Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mag world view: Running Martha; GOOD back to print; Bye-bye Loaded; ABM now ABM/CSID

SkyNews celebrates 20 years of looking up

The May/June issue of SkyNews, the astronomy magazine, marks 20 years of uninterrupted publishing and does so with the biggest issue ever. Newsstand buyers will find the 72-page issue polybagged on newsstands starting April 13 along with an 8-page booklet co-published with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada called "Getting Started in Astronomy". The publishers say
"SkyNews, which describes itself as The Canadian Magazine of Astronomy & Stargazing, won the National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine when it was launched in 1995 by the National Museum of Science & Technology in Ottawa (now the Canada Science & Technology Museum).  When faced with government-wide budget cuts in 1999, the Museum sold SkyNews to its editor, popular science author Terence Dickinson, publisher Greg Keilty and associate publisher Colleen Moloney. 
"SkyNews has a paid circulation of 24,042 serving a niche market of amateur astronomers and astrophotographers and is able to depend heavily on its enthusiastic subscribers to remain profitable." 


How to keep your barn from falling
flat: Rural Delivery

Knowing your audience and dealing with its interests is exemplified by the April issue of Rural Delivery magazine of Liverpool, NS. It published a series of articles related to the brutal winter the region has suffered and particularly the dangers of  "snow load" which has flattened barns and greenhouses. 

The articles chronicle hard lesson to be learned, the warning signs of barn roof failure and how to remove snow from a barn roof. We imagine this is news its readers can use. 


Finalists names for Atlantic Journalism Awards

Finalists have been announced for the 2014 Atlantic Journalism Awards (AJAs), which will be presented on May 9 in Halifax.The AJAs cover all media, including radio and television, but here are the magazine-related finalists:

Atlantic Magazine Article
  • Alec Bruce – Atlantic Business Magazine – St. John's, NL – "Forged by Fire: The Triumph of Anne Whelan".
  • Beverley Ware/Christian Laforce – Herald Magazine – Halifax, NS – "Lobster Trails".
  • Hugh McKervill – Atlantic Salmon Journal – Chamcook, NB – "The River's Cure".
  • Stephen Kimber – Atlantic Business Magazine – St. John's, NL – "Spilled Secrets".
Best cover nominee
Atlantic Magazine: Best Cover
  • Atlantic Business Magazine – St. John's NL – "Why #SuperStartUp Sucked" –July 2014.
  • East Coast Living – Halifax, NS – "North End Splendour" – Winter 2014.
  • Herald Magazine – Halifax, NS – "Robert Frank" – September 2014.
Atlantic Magazine: Best Profile Article
  • Lois Legge – Herald Magazine – Halifax, NS – "Robert Frank".
  • Mike Landry – Saltscapes Magazine – Bedford, NS – "Dreams Float".
  • Stephen Kimber – Atlantic Business Magazine – St. John's, NL – "Hard…and Soft as Steele".
Feature Writing: Print
  • John DeMont – Herald Magazine – Halifax, NS – "The Taste Revolution".
  • Stephen Kimber – Natural Resources Magazine – St. John's, NL – "Closure".
Business Reporting: Any Medium
  • Chris Benjamin – Saltscapes Magazine – Bedford, NS – "Betting the Fish Farm".
  • Rachel Brighton – Rural Delivery Magazine – Bridgetown, NS – "Big Dairy Comes East: Consolidation Makes "Local" Elusive".
Commentary: Any Medium
  • Alec Bruce – Atlantic Business Magazine – St. John's, NL – "The Tough Business of Keeping Calm and Carrying On".
  • Stephen Kimber – Atlantic Business Magazine – St. John's, NL – "How Would You UnHarper Canada?"
Among contributors, Stephen Kimber had four nominations. Among magazines, multiple nominees were Atlantic Business (6), Herald Magazine (4) and Saltscapes (2). (Unfortunately, this will be the last year for entries from the Herald magazine, which was discontinued in December by its publisher, the Chronicle Herald newspaper.) 

