Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rogers' Canadian Printer magazine no longer to be, um, printed

In what the magazine describes as "an exciting new direction", but one freighted with irony, Canadian Printer magazine will no longer be printed.
Subscribers received a message from publisher Pamela Kirk. It said the 118-year-old Rogers Publishing trade quarterly for the printing and graphic arts industry, will be replaced by a redesigned, online version, augmented with a bi-weekly online newsletter. The branded annual conference and trade show "Print in the Mix" will continue and there are plans to produce an annual volume highlighting print innovation. The print magazine had a circulation of just over 12,000, mostly controlled.
Canadian Printer is once again positioning for the future [she said], and evolving as a brand to reflect the changing industry it serves, with a view to not only grow its audience online but by continuing to serve our constituency with valuable editorial coverage. The name will remain, as will the integrity and values that exist within the trusted and respected Canadian Printer

The new editorial coverage will focus on print innovation and its intrinsic collaborative process. It will celebrate excellence in print execution and by nature, will be closely aligned with Marketing Stay tuned: We will soon unveil the new look of Canadian Printer.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New GLBT magazine, Gaze, to be launched in Atlantic Canada

Gaze, a new glossy magazine serving Atlantic Canada's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community will be launched in print and online on July 12 as gay pride celebrations begin in the region. According to a posting on J-source, publisher-editor John Williams says he hopes the free, ad-supported controlled circulation publication will aim to promote tolerance and understanding while embracing the diversity of the GLBT community. It will be based in Halifax. 
"Williams says his new publication aims to be fun and informative, without being preachy [says a press release].

"Gaze's first issue will be 32 pages in length and include among its regular offerings news stories; fashion and photography layouts; book, movie and restaurant reviews; questionnaires completed by successful members of the GLBT community; in-depth features on GLBT issues and much more.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Two homegrown initiatives that may build or consolidate circulation

Here are a couple of interesting homegrown magazine initiatives:
  • Kayak, the kids' history magazine, has a bound-in postcard in its current issue to encourage its young readers to send a thank you note to the people who gave them the subscription. We're sure grandparents will be grateful and generous in renewal. A relatively inexpensive idea that could be used by other magazines.
  • Outpost magazine, the adventure travel title, has teamed up with the CBC to produce a special summer issue focussed on the Champions of Change program, (it was distributed today in the Globe and Mail). The sole sponsor for this national people's choice awards program is Manulife Financial. Champions of Change is intended to honour one national and one international top volunteer from a list of ten finalists selected by an independent panel of community and volunteer leaders. Outpost gets a full-page ad of its own in the special promotional issue to push a gift subscription offer for the magazine.


Change at the top of Hearst Magazines as it poaches key executive from Condé Nast

Cathleen (Cathie) Black has been promoted to chairman of Hearst Magazines and is being replaced as president by David Carey (right), moving over from rival publisher Condé Nast Publications.
Mediaweek reported that his defection was "shocking" and that the shock was at both ends: at Condé Nast since Carey was considered a contender to replace Chuck Townsend as CEO; and at Hearst where his hiring (and apparent clear track to ultimately succeed Black as chairman) puts into question the future of some execs who thought they were on that track.
Insiders said that it had become clear Townsend wasn’t about to retire, giving Carey reasons to set his sights elsewhere. With Carey gone, they say signs are pointing more strongly to Bob Sauerberg, the group president of consumer marketing who has been heavily involved in Next Issue Media, the publishing industry’s e-reader consortium; and Glamour publisher Bill Wackermann, whose oversight has grown lately with the addition of Brides and Details to his stable.

Carey’s position will not be filled, a Condé Nast spokeswoman said, and his direct reports—including Wired and Golf Digest—presumably will now report directly to Townsend. As such, his (and Florio’s) departure also marks the latest unraveling of the group publisher structure at Condé Nast as it shifts to a leaner organization. (Wackermann still has that title, but he also serves as Glamour’s publisher.)
MarketWatch said observers considered Carey as one of the industry's most savvy executives, particularly for his transformation of The New Yorker. It added rather acidly...
To some, it might seem at first blush that Carey has jumped off the Titanic and landed smack on the Lusitania, for the modern magazine business is in deep trouble. Condé Nast itself closed down two of its titles, Portfolio and Gourmet, in recent years while McGraw-Hill sold Business Week to Bloomberg.
The publishers have largely failed to keep pace with the flow of technology and many failed to take advantage well of the Internet as a revenue center.
Related post:

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Stanford conference looked at art and science practiced by independent journalists

Freelance writers and those who employ them will doubtless be interested in the outcomes of a two-day conference at Stanford University in California June 18 & 19 called The Future of Freelancing. (Thanks to Craig Silverman for alerting us to this.) About 125 freelancers and 50 editors, agents and other experts gathered to talk about independent journalism. A Stanford site makes available a number of highlights, including:


