Monday, October 31, 2016

Twitter partners with Magawards for annual Winners' Circle event Nov. 16

The National Magazine Awards Foundation is partnering this year with Twitter Canada to present the Winners' Circle. It's an exclusive event for all National Magazine Awards and Digital Publishing Awards winners from 2016.

Jennifer Hollett, the new head of news and government at Twitter will be providing insider tips about how to grow your publication's Twitter presence, thinking beyond hashtags and how to integrate images, videos, live video, moments and more. 

The event is to be held Wed. November 16, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Twitter headquarters, 901 King Street West, Suite 401 in Toronto. 
"After the Twitter Canada presentation, it’s time to mingle and network with your peers. We’ll be facilitating introductions between writers, artists, editors and art directors," said a release. "If you’re planning to attend and would like to have a chance to sit down with an award-winning writer/artist or an award-winning magazine/digital publication editor or art director, let us know:"
Guests are requested to RSVP to no later than November 11 and are encouraged to join the Facebook Event Page.
Related post: 

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Friday, October 28, 2016

TVA Group magazine division revenue was up but company takes $40 million write down

Quebecor Media's TVA Group has recorded a goodwill impairment charge against its magazine division of about $40 million for the first nine months of 2016. The company had an adjusted operating income of $5.7 million in the magazines segment, a $1.9 million (49%) improvement "mainly reflecting operational synergies realized since the integration of the magazines acquired from Transcontinental and other cost-cutting initiatives."
"While we recorded an increase in adjusted operating income in the magazines segment, the continuing downward trend in the magazines industry's operating revenues, particularly advertising revenues and newsstand sales, led the Corporation to conclude that a $40.1 million non-cash charge for impairment of goodwill had to be taken," said Julie Tremblay, president and chief executive officer said in a release.
TVA Group is, in addition to being the leading publisher of French-language magazines and a leader in publishing English language titles, is involved in broadcasting, film and audiovisual production. 

TVA announced a net loss attributable to shareholders of $32.5 million, or a loss of $0.75 per share, in the third quarter, compared with a net loss attributable to shareholders of $36.5 million, or a loss of $0.84 per share, in the same quarter of 2015. (Most of the losses were attributed by the company to the broadcasting and production segment -- particularly "a decrease in the adjusted operating income of TVA Network and the "TVA Sports" channel, which was affected by the concentration of costs related to broadcasting the World Cup of Hockey in September 2016" -- and film production and audiovisual divisions.) 

This was the year (in April) during which TVA Group acquired 14 magazines from Transcontinental Inc., four of which are owned and operated in partnership, as well as three websites, custom publishing contracts and book publishing operations, for a purchase price of $56,286,000 in cash. It transferred the acquired book publishing operations to Sogides Group Inc., a corporation it controls, for $720,000. 
3Q revenue for the magazine division was $30 million; for the first nine months, $86.7 million. Adjusted operating revenue for the magazine division was $5.7 million for Q3 (compared with $3.8 million in the same period in 2015) and $11.7 million for the first nine months ($6 million.) 

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Three stars honoured with Opera Canada "Rubies" at magazine's gala event

Grégoire Legendre, Sondra Radvanovsky and Atom Egoyan
Each year, Opera Canada magazine holds a fundraising event at which the "Rubies" are awarded, named after the late Ruby Mercer, the founder of the magazine, an author and soprano. This year, the award recipients were soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, film/stage director Atom Egoyan, and L’Opéra de Québec General Director Grégoire Legendre.

The Opera Canada gala at which the awards were made, hosted by CBC broadcaster and tenor Ben Heppner, took place at the headquarters of BMO Financial Group, on the 68th Floor of First Canadian Place in downtown Toronto. (Details of the citations for the awards are available in a post on the website Musical Toronto.) 