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Azure celebrates 30 years of covering design and architecture

It's anniversary season, it seems, and design magazine Azure is celebrating its 30th anniversary with its May issue -- a special featuring Toronto, its home -- on Canadian newsstands today.
"The world’s most livable city is on the rise: from the waterfront revitalization and the rebirth of Union Station to the next generation of design and architecture firms taking the city by storm."
Part of the celebratory mood is marked by the publication of the 30th anniversary [online] journal. It explores the designs and designers that have affected the new urbanism, architecture, furniture and product design that Azure has covered in the three decades since its founding. 


Spacing magazine harnesses the power of documentary film

Spacing magazine, the increasingly ambitious Toronto-based media company, is diversifying further with today's release of its first documentary film, featuring the two winners of the 2014 Jane Jacobs Prize. It's called Powers of Towers and it explores the challenges of the city's aging suburban apartment clusters (both structurally and demographically). The starts are co-winners Graeme Stewart and Sabina Ali. And, like the magazine, their concerns are about public spaces and livable places.

The film is produced in in association with Tangent Motion Pictures and Foxley Films. and with financial support from the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Executive producer is Matthew Blackett, producers are Sean Liliani and Sarah Martin.

Related posts:

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Quote, unquote: Long-form? Meh

"If you hope to entice a real person to pass your story on to a friend, then reporting matters, writing matters, and design matters. As journalism and its distribution through the Web evolve, the most meaningful distinction is turning out to be not short versus long but good versus bad."
-- James Bennet, editor in chief and co-president of The Atlantic in an archival piece called "Against 'Long-form journalism' ", first published in Dec. 2013. 


Friday, March 27, 2015

Quill & Quire celebrating 80th anniversary with special April issue

Quill & Quire magazine is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a special issue that may be downloaded free (as a 30-day trial subscription) for reading on tablets, desktops or smartphones. The April issue showcases 80 books, events and the people that made them happen over the years. 

The venerable magazine reports reported book news and reviews ten times a year to publishing trade professionals, authors, editors, library professionals and avid readers. It has an average circulation of about 5,000 copies per issue (including 3,920 paid subscribers) and claims a total readership of 25,000.

It got its start serving the stationery industry and expanded into book publishing more and more particularly as interest in Canlit grew. It was briefly owned by Southam in 1970 and then flipped to Key Publishers, which ran it for the next 30 years until Key itself was sold to St. Joseph Corporation. 


Canada Post reports 2014 profit, but decline in Publications Mail volume and revenue

Canada Post reported today that its Publications Mail volume was down 9.5% or 36 million pieces in 2014, with consequent revenue down $19 million or 8.2% to $212 million. The corporation attributed the losses to a decline in mailed subscriptions. 

The revenue decline for mailing magazines and newspapers represented  slightly more than half of the total revenue losses of $37 million the corporation reported in its direct marketing business. Direct mail over all lost 2.2% of its volume and 3% of its revenue compared with 2013. 

Canada Post reported a profit before taxes of $269 million or about 3.3%, compared to a loss of $58 million (0.8%) in 2013.

Another segment important to magazine publishers is business reply mail, where volume was down 5.3% or about 2 million pieces and revenues down 1.9%.

Lettermail volume was down 5.2% or 214 million pieces; lettermail revenues were up 8% or $238 million, largely as the result of the greatly increased, tiered pricing that Canada Post introduced last year. The net positive revenue result was something of a self-fulfilling prophecy as customers mailed fewer more expensive pieces. (Total transaction mail revenues were $3.2 billion, of which domestic lettermail represented $2.9 billion or about 90.6%. The rest represented mail sent out of the country or received from outside.)

Parcels continued to perform well, with volume up 4.6% and parcel revenues up $120 million or 8.6%.

Total Canada Post revenue was up 5.6%  or $331 million between 2013 and 2014, although volume was down over all by 3.4% or 319 billion billion pieces. 

Canada Post said it was determined to continue its Five-Point Action Plan, which involves new, increased pricing, reducing employee benefit costs and concentrating on the parcels business. (click on table to enlarge)

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Best in Business nominees announced by
SABEW Canada

Several Canadian business magazines, including Report on Business and Canadian Business , have received multiple nominations for the first Canadian Best in Business competition, presented by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) Canada. The awards are open to newspapers, magazines and online entities. The winners in the various categories will be announced on April 15 at a reception at Valdez in Toronto. 