Big U.S. advertiser Unilever intends to greatly increase digital adspend

The tight smiles of print magazine publishers these days, especially in the mainstream lifestyle and women's service areas, is partly accounted for by the pressing need to keep pace with developments in the digital advertising world. 
The trend is highlighted by one of the U.S.'s largest advertisers, Unilever, announcing that it plans to greatly increase its spending in digital media in the coming year. According to a story in Ad Age, chief marketing officer Keith Weed said the company intends eventually to make its digital presence proportionate to the amount of time people are spending on digital media.
"I think you need to fish where the fish are," he said. He pointed out that in the U.S. people are spending 25% of their time on some sort of digital engagement and he expected to be spending in the 20% range.
Unilever spent only 4% of its $864 million ad budget last year on internet advertising (double the year before). It's a long way from 20%, but the trend is relentless. 
Rival Procter and Gamble doubled its internet spending last year to $100 million and says its global digital spending is about 10% of its marketing budget, the story said.  

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Quote, unquote: on being the only newsweekly
left standing

"In terms of our category, we're not only the last guy standing — we're the only guy standing," says Rick Stengel, Time magazine's managing editor, its most senior editorial position. "We convert information into knowledge. Knowledge is what people want. Information is the commodity."
-- Rick Stengel, Time magazine's managing editor, quoted in a story on NPR about it being the last of the big newsweeklies


Former Cottage Life editor Vanderhoof still enjoying the "liming" life in the Caribbean

The former editor of Cottage Life, Ann Vanderhoof, has been featured by CNN talking about her decision, with her husband, art director Steve Manley, to sail off into the Caribbean. Since quitting their jobs in 1997, the couple spend most of the year on their boat and spend hurricane season in Toronto. 
Vanderhoof has just published a book called The Spice Necklace, which reflects a foodie theme of their lives -- their sailboat is called Receta (Spanish for "recipe") and the dinghy is called Snack. Her previous book was An Embarrassment of Mangoes.
She talks about learning the importance of "liming" in Trinidad.
Liming means just kind of chilling out, kicking back, relaxing with friends, it usually involves good conversation, music and always food and drink.
One of the things that I learned when I left my job and left my old way of life behind is the importance of liming, the importance of relaxing and not running your life according to a schedule all the time.
I find that when I'm back in North America, Steve has to remind me to take time to lime.
You can find Ann's blog and a map of Receta's travels on this website.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Magazine world view: NYT stepdown; NYT bubble; 31 blogging lessons; students in print; Stone, rolling


Hello! Canada puts out standalone commemorative issue to mark Queen's visit

Hello! Canada magazine from Rogers Publishing is marking the 24th visit of Queen Elizabeth to Canada with a special collector's issue. She and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, will be making stops in Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Waterloo, Ont., and Toronto. Among other things, the special edition contains the results of an historic photo shoot at Buckingham Palace by renowned photographer Annie Liebovitz. The special commemorative issue is selling for $9.95 and is expected to stay on newsstands for an extended period. 


Magazine Industry ad:edit guidelines to be reviewed and revised. Have your say

Magazines Canada is managing a process this summer to update the industry's advertising:editorial guidelines, last revised in 2006. A task force has been created with a dozen representatives of both consumer and b2b publications. The co-chairs are Patrick Walsh, the editor of Outdoor Canada, and Todd Latham, the publisher of ReNew Canada.
The Canadian Magazine Industry Advertising-Editorial Guidelines are intended to help editors, publishers and advertisers maintain an industry-wide standard for preserving the important distinction between advertiser messaging and editorial content. The guidelines are designed so that both editors and advertising sales teams clearly understand them, and are able to confidently communicate them to customers. Magazines Canada uses these guidelines in its membership review process.

This task force has been formed to review the current guidelines, which were last reviewed in 2006. Since that time, advertising-editorial practices have continued to evolve, as has our association, which now accepts business-to-business media as well as consumer magazine membership applications.
While not pre-judging the outcome or second-guessing the task force, it might be useful if editors and publishers reading this post were to comment here on what they think should be kept, what should be added and what should stay the same to meet current conditions. After reading the guidelines, of course.

[Disclosure: I have agreed to be on the task force.]


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Winners of Geist magazines' postcard story contest named

The winners have been announced in Geist magazine's much-loved Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest (6th annual).
Honourable Mentions:
  • How to Survive in the Woods by Ursula Twiss
  • We Are Electric by Kellee Ngan
  •  Death in the Family by Ruth E. Walker 
  • Et Tu Brut by Jerome Stueart 
  • Men Gone Mad by Richard Harris 
  • Reader's Choice Award
    It's a tie! Readers have read through the finalists, debated the merits of the stories and voted for their favourites, and two stories have crossed the finish line in a dead heat: Grizzly Bill by William Farrant, How to Survive in the Woods by Ursula Twiss 
    The longlist of finalists is here. If you're interested in signing up for next year's contest, Geist suggests you sign up for their newsletter to get distant early warning of next year's contest.

