Sunday, May 31, 2015

Maclean's magazine launches books podcast

Anne Kingston and Brian Bethune, co-hosts
Maclean's magazine has launched a podcast about books that joins those it offers about politics and pop culture. The Bibliopod is hosted by Anne Kingston and Brian Bethune and the podcast is available on iTunes and other podding platforms.

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Vancouver magazine unveils first winners of its inaugural craft beer awards

Best of show: Steamworks Brewing Co. Imperial Red Ale
Vancouver Magazine has unveiled the winners of its 1st Annual International Craft Beer awards. The best in show winner was a local brew, Steamworks Brewing's Imperial Red Ale, though it was up against a wide international field of competitors. The awards were presented Friday night at the Roundhouse Community Centre as part of Vancouver Craft Beer Week. The June issue of the magazine, out now, makes awards in 15 categories (who knew there could be so many categories of beer?). 


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Manitoba's "Maggie" awards: Canada's History mag of year and The Cellar Door people's choice

The "Mini Maggies" have been announced for the 7th annual Manitoba Magazine Publishers Association Awards. 
Magazine of the Year:
  • People's Choice, The Cellar Door
  • Overall, Canada’s History
Art & Literary:  
  • Best Poem or Suite of Poems,  CV2, "Connectonomics1"
  • Best Short Fiction, Prairie Fire, "Red Egg and Ginger"
  • Best Editorial Feature or Creative Non-Fiction piece, Prairie Fire, "Status Updates"
Business to Business:
  • Best Business or Individual Profile, Conservator, "Ripple Effect"
  • Business to Business:Best Single Issue, Conservator,"Ripple Effect 35-2"
  • Best Editorial Feature, Canada’s History,"Ties That Bind"
  • Best Regular Column or Department, The Cottager, "My Cottage Life"
  • Best Single Issue, Geez, "Life Offline"
Best of the Best:
  • Best Cover – Illustration, Geez, "The End Cover"
  • Best Cover – Photography, Herizons, "Winter 2014"
  • Best Mobile, Digital or Interactive Initiative, Manitoba Gardener,"Save The Monarch"
(The Mini-Maggies are a departure from past practice. The annual Reaching Readers conference and the awards dinner had to be postponed because of uncertain ticket sales.) There were 61 entries from 12 magazines. Judges this year were Jonathan Ball, Ariel Gordon, Rosemarie Finlay, Martin Cash, Scott Messenger, Veronica Cowan, George Stephenson, Kelly Gray and Allan Britnell. Winners were presented with “Mini-Maggie” plaques at a downtown function. The major presentations will be made at the Association’s 2nd Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Bel Acres Golf Club on August 6. Entry to the tournament is open to all.
The Manitoba Magazine Publishers’ Association is celebrating its 30th year of incorporation this year, representing 26 member publishers with more than 30 magazines. The Association provides networking opportunities, professional development and industry involvement projects for its members.

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Precedent magazine's up-and-coming lawyers are having a ball at the bar

Lisa Feldstein bats right
Precedent magazine is noted for having a sense of fun in the presentation of its Precedent Setter Awards. This year's six winners drawn from among outstanding lawyers in their first 10 years of their practice were all good sports when the magazine's editors took them to the Toronto ping pong bar Spin for a photo shoot. The winners of the awards were:

Poetry is Dead magazine celebrates fifth anniversary of celebrating verse

It's apparent that neither poetry nor magazine publishing is dead, though both are encompassed by the indy magazine Poetry is Dead, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary. As reported by the Georgia Straight, the magazine is having a party tonight at 8 p.m. at the Cultch in Vancouver. 
Don’t expect hushed tones and gravity. Hosted by [editor Daniel] Zomparelli and Cynara Geissler, the show promises standup comedy by Alicia Tobin and Cass Keeley, not to mention discussions of “everything from teen angst to Tiger Beat crushes”, as well as readings and performances by Dina Del Bucchia, Sara Bynoe, Curtis LeBlanc, Shannon Rayne, and many others. For your ticket—which will also land you a one-year subscription—go to the Cultch’s website.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Quote, unquote: Ad blockers are eating
publishers' lunches

