- Magazine of the Year
- Best Display Writing
- Best Front-of-Book
- Editor of the Year
- Best Trade Magazine (new category)
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
The NUJ is asking journalists who feel they have been badly treated during work experience to email the details to email@example.com so that the union can pass them on to government.
Mr Dear today delivered a letter to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs naming and shaming employers which the union claims exploit journalists on work experience and discussed the issue with HMRC officials.
The NUJ, which is also today launching its work experience guidelines, is demanding that the government investigate breaches of national minimum wage legislation and take action to force media companies to comply.
Mr Dear's allegations are based on the results of a recent NUJ survey of work placements, which the unions claims revealed "shocking exploitation".
Nuvo's press release provides us with the factoid that only 100 copies of this calendar are allocated to Canada.
There are no guarantees in the sale that Peretz will stay as EIC. Most of the heavy lifting on CanWest's revamp of the magazine is being done by editor Franklin Foer, whom Peretz hired a year ago. (It seems likely that after a decent interval, Peretz will be given emeritus status, perhaps as an editor-at-large and keeping his blog, The Spine.)
According to the Observer story, Foer and art director Joe Heroun are planning to make the magazine much different than its current dour self.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity to take this institution that I’ve always worshipped, and try to take it very distinctly in a different kind of direction,” Mr. Foer said.That direction will be a departure from the current Spartan, college-magazine look.“Drew Friedman has a column in the makeover,” said Mr. Foer. “We’re going to have a lot of stand-alone pieces from illustrators, artists. One of my ambitions is to experiment with fine art in the magazine, too.”“We’re adding new little cuts in the magazine, like those little spoon-size illustrations that The New Yorker has,” Mr. Foer said. “We will have original photography in the first issue.”
Mercer was once editor of Vancouver magazine and Calgary magazine, back when they were owned by Comac Communications Limited. And before that, was editor (twice), art director and reporter for Georgia Straight, the alternative weekly. He also worked for a time as design editor and copy editor at the Province, the CanWest tabloid in Vancouver. He's one of the rare editor-art director combinations in the Canadian business, and his magazines tend to look as good as they read, which is always nice.
IT World Canada, a division of technology publishing giant International Data Group (IDG), has announced that is has acquired all the assets of Transcontinental Media's information technology division.
The Transcon titles moving under the IT World banner are Computing Canada, Communications and Networking, Computer Dealer News, Direction Informatique, Technology in Government, Edge, Guide d'Acheteur and Québec Vert, plus the related internet portal itbusiness.ca.
These are now part of a stable of technology print magazines such as CIO Canada, Network World Canada, ComputerWorld Canada, CIO Governments' Review, and IT Focus. IT World Canada also operates a network of IT trade and consumer shows. It operates events like the Lac Carling Congress and a series of executive breakfasts for IT executives.
Parent company IDG publishes more than 300 titles worldwide, in 49 countries.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
The magazine's publisher, Vanessa Lee, was co-founder and former managing director of Encore Cruises and purchased the Canadian publication Cruise Lifestyles from CTM partners Gerry Kinasz and Michael Butler in December and became publisher and CEO. Lee has spent the last 15 years as a high-profile advocate for cruises (and has some 75 cruises logged in her own passport.) She said in a release:
"We hear again and again that Canada is ready for such a publication. We have superb international content, with a Canadian twist."Subscriptions are free through blue-chip travel agencies across the country. Interested readers can also subscribe online at www.cruiselifestyles.com. There will be two issues in 2007: at the end of March and in September, with quarterly publication planned for 2008. A page in the new magazine costs $5,000 U.S.
(A couple of interesting wrinkles: part of its business model is that national travel advertisers are asked not to put their toll free telephone numbers in their ads, in deference to the travel agencies that are a key part of the distribution strategy. All advertisers have access to a list of the partner agencies in order to facilitate literature and brochure distribution, naturally with the help of Cruise and Travel Lifestyles.)
Monday, February 26, 2007
Of course it should have been headed the "51 greatest AMERICAN magazines" since very few are from outside of the continental United States and none from Canada. The list is introduced by an essay by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter (whom we never fail to identify as having come from Canada).
Carter says, in part:
Magazines—or, rather, certain magazines—aren’t going away anytime soon. They have survived radio, movies, and television. And they have, so far, not perished at the altar of the internet. It will take something not known of today to replace the power of the combination of words and image when, as I have just said, they are aligned by the right hands. Magazines that tell stories in type and pictures will survive the coming electronic revolutions. Magazines that merely deliver information will have to either become stronger and more vital, or drown in the turbulent wakes of change.The top 10 are:
- The New Yorker
- New York Times magazine
- Andy Warhol's Interview
Of itself, the magazine says:
Burnt toast looks at the culture of food, what we eat. Aren't human beings awfully odd animals?A two-year subscription is $33; one year $17.