Among the magazine nominees are:
Eric RegulyReport on Business 
James CowanCanadian Business 
Jason KirbyMaclean's
Long-form feature (2,500 words or more)
Jake MacDonald, "The Cost of Freedom", Report on Business magazine
Peter Kuitenbrouwer, "Rebirth of Highway H20", Financial Post 
Trevor Cole, "CEO of the Year", Report on Business magazine
Short-form feature (2,500 words or less)
Michael McCullough, "Yes, You Can Build a Pipeline Here," Canadian Business
Bruce Livesey, "Where our Clothes Come From", Report on Business magazine
Stephanie Nolen, "High and Dry", Report on Business magazine 
Personal finance/Investing
Julie Cazzin, "Looking After Mom and Dad", MoneySense 
Carol Toller, "Lessons From a Brain Damaged CEO"Canadian Business
Trevor Cole, "CEO of the Year", Report on Business magazine

A group of Canadian journalists launched SABEW Canada, SABEW's first international chapter, last year; the parent U.S. organization is 50 years old and has about 3,000 members. The Canadian branch now has about 200 members, among them reporters and editors from The Globe and MailNational PostCanadian BusinessMaclean's,   MoneySense, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal and more.

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Bonnie Brooks: once edited Flare now on the Rogers board

A former editor of Flare magazine who moved from publishing in 1996 into retailing and most recently wound up as CEO of Hudson's Bay Company is being appointed to the Rogers Communications Inc. board (which ultimately owns Flare) to replace Toronto mayor John Tory. 

Brooks, who was the first woman CEO at HBC, was editor of Flare from 1994-96 before becoming an executive with Holt Renfrew. Then she was president of the Lane Crawford Joyce Group in Hong Kong in 2003 and then joined The Bay in 2008. She's currently chair of the Royal Ontario Museum Board and sits on the boards of Empire Company Ltd. (Sobey's), RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust and Abercrombie and Fitch.

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Total audience for U.S. consumer magazines up 12.6% last year

92.8 million gross audience
Gross audience for U.S. consumer magazines  - total print and online - increased 12.6% between February 2014 and February 2015, according to figures released by the MPA -- The Association of Magazine Media. Audience growth was driven largely by increases in the total video audience, which rose 18.7%, and magazines’ mobile audience, which soared 78% compared to the year before, according to a story  in MediaDailyNews. Mobile readers increased from 14% of total audience to 22%.
The list of magazines with the biggest gross audiences was led by ESPN The Magazine, with a gross audience of 92.8 million in February 2015, due to its combination of Web (25.4 million), mobile (40.3 million), and video (11.8 million) audiences. In second place was People at 85 million. With a strong performance across digital channels, it also boasted a print audience of 44 million.  
Better Homes and Gardens came in at third place with a gross audience of 49.1 million. Forbes was in fourth place with a gross audience of 45.7 million, followed by Time at 44.8 million and AARP at 44.4 million.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

The Nation celebrates 150 years

A tip of the hat to The Nation magazine which is celebrating its astounding 150th anniversary, one of the world's oldest continually published titles with a special anniversary issue of 268 pages. It looks back at some of the best from its archives, both writing (e.g. H.L. Mencken, Langston Hughes, Emma Goldman, Norman Thomas, I.F. Stone, Hannah Arendt) and illustration (e.g. Ben Shawn, David Levine, Art Spieglman), interspersed with articles by contemporary contributors (e.g. David Korn, Calvin Trillin, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky)

The issue out this week was co-edited by editor Katrina vanden Huevel and her London correspondent D. D. Guttenplan and vanden Huevel encapsulated the spirit of the occasion:
"Change is inevitable, but the one constant in The Nation’s history has been a faith—not in political parties or policies, but in what can happen when you tell people the truth. This belief has sustained The Nation since its founding: that and the idea that there are always alternatives—in history, in politics, in life—that would make our country and the world a more humane, just and secure place."
A digital version of the issue is available free.