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Canzine West features political panel about community activism

Community activism is the focus of this year's political panel discussion at Canzine West, the zine fair run by Broken Pencil magazine. This year, Canzine West will take place on November 5th at Simon Fraser University’s Goldcorp Center for the Arts. Doors open at 1pm.
[The panel] will feature panellists Stefania Seccia (Megaphone Magazine), Dana Putman (Vancouver Public Library), Hannah McGregor (Simon Fraser University), Jenn McDermid (Gender Sexuality Health Initiative), and Jessica Todd (Women’s Art Collective). This takes place at 2PM. The panel will serve as fodder for anyone with a passionate cause or interest in starting a publication.
Canzine, which started in Toronto in 1995, now has spread out to Winnipeg and Vancouver. 

Roster of international judges named to augment Magawards judging

In a first for the National Magazine Awards, it has announced a roster of name international judges who will join the usual volunteer Canadian judging panel(s). This was one of the major changes that were recently announced for the awards. Among the international judges:
  • Jane Franciso, the editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping and previously editor-in-chief of Chatelaine, Style at Home and Glow magazines.
  • Adam Sternbergh, a contributing editor to New York magazine and former culture editor of the New York Times magazine.
  • Kevin Delaney, editor-in-chief of Quartz, a digital arm of Atlantic Media and previously editor of
  • Emily Nussbaum, the television critic for The New Yorker and 2016 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for criticism. Previously edited the culture pages at New York magazine.
  • David Michon, an editorial and creative consultant and print and radio journalist based in London, UK. Previously an editor at Monocle
  • Gillian Dobias, who launched Monocle Films for Monocle magazine and directed video and radio productions for the CBC and BBC.
  • Laurie Kratochvil, a photo dealer and appraiser who began her career as photography editor at the Los Angeles Times and  spent 12 years as photo editor at Rolling Stone magazine.
  • Jeremy Keehn, features editor at Bloomberg Business Week. Previously editor of, digital director of Harper's and a senior editor at The Walrus     
  • Todd Falkowsky, publisher of The Canadian Design Resource and founder and creative director of Citizen Brand and Mother Brant; also a professor of architecture at the Politecnico in Milan, Italy.
  • Antonio de Luca, at one time creative director of The Walrus, now lead product designer & Upshot art director at the New York Times.
  • Jessica Rose, art director of Wallpaper and previously art director at The Sunday Times and at Toronto Life.  
"This initiative aims to put Canadian-made work directly into the eyes of some of our industry’s top experts, helping to give recognition to Canadian creators that extends beyond our borders," said a posting on the National Magazine Awards Foundation blog.                                              

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Indigenous magazine Red Rising expands into Vancouver

A Winnipeg-based quarterly magazine serving indigenous people launched its fourth issue in Vancouver on Saturday at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre.  

Red Rising magazine is run by a volunteer group of indigenous youth from Winnipeg Treaty 1 territory. The new  issue is themed "Storytelling as Resistance".                     

In an article carried by News 1130, co-founder Lenard Monkman says the magazine intends to bring together indigenous stories and perspectives; they are looking for artists and writers from all over Canada. The magazine has already published three issues and plans to have a fifth one out in February.
“There are a lot of Indigenous people that are going through exactly the same kinds of things across the country,” Monkman says.
In a way, he says, people on the West Coast may remember Red Wire magazine, which was published for a time in the '90s.
“It’s sort of a continuation of that but we’re bringing different perspectives — we’re living in a little bit of a different time but a lot of the issues that were happening 20 years ago are still very much the same as they are today.”

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Feminist online magazine Bad Nudes
launched in Montreal

A new online feminist literary magazine with the rivetting name Bad Nudes was launched this week in Montreal. Its "ironic and irreverent" tone encourages  writers to submit prose and poetry. Eventually, the founders hope that the quarterly can be produced in a print version.