Burnt toast discovers what you can buy in Canada. There are interviews with food people. There are biological investigations. Editor/publisher, Cindy Deachman, gets together with friends to taste wine, port, cider, olive oil, Asian snacks, you name it. But there's also a look around the world. See what's been happening in the last little while. Burnt toast doesn't have all that many recipes I'm afraid.
The magazine's content can best be exemplified by a feature planned for the forthcoming issue, fueled by a contest for the readers about foods that they only eat when they're alone. First prize is a little Paderno pot. Other content of recent issues includes a feature on purple plums, a green tea tasting and making your own gummy pizza.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Mr. Peretz said that the takeover by CanWest would help guarantee the magazine’s financial future, [the Times story said].The 97 year old, slightly right-inclined magazine of comment and politics seems an oddball fit for CanWest. For one thing, its circulation has been in freefall since 2000, when it was over 100,000 and now stands at about 60,000.
“It just seemed to me, given my own intellectual and moral synergies with Leonard J. Asper, a very good partnership,” he said, referring to the chief executive of CanWest. Mr. Asper was not available for comment yesterday.
[S]ome critics have attributed the weakening sales to a murky and sometimes conservative editorial voice, as progressive causes have intensified, particularly in the blogosphere and particularly over the war in Iraq. The New Republic initially supported the war but has since apologized for that support. It also backed Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, who lost the Democratic primary in 2006 but retained his seat as an independent during the election.There is a familiar face at the helm. Greg MacNeil, a consultant to CanWest and the former President of St. Joseph Media (Toronto Life, Fashion, Wedding Bells, Canadian Family), has been the interim publisher of The New Republic since November. He said that CanWest would provide some media-business savvy that the magazine has lacked in recent years:
While the circulation of other liberal magazines, including The Nation and The Progressive, increased after President Bush’s re-election in 2004, that of The New Republic did not.
“It’s a garden that needs watering.”Not that most Canadians need to be told, but CanWest owns most of the newspapers in Canada and is this country's second-largest broadcaster. (Just yesterday it announced it was increasing its stake in the acquisition of Alliance Atlantis Communications to $200 million. Perhaps this overshadowed the TNR takeover news, which appears nowhere on the CanWest website.)
[UPDATE] Some comment in the bitchy blog Gawker about the decision by The New Republic not to extend subscriptions to compensate for halving frequency; the magazine argues that each issue will be fatter. Hence, fewer, fatter issues for the same price.
Friday, February 23, 2007
The 10,000 circulation magazine, which claims a readership of 75,000 and is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, moved to a 24-times a year frequency effective January according to its 2007 media kit. It has for many years been regarded as a weekly, though it more recently came out 41 times a year.
It will now be trimmed in size to a slightly oversized magazine format (11¼ x 16½ inches), with an increase in paper stock to 60 lb. starting in April. There are also changes to Marketing Daily, the news service that is posted online and e-mailed to subscribers. A blog is also being launched built on the Mark Etting Street Talk column.
Marketing's competitor, Strategy (Brunico Communications), has been publishing a digital edition and has substantially ramped up coverage in its Media in Canada e-bulletin lately.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Osprey continues to struggle with ads
and unit value
The company has seen the price of its units steadily erode, threatening its ability to make the kinds of distributions that keep people happy with income trusts. Last fall, the value of its units fell by 15% when the federal government announced that such trusts would be taxed, starting in 1011. Yesterday, the value of the units was $5.73, which is half what they once were. So far, the company is still paying out about $0.64 cents a unit, but there is some question about how long that can continue, given the 2006 loss of $113.4 million.
Osprey president and CEO Michael Sifton shone the brightest light he could on the situation by noting that the company had been able to post revenue growth of $7.2 million, or about 3.4 per cent for the year.
See earlier post about this company.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
The change was not unexpected after Cineplex Galaxy bought Famous Players.
Independently published Tribute (which also published Teen Tribute and Kids Tribute) still expects to publish 500,000 copies monthly for distribution in theater chains: AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Cinemas Guzzo, Empire Theaters, Magic Lantern and Landmark Cinemas.
[Tribute CEO] Stewart has not dropped ad rates, but will do more integrated media sales between the magazine and the website www.tribute.com, which gets 1.1 million unique hits per month. The company has also signed a distribution deal to launch the magazine in five large theatre chains in the US. "If we are to grow the company, we have to go beyond our borders," says Stewart.
Remi Marcoux of Transcon named to the Order of Canada
Marcoux took a step back from active management in 2004, before which he was president and CEO of Transcontinental. He is now executive chairman of the board and two of his children are now part of the executive suite running the company. He and his family continue to wield enormous influence.