Quote, unquote: Shutdowns as the natural order of things in magazines

"We’ll launch many more magazines, and if we have to shut one, it’s a natural evolution of the business. The industry attaches too much drama to a magazine shutdown. TV shows come and go, books come and go. But we only plan to add to the portfolio."
-- David Carey, the president of Hearst Magazines, quoted in a Q & A with Digiday.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Weddingbells magazine celebrating 30 years

Weddingbells magazine is celebrating 30 years of publishing with a special invitation-only event at Toronto's Design Exchange on April 1. No fooling. The twice-annual magazine is published by St. Joseph Communications media group. 
“This event will showcase some of our incredible wedding and party ideas,” says Alison McGill, editor-in-chief. “From live performances and innovative décor concepts, to an on-trend party menu of cocktail foods, an epic candy table and a very special wedding cake; this will definitely be a celebration to remember.”


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New, streamlined 2-page AAM audit form coming

The Alliance for Audited Media has reached consensus on a simplified, two-page magazine report for U.S. and Canadian publications which it covers. The new rules take effect in the second half of 2015 (the actual reports will not be available until December 2015) and the AAM says it will present data in "a clearer and more concise format". Additional data will remain available in the Media Intelligence Center tab, including per-issue stats.  You can see the prototype here or view a video tutorial

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Facebook by far still most dominant platform for millennial readers

While some millennials may complain about the cluttering up of Facebook by their elders in fact it remains the number 1 or 2 most dominant forum for a range of topics. According to a story on Folio:, out of 24 topics listed in a study done by Media Insight Project, Facebook was the number one source for 13 and number 2 for  7, making it by far the most dominant platform.

Further, while millennials turn to social networks for lifestyle and entertainment stories, they tend to search out newsier content in magazines, newspapers and TV stations or their associated websites. 
"A majority of millennials paid for content or accessed paid content using someone else’s subscription—that willingness to pay doesn’t mean they agree [with] the practice though. 
“In the qualitative interviews, we heard the notion that, because news is important for democracy, people feel they should not have to pay for it,” the report says. “It should be more of a civic right because it is a civic good.” 
They also showed a greater willingness to pay for print than for digital content. 
"More than one fifth of the millennials surveyed say they paid for a subscription for a print magazine in the last year, when a less expensive digital version was available."


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mag world view: new at Grazia; luv NY mag; Women's Wear Weekly?; being wrong about books

Monday, March 16, 2015

Quote, unquote: Drawing the line on interactivity

“It is forbidden to use the Zappar on Shabbat and yom tov.” 
-- While the latest version of the Passover magazine Vaad Ha’ir has all sorts of technological bells and interactive whistles, with embedded links on most of its 200 pages, there is still a limit, according to a story in Canadian Jewish News. [Zappar in the free app. Yom Tov is a name for festivals such as Passover, Shabuoth, Sukkoth, or RoshHashana]


Canadian Family seeking exceptional teachers

Canadian Family, the online magazine, is now accepting nominations for the ninth year of its annual Teacher Awards. The award celebrates exceptional, community-nominated elementary and secondary school educators across Canada.
“The Teacher Awards’ mandate is simple: to recognize first-rate teachers, put forward by the students, parents and colleagues whose lives they touched during their time in the classroom,” said Angie McKaig, director, digital lifestyle brands, Canadianfamily.ca. “I look forward to hearing about the compassion and initiative of Canadian educators nationwide.”
12 semi-finalists will be shortlisted from the nominations, to be announced on May 15, 2015. The top three teachers will then be selected via an online vote and announced on Canadianfamily.ca on August 24, 2015. The three winners will receive $2,500 for school supplies.

For full nomination details and contest information  www.canadianfamily.ca/teacherawards.

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Them Days celebrates 40 years of telling Labrador's stories

Them Days, a quarterly magazine that is this year celebrating its 40th anniversary, gets by on the simple strategy of telling the stories of Labrador. What started out as a one-off anthology in 1975 now has a national and international following for its oral history. For nearly 30 years, Doris Saunders was the lynchpin of the publication and these days, Aimee Chaulk is the editor. The magazine is published out of Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Volunteer Susan Felsberg told the CBC that, without Them Days, a lot of the stories would never have been told.
"They were stories that just went around the kitchen table and out the front door, but now its written and its there, and some people have a complete collection." 
As part of this year's 40th anniversary celebration, a number of special publications are planned throughout the year. 


