Monday, October 30, 2017

Jocelyn Bell named incoming editor of United Church's Observer

 Incoming editor Jocelyn Bell (left) with retiring editor David Wilson. Photo by Observer Staff
Incoming editor Jocelyn Bell (left) with retiring editor David Wilson. Photo by Observer Staff
Jocelyn Bell has been named the incoming editor of The Observer and CEO of Observer Publications Inc. at the United Church of Canada. She will replace David Wilson, who is retiring at the end of 2017 after more than 30 years with The Observer, the past 11 as editor/publisher. Currently the magazine's managing editor, Bell was selected from more than 80 candidates who responded to a public call for applications last summer.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., and a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Toronto’s Ryerson University, and has worked in the newsrooms of several major daily newspapers including the Toronto Star and Hamilton Spectator
Before joining The Observer, Jocelyn was editor of Childview magazine. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

St. Joseph launches Title magazine, replacing its Men's Fashion

St. Joseph Media is launching a new magazine called Title which replaces the former Men's FASHION. It will appear on newsstands in November and be mailed to selected subscribers of FASHION, Toronto Life and will be distributed to select postal code areas and business locations across Canada. It will also be available poly-bagged with FASHION at select Shoppers Drug Marts throughout Canada on November 20. 

There will be three seasonal issues: fall, winter and spring.  Some digital content will be available online at starting November 14.
“The launch of Title is part of our ongoing strategic plan to position our media brands as the most competitive in the market and to target the luxury consumer,” said Jacqueline Loch, VP & group publisher, women’s brands at St. Joseph Communications. “We strategically designed the Title brand to feature high quality multi-platform content that will resonate with our readers. Like our strategy with FASHIONTitle will also focus on innovations in technology and editorial integrations to provide quality content that delivers for our advertising partners and engages audiences across all our platforms.”

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Vogue and VICE to partner on a new website

Vogue's Wintour and VICE co-founder Shane Smith
It's a matter of very strange bedfellows as VICE Media and Vogue magazines plan to launch a joint venture, a new website produced by editors from both magazines, called Project Vs.

The multiple platforms, to launch in the spring 2019 will contain videos, photos, long-form stories, and more with content produced from a dedicated team of both Vogue and Vice editors, rolled out over a 100-day period in early 2018.

Vogue and Vice may appear to some to see the world through different lenses,” said Anna Wintour, Condé Nast artistic director and editor in chief of Vogue [in a statement]. “But, in my view, both are fearless, breathtaking, with unquenchable curiosity and vigor. This collaboration will benefit from two talented editorial teams working together to produce relevant and exciting stories about the way we live now.” Tom Punch, chief commercial and creative officer for Vice, called Project Vs a “high-speed collision . . . juxtaposing the many social, political, and cultural tensions of our times to create a capsule commentary on the world we live in.”
The idea seems a little, um, unfocussed and as Jezebel writer Hazel Cills said, she imagines Wintour was making her statement through gritted teeth and "which, considering the brands, means that they’ll probably be sending Gigi Hadid to investigate a Japanese cuddle cafe or something."


Prue Hemelrijk, the indefatigable fact-checker, dead at 90

I always recall being fact-checked by Prue Hemelrijk, who would say over the phone that she had "a few teeny, tiny questions"; forty minutes later, you'd have a much better (and more accurate) story and could collapse in a heap. 

Prue -- who died October 1 in Victoria at the age of 90, according to a death notice in the Globe and Mail -- was a true original, the doyenne of copy editors and fact-checkers in the magazine industry during what might be recalled as its golden years. 

She had been a copy editor at Maclean's , working for then managing editor Pierre Berton, and worked as an editorial assistant to Peter C. Newman.  She also worked at Chatelaine  and at The Canadian weekend supplement and did freelance work for a number of titles such as the Financial Post magazine, Toronto Star, Toronto Life, Saturday Night, enRoute and Canadian Art. Yet copy editing or editorial work was not what she had started out to do; she was a pianist trained at the Royal Academy of Music in Londonwhen she emigrated from Britain [I  would have received one of her spidery marginal notes pointing out that you emigrated to but immigrated from] and arrived in Canada in 1955. 

[Here was an excellent 2010 story in the Ryerson Review of Journalism, with much more detail about Prue and about facts about fact-checking]

I first came to know her when I joined The City magazine at the Sunday Toronto Star in the mid-70s. She was so much fun, with a combination of the prim 'n' proper and a sly sense of humour. Her precision and prodigious memory was a gift to writers and editors alike. 