Transcon makes more from printing flyers than from the approximately 25% of the turnover that is due to consumer magazines; still, the Transcon brand is on such heavy hitters as Canadian Living, Homemakers, Elle Canada, Elle Quebec, Style at Home, Canadian Home & Country, Outdoor Canada, The Hockey News and so on. His company is about to launch a joint venture Canadian edition of More magazine in partnerhip with the biggest hitter of them all -- Meredith (Better Homes & Gardens) Corporation.
Marcoux bought a small printing operation with $3 million in sales in 1976 and now the company has 14,000 employees and sales (in 2005) of $2.2 billion.
“It’s not like anything we’ve done before in that, with this, we don’t have to follow the ASME guidelines on separation of church and state. It’s a very innovative way to market the site and a real pull to advertisers.”This somewhat offhanded dismissal of ad:edit guidelines as a nuisance was made in reference to the Condé Nast launch just two weeks ago, through its online division, of Flip.com. According to a story in Folio:, Flip.com allows young people to make their own "flip books" from all sorts of content and intersperse it with advertising from the likes of cosmetics from Vera Wang, PacSun juices and the Nordstrom department store.-- Dee Salomon, senior vice president of sales and marketing for CondeNet
The marketing strategy was two-fold, said the article.
First, CondeNet wanted to deliver to its advertisers a certain age demographic – girls between the ages of 13 and 19. And, second, it wanted to deliver to advertisers a certain psycho-demographic – girls who are creative and artistic. “The advertisers we’ve shown it to are more upscale advertisers who know they want to reach girls in the digital space and haven’t felt safe in other social networking sites whose audiences are not as targeted,” says Salomon.Doesn't this mean that Condé Nast, the parent of CondeNet and the publishers of Vogue, Glamour, The New Yorker,Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest, Wired and many other well-known magazines are getting readers to do their own product placement?
To get the word out about the new site,says Folio:, CondeNet has advertised in Teen Vogue, and launched a direct marketing campaign to Teen Vogue's 96,000 "It Girl" members. Since it launched February 6, more than 4,000 flip books have been created and users have started more than 500 clubs.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
A sample of almost 5,000 subscribers and non-subscribers was used to survey attitudes and behaviour towards magazine subscriptions. The report also contains what the PPA calls "crucial eye-openers from customer focus group sessions".
This is interesting, but in a way surprising, since the British system of distribution relies so heavily on single copy sales or reservations of copies at news agents. Whereas Canada, where circulation success depends on subscription sales, has never (as far as I know) done a broadly based and independent study like this.
He's asking people to intervene in support of a license application before the CRTC for a new, digital specialty channel to be called The Accessible Channel. Trumper even came up with the tagline: News. Entertainment. Inclusion.
It would broadcast a wide range of programming from major networks in both “closed-captioned” and “described” formats. The one, you're probably familiar with, with text running at the bottom of the screen. The other involves (well, I'll let Steve explain):
For those unfamiliar with description, it is a process by which a narrative description of the “visual elements” of a TV show (news and entertainment) or movie production are added to a soundtrack, painting a picture in words of what is going on “on screen.” Similar to close captioning, which allows people who are hearing impaired to access movie and TV dialogue; description transforms images into words so blind and low vision viewers can experience television and movies, toTime is of the essence; the deadline for submissions in March 8. Full details on how to intervene are available on the VoicePrint Canada website.
Small titles finding it harder and
harder at Indigo
Magazines haven't been able to find a better way to get to miscellaneous individual buyers, though their hope (as evidenced by those annoying blow-in cards) is to convert them to subscribers. The whole setup is particularly difficult for small magazines which wrestle with yet another paradox -- that if you don't put enough copies on the newsstand, you get poorer display and sell even fewer copies. Still, most small magazines (in this country that's any one with <5,000 circulation) do their best.
However, last year the company that controls a large proportion of the newsstands in this country, Chapters/Indigo, announced that it was no longer interested in handling the returns of magazines that sell less than 50% of their draw.
Small publishers have been waiting with some anxiety for the next shoe to drop and it appears it has. Publishers are getting notification that their draws are being cut back. Which is where the paradox really kicks in. If you used to put 500 copies on the racks at Indigo and sold 200 (40%), now you'll be allowed to put something like 375. If you somehow achieved a 'sell-through' of 50%, which would make Indigo happy, you'd only sell 188 copies.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Complaint against Western Standard stalled for a year, so far
Today, almost a year later, there has not even been a hearing into the case, according to publisher Ezra Levant who says "they offered us a plea bargain, which we rejected." The case is therefore still pending.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
The 200-page premier issue has stories about Japan's defence forces, a Q&A with the chief executive of Lego and a cultural report about Afghan music."I think what people will get when they read Monocle is a truly global title which doesn't live along national boundaries and I think so much media is regionalized today," Brûlé said in an interview with CBC Television. The more indepth, serious approach should appeal to people dealing with multiple cultures, he said...