According to a story in The Link, the concept of the magazine started out as a joke during a B.C. vacation, but even at the beginning, Fawn Parker, who is now the poetry editor, took the idea seriously and they "really dug their heels into it." Parker and partners Thomas Molander and Sandy Spink, worked on their website while reaching out to artists in their networks to contribute. 
“The way that we approached it is very open,” [said] Parker. “We didn’t have a strong political direction to go in. But we are political in the sense that we won’t publish anything that is not feminist and we won’t publish anything that is racist.”
The launch had a number of readings (see above) -- poetry, prose and play excerpts.  
“I fucking love Bad Nudes. I think it’s great," said Rhiannon Collett, an award-winning playwright. "It showcases the talent in Montreal and there’s a lot of young and fierce talents,” she said about the fresh mag. “A lot of really talented people I know are in this magazine. I’m really proud of the work that Fawn and Thomas have been doing.”


November is the 50th anniversary
issue of Toronto Life magazine

Toronto Life's November issue marks 50 years of publishing with a look ahead to the next 50 years. 


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Quote, unquote: Newspapers and better steaks

“Newspapers had been running the equivalent of a very nice high-end steakhouse.Then McDonald’s moved to town and started selling untold numbers of cheap hamburgers. Newspapers thought, 'Let’s compete with that,' and dropped the steak for hamburger, even though it had no real expertise in producing hamburgers. What they should have done is improve the steak product.”
 -- H. Iris Chyi, quoted by Jack Shafer of Politico from a new paper she wrote with Ori Tenenboim of the University of Texas, published this summer in Journalism Practice. Its thesis is that the web-heavy strategy pursued by most newspapers has been a bust. 


Monday, October 17, 2016

Precedent magazine calls "bullshit" on Law Society over call to cancel alternative to articling

Precedent magazine, the lifestyle magazine for Ontario-based lawyers, has published an editorial saying that doing away with the Law Practice Program (LPP) would be a "bullshit move" by the Law Society of Upper Canada. Now in its 3rd year  and, as a pilot,  taught in English at Ryerson University and in French at the University of Ottawa,  the LPP provides an alternative route to becoming lawyers to the traditional articling system that offers fewer places every year. 

The Law Society is expected to vote November 9 on whether to accept a committee's recommendation to discontinue the LPP.
"Do you want to help law grads from racialized groups get called to the bar? Do you value mature students who went to law school after a previous career or having children? And do you want our profession to welcome foreign-trained lawyers who reflect Ontario’s diversity? 
"If that’s the world you want, you should be on high-alert. Something is about to go terribly wrong," the editorial said. 
Paradoxically, a report from the Professional Development and Competence Committee of the Law Society says the program should be scrapped, though its own research shows that it helped mature and racialized students to become lawyers, as was intended. The committee argues that LPP grads are less likely to pass the bar on their first try than articling students and that there is a stigma attached to going through it because many students see it as a second-tier option.
"To state the obvious: of course today’s students see the LPP as a second choice! Who wouldn’t prefer an articling job to a new program already pre-judged by the powers-that-be? But we should fight stigma, not succumb to it. We should also think long-term. We may need this program dearly in the coming years, as the number of big-firm articling jobs continues to fall each year
"Now for the most enraging part of the report. The committee says that the stigma attached to the LPP runs so deep that it may never disappear. And how does it suggest we protect racialized and mature law grads from stigma? By cancelling the LPP and making it more difficult for them to become lawyers in the first place. Well, thanks for nothing."

Saturday, October 15, 2016

LRC says these are the top 25 books
of the past 25 years

The Literary Review of Canada (known commonly as LRC) has published its list of what it considers the list of the best 25 books published in the past 25 years, since LRC was launched. As with all such lists, there will be agreements and disagreements about the choices, which are drawn from the almost half a million books published in that  period. Each book in the list is accompanied by a presenter's perspective.

