Thursday, March 15, 2018

Don't know, at your peril; Canadian Art publishes "Dirty Words" issue

Artist: Divya Mehra
Canadian Art magazine has published an unusual "Dirty Words" issue for spring. Poking fun at art-world taboos, the idea for the issue keys off a low-budget, Ottawa kids TV program called "You Can't Do That on Television", later syndicated on YTV in Canada and Nickleodeon in the U.S. The program was notorious, among other things, for dumping green slime on hosts whenever they said "I don't know.". 
” Our “Dirty Words” issue is about the many, complicated concerns that inform the production of art. Much of the art reproduced here is text-based; some words in these works are traditionally profane." [says editor in chief David Balzer] "This is also an issue about what words can, and can’t, do. Words tend to be inadequate, as artist Jenny Holzer asserted in a well-known work—so why not use them to open dialogue and express uncertainty?"

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mag world view: Ellies dominated; Vice Media reboots; Nat Geo admits racism; Inside NME's demise; Killer postage


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

New mag Best Life from St. Joseph Communications carries flyers into mailboxes

St. Joseph Communications has tapped into the flyer business by creating a new distribution option that polybags flyers with a new editorial lifestyle magazine called Best Life. The company says people love their flyers; but the solution removes retailers from a cluttered delivery environment and gets their messages across a consumer’s doorstep via Canada Post delivery.
“We’re excited to present this new flyer delivery model for Canadian retailers that is cost-effective and provides a great consumer experience, tapping into Canadians’ affinity for flyers and high-quality editorial,” says Tony Gagliano, CEO of St. Joseph Communications. “Over the last 12 months, we have worked to develop and create the ultimate model that addresses what’s lacking in flyer delivery in Canada today: a compelling, relevant, targeted, differentiated, timely – and affordable solution.”
The first Best Life package will be tested with distribution in the London market on April 27.  

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Apple is buying Texture, the digital subscription service for magazines

Apple is buying Texture, the all-you-can-read subscription service (sometimes dubbed the "Netflix of magazines") that lets users in the United States and Canada call up digital editions of more than 200 magazines for a flat fee. 

The enterprise, which started out as Next Issue Media, launched in 2012, is owned by a consortium of big U.S.-based magazine publishers (along with a $50 million chunk owned by venture capital company KKR.) 

Rogers Media launched Next Issue Canada (later Texture Canada) soon thereafter, adding many Canadian titles to the menu offered to subscribers -- along with the U.S. titles. According to a story by Peter Kafka on Recode:
"Apple hasn’t disclosed a price but I’m told KKR will at least get their money back and that the publishers who started the company — Conde Nast, Hearst, News Corp and Meredith (which now owns Time Inc., another founder) — are happy with the deal."
Apple Media boss Eddy Cue said 
“We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users.”
[Apple doesn't usually announce smaller acquisitions, but apparently made an exception in this case because Cue was speaking at the South by Southwest conference this week in Austin, Texas.]

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CPA magazine outsourced to St. Joe's contract publishing arm

CPA Canada has outsourced the publishing of its award-winning magazine to Strategic Content Labs, the contract publishing arm of St. Joseph Communications. 

The frequency of the magazine will be cut from 10 per year to six starting in May and it is said that the result will be more like the Harvard Business Review

Among the staff let go were editor-in-chief Okey Chigbo, deputy editor Bernadette Kuncevicius and art director Bernadette Gillen. Remaining are: Harriet Bruser, editorial assistant; Margaret Craig Boursin (editor digital editions); and Kevin Pudsey (associate art director), plus Alexandra Garant (manager of advertising sales).  

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Friday, March 09, 2018

Growth in video and mobile lead the way in magazine audience mix

Magazine media's audience numbers are relatively steady, according to a report from Magazine Media 360. There is a -.5% decrease across the 118 magazine brands used in the analysis, but strong growth in video, up 13% from January 2017, and a mobile audience increase of 1.6%, according to a story from Media Post. Linda Thomas Brooks, president and CEO of MPA—The Association of Magazine Media, said
“Year-after-year, we continue to see total magazine media audiences grow, proving that consumers don’t choose one format at the expense of another, rather, they enjoy magazine content across platforms.” 
Ironically, despite the fact that mobile audience numbers remain big and are growing annually, results have been erratic, largely because of comScore’s Mobile Metrix methodology changes to weed out bots and fraudulent activity.
 “After two-and-a-half years of double-digit growth—from the mid-2014 launch of Magazine Media 360° through the end of 2016—the 2017 Mobile Unique Visitor counts for our reported magazine media brands showed erratic gains and losses in consecutive reporting,” Jeri Dack, director of research initiatives, MPA—The Association of Magazine Media stated.
Video audience was up 13% from January 2017; pPrint and digital numbers were flat, with a decrease of -1.7%, web (desktop/laptop) declined by -5.5%, signaling the migration to mobile.