"For publishers, ad blockers are the elephant in the room: Everybody sees them, no one talks about them. The common understanding is that the first to speak up will be dead—it will acknowledge that the volume of ads actually delivered can in fact be 30% to 50% smaller than claimed—and invoiced. Publishers fear retaliation from media buying agencies—even though the ad community is quick to forget that it dug its own grave by flooding the web with intolerable amounts of promotional formats."
-- Frédéric Filloux in an article on Quartz about the rise of ad blocking software, now aimed at mobile and at native advertising, particularly in Europe. According to the article, 300 million people worldwide have downloaded ad blocking software and about half have installed it. 


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dan Post elected president of MagsBC

Dan Post
Dan Post is the new president of the Magazine Association of BC (MagsBC) for 2015-16. In a note to members, he acknowledges that there have been "a challenging couple of years" for the organization. Post is the publications manager at the BCIT student association and publisher of Link Magazine, a monthly digest of student culture and ideas. Previously, he worked for Geist and was managing editor at Color magazine from 2011 to 2013.

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Industry gears up for a week-full of magazine events in Toronto

Next week is a busy one in magazines, despite the fact that the annual MagNet conference is not being held (deferred while Magazines Canada hosts the international FIPP conference in October).
*  *  *
The 61st annual Kenneth R. Wilson Awards for business-to-business media is being presented by the Canadian Business Media Association at One King West on Tuesday, June 2 in the Grand Banking Hall. $165 plus HST. Doors open 6 p.m. for schmoozing, Sit down dinner and awards follow at 7 p.m.
*  *  *
The Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME) is holding its editors' choice awards gala on Wednesday, June 3. Guest speaker is award-winning magazine editor and columnist Russell Smith. The event will take place upstairs in the Stealth Lounge at The Pilot Tavern at 22 Cumberland Street , starting at 5:30 p.m. $15 for members; $20 for non-members ($20 and $25 at the door), the price of a regular mixer.

*  *  *
The Circulation Marketing Association of Canada (CMC) is holding its CMC Awards for circulation excellence on Thursday, June 4 at 6:30 at the Hotel Ocho (195 Spadina Avenue, Toronto). (The CMC AGM is being held at 5:30.)
*  *  *
And the National Magazine Awards are being held Friday evening, June 5 in the Arcadian Court at Bay and Queen (401 Bay Street, 8th floor). Doors open at 5:30 for industry reception. Dinner and awards start at 7 p.m  Dinner and awards tickets are $150. Show only is $75. Both plus HST.

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Vancouver Magazine and Western Living sold to Yellow Pages Homes Ltd.

Western Living and Vancouver magazines have been sold to the owners of Yellow Pages. According to a memo to staff from Ted Markle, president of TC Media, the transaction which closed this morning means that all employees of the Western Magazine Group become Yellow Pages Homes Limited employees today. Western Living and Vancouver magazine were not included in the recent $55.5 million deal wherein TC Media recently sold off its other, eastern Canadian consumer magazines to the TVA Group (Quebecor).  Essentially, with this sale, TC Media is now entirely out of the consumer magazine business. As part of the deal the magazines will continue to be printed by TC Printing.
"Since the announcement of the transaction to sell our consumer magazines in Toronto and Montreal and the communication of the new vision for TC Media, I know that you were faced with uncertainty in this context of change," said Markle. "I want to personally thank all of you for keeping the focus on the brands and on the success of the business, with the same level of energy and professionalism for which you are recognized, despite this time of transition. I would also like to express my gratitude to Tom [general manager Tom Gierasimczuk, who is publisher of both magazines], who has shown tremendous leadership since his appointment and over the course of the past few months. 
"As we say goodbye, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, on behalf of the entire organization, for your daily commitment and dedication to building the reputation of these two prestige brands. Vancouver Magazine and Western Living have made our name a beacon for thousands of readers in Western Canada. The many prizes that were awarded to your brands, most recently at the Alberta Magazine Awards in March, are a tribute to your passion and dedication. You have been part of our family and have shared our values for many years, and it is with sadness that we see you leave TC Transcontinental. 
"It's the end of a chapter, but certainly not the end of the story. May the future be one of both personal and professional growth for you all, and may you continue to thrive within the context of this new adventure."
There is so far no word on the price of the sale. Staff of the Western Magazine Group were being briefed this morning. 