A Short History of Progress
by Ronald Wright
Presented by Charlie Foran

Kiss of the Fur Queen
by Thomson Highway
Presented by Margaret Atwood

Generation X
by Douglas Coupland
Presented by Adam Sternbergh

Citizen of the World and Just Watch Me:
The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau

by John English
Presented by Michael Valpy

Boom, Bust and Echo
by David Foot with Daniel Stoffman
Presented by Michael Adams

Shake Hands with the Devil
by Roméo Dallaire
Presented by Thomas Axworthy

Clearing the Plains:
Disease, Politics of Starvation and the Loss of Aboriginal Lifeby James Daschuk
Presented by Niigaan Sinclair

Shooting the Hippo: Death by Deficit and other Canadian Myths
by Linda McQuaig
Presented by Bruce Campbell

Sisters in the Wilderness
by Charlotte Gray
Presented by Alissa York

Read more »

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

TIME covers catalogue the meltdown of
Donald Trump

Media Post reports that TIME magazine has followed up it striking Aug 22 cover with the Oct 24 issue, on newsstands soon, which riffs on the theme of the collapse of Donald Trump's campaign for the presidency of the United States. Both images are by artist Edel Rodriguez

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Quote, unquote: 50 years of Toronto Life and going strong

"We've become much smarter about how we measure the effectiveness of the content we produce,The data has shown that quick, cheap stories, online quizzes and other click bait doesn't sustain audience attention; feature-length stories, particularly stories that have a strong point-of-view or unusual access to its subject, have the greatest impact, produce the most engagement, and get shared on social media. This is how we keep readers coming back."
-- Toronto Life publisher Ken Hunt, channeling Michael Lewis's Moneyball, in a press release about the magazine's forthcoming 50th anniversary. Read in print by 890,000 people monthly – the magazine's highest measured audience since 2005 and a largest measured audience in Toronto.


Multi-title digital subscriber service Texture certified by AAM

Magazines that get a lot of their readership through digital subscription service Texture can now claim them as certified by the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM). The decision followed creation of a new circulation strategy that recognized growing participation in such all-access "Multi-title Digital Programs" as of the first  half of 2016. 
“The Texture model is changing the way that magazine consumers read content and how publishers are selling media,” said Steve Maich, senior vice president of digital content and publishing, Rogers Media. “With services such as Texture, we’re able to get our premium content in the hands of paying consumers in a way that is completely measurable, making our story more attractive to advertisers.” 
“Texture’s decision to become AAM certified represents a crucial step for the entire industry,” said Tom Harty, president and chief operating officer of Meredith and director on AAM’s North American board. “It has showcased the value of premium content, showing that magazines can maintain readers and reach new consumers in new and innovative ways.”
Texture is an all-you-can-read subscriber service from Next Issue Media in the U.S.A. and from partner Rogers Media in Canada. 

The new audited category was first tested out over three years as clients' experience determined how best to qualify issues and verify and report them. Each request was at first counted as a newsstand sale. Now they will be reported as paid subscription sales, including such key metrics: 
  • Average number of total requests by paid subscribers to receive a digital issue
  • Average number of times issues were opened
  • Unique and total opens

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Four new indy magazine members welcomed by Magazines Canada

Four new indy magazine members have joined Magazines Canada:
  • Archive is an Alberta-based lifestyle magazine featuring unique stories from across Canada. From entertaining to road tripping, cooking to creating, Archive aims to inspire readers to try something new, taste something different and take a journey off the beaten path.
  • The Canadian Rockies Annual is an archival-quality mountain culture publication that combines captivating storytelling with striking visuals and beautiful design. Each issue takes the reader on a journey through the Canadian Rockies' cultural landscape and delves into the dynamic forces that impact our lives in the mountains.
  • Golden Ratio is a balance between arts and sciences, exploring a wide diversity of subjects. It is a unique publication, home-made, independent and filled with stimulating pieces from all walks of life.
  • Mountain Bike For Her is a quarterly magazine for women who ride. Whether you love riding epic gravel grinders, participating in endurance events, or getting rowdy in the woods, we have you in mind!