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    Fox publication mail analysis shows decline of 51 million copies mailed in 2009

    Every year, Michael J. Fox, the senior vice-president, circulation and development, for Rogers Publishing, publishes a detailed analysis of Canada Post's financial results and the situation with Publications Mail. It was published on the Magazines Canada  website.  This year, he reports (not surprisingly) that in the year of recession, 2009, 51 million copies were not mailed, a decrease of 9.7% from 2008. Revenues dropped 10% or $30 million to $259 million over the year before.
    The decline in copies, he says, were a combination of a loss of 11 million copies when Time Canada ceased using the system and declines in the number of copies taking advantage of the (now discontinued) Publications Assistance Program.
    The average recovery rate per copy was still roughly the same as last year, though revenue per piece declined slightly.
    Publishers paid $0.55 on average in 2009. The 20+ different Pubs Mail rates range from $0.41 to $1.73 a copy depending on weight, density of copies to a postal facility, and distance; the  $0.55 average results from dividing Pubs Mail revenue by volume of copies. When CPC began distance-based pricing in January 2009, it estimated an average increase of 3.1% — local rates remained the same; regional rates increased $0.01; national rates increased $0.02 to $0.03 a copy. However, reduced advertising pages cut the weight of magazines, lowering CPC revenue per copy. [CPC’s rate card charges more for heavier magazines: it costs less to mail two copies of a 200-gram magazine than one copy of a 400-gram magazine.]

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    Spacing magazine capitalizes on quake in Ontario to sell brand new buttons

    Never ones to let a crisis go to waste ( even if it was a mild and distant earthquake that was entirely missed by many of us), Spacing magazine jumped right on it and created "I survived the quake" buttons. The one-inch buttons retail for $2 and come in blue, green, orange and pinkish-purple. They can be ordered on the magazine's website using a credit card or PayPal and ordering online means they only cost $1.50, which includes shipping.
    Spacing has made a tidy sum selling subway station buttons in Toronto and streetcorner buttons in Halifax, so it's a natural extension. Order them online and get them for $1.50, mailing costs included. 


    Quote, unquote: One virtue of mistakes

    "Don't be snooty. If they didn't make mistakes,
    you wouldn't have a job."
    -- Cynthia Brouse, typical of the advice she gave every new fact-checker, quoted in her death notice, published in the Globe and Mail today (Wednesday 23). [See earlier post about Cynthia's passing.]

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    Former Frank magazine editor Michael Bate has morphed into a musical composer

    It's been some time since Michael Bate showed up on the radar. With the demise of Frank magazine as a source of much tut-tutting by the chattering classes, the magazine's co-founder and most visible leader seemed to have gone to ground. But he has emerged again as the producer of a musical called Grievous Angel: The Legend of Gram Parsons
    According to a post on the blog Perlich Post, back in the days when Bate (right) was a stringer for Canadian Press and playing steel guitar, he managed to get an interview with the country-rock legend Parsons in March 1973, barely six months before his death by overdose. Now he has taken that 30-minute interview and knit it into a score and script.
    While there's no shortage of traumatic events packed into Parsons short life to make for an epic tragedy worthy of the ancient Greeks – aside from the whole bizarre body snatching and ritual burning scenario that later unfolded  – the production's success or failure will ultimately hinge on how effectively Parsons' timeless musical legacy is conveyed.
    The low-key musical has no choreography and few Broadway moments, but it makes its Toronto debut* on Saturday, June 26 at Hugh's Room (2261 Dundas Street) at 8:30 p.m.The leads (shown above) are played by singers Anders Drerup of Silver Creek (playing Parsons) and Kelly Prescott playing Parson's discovery Emmylou Harris.
    [*The post has some downloads of live music from a recent Grievous Angel performance at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.]
    Related posts:

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Quarto Communications's consumer shows for all four of its titles will run simultaneously

    This November (26 - 28), for the first time, Quarto Communications is putting consumer shows for all four of its titles -- Cottage Life, Explore, Canadian Home Workshop and Outdoor Canada -- under one "big top", running simultaneously side-by-side at Toronto's International Centre. The public will be able to attend all four for one price.
    It's never been tried before but we know there's a lot of overlap in these markets," says general manager Terry Sellwood. "The hope is that it gets as big as the spring show [Cottage Life]. It's exciting and fits in with our long term goal regarding our Outdoor Canada brand."
    Essentially it means that the Outdoor Canada Show and the Explore Adventure & Travel Show will join the established Cottage Life fall show and Canadian Home Workshop's show, moved from the spring. 
    The four magazine have a combined reach of more than 3 million unduplicated readers, but Quarto thinks there is also a real synergy between the audiences and that a multi-title advertising package will appeal to advertisers .
    The spring and fall Cottage Life shows have been going for 17 years and now have a combined annual attendance of 40,000.
    Sellwood said that details of the shows are being nailed down now, but will definitely showcase features that have come to be expected from Cottage Life and Canadian Home Workshop have as well as  some featured writers and bloggers from both Explore and Outdoor Canada

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    U.S. e-reader prices slashed as battle for
    eyeballs heats up