Read more »

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Mag world view: EW, a paywall; Lucky not dead yet; Charlie Hebdo aftermath; Condé restaurants


Friday, May 22, 2015

With half its circ gone, USA Today may stop daily publishing within 5 years

It was suggested Wednesday that USA Today may cease publishing as a daily paper within the next five or six years. 

However, quoted in a story from MediaPost, editor-in-chief David Callaway said in a discussion about the "Future of Media" that the paper would continue publishing some sort of print product for years to come. 
If USA Today were to shutter its daily print edition, it would become the second major U.S. newspaper to go online only, following the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which went all digital with drastic personnel cuts in 2009.... 
Over the last decade, USA Today’s average weekday print circulation fell by half, from 2.22 million in the six-month period ending September 2004 to 1.08 million for the same period in September 2014, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, previously known as the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

[UPDATED] Manitoba magazine conference postponed; "Mini-Maggies" reception to be held

[This post has been updated] The annual Manitoba Magazine Publisher's Reaching Readers conference and the associated 7th annual Maggie Awards due to be held May 28 have been postponed. A note to members from executive director Linda Hazelwood says that attendance did not support the expense of going ahead.
"There seems to be too many other things happening next week (which of course we were not aware of when we picked our date), which caused a time conflict. We will individually contact all those who booked, to discuss refunds.
"The Maggie winners will still be announced on May 28, but by email, web, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets.

"The events are not cancelled, just postponed. The conference sessions will happen as single events, while the Maggies Awards will be moved to be a part of the golf tournament wind-up dinner on August 6 at Bel Acres Golf Club. We will arrange transport from the city for those who do not wish to drive."
[Update: In lieu of the awards, a Mini-Maggies, will be held to recognize this year’s winners. The Mini-Maggies will take place at 6:30 pm on May 28, at the Governor’s Boardroom at Bailey’s Restaurant in Winnipeg. There will be a cash bar, and the MMPA is requesting all attendees RSVP to All are welcome.]

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Former Maclean's editor Kevin Doyle has died

Kevin Doyle, who was editor of Maclean's magazine from 1982 to 1993 and under whose watch the very successful Maclean's university rankings were launched, has died

Doyle had worked at the Windsor Star before joining Maclean's. He succeeded Peter C. Newman as its editor and had expansive ideas for the magazine during his time there, during which it took a "newsy" and internationalist approach, opening bureaus in Moscow and London. These were later closed for budget reasons. After he left Maclean's, he worked for the C.D. Howe Institute and as Canadian editor of Bloomberg News

He had only recently retired as executive director of  public affairs and communications at the University of Windsor where he had worked since 2006, The university renamed its former President's Faculty Award for Service to the Media to honour his contributions. 

An obituary will be was published Saturday in the Globe and Mail and the Ottawa Citizen. A celebration of his life will be held at the University Club in Toronto on June 26 at 4 p.m.

Tribute by Doyle's successor, Robert Lewis


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Today's Parent staff and contributors remember Tracy Chappell

Tracy Chappell with her daughters Avery (l) and Anna
Today's Parent magazine staff, contributors and friends have been knocked for a loop by the sudden death of senior editor Tracy Chappell. She died Monday night in her sleep at the age of 41, leaving her husband Sean and her children, Anna, 9 and Avery 6. The TP staff has posted online a collection of remembrances about what made her special to them.  That in addition to the dozens of tweets and Facebook posts.

Editor-in-chief Sasha Emmons said
As part of the Today’s Parent team for the last 14 years, Tracy had been around longer than anyone else, through many iterations and editors and roles. She was, in many ways, the soul of Today’s Parent. I’m not sure how we’re going to publish this magazine without her.
Contributor Jackie Gillard talked about how Chappell was the editor of the very first print magazine piece she published.
Tracy Chappell was one of a few certified diamonds in a sea of cubic zirconium. I hope her infinite love and grace holds her family tight right now and carries them through the horrific tragedy of losing their extraordinary mother, wife, daughter, sister, and aunt. She inspired so many, not just with her work, but with her entire essence and inner light.


