Friday, November 17, 2017

Mag world view: Jones to run Vanity Fair; Hanley Wood layoffs; All-Amazon; More reader revenue than ads

Quote, unquote: Overwhelmed, nagged readers

“Readers are overwhelmed: bewildered by the quantity of ‘news’ they see every day, nagged by intrusive pop-up ads, confused by what is real and what is fake, and confronted with an experience that is neither useful nor enjoyable.” 
-- Guardian editor-in-chief Katherine Viner, in a speech to staff, published in Press Gazette.  She warned that the dominance of the "duopoly",  Google and Facebook, was crushing the current business model supporting journalism as they “swallow digital advertising”.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Canadian Online Publishing Awards announced

Winners of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAs) were announced Tuesday. The awards are run by Masthead magazine and the gold and silver recipients in the consumer category included a number of selected print and digital magazine-related entrants:

Best Canada 150 feature
  • Gold: Canada's Ultimate Story/Legion magazine/ Canvet Publications
  • Silver: Cottage Life/Blue Ant Media
Best blog or column
  • Gold: SavvyMom.ca/ Maple Media Ltd.
  • Silver: Planete F magazine
Best service article or series (Consumer)
  • Gold: Vancouver magazine
Best lifestyle article or series
  • Silver: ELLE Québec
Best investigative article or series
  • Gold: UC Observer magazine
  • Silver: Hakai magazine /The Tula Foundation
Best interactive/infographic story
  • Gold: Canada's Ultimate Story/Legion magazine/ Canvet Publications
  • Silver: MoneySense/ Rogers Media
Best photo journalism
  • Gold: Hakai magazine
  • Silver: Vancouver magazine
Best video content
  • Gold: Hakai magazine
  • Silver: ELLE Canada
Best podcast
  • Gold: Canada's History
Best branded content
  • Silver: Cottage Life
Best social media content
  • Silver: Flare.com
Best email newsletter
  • Gold: Canadian Art / Canadian Art Foundation
  • Silver: Hakai magazine
Best online campaign
  • Gold: CAA magazine / Totem
  • Silver: Clin d'oeil/ TVA Publications
Best niche website
  • Gold: Western Living magazine
  • Silver: Planete F magazine
Best service website
  • Gold: Coup de Pouce
  • Silver: Today's Parent
Full list of finalists and winners  in academic, business and consumer categories.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

AMPA webinar to explore the ins and outs of ad-edit guidelines

The Alberta Magazine Publishers Association is presenting a webinar called"Ad-Edit Guidelines in a New World" on November 30 at noon MDT. 

The presenters are Outdoor Canada editor in chief Patrick Walsh and Vancouver-based journalist Charlene Rooke, an expert on custom content. Walsh chaired two Magazines Canada task forces that resulted in the current Canadian Magazine Industry Code of Reader and Advertising Engagement. The guidelines were intended to preserve the distinction between editorial content and advertising, so the distinction is transparent to the reader. 

The webinar is $35 for AMPA members and $50 for non-members and registration is valid for individuals or teams.

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Quote, unquote:On burnout and lunch money

"We have been paying most of our writers only $25 per review for 27 issues now, and the editors didn’t even make lunch money. The prospect of positive change in the magazine’s financial health was, in my view, small, far-off and dependent on significant heavy lifting. I burned out.”
-- Maurice Mierau, editor of The Winnipeg Review, explaining why the online publication is ceasing publication after the current issue. [from Quill & Quire]. The Review was founded in 2010.

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Thursday, November 09, 2017

Life in Québec to end regular publication

Life in Québec magazine has announced the end of the publication after 5 years. 