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Cottage Life unveiling augmented reality in its Spring 2015 issue

Cottage Life magazine is debuting augmented reality in the issue hitting newsstands this week. The publication is using Blippar, an image-recognition and augmented reality app to offer interactive content through pages of the magazine. 

After downloading a free Blippar app onto their smartphone or tablet, a reader can use their device to access "blippable" pages with various kinds of print-plus content. For instance, there is a video by Cottage Life editor Penny Caldwell, explaining the initiative. And downloadable plans for a picnic table. A video of a dramatic rescue. And a preview of the second season of Cottage Life's TV show. 

The magazine is partnering with advertiser KEEN to use the same technology in the issue, only in this case to introduce an new sandal design called UNEEK. 
“We wanted to build an interactive experience for our loyal print audience that would integrate digital technology and enhance the way they interact with that form of media,” said Caldwell [in a release]. “This partnership with Blippar will not only change the way print magazines are consumed, but also change the way advertisers showcase their products. KEEN, our presenting partner, is our first advertiser to activate its print ad with this technology.”
The Blippar technology will also be available to readers in the western Canada edition Cottage Life West

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Peter Willson brings magazine retail expertise to Gateway Newsstands

Peter Willson, who was in circulation management at Rogers Media for 26 years and for the past two years worked with Coast to Coast Newsstand Partnership, has joined Gateway Newsstands as national operations manager, press. As such, he is responsible for handling wholesale relationships and field operations. 

Willson, as associate publisher and consumer marketing director, was instrumental in Rogers's launch of Hello! Canada magazine. He was named newsstand marketer of the year in 2005 by Masthead magazine.

Gateway is on a bit of a tear, pursuing aggressive growth; last year it acquired 27 former LS Travel retail stores operating under the banners of Great Canadian News, Xpress, Relay, United Cigar Store and Maison de la Presse.It has 554 retail locations throughout North America and has specialized in mall, office and transportation stores and says its newest growth area is hospitals. In addition to a food services division, it also operates Gateway Direct Media, which circulates controlled publication in 65 newsstands and kiosks in the Toronto Transit Commission and as well as GO Transit properties. It is the largest newspaper and magazine retailer in transit locations across North America.


Monday, March 09, 2015

Mag world view:New People prez; postal ideas; Evolve buys Total Beauty; Sorry Vogue-ist; Wheeling in Turkey

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Winners named in Alberta Magazine Awards

Winners were announced March 5 by the Alberta Magazine Awards. Suzanne Trudel, executive director of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA), which hosted the annual awards, said
"Collectively these individuals bring passion and insight to our unique Alberta culture and ensure that Alberta voices and stories are shared and heard throughout the province and beyond our borders." 
Achievement awards included:

Grains West was named
best new magazine
  • GrainsWest was named best new magazine, as an innovative quarterly that combines three issues focussing on the grains industry and the shaping of modern agriculture, plus a food issue every September bridging the gap between farmers and consumers. It is co-published by Alberta Barley and the Alberta Wheat Commission. 
  • Steven Sandor of Avenue Edmonton was named editor of the year, The judges said "Steven is known for his leadership, his innovation, his thoughtful and challenging mentorship of writers and his dedication to maintaining their unique voice as he provides editorial guidance."
  • Jennifer Schmidt-Rempel, the publisher and editor of Lethbridge Living, was named volunteer of the year, not only for serving on the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA) from 2010 to 2014, including three years as president, but also for "ngaging with post-secondary students embarking on magazine careers to lending her time and talents to initiatives aimed at creating and building a stronger Lethbridge community, from arts and culture to business and industry."
  • Chris Bird was given the Achievement in publishing award, in part for his entrepreneurial talents as the founder of Fly Fusion magazine and its multi-media spinoffs, but also as a dedicated member of the AMPA board.
Showcase winners in various categories were:

