, you’re going to go for someone who is on their way out. After each goodbye, I ask myself why I ever ventured to start any kind of romance with an interloper.
Booth posits a number of tips on weathering the northern dating scene. An example is 
"Newcomers will say things like “You seem like a great catch, especially for up here.” You’ll cringe, but deep down you will know what they mean. Still, they’ll have lost any chance they had… at least until the winter."