It’s not because the quarterly magazine was losing money, say the publishers -- each issue either broke even or turned a small profit. It's not because print media is dying, although print media is certainly going through a period of considerable change. 
When we launched Life in Québec magazine, there genuinely was nothing quite like it in Québec [said a statement from the publishers].  English-language publications in the province essentially fell into two broad categories: Montréal-based publications that showed minimal interest in Québec outside the 514 area code, and local publications that catered to pockets of small but vibrant Anglophone communities throughout the province.  We launched Life in Québec magazine to prove that there was a market for a broad range of content about Québec as a whole in the English language without the English language or Anglophone communities being the focus point of our content, and in a manner that fully appreciated and embraced the Francophone reality of Québec. 
In this, we feel we more than succeeded, and can now end regular publication of Life in Québec Magazine with immense pride.
Published by Média Trois Canons Inc., the magazine was launched in November 2012 in Quebec City, as a lifestyle magazine published in English (it had started online in 2010), and containing bilingual (English-French) feature articles, columns, book reviews, a business directory, and more. The magazine is supported by advertising and subscription revenue. All of the articles were usually also uploaded to LifeinQuebec.com.

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Monday, November 06, 2017

Indie writers' deathmatch is where readers pick winner in "most dangerous" short story contest

There are a number of wacky magazine writing contests out there. But Broken Pencil is a front runner as it continues into its second decade successfully running its Indiewriter's Death Match, which it describes as the world's most dangerous short story contest. The winner of the contest has to convince more than 100,000 readers to vote for their story online.

The deadline is December 31.
The top 16 stories battle it out online complete with reader voting, author trash talk and lots of comments. It’s fun and crazy and all about finding and promoting new voices!
The winner gets
  • their story published in Broken Pencil
  • $400 cash and 
  • The Ultimate Literary Makeover: including meetings with: an editor, a literary agent, and an acclaimed author giving feedback on their writing, guidance about entering the publishing industry, and telling you what to do next.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Magazine awards programs are merged

The National Media Awards Foundation and Magazines Canada have announced the merger of their respective awards programs into one.  

Starting December 1st, the National Magazine Awards will be a unified program of 29 categories to honour the outstanding achievements of our industry’s best creators and publishers, and reflect the exciting future of Canadian storytelling—the stories and perspectives that make it unique. Open to all Canadian creators and publications in both official languages, the National Magazine Awards recognize our country’s diverse communities of readers. 
“We are delighted to enter into this new chapter with Magazines Canada to amplify our shared purpose of championing the breadth of excellence and creativity in magazines through one awards program,” said Nino Di Cara, President of the National Media Awards Foundation.  
Last year, for the first time, the Magazine Grands Prix awards were launched by Magazines Canada in effective competition with the NMAs. Now, after extensive discussions,  the merger will blend the two, with the NMAs being given for writing and visual categories (as they have been for 40 years) and Grands Prix awards being given for best magazines in six categories.Plus two special awards will be made during the 41st annual awards: The Magazine Grand Prix for best magazine; and the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement,which recognizes an individual for innovation and creativity.

A third of the NMAF Board will now include magazine community members, who will be appointed in consultation with Magazines Canada. Jessica Johnson, executive editor and creative director from The Walrus, and Dominique Ritter, editor-in-chief from Reader’s Digest Canada were the first such appointees. 

The NMAF has also appointed two new executive members for 2018: Canada’s History Publisher Melony Ward has been elected vice-president for the National Magazine Awards program, and CBC News’ chief of staff Kenny Yum vice-president for the Digital Publishing Awards program, which had for several years been operated by the NMAF.

The complete list of NMAF Directors.  Below are the categories for the awards.
“We are thrilled to be collaborating with the National Media Awards Foundation; these unified awards will allow us to truly come together to celebrate the diversity and accomplishments of Canada’s magazine community,” said Matthew Holmes, President and CEO of Magazines Canada. 
Members of the magazine media community are invited to attend ‘Showcasing Success’, an industry networking event on November 2 in Toronto. Representatives from both Magazines Canada and the NMAF will be in attendance to celebrate the new relationship and share more information about the awards program.
Read more »

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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 thetitlemag.com 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."

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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 http://rrj.ca/off-the-rails/]

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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