I recall she told people straight-faced that she housecleaned in the nude because she didn't like to get her clothes dirty. And how she read every word of every issue of The Globe and Mail from cover to cover, reportedly from back to front -- and apparently retained everything she read for use in winkling out later errors in stories. She was a devotee of Gramophone magazine. 
She retired at the age of 70 and moved to Victoria. Music remained central to her life; she took up playing the cello at 79. 

When the late Charles Oberdorf and I were promoting a scheme at the National Magazine Awards to recognize excellence in people who were more or less "behind the scenes" of the usually recognized 'makers' in the business, the first person we thought of -- and who was subsequently to receive the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement -- was Prue.  She became the first recipient of this high honour in 1990.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 3 at Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria and in lieu of flowers donations could be made to Christ Church Music Endowment Fund.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Rick Campbell, formerly longtime Rogers editor and exec, has died

He leaves his wife, Beth Thompson and children Jordan, Drew and Chad. A celebration of Rick's life will be held at Mississaugua Golf and Country Club on Friday, October 20th at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to Crohn's and Colitis Canada.

Hearst buys Rodale Inc. and its titles, including Men's Health, Prevention and Runner's World

Hearst has bought Rodale Inc. in a deal which is said to be less than $250 million. It's but one of a number of consolidations taking place in the industry.

Rodale publishes Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Prevention, Rodale’s Organic Life, Runner’s World and Bicycling. It also includes Rodale Books and an international division with which Hearst already has a joint venture. 

Critical to the deal was the assumption by New York-based Hearst of $30 million in unfunded pension liability and losses from real estate deals and vendor contracts. The deal may therefore wind up amounting to $100 million or less. 
One source characterised the deal as a “stunning collapse” of Rodale. The collapse is indicative of a broader change in the magazine industry, as smaller publishers, such as Wenner Media, are now closing or selling off titles.
David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, said
“Maria Rodale has grown her family’s business into a peerless authority that reaches an enormous audience. Hearst and Rodale are already publishing partners around the world, including the U.K., the Netherlands and Japan, and we’ve seen first-hand how the content resonates. We are pleased to add them and all of Rodale’s brands to our vibrant and varied global portfolio, providing readers with dependable information and offering marketers unbeatable scale and a trustworthy environment in the increasingly important health and wellness space.”

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Frank mag apologizes, modifies cartoon image criticized as "racist"

A cartoon in Frank magazine is being altered because of complaints it was racist in its depiction of black poet and activist El Jones, according to a story from Canadian Press. 
"Andrew Douglas, the managing editor of the Atlantic region version of Frank magazine, apologized to readers on Tuesday, saying he’s fearful that the depiction of El Jones among a group of protesters in the cartoon could attract racists to the publication," [the Sun story said.]
The cartoon depicted Jones with a jutting chin and sloping forehead. A number of people were intending to mount a boycott and get the magazine removed from stores.
Jones said she views the cartoon as a throwback to racist images in magazines in the 1800s that depicted African men and women as having features closer to primates than Caucasians.
“It’s an animalistic way of representing Africans as monkeys ... Anyone familiar with the history of racism and the history of racist depictions can see this immediately,” said Jones, who holds a women’s studies chair at Mount Saint Vincent University and is a former Halifax poet laureate.


Quote, unquote: On not trusting Facebook & Google

[Jason Calacanis, an Internet entrepreneur] contends that Google and Facebook are destroying media companies in a systematic way. Print advertising, he points out, has declined to levels not seen since 1975. Digital advertising spend is dominated by Facebook and Google. “Facebook & Google don’t care about us, our industry, or this cow,” he said in one slide. “Don’t trust them!” Instead, the future of media is in direct relationships with audiences, centered around five principles:
  • Keep costs low.
  • Be absurdly focused.
  • Challenge your audience to pay.
  • Don’t trust intermediaries, bypass them.
  • Stop giving free content to Google, Facebook and Snapchat
-- from column by Tony Silber, reviewing some of the presentations from the C-Summit, including the closing keynote. 


Quote, unquote: The costs of making art

"Rarely when looking at art do we consider the cost of materials. We judge if it’s good or not and are perhaps aware of its financial worth; we talk about the market (dealer/collectors), secondary market (auction houses) and supply (artist’s artworks as commodities). But typically the mechanics of production, the material costs of creating an artwork’s value, are overlooked."
-- Yaniya Lee, writing in Canadian Art about artist Sara Cwynar's costs of production. 