Seymour Chwast puts an archive of his
illustration online

The prolific New York illustrator and graphic designer Seymour Chwast, co-founder of Push Pin Studios, has put online an archive of his work.  It demonstrates his rather quirky world view and the breadth of his artistry in so many applications. Well worth a browse. It seems that this is downsizing time for him, too. A separate gallery sells his work in posters, limited edition prints but also later copies of Push Pin Graphic magazine, original illustrations and even personal sketches and drawings. 


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Maggies awards coming up May 28

The Manitoba Magazine Publishers' Association hosts the 7th Annual Maggie Awards May 28 at the Viscount Gort Hotel in Winnipeg. 6:30 p.m. 

Entries are judged in four publishing groups: Art & Literary; Business-to-business, association or custom; Consumer; and Best of the Best.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Independent magazines are faced with the challenge of passing the torch and keeping it lit

Succession planning in independent magazines is an under-discussed issue. That's why the recent Facebook post by Wendy Priesnitz is both apt (for her and husband/partner Rolf) and thought-provoking about how titles are to carry on when their hard working founders, visionaries and champions decide to kick back and move on.

Life Media publishes a family of digital magazines about natural family living, homeschooling/unschooling/life learning, and home/micro business, including digital bimonthly Natural Life magazine, Natural Child, Life Learning and Child's Play as well as a range of books (traditional and e- ) on similar themes
"Rolf and I have decided that we need to retire," said Priesnitz. "I turn 65 in two weeks (yikes); Rolf turns 68 in July and has had three strokes. So we're starting to look for people to take over some or all of what we do."
On the Life Media page the message was similar:
"We have been publishing magazines since 1976 and it is time for us to retire. But we would like to see the business continue. So we are entertaining proposals to purchase or otherwise take over one or all of the Life Media publications."
It seems most likely that successors will come from within their loyal readership, people who subscribe not only to the publications, but to their principles. The trick will be finding someone who has the editorial and publishing skills to carry on the work of almost 40 years.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Canadian Running 50th issue unveils subtle, bolder look

For its 50th issue, Canadian Running magazine has unveiled a subtly enhanced new and bolder look -- fewer cover lines, more of a poster presentation --  in its May-June issue. Editor-in-chief is Michael Doyle, art director is Warren Wheeler. (See a comparison with the previous look at Scott Bullock's Covers Sell blog.)

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Mag world view: Mobile measure; loony, not eccentric; countryfication; Emap's fall; free NYT

Magawards to be co-hosted by Lainey Lui and Jessica Allen

This year's National Magazine Awards will be co-hosted by television personalities Lainey Lui (left) and Jessica Allen. Lui is co-host of CTV's The Social and senior correspondent for Etalk. Allen is digital correspondent for The Social. The event will be held  June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. 

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Canada Council outlines trends it says are compelling new funding model

In advance of the unveiling of details of its new funding model in June, the Canada Council for the Arts has published a preliminary document outlining some of the trends and issues it has identified in consultations. 

The Council announced in January that there is to be a major overhaul, reducing 142 discipline-specific categories to fewer than 10 broad, national non-disciplinary programs, but without a reduction in over all funding. The new model will be announced in June and will be implemented  by 2017 

Among the trends and issues is says it has heard about:
  1. The need for flexibility and compressing the wait times between application and awards
  2. The need for interdisciplinarity and a more open-ended grant process
  3. A need to respond to alternatives to the formal not-for-profit arts organizations
  4. More engagement with the public and promoting the public profile of the arts
  5. The need to adapt to rapid technological change
  6. Increasing access to international opportunities
  7. Responding to diversity, particularly with aboriginal artists and young creators
  8. The precarious nature of the economy for the art sector


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mother Jones co-editors move up the masthead, one as CEO, the other as editor-in-chief

Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery, co-editors of Mother Jones magazine since 2006, have moved up the masthead. Bauerlein becomes CEO, replacing outgoing CEO Madeleine Buckingham and Jeffery becomes editor-in-chief. The pair are credited with transforming the magazine from a traditional print publication with 200,000 monthly readers to a multiplatform news organization with 9 million monthly readers (the print version continues). A press release from the magazine says
They tripled the size of the newsroom, opened bureaus in Washington and New York, and reinvigorated the organization's investigative muscle. During their tenure, Mother Jones has won three National Magazine Awards, two for general excellence. 
In 2013 the co-editors were the recipients of the prestigious PEN American award for editing; the judges wrote: "Mother Jones under Jeffery and Bauerlein has been transformed from what was a respected—if under-the-radar—indie publication to an internationally recognized powerhouse…whose writers and reporters often put more well-known and deep-pocketed news divisions to shame." 
"Clara and Monika are visionary leaders who have set a new standard for cutting-edge nonprofit journalism," said board chair Phil Straus. "The board of directors
looks forward to working with them on the next stage of our growth."
As part of the reorganization, Maria Streshinsky, the editor-in-chief of Pacific Standard (and, prior to that, managing editor of The Atlantic), will join as deputy editor. Aaron Wiener of Washington City Paper will join as a senior editor in the Washington bureau, and Russ Choma of Open Secrets and Max Rosenthal of Public Radio International become staff reporters.

Wedding Bells/MARIAGE survey says engaged in December, married in August is the trend

The average Canadian wedding costs $30,717, including the honeymoon, according to 2015 reader survey results published jointly by Weddingbells and MARIAGE Québec magazines. The survey says one-fifth of engagements occur in December, 23% of weddings in August, and that 29% of brides had already picked out their engagement ring before receiving a marriage proposal. The average age of responding brides is 30.

Weddingbells and MARIAGE Québec are published twice annually by St. Joseph Communications
[Click infographic to enlarge]
The survey was conducted between July 2014 and March 2015 with more than 2,000 brides and brides-to-be. 

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Monday, May 11, 2015

CMC Awards entry deadline looms: May 15

There's still time for magazine marketing professionals and those who love (or at least admire) them to enter for the CMC Awards. The deadline for entries is May 15. The awards event this year will be held on June 4 at 6:30 at the Hotel Ocho, 195 Spadina Avenue. The categories are:

TC Media partners with LC Média to super-size automotive network

TC Media is transferring editorial and management of its auto site to LC Média and linking it with The Car Guide website and its French-language counterpart, the Guide de l’auto, as well as with the . The transaction doubles the total audience reach to 1,530,000 unique visitors, generating 9,695,000 page views per month.

LC Média has been in business since 1999 and has published Le Guide de l’auto for 50 years; it has a circulation of 90.000 copies.It also has a TV show on the MAtv channel, and has a mobile site and an iPad app. The LC Média Web Network, includes, and and generates over 6.5 million page views monthly and over 930,000 unique visitors per month.

The partnership gives LC Média's The Car Guide significant English-language traffic in the Atlantic provinces and expands TC Media's offerings for car dealers and sellers.

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Atlantic Business, Herald & Saltscapes multiple winners in Atlantic Journalism Awards

Best cover; July/August 2014
The Atlantic Journalism Awards were presented Saturday night in Halifax. The awards cover all media; the magazine-related gold and silver awards are as follows.

Atlantic Magazine Article
Gold: Stephen Kimber – Atlantic Business Magazine – St. John's, NL – "Spilled Secrets"
Silver finalists:
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"

Atlantic Magazine: Best Cover
Gold: Atlantic Business Magazine – St. John's, NL – "Why #SuperStartUp Sucked – July 2014"
Silver finalists :
East Coast Living – Halifax, NS – "North End Splendour – Winter 2014"
Herald Magazine – Halifax, NS – "Robert Frank – September 2014"

Atlantic Magazine: Best Profile Article
Gold: Lois Legge – Herald Magazine – Halifax, NS – "Robert Frank"
Silver finalists:
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
Gold: Stephen Kimber – Natural Resources Magazine – St. John's, NL – "Closure"
Silver finalist:
John DeMont – Herald Magazine – Halifax, NS – "The Taste Revolution"

