Monday, February 29, 2016

"By the time you read this, I will be dead"
-- John Hofsess

Photo: John Hofsess
Timely as can be, given the current controversies over legislation governing assisted death,Toronto Life carries a first-person feature by John Hofsess about his own; after helping 8 people end their lives as part of his work as an activist in the Right to Die Society of Canada, among them the poet Al Purdy. (Purdy gave permission to detail his story) he reports on ending his own life.

Hofsess was, among other things, an arts writer, a magazine editor,author and the film critic for Maclean's. At the age of 78, he had been diagnosed with two terminal illnesses, including pulmonary fibrosis and prostate cancer, as well as a unstable heart. 

In addition to detailing how he came to be a crusader for law reform around assisted dying, Hofsess's story said

On February 23, I will fly to Switzerland to die. The latitude of Swiss law appeals to me—laypersons are permitted to assist voluntary deaths—and I wish to end my life in the company of good people. By the time this story is published, I will be dead.
Good as his word, he died at 4:45 p.m. EST February 29.


March ad pages bulk up U.S. fashion mags

The big U.S. fashion magazines tend to have their biggest issues in September/early fall, but coming up close behind are March issues. According to data published by WWD , the tally of Big 5 advertising pages was as follows:
  • Vogue (405)
  • Harper's Bazaar (336)
  • Elle (315)
  • InStyle (263)
  • W (209)

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Two weeks left to enter TNQ occasional verse competition

The New Quarterly magazine has extended its Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse competition to March 13. It's all about light or serious poems written in response to an occasion, personal or public. The main prize is $1,000, with $1,000 more distributed as the judges see fit. Entry is $40 for up to 2 unpublished poems, $5 for each additional. 

TNQ has two other opportunities to be published: The Edna Staebler Personal Essay contest ($1,000 for one winning essay) with due date of March 28. And the Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award, $1,000 for the winning story, deadline May 28.

New Republic gathered in by Tin House publisher

April 2016 issue
The venerable magazine The New Republic has been swimming through a sea of troubles lately. Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes put $20 million into the publication but couldn't seem to get the hang of making it sustainable, so he put it up for sale in January. 

Now it seems to be returning to its progressive roots.  It has been bought by Win McCormack, the Portland-based publisher of the high end literary quarterly Tin House, according to a post in Adweek. In turn, McCormack  appointed as publisher Hamilton Fish, formerly publisher of The Nation and the Washington Spectator
The New Republic was founded in 1914 as the organ of a modernized liberalism and then-dominant Progressive Movement, and has remained true to its founding principles, under all its multiple owners, ever since,” Mr. McCormack said in a statement. “We intend to continue in that same tradition.”


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Jes Watson named editor-in-chief of
Canadian Living

Jes Watson has been named editor-in-chief of Canadian Living, the flagship English title of TVA Publications. 

Watson's background is in a variety of printed and digital sites, including and, but most recently she has been executive producer of Womens, Family and Pay Digital for Corus Entertainment and managing editor for and Treehouse Parents. 

Group publisher Sandra Martin, said of Watson, " She's an ambitious young professional, as well as a devoted spouse and mother, and will continue to work with the brand's editorial team to present ideas and inspirations for living well and eating well through the lens of what Canadian women truly want and need."

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Mag world view: APN selling; slower, dearer USPS; New Day dawns; GQ redesigns website

Deadline looms to enter the Editors' Choice awards: March 4

Deadlines are an everyday reality for editors and nowhere is this more obvious than for the Editors' Choice Awards, presented by the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME). 

Note: The deadline has been extended, and submissions now due Friday, March 18 at 4:30 pm. Submissions are due by Friday, March 4 at 4:30 p.m. The awards honour and celebrate the high-quality work of editors within the Canadian magazine industry. 