British beer magazine Original Gravity is to launch a Toronto edition in May

Original Gravity, a British quarterly beer magazine, is launching a Canadian edition in Toronto. The first will be the spring-summer edition coming out May 17, 2018. There will be three issues in 2018. Respected beer writer Stephen Beaumont will be editor-in-chief.
“Toronto has been crying out for a top beer publication for a long time,” says Beaumont [in a releae] “So when [publisher] Daniel [Neilson] approached me with the idea of launching a local version of Original Gravity, a magazine I have long admired on my visits to London, I leapt at the chance.” 
Original Gravity in the UK is a respected publication with an interesting angle that appeals to all readers, from the merely craft beer-curious to die-hard beer enthusiasts,” says Neilson. “As editor-in-chief, Stephen will bring his vast expertise and brilliant writing to the magazine.”    
Featured will be Toronto-centric versions of columns popular with Original Gravity’s UK audience, including ‘The Art of Beer’ and beer style focused ‘The 6-Pack,’ as well as longer-form articles by Beaumont, Ontario Craft Beer Guide co-author Jordan St. John and others. Issue #15 can be read online now.                                                                                                                                          

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

LRC Literary Review of Canada ends four-year-old Spur festival

LRC, the Literary Review of Canada, is after four years discontinuing Spur, its national festival of politics, art and ideas "due to financial considerations". Spur was launched on the watch of former publisher Helen Walsh, who left the publication last fall. LRC thereafter undert00k a strategic review, at least one outcome of which is the end of Spur. 
"We want to thank you for joining us at these events and helping to shape important and dynamic Canadian conversations," [said a note from Sarmishta Subramanian, editor in chief of LRC.] "We continue to explore these issues in the pages of Spur's sister organization, the Literary Review of Canada, an award-winning monthly magazine about books, culture, politics and ideas." 

Monday, March 05, 2018

Australian Geographic acquired by
Blue Ant Media

March issue
Blue Ant Media of Toronto has announced the acquisition of Australian Geographic magazine from Bauer Media. The bimonthly is one of Australia's top 10 paid magazines, with more than 40,000 subscribers and a readership of 540,000. 
Australian Geographic is the most iconic Australian wildlife and nature publication, reaching a highly engaged audience of natural history fans through its multi platform content,” said Michael MacMillan, CEO, Blue Ant Media [in a release.] “The purchase of Australian Geographic reinforces our footprint in the Australian market while providing an impactful vehicle for showcasing the work of our natural history documentaries and series being produced all over the world.”
Blue Ant is a privately held producer, distributor and channel operator, with a catalogue of more than 3200 hours of content, across a number of channels, including Love Nature (International), ZooMoo Networks (International), Smithsonian Channel Canada, BBC Earth (Canada), Blue Ant Entertainment (International), Blue Ant Extreme (International) and HGTV (New Zealand). Blue Ant Media is headquartered in Toronto, with operations in Los Angeles, Singapore, Auckland, Dunedin, London, Washington, Sydney, Beijing and Taipei. The company is best known in Canadian magazine circles for having taken over Cottage Life Media and associated properties in 2012.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Two well-known editors and poets named in Concordia sexual misconduct controversy

Two well-known literary writers from Montreal -- poetry mostly -- have been swept up  and named in the sexual misconduct allegations now swirling around Concordia University. Both Dave McGimpsey -- until recently a contributing editor to the litmag Joyland -- and Jon Paul Fiorentino -- also a contributor to Joyland and at one time editor-in-chief of Matrix have apparently been relieved of their part-time teaching gigs, at least while Concordia conducts a wide-ranging investigation. 

McGimpsey (left) and Fiorentino
Joyland responded to reports that the two were under investigation by saying it would remove Fiorentino's work from the magazine's archive, according to a story on
In January, writer Mike Spry published an essay describing a toxic atmosphere within the [creative writing] program. Spry has undergraduate and graduate degrees in English literature and creative writing from Concordia. In his essay, Spry described widespread sexual misconduct without naming individuals. His essay was shared widely, and within days, Concordia's administration took several measures in response. It promised to launch a third-party investigation.

Mag world view: New EIC at Fast Company; Ebony settles; Still scholarly after 10 years; Marie Claire UK sold

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Avenue Calgary tucks into the city's best restaurants

Avenue Calgary magazine is marking 15 years of celebrating the best restaurants in Calgary and environs. The Best Restaurants Issue is on newsstands.
"In the 15 years that Avenue has been publishing a Best Restaurants list, the dining scene in the city has grown tremendously in terms of quality, diversity and creativity. This issue celebrates the excellent work that the city's chefs and restaurateurs do every day and applauds their ongoing commitment to maintaining Calgary's status as a world-class food city," says Jennifer Hamilton, executive editor of Avenue.

Read more »

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Friday is the deadline for CSME Editors' Choice Awards entries

There are only a few days for entries into the Editors' Choice Awards, presented by The Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME). Submitting is free with a CSME membership, and each submission enters you into as many as seven categories: the Small (under 50,000), Medium (50,000 to 99,999) and Large (100,000+) circulation categories, as well as the trade and custom magazine categories, each winner of which earns the right to use the Editors’ Choice Award logo on the magazine's cover for a year. There are also awards for best tablet, best website editorial, best front of book, the Jim Cormier Award for display writing, best art integration and the coveted editor of the year.

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Garden Making to cease print publication, effective with spring issue

Unhappy news from publisher Michael Fox that the "difficult decision" has been made that the new spring issue of Garden Making magazine will be the last print edition.
"I’ve needed to conclude that the marketplace is not robust enough to provide sufficient revenue from readers and advertisers to continue to produce a magazine of the quality and scope that we’ve provided since 2010," said Fox in a note to advertisers and supporters. "We commission and pay for experienced writers and photographers, as well as quality printing. In fact, we have spent more than $1 million on gardening content in 33 issues (including our container gardening special). From 2010 to 2016 we published quarterly issues before reducing to three issues in 2017 and this final issue in 2018. But the revenues we’ve received do not cover all the expenses. Until now, I’ve personally plugged the gap, and cannot continue to do so."
The Garden Solutions issue begins to mail to subscribers this week and will be on sale in stores from March to June as well as online at  Print copies  will be for sale at the TBG booth at Canada Blooms and at garden centres that order them.
Michael and Beckie "my business partner, wife and favourite editor" started the magazine from their home in Niagara-on-the-Lake in March 2010, following Michael's retirement from a long and distinguished senior management career at Rogers Publishing. 
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