Business Reporting: Any Medium
Gold: Rachel Brighton – Rural Delivery Magazine – Liverpool, NS – "Big Dairy Comes East: Consolidation Makes "Local" Elusive"
Silver finalist:
Chris Benjamin – Saltscapes Magazine – Bedford, NS – "Betting the Fish Farm"

Arts & Entertainment Reporting: Any Medium
Silver finalists:
Elissa Barnard – Herald Magazine – Halifax, NS – "Life and Art of Mary Pratt"
Suzanne Robicheau – Saltscapes Magazine – Bedford, NS – "The Magic of Realism"

Commentary: Any Medium
Gold: Stephen Kimber – Atlantic Business Magazine – St. John's, NL – "How Would You UnHarper Canada?"
Silver finalist:
Alec Bruce – Atlantic Business Magazine – St. John's, NL – "The Tough Business of Keeping Calm and Carrying On"

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Tuesday, May 05, 2015

How to label "native ads" in a non-confusing way

If almost all media, including magazines, will soon be using "native advertising" (and it seems it will), it might be good to know how best to identify such ads for readers. A post on Digiday reports on some research by the native ad tech company TripleLift exploring typical terms or disclosure labels used and how readers and marketers react to them.

Using eye-tracking, the study shows respondents who most (%) saw ads with a "presented by" or "sponsored by" label and the fewest, who saw ads with the heading "advertisement". 
It's understandable why advertisers and marketers prefer the softer, more evasive labels since people may tend to avoid or skip over obvious ads. Yet the research shows that the exact opposite is the case when asked which label makes it most clear that the content is an ad.
Yet, when the [U.S.] Association of National Advertisers asked its members (63% of whom said they expected to increase spending on native this year) which terms describe native ad disclosure "very well", they answered:
Go figure. 

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White paper summarizes business media summit lessons & strategies

The white paper that resulted from the third annual Business Media Leadership Summit in February has been released by Magazines Canada. Publishing Leadership Today for Tomorrow's Readers is the third such paper co-authored by industry consultant John Milne and me, summarizing the lessons offered (and learned). The Business Media Summit is the only Canadian event specifically for senior business media executives. 

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TVA Group magazine division sees 11.1% Q1 drop in revenues, 57.1% decline in profits

In its first quarter financials ending March 31, TVA Group's magazine division (TVA Publications Inc. and Les Publications Charron & Cie Inc.) reported an 11.1% drop in revenues, from $15,138,000 to $13,456, resulting in a adjusted operating income of $938,000, down 57.1% from the same period the year before. The company reported that the decline in operating revenue was mitigated by cutting operating expenses by 3.4%, mostly in editorial costs. the largest publisher of French-language magazines

Over all, the TVA Group Inc., a subsidiary of Quebecor Media Inc. and the the largest publisher of French-language magazines in North America, announced a net loss of $14.7 million, compared with $10.2 million in the same quarter of 2014. Most of this was attributed to its broadcasting and production segment.

On April 12, the company closed the deal to acquire 14 magazines, three websites and custom publishing contracts from Transcontinental Media for $55.5 million.

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Monday, May 04, 2015

Mag world view: Not swan song; literary in-flight; Prevention U.; Time to make 10k videos; Top Gear in French, Japanese


Quote, unquote: On mining and marketing

“We reach half the adults in the U.S. I wanted somebody who can mine data, understand it, and help us market our products as well as helping advertisers market their products through our vehicles.”
-- Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp, announcing the hiring of the company's first chief data officer, J. T. Kostman.