"I think this magazine will speak to Canadians as much as it will speak to Australians and Japanese," Brûlé said, adding that it's not just for the jetset.
"This is also for someone who might live up in Scotland or someone who lives in Manitoba who just wants quality coverage as well."
Brûlé, who started Wallpaper in 1996 and sold it the following year for $1.63 million, is well aware of the risk of starting a new magazine, but his forecasts are optimistic.
He expects Monocle will be selling 200,000 copies within six months.
Among them were two projects in which Magazines Canada is a partner:
- Web Weekend -- in which Magazines Canada is the lead partner, with Centennial College as the secondary partner in developing a series of two-day itensive digital training programs across Canada, specifically for magazine publishing professionals
- Ontario Cultural Portal Blueprint -- in which Magazines Canada is a secondary partner with the lead taken by the Organization of Book Publishers of Ontario to explore the feasibility of a web portal through which users could sample and shop for Canadian cultural content
The announcement was made by Hon. Caroline Di Cocco, Minister of Culture and Kevin Shea, Chair of Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC).
"This fund demonstrates Ontario's commitment to supporting our vital entertainment and creative industries, which contribute over $6.7 billion annually to the province's economy and support 36,000 jobs," said Di Cocco. "These projects will help further establish Ontario's creative and entertainment industries as world leaders."
"The investment in Ontario's cultural industries is geared to creating growth in this important economic sector," said Shea. "These 14 initiatives represent more than 55 companies, institutions and organizations from Ontario's book and magazine, film and television, music and interactive digital media cluster." OMDC administers the fund on behalf of the Ministry of
The three-year $7.5 million fund was launched in September 2006 to stimulate growth in Ontario's entertainment and creative industries by promoting capacity building, marketing innovation and skills development.
The New York Times's David Carr, reporting on the shrinking of the previously proudly broadsheet New York Observer (a paper I liked a lot) to a tabloid:
[UPDATE] For a flip-book of the new look of the Observer,go here.
"There is good news to be found in the redesign. It is still pinkish, and still plays host to some terrific writing, annotated by cheeky headlines and pointillistic graphics.
But reading the new Observer also provides a palpable feeling of loss. In most precincts of New York City you can get away with anything as long as you dress well, and The Observer managed through the years to be the nicely appointed skunk at the metropolitan garden party. The Observer used the conventions of the broadsheet, with its stacked headlines and narrow columns, to play against type: it unleashed a waterfall of improbable display language splattered with exclamation points, ellipses and question marks that created a libretto before the reader even started the article. In its broadsheet incarnation — with the wingspan of a Cessna, it enrolled adjoining commuters in the reading experience whether or not they liked it — there was a majesty and idiosyncrasy to the endeavor. The cover illustrations generally said it all: huge noggins screwed onto little bodies, advertising a kind of gigantism that a tabloid could not convey."
Despite the demands on his time what with all the legal matters occupying him, Lord Black of Crossharbour spoke and submitted himself to the questions of the members of the class (which is led by Globe and Mail columnist Rick Salutin).
He began his address by lamenting the "certain incongruity" between the tendency of journalists to hold themselves up as members of the learned class, yet at the same presenting themselves as belonging to the working class.On the distinction between comment and reporting, the story went on:
He added soon afterward that he "finds the affectation of journalism amounting to a learned profession to be tiresome. Journalism still is more or less a craft -- with variable judgment criteria. There is no yardstick to measure them against others."
He mentioned, however, that most journalists are pleasant, even interesting, people and that he is "not trying to demonize them, rather [he is] pointing out anomalies."
"There is a much-discussed bugbear in the distinction between comment and reporting. We have a natural instinct to include our commentary -- a gratuitous opinion in anything we write. But it can be very much a distortion." He said that competent editors must safeguard this distinction.
Black said this task must also be taken up by publishers, who are at the "apex of editorial and commercial interests."
"The best course is to try and have commercial management encourage good, professional standards. Otherwise, it's like the CEO of an auto company not caring about the quality of his products." Black said. He said the role of management in the editorial office should be "protecting the integrity of the product."
At the same time, Black said that newspapers should have an ideology, "but you need to try to keep it out of the reporting."
While newspapers are taking circulation hits across the board, news magazines appear to be in rude health, according to the official ABC magazine circulation figures for the second half of 2006.
Dennis Publishing’s The Week continues to go from strength to strength and rose 24.6 per cent year-on-year to 134,803.
The New Statesman was another huge winner, rising 21.4 per cent on the back of a radical relaunch under new editor John Kampfner early last year.
Private Eye as ever remains an incredibly strong circulation performer. With no website, zero production values and a stubbornly old fashioned layout, it still shifts 208,579 copies every fortnight (up two per cent year-on-year) with its mix of satire, humour and hard news investigations.