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Working Woman's Magazine

-- October 6, New Yorker

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Maisonneuve short story withdrawn as Journey Prize finalist because of "striking similarities"

A short story"The Most Human Part of You", published in Maisonneuve magazine by Richard Kelly Kemick is no longer a finalist for Writers Trust/McClelland and Stewart Journey Prize. It will no longer be included in the Journey Prize anthology, said publisher Jennifer Varkonyi in a statement published by the magazine.
"The story was removed from consideration for the prize after striking similarities between his story and "The Dog of the Marriage" by Amy Hempel were discovered.... Maisonneuve is deeply distressed by the discovery of similarities between the two stories. Given the circumstances, Maisonneuve has removed the short story from our website, and the issue in which the story originally appeared will no longer be available."
The Writers Trust and McClelland and Stewart issued a joint statement that said, in part
"Recently, the Writers’ Trust of Canada and McClelland & Stewart were made aware of questions about Richard Kelly Kemick’s story “The Most Human Part of You,” one of the stories that had recently been announced as a finalist for the 2017 Journey Prize. After careful review, M&S has serious concerns about similarities between Mr. Kemick’s story and Amy Hempel’s story “The Dog of the Marriage.” Because of these concerns, Richard Kelly Kemick is no longer eligible for the Journey Prize and his work will not appear in The Journey Prize Stories, the anthology whose contents represent the longlist for the competition. 
"Our jury will now select the 2017 winner of the Journey Prize from the two remaining finalists previously announced: Sharon Bala’s “Butter Tea at Starbucks” and Darlene Naponse’s “She Is Water.” The winner will be announced by the Writers’ Trust of Canada on November 14, 2017, as part of its Writers’ Trust Awards event in Toronto."
A second story selected by the jury from a longlist for the Journey Prize anthology has also been withdrawn. The Unitarian Church's Annual Young Writer's Short Story Competition, published by The New Quarterly, won Kemick his second-straight gold medal at this year's National Magazine Awards. 

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Tuesday, October 03, 2017

FASHION magazine celebrates 40 years with specially commissioned "tulle" portrait cover

Fashion magazine is celebrating 40 years of style publishing with a specially commissioned cover for its November issue. It is a tulle portrait of Canadian model Amber Whitcomb by celebrated London, England, artist Benjamin Shine.
The artwork, valued at over C$30,000 is to be auctioned at a private event with the proceeds to be used to support emerging fashion design talent at Ryerson University.  

The print edition of the magazine will be on newsstands October 9 in Canada and on October 24 in the U.S. at selected Barnes & Noble locations.

The cover shoot includes access to a cinematic short film by Erik Swain. In the film, Witcomb recites Lord Byron’s famed poem “She Walks in Beauty,” which is the theme for the cover and the cover feature. A 19-page fall fashion shoot with Witcomb highlights the season’s defining looks; and a special 20-page feature includes archival images as well as interviews from past contributors. Behind-the-scenes anniversary-related content is available at
“This has been an epic experience,” said Noreen Flanagan, editor-in-chief of FASHION [in a release]. “I was taken with Benjamin’s work when I saw the tulle piece he created for Maison Margiela earlier this year. I was intrigued with the idea of him creating one for our cover because tulle is such a celebratory fabric. It’s traditionally worn at the most significant moments in our lives. Turning 40 is significant—whether you’re a woman or a magazine!”

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C. J. Graphics acquires printing, pre-press and bindery firm Annan & Sons

C. J. Graphics has acquired Annan & Sons, a well-known printing, pre-press and bindery trade shop. With the merger, many of the Annan staff and management -- including Paul and John Annan -- are joining C.J. Graphics at the end of October.
Jay Mandarino, president and CEO of C.J. Graphics, said
"The Annans are some of the most ethical, honest and hard-working people in our industry. Over 30 years ago when I started as a print broker, I had the privilege of working with their father and company founder Don Annan, and I was fortunate to get to know the family and their incredible staff. Don was one of the first people to extend me credit to purchase printing from his company, and I will never forget that. Their company has been known as one of the first true trade shops, with a focus on high quality, in the country. Several years ago, the company began to expand and focus their energy into dealing directly with clients. This meant less and less trade work, making the merger very appealing due to the lack of crossover between accounts.”
Earlier this year, the C.J. Group of companies sold three existing buildings in Toronto and consolidated in a 260,000 square foot facility in Mississauga  and added mailing service as well as a new large-format litho press and a new digital press. The whole move involves an investment of $25 million.

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