Magazines get funding that keeps them in the digital cultural media game

Magazines Canada has convinced the Ontario government to invest in a new interactive digital media (IDM) fund that will allow magazines to continue to be eligible for co-production activities. It will invest $6 million in 2016-17 and $10 million annually thereafter. 
The Ontario budget tabled 10 days ago was making major changes to the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (OIDMTC) that would achieve savings of $51 million this year and $89 million by 2017-18, mostly by eliminating enterprises that are not considered to be creating sufficiently robust digital cultural media products; one of the casualties could have been Ontario magazines.
Through the redesign and investment recommended by MC, Ontario has broadened the IDM fund's scope to include Ontario's magazines. Details of the funding are to be worked out with ministry staff. At the same time, the existing OMDC magazine fund remains in place.
"The Ontario Government has recognized the value of Ontario's magazine media as a contributor to the development of smart jobs in a digital economy," said Mark Jamison, Magazine Canada CEO. "Magazines Canada and its members will encourage other provinces to study this initiative."

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The Walrus tops nominations, including mag of year, for National Magazine Awards

The nominees for the National Magazine Awards were announced today

The three finalists for magazine of the year at the National Magazine Awards are:

Best magazine brand, a new award this year, goes to publications which realize their editorial mandate through at least three platforms (e.g. print, web, mobile). The three nominees this year are 

Finalists for tablet magazine of the year:

  • Best new magazine writer nominees are Genna Buck, Nicholas Cameron, Emily McKibbon
  • Best new illustrator or photographer: Min Gyo Chung, Hudson Christie, Kiana Hayeri
As reported earlier, this year's Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement is going to Michael Fox, circulator, industry leader, mentor and publisher.
Photographer Chris Nicholls leads all visual nominees with 5 nominations for his work in Fashion Magazine and WeddingBells.
  • The Walrus magazine has 30 nominations, leading all magazine entrants, followed by Report on Business magazine (21), Maclean's (19), Toronto Life (17), Sportsnet (15) and Maisonneuve (14).
  • First-time nominees are Cornerstone, CPA Magazine, ETC MEDIA, Fairmont, Glass Buffalo, Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Naître et grandir, Nature sauvage, Room of One's Own and S/Style & Fashion.

Winners in all categories will be announced at the gala National Magazine Awards dinner June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. Tickets are on sale now. 

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Friday, May 01, 2015

Anti-spam rules may have reduced use of email, but not spam, report says

Canada's anti-spam law (CASL), which has been a major burden -- not to say a threat to the businesse -- for magazine publishers, may have had the paradoxical effect of reducing the use of email and actually increasing spam messages, according to data from the network security firm Cloudmark. It was summarized in a blog post by Keith Rose of law firm McCarthy Tétrault LLP. The consequences of CASL may not be what the government intended when it was imposed (as publishers had warned.)
"Average monthly email volumes received by Cloudmark customers in Canada declined by 29%, but the percentage of received email that Cloudmark assessed as “spam” actually increased, albeit by an insignificant amount (from 16.5% to 16.6%). In other words, the proportionate impact of the legislation for Canadian recipients has been as high or higher on “legitimate” traffic as it has been on true “spam”. 
"The implication appears to be that some Canadian organizations are abandoning email as a public communication platform instead of attempting to comply with CASL’s stringent consent and content requirements and facing the risk of substantial penalties for non-compliance. [For reference, see previous posts on CASL compliance issues here, here, here, here, and here.] One might wonder whether that was the outcome hoped for, from a law which states its purpose as being to promote the legitimate use of electronic means to carry out commercial activity. 
"CASL does seem to be having a greater impact on Canadian spam aimed at other countries. Cloudmark’s data indicates that outbound international spam traffic declined by 37%. The report does not suggest any reason for the disproportionate impact on foreign traffic."


Association publishers find professional readers prefer print over digital

Association publishers are consistently finding that their professional readers prefer print over digital versions of magazines, according to a column in Folio: by Debra Stratton, president of Stratton Media Strategies LLC, which  has worked with more than 300 associations over the past 30 years.
"Still, association publishers continually have to battle to maintain print, often pressured by boards and finance officers to convert to go digital-only to save on printing and postage expenses."
Print isn't cheap,the article acknowledges, but has some undeniable value:
  • Generally preferred for in-depth reading
  • For advertising-supported magazines, converting to all-digital may reduce or even eliminate the revenue base
  • Image or branding are best conveyed in print
  • Print magazine offer valuable portability for travel
  • Readability is often improved with print 
  • Digital technology can be clunky

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