The Economist also had a great second half of 2006, the UK edition rose 7.5 per cent to 170,038.
According to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations FAS-FAX data for Canada, as reported in Masthead magazine (sub req'd), Maclean's was on of the top 10 single copy sales gainers in the last six months of 2006, up 25%. Other top gainers were Canadian Home & Country, Elle Canada, Today’s Parent and Applied Arts.
The data for the top 10 single copy gainers was as follows:
|% Increase||Actual copies|
1. WHAT'S UP KIDS FAMILY
2. REVUE COMMERCE
3. APPLIED ARTS MAGAZINE
4. CANADIAN HOME & COUNTRY
6. ELLE CANADA
7. WESTERN SPORTSMAN
8. TODAY'S PARENT
9. BEL AGE
- Women's Service (25 percent)
- Fashion and Beauty (18.8 percent)
- Men's (17 percent)
- Shelter (12.5 percent)
An overwhelming majority of respondents (87%) said that they felt the pace and scope of innovation in the marketplace encouraged creativity.
- 78% said "I am always open to new ways to use traditional media"
- 75% said "the right media mix almost always includes a balance of traditional and nontraditional media" and
- 58% said "the search for new media properties to grow my brand never stops"
If you want to see the whole PowerPoint presentation of the survey results (only part of which relates to magazines) you can dowload it here.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
The conference is hosted by the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA), March 9 and 10 at Calgary's Radisson Hotel Airport. Among the other presenters are National Magazine Award-winning publisher and editor Derek Webster of Montreal’s Maisonneuve magazine, and local editorial savant, Val Fortney, writing for Swerve, Readers Digest and Chatelaine.
The conference kicks off Friday night with a banquet emceed by CBC’s David Gray and featuring World Champion hoop dancer, Dallas Arcand, and guest speaker, Aritha van Herk, renowned
“The Alberta Magazines Conference is where magazine professionals at all levels can come learn firsthand from experts, hone their skills and network with their peers,” says AMPA Executive Director, Colleen Seto. “As part of AMPA’s mission to provide valuable professional development, the conference serves as the ideal meeting ground for
For more information, to dowload a brochure and to register online, go to www.albertamagazines.com You can also call 403-262-0081 or e-mail Colleen Seto at
Celebrity weekly People came in second with almost 1.6 million copies sold at the newsstand per issue, up 2.08 percent from a little over 1.5 million copies in the same period a year earlier. Women’s World was the top seller in the women’s magazine category with 1.4 million copies per issue, down 2.8 percent from almost 1.45 a year earlier. And Woman’s Day saw an almost 20 percent decline in single copy sales – the largest of the period – selling 685,250 copies, down from 856,125 in the second half of 2005.
The biggest gainer of period was low-cost Life & Style Weekly, which saw its single copy sales climb 25.25 percent to 744,453, up from 594,358 in 2005. Fellow $1.99 magazine, In Touch Weekly continued to make gains at the newsstand to claim the number 5 spot on the list top newsstand sellers moving an average of 1.2 million an issue, up 7.7 percent from 1.14 million in the second half of 2005. US Weekly came in sixth place with 978,285 copies, up from 954,892 in the second half of 2005.
[UPDATE: A good summary of the subs and single copy results of FAS-FAX was published by MediaDaily News, showing that shelter, bridal and family magazines are struggling.
[further UPDATE] A story in the U.K Press Gazette says that ABC results there indicate that male-oriented gadget mags (like Driven, here in Canada) are on a roll, but men's lifestyle magazines like Maxim, Loaded and Area have taken a tumble.
The failure of other men's lifestyle publications in the Canadian magazine marketplace is further validation of Driven Magazine's editorial concept. Driven attracts affluent male readers with its unique combination of fashion, technology, travel, lifestyle and automotive content.The release quoted founding partner and editor-in-chief Michael La Fave:
"We've always been confident that men want to read about what's new in fashion, technology, watches and cars. The failure of our primary competitor does not lend credence to the theory that men won't read about products...only that despite offering a quality publication, Toro failed to assess exactly what men are interested in."Driven, which is published out of Toronto, uses exactly the same circulation method as Toro: 150,000 copies circulated 6 times a year to selected recipients of the Globe and Mail. Plus copies on Air Canada and on newsstands. Its full page rate is $13,925. Editorially, it is much more of a "toys for the boys" book, with less emphasis on journalism. And that may be their point.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Lefebvre had been editor-in-chief of coup de pouce, the French language companion to Transcontinental's Canadian Living for the past eight years. She had been with the magazine in various capacities since 1995. Previous to that she was editor-in-chief at Fleurs, plantes et jardins and worked in television and radio.