    The likely inevitable price war in e-readers has broken out, big time, in the U.S. It can't be long before similar price-cutting occurs in Canada. Today, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal, Barnes & Noble cut the price of its Nook reader to $199 and introduced a wi-fi model for only $149; and followed suit by lowering the price of its Kindle to $189.
    Both the Nook and Kindle previously sold for $259. While that was well below the iPad's starting price of $499, the e-readers lack the hit Apple product's color screen, ability to display video and websites, and thousands of specialized applications, or apps.
    The moves aren't likely to end the gyrations in the nascent e-reader market. In coming weeks, both Amazon and Sony Corp. plan to unveil new versions of their devices, said people briefed on the matter. Analysts believe the new products also will emphasize lower prices.
    Barnes & Noble said it dropped the Nook's price so it could reach a wider group of potential customers, especially ones who aren't hard-core readers. Amazon declined to comment beyond a press release that simply announced the price cut.
    A price war for low-end e-readers could force Barnes & Noble and Amazon to rely more heavily on their profit from selling e-books. Under so-called agency sales agreements with many top publishers, e-bookstores keep about 30% of the sale price of e-books.

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    No comment needed

    A nice,acid comment from the blog A Softer World, about the handwringing over the closure of indy bookstores. [thanks to This Mag's blog]

    Sienna Miller cover of GQ (UK) wins reader's choice poll as best cover of 2009.

    This was the best British magazine front cover from last year, as voted by the public in the annual Maggies magazine cover awards. (thanks to The Maggies are the result of a national poll of readers.
    The Maggies website  quotes Charlotte Zamani, the managing editor, on why it was the winner:
    At a time when ‘flat was the new up’, GQ grew by 8% at UK newsstand and now outsells the main competitor by 2-1, making it the pre-eminent title in the luxury men’s lifestyle sector and taking home 45 per cent of the men’s lifestyle advertising. Sienna Miller remained true to GQ by epitomising our winning strength of character with headline-grabbing stories. We made her one of our best-selling covers of 2009, a year best forgotten for some, maybe, but another memorably successful one for GQ.
    The other winning covers are here.


    Quote, unquote: BP online magazine struggles to find the bright side of its oil disaster

    “Much of the region’s [nonfishing boat] businesses — particularly the hotels — have been prospering because so many people have come here from BP and other oil emergency response teams,” another report says. Indeed, one tourist official in a local town makes it clear that “BP has always been a very great partner of ours here…We have always valued the business that BP sent us.”
    -- Planet BP, the in-house online magazine of BP tries to put the best possible spin on the massive, out-of-control Gulf of Mexico oil disaster [as reported by the Wall Street Journal]


    Magazine world view: New Yorker outsources app; Gourmet app; 25 yrs of Mr. Magazine

    Green Living magazine ceases publication

    A curt note on its website says that Green Living magazine will no longer be published by Green Living Enterprises. All it says is
    Please subscribe to our free, weekly e-newsletter which provides easy and workable solutions for leading a sustainable lifestyle and much more!
    Green Living Enterprises is a part of the Key Publishers group of companies, which at one time under the leadership of Michael DePencier published or was involved in titles such as Toronto Life, Fashion, Canadian Business, Canadian Art and Canadian Geographic. The magazine is an outgrowth of EnviroGuide, launched in 1999 and which was renamed Green Living in 2005. It became a quarterly in 2008. In 2009, The Green Living Guide, a Toronto guide to green retailers and service providers was published.
    In 2007, the magazine group launched the Green Living Show. It's not known what the impact will be on the show of the end of publication of the magazine.
    The management team at Green Living Enterprises is chaired by Michael de Pencier and includes editorial director Kim Pittaway, a prolific freelancer and former editor of Chatelaine and creative director Caren Watkins. 

    Related posts:


    Indigo promotion cuts 25% off all
    magazines until July 1

    Indigo Books and Music is offering an effective 25% discount on all regularly priced books AND magazines in its stores until July 1. The buy-three-get-one-free promotion is advertised in a full page ad in the Globe and Mail today (Tuesday). It apparently applies in all Chapters, Indigo and Coles stores, but is not available online.


    Grafik, the UK graphic design magazine,
    ceases publishing

    Grafik, the magazine for graphic design out of the UK, has stopped publishing. A brief note from the editorial team says that the publishers, Adventures in Publishing, have decided to liquidate the company and with it the high-end title. So hold onto your back issues.

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    Digital Newsstand has 153 magazines signed up and sold 2,138 subs in first 9 months