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Mag world view: Dr. Oz does well; Unpreachy veganism; Rodale returns Women's Health to Brazil; Telegraph fined

Quote, unquote: The pleasures of reading print

“I’m not trying to say that print has an innate advantage when it comes to reading and writing or a monopoly on it, but it is a very pleasant form of reading. It’s the whole thing of reading a book or a magazine under a tree or at the beach or on the airplane without power. And folding it and putting it in your bag and just wandering off. That is very pleasant.”
-- Roger Black, dean of magazine designers, quoted in an interview with Samir "Mr. Magazine" Husni. 


Thursday, October 06, 2016

Sticking up for magazines

Some people in the business may be finding it heavy sledding defending the future and health of magazines in the wake of the Rogers Publishing announcement last week*.

But Joyce Byrne showed a lot of spunk (and had some fun) explaining what the situation means to host Rob Brown and his call-in listeners on Wednesday on CBC Alberta@Noon in Calgary. Byrne is the publisher of Avenue Calgary and is the president of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association. 

*Rogers is closing the print versions of some well-known magazines (FLARE, Sportsnet, MoneySense and Canadian Business) making them available exclusively on the web, selling off its business-to-business titles and its French language mags (Châtelaine, LOULOU, and L'actualité) and cutting back on frequency of Maclean's, Chatelaine (English) and Today's Parent.

Here's how Byrne set the scene:
"I think as somebody who loves magazine and media and speaks to colleagues and readers and people who work within those brands, "heartbreaking" is the word of the day. Two of those brands are over 100 years old: Maclean's and Canadian Business. Chatelaine was founded in 1928. We're talking about motherhood brands for Canadians and for many people they've been reading them all their lives. It doesn't matter who published them. They invite them into their homes every month, every week and it's difficult to imagine making that transition. A lot of those people probably also consumed the brands in other ways, which is what we see as a pattern in media generally, that people spend a certain amount of time with the brand in one way and just as people might watch television on their computer as well as on the box or listen to radio on their computer while they're moving around. They'll also consume or dip into content on the internet or on social media."
Start at the 30.4-minute mark:

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Wednesday, October 05, 2016

MagsWest returns in Vancouver November 3 and 4 at UBC Robson Square

MagsWest returns, bigger than ever, November 3 and 4 and in a new location at UBC Robson Square, next to the Vancouver Art Gallery in downtown Vancouver. 

MagsWest 2016, presented by the Magazine Association of BC, includes 6 professional development sessions, 2 labs, 1 workshop, a couple of free Q&A/consultation sessions and a variety of great speakers.

The keynote is by Léonicka Valcius: "On Equity and Inclusion" She is a Toronto-based publishing professional who advocates for equity and inclusion in Canadian publishing and literature. She is the founder of DiverseCanLit, a growing online resource for readers and writers from marginalized groups, and is the Festival of Literary Diversity’s Chair of Board of Directors. She has been a literary agency intern, a sales intern, and a children’s book buyer. Léonicka is currently a title analyst on the online and digital sales team at Penguin Random House Canada.

See the full lineup below.

Read more »

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Applications open for Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellowship

Applications are now being accepted for the Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellowship at Harvard for the 2017-18 academic year. The Canadian fellowship is funded by the Martin Wise Goodman Trust in the name of the former president of the Toronto Star

Nieman fellowships are awarded to up to 12 American and 12 international journalists each year. One Canadian is eligible. 

The one-year sabbatical, covering tuition, stipend and medical expenses, is worth approximately $75,000; the Canadian award is made to a successful applicant every second year, joining with up to 24 mid-career journalists working in print, broadcast, digital and audiovisual media who receive one of the annual Niemans. 

All applicants for academic-year Nieman Fellowships, including freelancers, must be working journalists with at least five years of full-time media experience.   The fellowships are for two full semesters at Harvard, auditing classes at the university (and other universities, including MIT and Tufts) and taking part in seminars, master classes and conferences designed to strengthen their professional skills and leadsership capabilities. 