Châtelaine's paid circulation is about 200,000.
The story pointed out that the cut was greater than the total advertising spending of Nike or Volkswagen.
GM said that its cut was only 10%, but TNS stands by its methodology which was the same year over year. Even 10% is a huge blow to so-called "traditional media".
Whether the cut was as large as the 23.6% indicated by TNS or closer to the 10% estimated by GM, the fact is that the country's second-largest advertiser is demonstrating a shift toward channels such as direct marketing, websites, online video, event marketing, branded entertainment and internet advertising, which are harder to track than the other major media channels. That could have major repercussions, not only for "old" media companies, underscoring their need to accelerate the shift to digital platforms, but also for ad agencies whose direct and digital siblings increasingly outstrip them in revenue and who may be tempted to reunite those growing units with their stagnating ad offerings.The GM data gathered by TNS is largely U.S. but reflects a proportional cut in Canada since GM has an integrated approach to ad spending. For many of the key titles in the Canadian consumer market, automotive advertising is an important contributor.
Zinio is one of the larger (it would say 'leading') companies involved in publishing and distribution of digital magazines and e-books. The San Francisco-based company manages the distribution of a portfolio of 1,200 digital magazines and books from more than 240 publishers. Two Canadian magazines that are on Zinio's menu are Maclean's and The Western Standard. The company says it has distributed more than 65 million items since 2002 on behalf of client publishing companies such as McGraw-Hill, Playboy Enterprises, Primedia, Rogers Publishing, Transcontinental Media, World Publications and Ziff Davis.
"The acquisition was based on vision, timing and the extraordinary ability and passion of the people at Zinio," said Gilmour, in a news release. "The company represents the most important fundamental change in the last 150 years of publishing and distribution. Zinio is the solution to the problems of waste, pollution and escalating costs in conventional print publishing. This technology has initiated change and provides for a new era of interactive media that eclipses the flat world of publishing today."Gilmour was co-founder of Barrick Gold Corporation with his longtime partner, Peter Munk, and Horsham Corporation, which became TrizecHahn, an enormous, publicly traded real estate investment trust. Last year, he founded VIV Publishing LLC, which publishes the first all-digital healthy lifestyle publication for women called VIV Magazine.
Monday, February 12, 2007
The Post story catches up on the news that Annex, a 10-year-old company which now owns 26 titles, is aggressively growing by acquisition, having recently picked up11,000 circ. Aggregates & Roadbuilding Magazine from Edmonton-based Franmore Communications Inc. early last month and then Vancouver-based Manure Manager from Manure Managers Partnership. The former magazine targets about 11,000 roadbuilders and gravel companies, the latter, the livestock industry, owners and managers who deal with manure issues and make critical decisions on equipment purchases. nnex president Mike Fredericks says he expects to announce yet another magazine acquisition this month.
In addition to printing its own titles, Annex prints another 65 North American- based publications at its Simcoe plant for third parties.
Annex publishes such small, but tightly focussed titles as Canadian Vending, Greenhouse Canada, Canadian Florist and Canadian Pizza Magazine. They serve niches that are either overlooked entirely by others or are considered to have circulation that is too small (almost all its titles have less than 10,000 per issue circulation).
"In all cases, these magazines complete our existing list of titles and offer the opportunity to create synergies," Fredericks told the Post. "We can foresee continuing to expand our magazine operations both through acquisitions and start-ups and through third-party printing contracts well through this decade."
The announcement by Publisher Dinah Quattrin, attributed the decision to not enough ads and not enough prospects of them; although that is paraphrasing, Toro (as a controlled circulation, newspaper-delivered title) depended wholly on ad revenue with only negligible income from subscriptions.
"Despite steady annual growth, it's become clear that the advertising revenue available in Canada for a general-interest men's magazine is such that even a very high-quality book like Toro can, at best, manage to sustain itself," Quattrin said."Sadly, the limited advertising pool in the men's category, combined with rising operating costs and a lack of government funding, made it impossible to continue on."Toro has tried all sorts of methods to gain sustained, long-term support from national advertisers, but, in the end, there weren't enough of them and Mr. Bratty pulled the plug, probably with much reluctance.
The magazine has a qualified circulation of 185,000 and 1,500 single copy sales, according to its latest audit statement. It had 1,200 paid subscriptions. 66.2% of its circulation was in Ontario, 14% in British Columbia and 8.8% in Quebec
Part of the magazine's problem may have been its method of distribution, which meant that, despite careful segmentation, some portion of the copies went to people who were either not interested or were not part of their target audience. With a large, controlled audience, it was also free to people who otherwise might have been paid subscribers.
The magazine, which launched in April, 2003, had been not only an award-winner, with a handsome and gutsy presentation, but will be missed because it was one of lamentably few well-paying markets for Canadian freelancers. Those whose work is now not to appear will apparently be compensated, which will be cold comfort.