    Some nine months since Magazines Canada partnered with Zinio to launch the Digital Newsstand, we were curious about how the program for its members is going and what kind of results it was achieving. Here's where things stood as of June 16:
    • 153 titles have signed up to participate in the program with 117 magazines live on the site
    • Almost all are selling both single copies and subscriptions; a handful offer single copies only.
    • Since the site launched in September 2009,  there have been 2,108 back issues, 2,051 single copies and 2,138 subscriptions sold. 
    • Magazines Canada says it's not possible to establish an average price, but that there's a wide range in pricing, from free to heavily discounted off print subs, to charging the same digitally as in print.
    Some examples of subs/single prices being offered on the Digital Newsstand:
    • The Hockey News ($39.95 for 30 issues; single issue $3.99)
    • Azure ($25.95 for 8 issues; single issue $5.95)
    • Chatelaine ($12.95 for 12 issues; single issue $3.99)
    • Canada's History ($29.95 for 6 issues; single issue $6.95)
    • Our Canada ($14.97 for 6 issues; single issue $3.99)
    • Alternatives Journal ($19.99 for 6 issues; single issue $3.99)
    • Your Workplace ($98 for 6 digital issues; single issue $8.50)
    • Geez ($35 for 4 issues; single issue $9)
    • Canadian Cowboy Country ($23.78 for 6 issues; single issue $5.95) 
    • On Spec ($19.99 for 4 issues; single issue $4.99)
    • Cottage Life ($29.95 for 6 issues; single issue $5.95)
    • Style at Home ($23.95 for 12 issues; single issue $5.50)
    • ARC Poetry ($20 for 3 issues; single issue $7.95)
    In this admittedly arbitrary list the most expensive sub copy is $16.33 (Your Workplace); the least expensive is $1.08 (Chatelaine). The most expensive single copy is $9 (Geez); the least expensive is $3.99 (Chatelaine). The average price for a subscription copy on this list is $4.94; the average single copy price is $5.90, a variance of about 24%.

    [Disclosure: Magazines Canada advertises its Digital Newsstand on this blog]

    Related posts:

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    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Former RD editor says seeking out freelancer contributions is not a new initiative

    Peter Stockland, the former editor-in-chief of Reader's Digest Canada, sent a comment in response to a recent post about RD actively soliciting contributions from a wider range of freelancers. While I put the comment up, I am also quoting his response here.
    No to take anything away from Derek [Webster, managing editor] and Carmine [Starnino, assigning editor], who I know are doing a great job, D.B., but in 2005/6 senior editors Mary Aikins, Bonnie Munday and I met face-to-face with writers individually and in groups in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa to tell them why they should write for RD. Among the top notch writers we attracted to RD were Anne Mullins, Tom Hawthorne, Alisa Smith, Dave Bidini, John Lorinc, Doug Todd, Bill Richardson, John Gradon and a host of others. You may not realize at that time we were producing 90 per cent original Canadian content to fill the pages of the magazine, and it took a lot of great writers to provide the material we needed. Just want to set the record straight.
    -- Peter Stockland, former editor-in-chief, Readers Digest Magazines Canada Ltd.


    U of T law school alumni magazine relaunches with a new look, new content

    The University of Toronto Faculty of Law has redesigned and relaunched its alumni magazine Nexus that is sent to more than 7000 alumni, friends and supporters of the law school. The magazine is more than 30 years old and had gone through some difficulties, cutting its frequency from twice a year to once. It will be returning to a twice-a-year publishing schedule.
    A new executive editor, Lucianna Ciccocioppo, has been hired. She's a former journalist with CBC Radio and CNBC Asia and she plans to give it a clean, contemporary look and an editorial re-focus at least in part featuring professional freelancers. Previously, most of the articles were written by faculty and naturally tended to the scholarly. Now, she says, Nexus will focus on current topics in the legal profession and Canadian justice system through the voices of alumni, and highlights unique U of T law school initiatives and their impact beyond the campus.
    The magazine has contracted its design to  Biohazard Design and the magazine will now accept advertisements. Editor in chief is Kate Hilton, the assistant dean of advancement.


    Freelancer Mary Rogan reflects on her Aqsa Parvez story and the outcomes

    Last week, with the conviction of Aqsa Parvez's father and brother for her murder, we asked whether views had changed on the December 2008 cover story in Toronto Life by Mary Rogan. Not much was heard from her at the time. But Rogan clearly has her own views looking back. In a Q & A with the magazines's Informer blog, she says she was particularly disturbed by the number of people, particularly young Muslim women, who came forward to condemn the victim. And she talked about her own reaction to the story:
    I was maybe a little naive going in. I got caught up in getting to know Aqsa and understanding her struggle. My goal was to humanize her—I wanted the reader to know her. When the criticism came out, especially the accusations of Islamophobia and cultural insensitivity, I was quite staggered. I expected I might get direct criticism from the Muslim community but didn’t. Instead, it came from Toronto feminist groups. There were protests, there were on-line debates and ugly postings saying that the conclusions I had drawn, even if they weren’t wrong, were racist, and this story was another example of the growing persecution of Muslims in North America. I was very shocked by the idea that feminists would be aligning themselves with conservative Muslims. I certainly see it now all the time.
    She also says she doesn't regret using the term "honour killing" in her story.
    It surprised me that people were so afraid to describe Aqsa’s death as an honour killing. It’s irrational to think that we can’t call something what it is because that community can’t sustain that kind of criticism. Ultimately, I think that’s very infantilizing. If the Muslim community can’t sustain the kind of criticism that other communities go through, then there’s no hope for moving forward.
    And she says she thinks it was wrong to plea bargain the father and brother down to second degree murder.
    It’s clear the murder was planned, and I was disappointed that it ended up as second degree. When Aqsa’s brother gets out of jail, he’ll be a relatively young man, young enough to start a family. They could have pushed for first degree, and I think they would have won.
    Related posts:

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    How much is your magazine getting from the Canada Periodical Fund?