Applications by the individual journalist must be made by means of an online application portal. The deadline is January 6, 2017. 

Recent winners were Stephen Maher of the National Post, Laura-Julie Perrault of La Presse, David Skok of Global News and Jana Juginovic of CTV News. 

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Publishers freed from renewal restrictions as Rogers Magazine Service winds down

A notice making the rounds about the Rogers Magazine Service says that, effective immediately, publishers are no longer required to suppress publisher renewal notices and may now roll subscribers' names into their regular renewal efforts. It is one of the many knock-on effects of the recent announcement that Rogers will be suspending print publishing of some of its magazines and reducing frequency for others. 

The magazine subscription service has been providing continuous and periodical renewals, for 18 years for both Rogers Media titles and other publishers, including Canadian titles including (as examples) British Columbia magazine, Canadian Running, Cottage Life, Garden Making. Outpost, Motorcycle Mojo, Ricardo, Sky News, Up Here and Zoomer, and such U.S. titles as Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, O The Oprah Magazine, Popular Mechanics and so on. Customers have been able to access it online and through bill inserts, among other things. It will continue to sell and renew subscriptions until the end of December, whereupon the service will cease. 

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Custom content company Totem bought from TC Media by Yellow Pages

The custom content company Totem, a division of TC Transcontinental, has been sold to Yellow Pages (the company which last May bought Vancouver and Western Living magazines from TC Media.)

A September 26 memo to TC Media staff said that 18 Totem employees located at 37 Front Street in Toronto would be transferred to Yellow Pages. 
"We believe that the new owner is well-positioned to run this agency and pursue its growth, since Totem is a complementary acquisition to the existing content creation activities of Yellow Pages and its divisions," it said. 
 Totem was at one time Redwood Custom Communications, Canada's largest custom and contract publishing company and was rebranded as Totem Brand Stories (the tagline later quietly retired) in 2010 after the company was became a subsidiary of TC Media in 2008 as part of its intention to expand its marketing communications offerings to clients.  Among its present and recent clients were CAA, Geico, Acura, Sobey's and British Airways. 

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Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Garden Making mag wins honours

Fall issue
Just getting caught up with some honours won by Garden Making magazine of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The quarterly's November issue from last year, featuring Garden Essentials, won a gold medal from the Association for Garden Communicators, the second time the magazine has won.

And editor Beckie Fox was awarded the Garden Media Award by the Perennial Plant Association. It recognizes an individual from the media whose educational and promotional efforts result in heightened public awareness of the importance of the perennial plant industry.

It should be noted that Garden Making can no longer be regarded as a "startup" as it is heading into its 8th year of publishing! Its forthcoming winter issue is all about small space gardening. 

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Mag world view: Time Inc. settles; Facebook's "marketplace"; Translation woes; Sly slurs on Twitter; Mental Floss drops print


Monday, October 03, 2016

Annex Business Media acquires law enforcement magazine Blue Line

Blue Line, a national publication serving the law enforcement sector, has been acquired by Annex Business Media. Launched in 1989, its readership includes executive management, front line personnel and other members of Canada’s policing community. 

A release from Annex says former owner and publisher Morley Lymburner will work with Annex over the coming year to assist in the transition of both the publication and Blue Line Expo, Canada's largest law enforcement trade show. Several members of Blue Line’s editorial and sales team will also continue to work on the publication.

Based until now in Stouffville the Blue Line team will be based in Annex’s office in Aurora, ON.
“I am very excited to see Blue Line join Annex’s growing stable of brands,” explains Annex president & CEO Mike Fredericks. “It is a natural fit with some of Annex’s other titles, including those in the fire, security and aviation industries. I look forward to seeing some of these synergies come to life.”

The acquisition comes less than a month after Annex acquired Turf & Recreation, which serves an audience of golf superintendents and contract landscapers.

Annex Business Media is Canada’s largest B2B media company, with over 50 brands, and revenue that spans print, digital, video, email, research and events.