Toro's approximately 25 staff were told of the closure Monday afternoon.
As the congregations shrink,
so shrinks the United Church Observer
According to the Observer (an article available only in the print edition), the United Church membership has been declining at about 2 per cent a year since 2000, when it was about 651,000. In 2005, it declined by 3.4 per cent to 573,424. Surprisingly, despite the slow decline in number, fundraising was actually up by 1 per cent in 2005, to $374 million.
The Observer's audited circulation has also been declining about 5% a year recently: In 2002, it was 82,464; it is now (2006) claiming 65,859, a decline of 16,605 (20%).
Virtually all of the Observer's current total qualified circulation is sponsored, that is paid for by individual congregations across the country and mailed individually addressed to its members. As of September 2006, it sold 1,725 individual subscriptions.
Friday, February 09, 2007
The critique is authored by Brian Fawcett, sharing credit to Stan Persky. Fawcett, while acknowledging that the topic may be interpreted as being within the magazine's mandate, does a pretty fair job of dismantling the Steins' logic and arguments. If you've read the BIC article, you'll find the analysis interesting. If you haven't, you'll probably find yourself saying "My, big aren't they?"
The Steins are not alone. You might like to look at Support Lord Black, a website where people can declare their support for the beleagured peer.
The Council was started in 1957 at the urgings of the Massey Commission, and with the stealthy intervention of some well-placed mandarins, using the $50 million proceeds of the death taxes on the estates of two tycoons. (To read some background, you could go to an article in the current issue of The Beaver called "Canada's Highbrow Bastion", by historian Paul Litt.)
Thursday, February 08, 2007
The Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) has joined with Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ), PEN Canada and The Writers Union of Canada (TWUC) as official interveners in a hearing to be held February 19 concerning the subpoena.
The writers' organizations contend that neither the prosecution nor the defence should use Finkle's confidential background notes and interviews, but rather should do their own investigative work and present it at trial.
"A writer working within an established principle of a separate and free press," says PWAC Executive Director John Degen, "is being forced to choose between respecting the courts and protecting his career. As a society, we should refuse to subject our journalists to such unfair pressure."
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Laurie spent two years at MagsCan, and was responsible for the transition of its brand change from the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association. Before that, she was the Canadian Tennis Association’s communications manager. Born in Montreal and raised in Toronto, Canada, it's easy to see why her skills in an international organization will come in handy: Laurie speaks English, French and Spanish, and holds degrees in Spanish and journalism.
The WMAs now require visual and written entries to be submitted on disc in either JPG or PDF format, although hard-copy format for written entries will be accepted.
The finalists are:
- Heather Birrell (Toronto) for “BriannaSusannaAlana,” published in The New Quarterly
- Lee Henderson (Vancouver) for “Conjugation,” published in Border Crossings
- Martin West (Calgary) for “Cretacea,” published in PRISM international
Jurors were Steven Galloway (Vancouver), Zsuzsi Gartner (Vancouver), and Annabel Lyon (Vancouver).
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Toronto Life asks readers to pick
its April cover
The virtual focus group gives the participants three covers to choose from.
Magazines don't typically look to remove advertising from their pages. But that is what Newsweek promises with an advertisement for "tobacco ad-free" editions that was published in the New York Times. The ad, however, wasn't placed by Newsweek, but by antismoking organizations Tobacco Action Coalition of Long Island and NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City. Newsweek has been offering schools a version of its magazine without tobacco advertising, but isn't advertising the alternative versions to the public. A spokeswoman, however, said the magazine will send copies to individual subscribers who request them.(Readers of a certain age will remember when tobacco ads were magazine mainstays in Canada, too, particularly for newspaper supplements like Weekend and Canadian (Today). The Canadian magazine industry has bridled for years because U.S. subscriptions could come into Canada with their tobacco ads (and, for that matter, their prescription drug ads) intact even though they were forbidden by law.)
Changes at The Beaver
Their resignations are but the latest example of a great deal of change at the venerable magazine (86 years old), which is published by Canada's National History Society. In recent months, Catherine Burns, the Director of Finance and Development, left to go into business and technology consulting and Gale Whiteside, the Manager of Member Services also resigned. Ian McKelvie, a well-known circulation expert, formerly of Canadian Geographic, recently joined the Society as its newly-titled Director of Marketing, working out of Ottawa. At sister publication, the children's history magazine Kayak, a new editorial team has joined, with Jill Foran as Editor and Bryan Pezzi as art director, based in Calgary.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Paul’s Inkless Wells blog is an agenda setter in Canada’s capital. He posts on events - before they happen, while they are happening and or soon after they conclude - with an immediacy, insight and wit that makes him a must-read for other political bloggers, journalists and politicians. For many people, it’s Paul’s blog that sustains top of mind awareness for Maclean’s, the weekly news magazine for which he writes a column. And to keep a weekly outlet relevant is a real accomplishment in the post-deadline age.