Entries are free with CSME membership. Winners will be announced at a gala event in conjunction with the MagNet conference on June 8. 
Winners in each of the small (under 50,000), medium (50,000 to 149,999) and large (150,000+) circulation categories, as well as the trade and custom magazine categories, each earn the right to use the Editors’ Choice Award logo on their cover for a year. There are also awards for best tablet, best website editorial, best front of book, the Jim Cormier Award for display writing, best art integration and, of course, the coveted Editor of the Year.
Rules and entry guidelines

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

When do they get any work done? Canada's top party schools according to Maclean's

2015 frosh week at St. F of X ( Devon Chisholm)
Maclean's magazine has published its list of the top party schools in Canada, with number one being St. Francis Xavier in Antigonish, NS. There, according to a post, a typical weekend starts on Wednesday and the party (really a series of parties) carries on through Sunday. 

The ranking (Maclean's loves rankings, particularly when it comes to universities) resulted from a survey of more than 10,000 students at 100 universities across the country last fall. Responses about how many hours a week are spent partying ranged from 0 to over 40 hours a week. Interesting that U of T students reported they party the least. 

Top 20 party schools

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B2B CEOs say print will still be important revenue, but overshadowed by other sources

A survey  in the U.S. by Connectiv says that print will continue as one significant, if shrinking, component of the revenue mix of business to business publishing, alongside digital, data and events. The results of the survey of 30 CEOs from Connectiv's overall membership of 35, reported by Folio:, said that the diversification of the B2B businesses is already well along. 
Among the survey's findings is the conclusion that B2B media companies are already quite diversified; 90 percent of respondents claimed revenue from all five available categories: digital, marketing services, events, paid content/data, and print. Ninety-seven percent claimed revenue from digital resources, though it's perhaps most surprising that three percent did not.
Print is expected to decline from an average of 28 per cent to an average of 18 per cent over the next five years, while all other revenue sources are expected to increase: paid content/data up to 23 per cent; digital up to 21 per cent; events up to 24 percent. 


How to block those blockers

The burgeoning growth of ad blocking software on the internet is threatening magazines' revenue, there's no question about it. The industry is pushing back with some strategies and tools  to combat ad blockers and improve the effectiveness of online ads. Magazines Canada is offering a webinar on March 3 at 2 p.m. featuring Ben Barokas, the Founder and CEO of Sourcepoint Technologies. The webinar is moderated by Sharon McAuley, publisher, marketer & business consultant. There's no cost to attend, but spacesare limited. Registration:

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Block that ligature: Will New York take to the new Met museum logo?

The new look...
...and what it's replacing
Block that ligature. The redesign of an institution's identity isn't an easy matter, but often it's simply agreeing to disagree. However, the look of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art is likely to get a lot of criticism. 

People have had 45 years to get used to the current logo with its stylized M. The new one, with its squnched-up type, overbearing "The" and aggressive axe-head serifs will take a lot of getting used to, if ever. It will be reflected and seen everywhere in a complete makeover of maps and signage, starting \March 1. 

The redesign was done by the London-based international branding firm Wolff Olins, the firm which did over the typographic look of the Tates -- Britain, Modern, Liverpool, St. Ives.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Mag world view: 1st female EIC at ESPN; Viz blocked; tough on men's mags; 5-minute magazine futures; Goodbye magazine


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Canadian Gardening to be closed this spring by TVA Publications

Sept. 2015 issue
The TVA Group is to cease operating Canadian Gardening and its web presence,, following publication of the spring issue, according to a post on Mastheadonline. A statement from the company was as follows:
TVA Publications has decided to concentrate on its strongest brands and will allocate the required staff and resources to keep strengthening their positioning. In that context, we will cease the activities of the Canadian Gardening magazine. The final issue will be the Spring 2016 issue (hitting newsstand on March 21, mailed to subscribers on March 8). 
This consolidation strategy is the best way for the company to optimize the reach of its flagship titles in a fast-changing market. TVA Publications will maintain a strong presence in every segment of the industry – fashion, beauty, home decor, cooking, celebrities & entertainment. We remain fully committed to print magazines as a core component of TVA Publications' business strategy while continuing to develop its brands on other platforms.
Canadian Gardening was purchased by Transcontinental Media in 2004 from its founder, Avid Media Inc. along with Canadian Home Workshop and Canadian Home and Country (both no longer publishing) and Outdoor Canada. (now owned by Cottage Life Media.) Later, Transcontinental Media was bought by TVA, the magazine publishing arm of Quebecor. At its peak Canadian Gardening had a measured readership of approximately 2.5 million.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