    Magazines that are eligible for the new Canada Periodical Fund (no cultural mag below 5,000 paid copies annually need apply) have been receiving letters recently telling them how much they are getting in this, the first year of the CPF. In cases we have heard of, the amount is substantially less in aggregate than they received last year from the publications assistance program (PAP) and the Canada Magazine Fund (CMF). 
    Below is a link to a very brief, (5-question) survey that will allow us to report more fully on the fund. It asks for your funding in the last year for the Canadian Magazine Fund and the PAP and what you have been told your magazine will receive this year with the CPF.

    (If you have a difficulty with the link, put the following in your browser:


    Longtime Condé Nast exec, publisher of Vogue, announces he's leaving

    Management changes happen all the time in the magazine business, especially in its principal locus, New York, but few will have as much impact as the announced departure of Thomas A. Florio from Condé Nast, where he has worked for 25 years and Vogue magazine, where he has been publisher. He also has responsibility for Teen Vogue, Bon Appétit and Condé Nast Traveler. According to a story in the New York Times, he said he would depart at the end of June to lead a business venture of his own.
    Mr. Florio has a long career at Condé Nast, holding top positions on the business side at many of the company’s marquee titles like GQ and The New Yorker.

    As the publisher of Vogue, he led the magazine’s business side when it produced its now-fabled September 2007 issue, which at 840 pages was the largest issue in the magazine’s history.

    But Mr. Florio was also known for being opinionated and outspoken, the kind of executive who was not afraid to question a decision by Condé Nast management.

    One person with direct knowledge of Mr. Florio’s recent conversations said Mr. Florio had become increasingly vocal about his disapproval of some decisions made by managers.


    Saturday, June 19, 2010

    Say this ain't so: This Ain't the Rosedale Library padlocked by bailiffs

    The steady erosion of the independent bookstore business may (and I only say may, based on limited information) have claimed another victim. Apparently This Ain't the Rosedale Library in Toronto's Kensington Market, a beloved and quirky book and magazine store, has been padlocked by the bailiffs claiming $40,000 in unpaid debts. The Tweetpic first appeared on the NOW Toronto website.

    The bookstore is well known for carrying a broad range of indy magazines and local authors and for hosting local readings. It is not known what got them into this fix, though we can guess that it might be the same lamentable trend that has claimed so many other independent book and magazine outlets across the country (see Related Posts below). 
    Charles (Charlie)  Huisken founded the store more than 30 years ago and for most of those years it was on Church street, only decamping two years ago to its new location on Nassau Street, at which time Jesse, Charles's son, joined the business, and had apparently showed some of the same chops in book and magazine selling as his dad. 

    [More as we learn more.]
    Related stories:
    "Cherished bookseller" threatened with closure (Toronto Star)

    Related posts:


    A sorry day with the passing of Cynthia Brouse

    [This post has been updated] Even though many of us knew it was coming, the death of Cynthia Brouse is a profound loss. Her many friends and admirers, her students, her many, many readers will all be stricken by no longer having this vibrant, determined and immensely talented woman among us. She had been in palliative care in Toronto for some weeks as her struggle with cancer neared its end. 
    Cynthia was well-known for her teaching of fact checking and research at Ryerson University, for her writing of prize-winning features large and small, for her work as copy editor. She quite deservedly won the Outstanding Achievement Award of the National Magazine Awards Foundation last year and accepted it bald-headed with the chutzpah we had come to associate with her. 
    When I know more about funeral or memorial arrangements, I will post it here. [UPDATE: I have heard from a longtime close friend that her family's initial thought is that they would like to postpone a memorial service for friends and colleagues until mid-September, which would give enough notice to people who need to travel from out-of-town.]
    Meanwhile, if you want to know the kind of woman she was, read her poignant and often funny blog, The Clothesline Saga, which chronicled her treatment, her reflections on her own mortality and which many of us hope will find more concrete form in a book lest it vanish like lamplight in the mists of the blogosphere. 

    [UPDATE: Charles Oberdorf points out some aspects of Cynthia's life I didn't include above and I'm happy to include them:
    In addition to the contributions D.B. itemizes, I would add her two terms as coordinator of the Magazine Publishing program in Continuing Education.

    Her impact on the program can hardly be overstated. Among other things, she added depth to our teaching of both fact checking and copy editing by dividing what had been one course into two; she brought the Magazine Production course into being, and in many ways she raised teaching standards throughout the program and greatly improved our reputation in the industry.

    Her second term was just before me (she left to become M.E. at Saturday Night. She was an invaluable help during my first two or three years in the chair, and was still helping me out with great advice -- and good humour -- as recently as a few months ago, while flat on her back with illness.

    The Magazine Publishing Program is very much the poorer for her passing.