The new fly-on-the-wall documentary style series gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the process and personalities involved in the sponsorship-driven experience. Eight four to seven minute episodes (one per week) will be made available for free download from 2Magazine.com, sponsors' sites, iTunes, YouTube.com and Yahoo! Canada. The first episode launches with the release of the spring issue on March 25. A trailer will be released in mid-February for marketers and agencies to preview the concept.
Current sponsors of the "Couple Makeovers" include Club Med, Tommy Hilfiger and Crest Whitestrips. Other sponsorship opportunities are available for lifestyle brands, including cars, personal care, electronics/communications, luggage, fashion, cosmetics, and fragrances. Integration for marketers involved with "Couple Makeovers" will be bundled across platforms. Print ads will get online video and banner ad counterparts tied to other promos such as sampling and event marketing (during auditions).
2 Magazine, which has a quarterly circulation of 100,000 copies, has also executed brand integration programs for its "Home Entertaining Series" and "Cover Flap" programs. Previous partners have included P&G brands Pantene, Olay, Boss Skin, and Hugo Boss Fragrances. For more info on the mag's past brand integration programs, see MiC's June 28, 2005 issue (or click here).
Interesting item on the blog torontoist, about zine-making. These handmade magazines are classed as 'ephemera', meaning nobody expects them to last long. But some collectors have formed the Toronto Zine Library -- collected hundreds of zines, and organized them by subject and title -- you can browse the catalogue online.
- On Sunday, February 4 at 1:00 at the Tranzac Club in Toronto there's a free "Make A Zine" workshop. Members of the Library collective will talk about the history and future of zines, as well as offering a hands-on introduction to "varieties of approach, genre, construction and distribution."
- There's also a four-week zine making course at This Ain't the Rosedale Library starting February 6, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. : $60 for students, the underemployed, and the 65+, and $80 for the rest of 'em. Call the bookstore at 416-929-9912 to register for the workshops in advance.
-- The New Quarterly finds an intriguing way to promote a reading by poet Lorna Crozier on Feb. 14.
Friday, February 02, 2007
Freelancer's union getting organized
Along with the basic logistics of creating some structure for this thing I have also been working hard with a number of members to fight this new Quebecor (Sun Media) freelance contract. We are building a collective response to it, and trying to get Quebecor to the negotiating table. I hope to unveil a campaign (with funding!) so we can fight this thing.
We have also been working on ways to start delivering real services to members. This will include a dispute mechanism to help members deal with contract problems, and a series of benefits options (health, dental, disability).
The CFU has also been working with other groups to create an effective Status of the Artist legislation in Ontario.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
The 76 titles audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) have a combined circulation of more than 31 million and 8 of the titles (AAA Westways, Southern Living, Via, AAA Going Places, AAA Living, AAA World, Home & Away and Sunset) have more than a million each. One third of the 300 are controlled-circ.
Big gainers over the past 10 years were: Orange Coast(up 215%); Phoenix Home & Garden(70%); Carolina Country (60%); D Magazine (43%); Caribbean Travel & Life(35%); Atlanta (29%); Southern Accents,(27%); Delaware Today and Rural Arkansas (both 23%); and Palm Springs Life (22%).
· ABC-audited titles averaged circulations of 150,000.
· Titles are growing fastest in the South; biggest losses are in the East.
· The number of titles selling more than 1,000 pages of advertising in 2006 was up 54 percent over the past decade, and almost 30 percent of ABC-audited city, regional and state publications sell over 1,000 pages per year.
*(Capell is one of the last of the old-time newsletter publishers, who maintains no web presence and has a tiny, hugely influential audience of circulation directors. So there is nothing to link to.)
This incident got us thinking, though, about the perennially delicate relationship between editorial content and advertising in the alternative press. How could we have handled the situation differently? Is the fact that we sell advertising to like-minded organizations at odds with our frequently proclaimed independence? We recognize the investment that organizations make when they place an ad, and we particularly appreciate and value the commitment of our regular advertisers. But how can we ensure that the magazine’s editorial integrity—the point, surely, of the whole endeavour—remains intact? There are no easy answers to these questions.It will be interesting to see what kind of response he gets to this invitation for reader feedback.
That’s why we decided it would be best to bring you, our readers and supporters, into the discussion. It’s your magazine, after all.
As one very experienced editor of my acquaintance said: "Advertisers who say 'I support you and I expect you to support me' fundamentally do not understand the contract that exists between a magazine and its advertiser. We are not selling our editorial or influence over it. We are renting access to our readers and,in principle, there is no connection between an ad in one place and editorial comment in another."