HuffPo reports that Rogers is considering closing Canadian Business magazine

The Huffington Post today published a story that suggests Rogers Media is considering closing down Canadian Business, one of the country's oldest magazines. I say "suggests" because it is based on some anonymous sources said to be Rogers insiders. More alarmingly, it also quoted Phil Lind, a Rogers board member whose view seemed to be that the magazine might be a victim of both audience and ad revenue problems, even though it has a circulation of 85,000 and 335,000 unique visitors on digital devices.
Canadian Business is losing subscribers and “there is no money to be had,” Phil Lind, the vice-chairman of the board at Rogers Communications told HuffPost on Monday. 
The company’s venture into Texture, the re-named magazine app first launched as Next Issue, hasn’t been as profitable as expected, he added, and Rogers’ television stations are also struggling.
Recently, Rogers also announced that it would be cutting some 200 jobs in its magazine division.  


Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Magazines Canada and Canadian Business Media are merging under Magazines Canada name

Canadian Business Media Association (CBMA) and Magazines Canada are merging under the Magazines Canada banner. The announcement was made Tuesday night in conjunction with the fourth annual Magazines Canada Business Media Leadership Summit now being held in King City, north of Toronto.

CBMA Chair John Kerr, President and CEO of Kerrwil Publications Limited, said: 
"With the marketplace and regulatory challenges faced by all magazine media publishers today, the CBMA Board agreed unanimously that bringing together one very strong association is absolutely vital at this juncture." 
Magazines Canada Chair Douglas Knight, President of St. Joseph Media, said: 
"We are delighted to welcome our CBMA colleagues to Magazines Canada. Working together strengthens our voice as we address common issues that affect the magazine industry as a whole. We will also be better positioned to more effectively leverage our resources to focus on the unique needs of distinct sectors of the industry, be they business, cultural, regional or consumer." 
The CBMA, formerly the Canadian Business Press (CBP), has a highly respected 96-year history of delivering services to B2B publishers and community stakeholders, including its flagship annual Kenneth R. Wilson Awards founded in 1954. The 2016 Kenneth R. Wilson Awards will be presented as usual in June, after which a larger Canadian business media advisory committee will undertake a review of the awards program and other B2B programming within Magazines Canada‘s long-term planning process, being managed by the new CEO Matthew Holmes.

Over the coming months, as both association boards go through a transition process more information will be released to their respective memberships. 

The creation of a "big tent" has been a long time coming. (In fact, one of the first posts on this blog, 10 years ago (egad) promoted the idea of industry associations working together as one.) 

CBP had for many years striven to stand apart, even in the face of Magazines Canada accepting business media into its membership and several larger publishers of trade and business media properties decamping to Magazines Canada, including Rogers Publishing and Annex Business Media. 

In May 2011, the CBP announced that by a unanimous decision of its members it was giving up being a member-driven organization in favour of becoming a foundation with the principal goal of running the KRW Awards. 

But then in 2015, the rebranded CBM announced it would once again be a membership-based trade organization, undertaking training, networking, webinars, tutorials and the awards program as well as launching a b2b blog. 

Now, it is throwing in with Magazines Canada to offer members a range of advocacy, professional development and other services to a combined membership.

Related posts:

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OMDC names new chair

The Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) has announced the appointment of Mark Sakamoto as chair of its board. A member of the board since 2008, he replaces Kevin Shea who retired in August. A release said
Sakamoto is Executive Vice-President for Think Research, an international cloud-based software firm in Toronto. In that capacity he is responsible for driving all aspects of business development. A lawyer, Sakamoto has also worked for a national broadcaster and for a national law firm. He began his career as a music promoter for international live acts and co-founded Vote Out Loud, a non-profit that works with high-profile musicians to encourage political awareness and participation among young Canadians.
The OMDC was established in 2000 (built on the former Ontario Film Development Corporation) to stimulate investment in creative industries, of which book and magazine publishing is one.