Alberta Story
Gold: Alberta Views, "Game Changer" by Arno Kopecky
Silver: Swerve, "The Fixture and the Hipster" by Jeremy Klaszus
Art Direction of a Single Issue
Gold: Georgie, issue #3 W14, Nathan Marshall art director; Aaron Pedersen photographers
Silver: Western Living, October, Paul Roelofs, art director; Naomi MacDougall, associate art director; Jenny Reed, assistant art director
Gold for magazine cover went
Western Living art director
Paul Roelofs & and photographer
Evaan Kheraj
Gold: Western Living, September, Paul Roelofs, art director; Evaan Kheraj portrait photographer
Silver: Up! Magazine, the Food Guide, Jill Foran, editor
Digital Presence
Gold: Alberta Oil, 10th anniversary tablet edition, Alberta Oil staff
Silver: Avenue Calgary, Jaelyn Molyneux, web editor; Karin Olafson, assistant web editor
Emerging Writer
Gold: Glass Buffalo, "A Tale of Two Foms", Peter Takach
Silver: Glass Buffalo, "A Paragraph", Josh Greschner
Gold: Swerve, "Children of a Lesser Santa", Omar Mouallem
Silver: Swerve, "The Gospel of Fire and Mud", Russ Peters
Feature Design
Gold: Avenue Edmonton, "Back in the Game", Pete Nguyen, art director
Silver: New Trail, "The Face of a Century", Marcey Andrews, art director
Feature Writing
Gold: Alberta Venture, "DOT-111", Tony Davis
Silver: Swerve, "A Relationship Goes Viral", Omar Mouallem
Gold: Glass Buffalo, "Pearl", Bruce Cinnamon
Silver: Prairie Journal, "The Royal Visit", Vivian Zenari
Gold award for illustration went to
Avenue Calgary and Jan Krause
Gold: Avenue Calgary, "What's Lost", Jon Krause
Silver: New Trail, Best Summer Ever, Katy Dockrill
Photograph:Landscape, Still Life & Architecture
Gold: Westworld, "Phantoms on Ice", Kurtis Kristianson, Spindrift Photography
Silver: Avenue Calgary, "Merry Little Christmas", Julya Hajnoczky
Photography: People & Portraiture
Gold: Avenue Calgary, "Cultural Movement", Jared Sych
Silver: Alberta Venture, "Laws of the Land", Joey Podlubny
Gold: Freefall, "But I'm No One", Weyman Chan
Silver: Glass Buffalo, "Frog Lake", Erika Luckert
Gold: New Trail, "Ray Muzyka's Next Chapter", Omar Mouallem
Silver: Swerve, "The Long Journey of Nathan Phelps", Marcello Di Cintio
Gold: Swerve, "It's Your Funeral", Rita Sirignano
Silver: Western Living, "Ultimate Okanagan", Neal McLennan, Evelynn Takoff, Jim Sutherland

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Thursday, March 05, 2015

Chirp magazine launching a new show on CBC TV

Chirp magazine, published by Owlkids, is unveiling a TV show in collaboration with the CBC and, for the occasion, the character of Chirp has had a bit of a makeover. It was created in 1997 (making the little bird about 18) by Bob Kain but a new look was launched in the Jan/Feb issue, illustrated by Cale Atkinson.  

A sort of sneak peek of the show is at 7:15 tomorrow (Friday) and will continue weekly until April 20 when it will be on 5 days a week. A series of books based on the show will be launched later this spring as well as several apps. The show is produced by Sinking Ship Entertainment, licensed by Owlkids, which also publishes Chickadee and Owl magazines for varying ages.  According to Owlkids group publisher Jennifer Canham
"The show will launch in French on SRC this fall. Chirp is already featured in our French-language magazine Pomme d'Api in Quebec. We just got back from Kidscreen in Miami where we met with international broadcasters and should have some new deals to announce shortly."

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First anti-spam ruling issued by CRTC; a bracing $1.1 million fine

The first fine has been issued under Canada's ferocious anti-spam law (CASL). According to a story from Canadian Press, a company called Compu-Finder has 30 days to contest a ruling by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission or face a penalty of $1.1 million. Its offence was sending commercial e-mails promoting corporate training courses to consumers without the recipients' consent and without allowing recipients to unsubscribe from the mailings.
Related posts:

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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Quote, unquote: Why tablet editions are down the list

"Why did people who are perfectly comfortable exploring articles on their laptop and watching videos on their phone never make the switch to perusing magazines on a tablet? The tablet edition of a magazine can be a beautiful collection of articles and images. But the printed edition can also entertain visitors, decorate a coffee table, or display's the owner's taste or passion. It is an object that can be clipped, shared, or collected. You'd better know what your customers want and how they use your products before creating a new, "improved" version."