    Friday, June 18, 2010

    Well-known and respected Stanford course for magazine leadership is reborn at Yale

    One of the best known professional publishing courses was at Stanford University in California for 32 years, but ended in 2009. The program was aimed at both magazine and book streams and had a reputation as an intensive and concentrated course training publishing professionals for leadership positions, principally in the U.S. but also from elsewhere, including Canada. (For instance, at least one prize winner in the ACE circulation awards used the money to pay her Stanford tuition.)
    Now, Yale University has decided to pick up the program and carry it on, and the inaugural session of the Yale Publishing Course is July 18 - 23, with the theme "Leadership Strategies in a Time of Transition". It takes place on the Yale campus and is limited to 80 participants.


    ABC Life Literacy Canada makes $2,000 fellowship available to create an adult literacy story

    Nobody was more a passionate advocate of great magazine journalism and engaging with audiences than the late Peter Gzowski. He's now remembered as a beloved host on CBC radio, but it must be remembered that he was also a prolific magazine writer and editor, notably as editor of Star Weekly and as editor of Maclean's.
    In 1993, ABC Life Literacy Canada founded an award of merit to honour his services to and advocacy of literacy. To date, the golf tournaments that he founded have raised more than $10 million, making it the most successful literacy fundraiser in Canada.
    Now, the prize has been succeeded by The Peter Gzowski Life Literacy Fellowship, with financial support of $2,000 to one journalist to research and develop a story on adult literacy in Canada. Detailed guidelines and criteria are available online. The deadline for application for the fellowship is August 27, 2010.

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    Reader's Digest actively recruiting freelancers to fill out list of contributors to magazine

    In what is a relatively simple, and easy, initiative, Reader's Digest, traditionally a hard to crack and demanding market, is reaching out to Canadian freelance writers. The process is being led by Carmen Starnino, who is editor of maisonneuve magazine, but is moonlighting as the full-time commissioning editor of RD, working for former maisonneuve publisher Derek Webster, now the managing editor of RD.What's unusual, and noteworthy, is that this is a dramatic change in direction; as far as I know RD has never gone so far in searching out new editorial voices as it is doing now.
    Starnino has put out a call to, among other lists, the Toronto Freelance Editors and Writers listserv, saying "I'd like to significantly expand the magazine's stable of writers." Now, I'm not sure the term stable is all that flattering, but you get the idea. Here's what he says they're looking for:
    * Making it Matter: 1200-word profiles of people who are doing something good for their community, their country, or the world. Eg, “ Speaking Their Language,” about the multilingual team that run Toronto’s Mobile Health Clinic helping immigrant women get the health care they might not have known how to ask for.
    * Character: 1200-word profiles of quirky, unique individuals. These pieces need memorable quotes, eye-popping scenarios, or the ordinary made extraordinary. Eg, “The Hunter’s Apprentice,” a profile of Vancouver taxidermist Frank Gilbert.
    * Influential Canadians: 1500-word profiles of leaders of Canadian society, either well known or flying-under-the-radar. More than just a CV—we need to know why their contributions are important. Eg, “Ben Perrin’s War,” profile of crusading U.B.C. lawyer stopping worldwide sex trafficking by developing international human rights law.
    * Heart Features/Dramas in real life:1500-2500-word stories about medical miracles, tales of courage and endurance; human stories you remember days and weeks later. Eg, “Leap of Faith,” a dramatic story of one baby’s tenacious grip on life, narrow avoidance of a heart transplant, and near-miraculous recovery in defiance of medical science.
    * Service Features: Information that helps readers deal with life, health, family. Short, factual pieces—something to stick to your fridge. Eg, “Aim to Claim”: seven things to consider before filing a claim with your insurance agent.
    * Issue Features: 2000-2500 word investigative pieces about social issues and medical concerns. Eg, “Beyond Blue: Fixing Teen Mental Health Care”—why doesn’t Canada have a comprehensive plan, as do England and Australia?
    Starnino can be reached at or


    What b2b magazines can learn from
    consumer magazines

    Business-to-business publishers are taking a leaf out of consumer magazines playbooks by adopting some of the things that make their print publications into premium products, according to an article by Matt Kinsman in Folio:
    Kinsman points to the retaining of art director Robert Newman to help repackage and relaunch Reed Exhibition's JCK magazine. Newman is former design director of Real Simple, Fortune and Details. The article enumerates some of the things b-to-b magazines can do to re-imagine themselves:
    • Package the magazine
    • Create a sense of value
    • Differentiate advertising from editorial
    • Be clean rather than clever
    • Think about how the reader reads the magazine
    • Try not to jam so much on the page -- white space is your friend.
    "There is no denying that b-to-b magazines know their stuff," Newman told me. "But traditionally they've been weaker at what consumer magazines are good at, which is packaging. Before the recent economic downturn and shift away from print, a lot of b-to b magazines didn't have to worry about packaging. As long as they delivered the essential material the audience wanted, the ads were there. Now it's more of a challenge and, like consumer publishers, they really have to sell the magazine. We wanted to bring more of a consumer magazine packaging to the quality of b-to-b content."