Monday, February 08, 2016

Mag world view: Ad Age names Bon Appétit mag of year; editors, not brand managers; why Prevention goes ad-free

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Student magazine editors at BCIT suspended for leaking email telling them not to publish a story

Two student editors at the magazine of the BC Institute of Technology were suspended from their duties for leaking an email asking them not to publish a report about an alleged voyeurism case. According to a story from the Canadian Press, Lindsay Howe and Jessica Fedigan say they were suspended by publishing manager Dan Post on behalf of the student association. He said an accusation of a man accused of filming students in a campus washroom was a "non-news story". The email was then published on the BCIT broadcast news website. 

CTV Vancouver reported that a 23-year-old man was accused of using a cellphone to record fellow students at the school's main campus in Burnaby last November. 

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Evangelical youth magazine Love is Moving launched

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, a national charity, is launching a new, bi-monthly magazine Love is Moving, aimed at Canadian Christian youth. It was test-marketed as a digital edition for two years and now 20,000 print copies will be distributed nationwide, bundled with  EFC's magazine Faith Today for a joint subscription price of $29.99 a year. 

The content of each issue will include a four-page journal section, derived from an app-based curriculum used by church youth groups. The EFC said in a release it is investing in this new initiative in order to cultivate the spiritual health of the next generation. It found in a 2011 study that: only one in three young people who attended church still do; among those who have left the church, 50% no longer identify with the Christian tradition; and that "youth and young adults agree that experiencing the power of God's love is crucial for developing a lasting faith."

Friday, February 05, 2016

Megaphone magazine is successfully taking it to the streets of Vancouver

[photo: Mark Gryski/CBC]
Megaphone magazine launched in 2008 in Vancouver. According to a report, some 30 street vendors will be out selling the magazine to passersby, marking International Vendor Week. And the story reports that 164 vendors made a total of $125,000 last year from their cut of sales.
"They work hard, they work through rain and snow and heat, and today and this whole week is really a chance for us to say, you guys are amazing you do incredible work, and we want to support you," said Sean Condon, executive director, who says that circulation of such street papers is actually growing during a time when traditional newspaper circ is in decline.

Mag world view: Dawn of PubWorx; Hemingway's g-granddaughter almost nude; Rupert's recession; Big Vogue (UK)


Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Annex sells two metalworking brands to U.S.-based FMA

Annex Business Media of Simcoe, Ontario, one of the leading b2b publishers in Canada, has sold two of its brands -- Canadian Metalworking and Canadian Fabricating and Welding -- and said it intends to combine them with its existing Canadian brand, Canadian Industrial Machinery. The titles are two of the 16 manufacturing and industrial brands that have been part of the Annex portfolio.

According to an FMA release
"The addition of 110-year-old Canadian Metalworking (CM) and the new offering Canadian Fabricating & Welding (CFW) gives FMA the leadership spot in Canadian metalworking media, and advances FMA’s service to all of North America. The publications will be run by FMA’s new Canadian subsidiary, FMA Communications Canada (FMACC).
“Relative to publishing in the Canadian manufacturing sector, this merger provides a long overdue consolidation of publications serving the Canadian metalworking industry,” states Mark Hoper, vice president of media & expositions at FMA. “The consolidation of talent and resources into the new CM/CFW publication will provide Canadian manufacturers and equipment suppliers with a new, unmatched publication serving the Canadian manufacturing industry.”
Rob Swan, formerly the associate publisher of Canadian Metalworking; will become publisher of Canadian Fabricating and Welding and Rob Colman will be editor. Jim Gorzek, the current FMA communications director of sales and marketing will take over as publisher of Canadian Metalworking. Kathleen Fitzgerald, now associate pblisher of Canadian Metalworking, will continue her sales presence for the publication.

Of the current FMA Communications editorial team covering Canada, Joe Thompson becomes editor of Canadian Metalworking, and Sue Roberts is now associate editor of both publications. Dan Davis remains editor in chief of all FMAC media products.