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The Philanthropist launches a new look & a new digital platform

The Philanthropist has launched a new look and digital platform which should go a long way towards expanding its audience in the not-for-profit and charitable sector. 

The quarterly has been published since 1972, first as a printed traditional journal with a few hundred paid subscribers. Then, in 2010 it was converted to a wholly online open access publication hosted by Simon Fraser University. This week it has been relaunched as a standalone website (again, free) with a goal of extending its reach and positioning and to taking best advantage of web technology. [Disclosure: I was an advisor on the conversion and the current redesign.]

It specializes in legal, tax, operational, and governance matters that affect Canada’s charitable and non-profit sector and focusses on specific issues and challenges faced by the sector. The journal has three editors: Malcolm Burrows, Gordon Floyd and Susan Manwaring.

The new site was designed by Jessica Duffin Wolfe, who is also the editor and founder of The Toronto Review of Books. She made the new site responsive to all devices, integrated with social media, allowed for moderated comments, accessible PDF versions of prior content and current articles, and easy access to a formidable issue archive of over 700 articles. 


Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Ride-sharing company Uber to share Momentum magazine with its drivers

Uber, the burgeoning ride-sharing company, has launched a quarterly print magazine to be distributed  to its 150,000 drivers in any cities where the service operates, including Toronto. It's called Momentum and, according to a post on GeekWire, articles in the inaugural issue will cover how to stay healthy and in shape, putting a spotlight on Austin, Texas (an Uber-served city) and pro driving tips from an Uber "partner" (which is what the service calls its drivers.) The 16-page magazine is available in print and digitally. Issue 1. 
“We want to strengthen the community of our driver partners — currently 150,000 people strong — by making sure you are up to date on new developments within our company and giving you new and improved methods to connect to us and one another,” writes Ryan Graves, Uber head of operations. “As we gear up for another big year of improvements, we look forward to hearing from you about what more we can do to ensure you have the most positive experience possible on the road with our platform.”
Might there be some consternation at the Vancouver headquarters of Momentum, the North America-wide cycling and lifestyle magazine? 

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Getting personal with the Edna Staebler essay contest

Edna Staebler
There are a lot of writing and magazine competitions out there, many of which are important and indispensable devices to raise funds, plump up circulation and promote publications to new audiences.  But one of the most personal -- in several ways -- is the Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest that is run by The New Quarterly and which celebrates literary journalism that was pioneered by a little lady from Waterloo County. She is remembered not only as a writer but also as a generous benefactor.                    

The competition's focus is on the personal essay, of any length and on any topic framed by the writer's personal engagement. Entries are $40 each (which includes a one-year subscription to TNQ) and are due by March 28. It's open to Canadians or residents of Canada and the submission cannot  have been published or accepted for publication elsewhere. The winning essay will receive $1,000 prize and winners and runners-up will be considered for publication in the magazine, with a fee of $250 per essay. 

It's worth remembering the amazing contributions Staebler made as a magazine freelancer working for Maclean's, Saturday Night, The Toronto Star and Chatelaine. Her first article was published in Maclean's in 1948 and her articles led to a number of treasured books, including cookbooks such as what has become a classic, Food that Really Schmecks. Staebler was recipient of the Order of Canada in 1996 and was inducted into the Waterloo Region Hall of Fame in 1998.

The New Quarterly hosts two other contests: the Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest; and the Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award, named after one of the founders of the magazine. 


Monday, March 02, 2015

Competition Bureau approves sale of TC Media consumer titles to the TVA Group

The Competition  Bureau has  approved the sale of Transcontinental Media's eastern Canadian consumer magazine portfolio (and various related assets) to the TVA Group. The bureau concluded that the transaction, announced in November, was unlikely to result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition.
"In reaching this conclusion, the Bureau also considered the general decline in readership of magazines, in part attributable to the increasing importance of the Internet as an alternative for readers," said the announcement. 
Related posts:

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