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    R.I.P. Edmontonians

    After 21 years of publication, the monthly Edmontonians magazine has ceased publication, with owner Sharon MacLean citing declining advertising revenues. According to a brief item in the Edmonton Sun, though the monthly magazine was trying to make the transition to an electronic version, it ran out of time and money. A wake of sorts will be held next Wednesday 5 to 7 p.m. at Earl's Tin Palace.


    Victoria, B. C. fashion show gets the message from Vogue magazine: Don't mess with us

    The long arm of Conde Nast reached out and smacked a Victoria, B.C. fashion show that it says breached the trademark of iconic Vogue magazine. According to a story in the Vancouver Sun, Victoria Fashion's Night Out heard from the Vogue lawyers that it's name infringed on the Fashion Night Out event it ran last year in New York City -- and which it intends to roll out to cities around the world.
    The organizers of the Victoria event hurriedly renamed the show Victoria's Fashion Night, said their lawyer, David Mulroney.


    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Magazine world view:Outside owes Lance a lot; Postal breaks; creativity=effectiveness

    Aqsa Parvez case concludes with life sentences; was Toronto Life right?

    With the sentencing to life imprisonment of her father and brother for the murder of Aqsa Parvez in Toronto, I looked back at the posting about the cover story in  the December 2008 issue of Toronto Life
    The story was denounced for perpetuating cultural stereotypes about Muslim and immigrant communities. And there was a blizzard of comments, some about the language used, some about the slant of the story, some about the editorial practices of the magazine. Is there anything in the final outcome that changes any of those commenters' minds?
    Related posts:

    Headway named magazine of the year in Canadian education awards

    The Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education presented their annual Prix d'excellence awards last week, and several of the winners were magazines and magazine people. 
    • Headway, McGill's research magazine, took the top prize for Best Magazine. Edited by James Martin and designed by Carmen Jensen, it was praised by the CCAE judges as "adventurous" and "inventive." The silver winner was The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology's techlife magazine (it was also named Best New Magazine at the Western Magazine Awards in 2009.) 
    • Barry Callaghan, the editor-in-chief of Exile: The Literary Quarterly, earned the gold award for Best Writing (English) for an piece he wrote for YorkU magazine about his student days at York University's Atkinson College. Profiles of William Shatner (McGill News) and astronaut Robert Thirsk (the University of Calgary's U Magazine) earned the silver and bronze awards. 
    • Gilles Drouin earned the gold award for Best Writing (French) for a story about biophotonics, a promising field of medical science that combines biology with photonics. The story appeared in Contact, published by Laval University.
    • Edmonton photographer Jason Ness earned the gold award for Best Photo for his portrait of college basketball star Dale-Marie Cumberbatch which appeared in techlife magazine.


    Carole Beaulieu adds publisher responsibilities to EIC role at L'actualilté

    Carole Beaulieu, the editor-in-chief of Rogers Publishing's flagship French-language publication L'actualilté, has been appointed publisher as well, assuming total responsibility for the business effective June 18. She succeeds Réal Germain, who is leaving the company. Beaulieu has had a distinguished career as a journalist and has been with the magazine since 1989. She was a multiple winner of National Magazine Awards for her writing. She studied journalism at Carleton University


    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Tools of yesteryear II

    While we're at it, at right is another tool that was a commonplace in magazine offices before Quark and InDesign. Oh, heck, before computers. What is it and what was it for?

    Tools of yesteryear

    An art director friend must have been cleaning out drawers, as he sent a picture of the following artifact. I wonder how many of you know what it is?

    Clue: He says that it was much slimmer than an iPad,  it was being given away for free 25 years ago and he never had any problems with its software.

    Recovery and rebound expected in Canadian advertising, says PwC

    The entire Canadian entertainment and media market declined by 2.7% in 2009, in the teeth of a recession, but is expected to rebound this year and grow at an annual average compounded rate of 5% through 2014, according to the consulting firm Pricewaterhousecoopers (PwC). Its Global Entertainment and Media Outlook has just been published and contains data which indicates that the E & M market will grow faster in Canada (5%) than in the U.S.(3.8%).
    Overall consumer end-user spending on media, excluding internet access spending, will increase in Canada at a rate of 4.3% CAGR (3.7% in the US and 4.1% globally), while advertising will rise at a 3.1% CAGR (2.6% in the US and 4.2% globally).
    Jerry Brown, an associate partner with the Canadian Entertainment and Media practice said in a company release:
    "“The next five years will see digital technologies increase their dominance across all segments of entertainment and media as digital transformation accelerates. While the industry has a long history of experimenting and adding formats that have offered consumers new choices, the current advances in technologies and consumer behaviour are unprecedented in both their speed and their simultaneous impact across all segments.”
    The report said the Canadian advertising market will see continued recovery:
    In Canada, consumer spending on digital media will grow quickly, complimenting spend on traditional forms of media. However, in the music, newspaper and magazine publishing industries, digital media is presenting new business challenges as overall traditional revenues are slowly declining. However, Canadian consumers will still spend over US$3.3 billion on these segments which is a substantial part of the total spend.

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