Annex Business Media President & CEO Michael Fredericks said:
“We think this is a good move. We are able to sell two excellent products to a team that solely focuses on fabricating and metalworking. Much as we will miss our two colleagues, they will continue to grow in the sector they know so well and continue to make great contributions to the industry.”

AAM to report multi-title digital mag programs like Texture as paid subs

Catching up with the growth of unlimited-access digital magazine programs such as Texture (formerly Next Issue), the Alliance for Audited Media has added a new circulation category to its menu of metrics. It means that sales through such sites as Texture will be reported as paid subs rather than newsstand or single copy sales. The new category will be reflected in the June 2016 AAM reports on the first 6 months of 2016.

AAM statements and its online database will include key usage metrics such as:
  • Average number of total requests by paid subscribers to receive a digital issue 
  • Average number of times issues were opened
  • Unique and total opens
"Establishing AAM qualification criteria for these digital programs helps legitimize the innovative work of the consumer magazine media industry over the last several years,” said Sue Roberson, SVP and general manager of consumer marketing and revenue, Time Inc. “It’s a step forward as we continue to extend our brands to new digital channels and platforms.”
The AAM board is also is ready to launch new products, including an ad block detection capabililty, helping publisher to understand the impact of blockers and include the data in the Site Certifier product which verifies key website metrics from Google and Adobe Analytics.  

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Co-founder and ex-editor of The Walrus claims it doesn't live up to conditions on its
charitable status

The CANADALAND news site has published an extraordinary interview with the co-founder and former editor of The Walrus, Ken Alexander. Among other things, he states that the management lied to his family's Chawkers Foundation (which fundamentally financed its creation) about the magazine's circulation and that the magazine's foundation failed to live up to the  undertakings made to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in order to obtain its precious charitable status. 

With no way of knowing what's provoked this, and without comment yet from the publisher, it can only be suggested that you read the article and listen to the podcast and come to your own conclusions. 

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Editors' Choice Awards nominations are open

The Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME) is now accepting entries for the Editors' Choice Awards, presented annually to celebrate high-quality work of editors within the Canadian magazine industry. 

Entry deadline is March 4. Winners will be announced at the gala event on June 8, during the MagNet conference. Entry is free to members of CSME.
Winners in each of the Small (under 50,000), Medium (50,000 to 149,999) and Large (150,000+) circulation categories, as well as the Trade and Custom magazine categories, each earn the right to use the Editors’ Choice Award logo on their cover for a year. There are also awards for Best Tablet, Best Website Editorial, Best Front of Book, the Jim Cormier Award for Display Writing, Best Art Integration and, of course, the coveted Editor of the Year.

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The Atlantic wins mag of the year; New York wins multiple "Ellies" in U.S. national magazine awards

The Atlantic won magazine of the year in the U.S. National Magazine Awards, presented last night. New York magazine was the only multiple award-winner. Of note in the event were two particular things: the growing presence of digital publications among award-winners; and the standing ovation for David Granger, who is departing as editor of Esquire after 19 years.  Taking home the essays and criticism prize. Granger quipped: "I'm so happy about this that I'm just going to quit." 
  • New York (magazine section, website, multimedia and general excellence in news, sport and entertainment;
  • Vice News, video award (2nd year in a row);
  • The Hollywood Reporter (general excellence, special interest  -- 2nd year in a row);
  • BuzzFeed News (public interest);
  • The Califorian Sunday Magazine (photography);
  • Eater (leisure interests);
  • Family Fun (personal service);
  • The Intercept (columns and commentary);
  • Lucky Peach for general excellence, service and lifestyle);
  • Matter (reporting);
  • Politico (feature photography);
  • Oxford American (general excellence, literature, science and politics);
  • Wired (design);
  • Bloomberg Businessweek (single-topic issue);
  • The New Yorker (feature writing);
  • Esquire (essays and criticism);
  • Zoetrope (fiction)
(The awards, dubbed the "Ellies" because the prize comes with an elephant trophy sculpture created by the late Alexander Calder, were made to 18 different print and digital publications).