Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bensimon Byrne agency cleans up at Magazines Canada's Best on Page ad awards

Magazines Canada has announced the winners of its 2011 Best on Page awards, honouring the very best in magazine advertising from across Canada and around the world. The awards were presented Thursday night at the Allstream Centre in Toronto.
Cleaning up was the Toronto advertising agency Bensimon Byrne, which won Best in Show, Best Full Page or DPS and Most Innovative for their ad for Ultimate Fighting Championship. The winners were:
  • “Face Punch” for Best Full Page or DPS. Advertiser, Ultimate Fighting Championship; Agency, Bensimon Byrne; Creative Director, Ian MacKellar; Copy Writer, Joe Musicco; Art Director, John McDougall.
  • “Tourism PEI” for Best Magazine Campaign. Advertiser, Tourism PEI; Agency, Grey Canada; Creative Director, Carl Jones; Copy Writer, Bill Parker; Art Director, Gerald Schoenhoff.
  • “Face Punch” for Most Innovative. Advertiser, Ultimate Fighting Championship; Agency, Bensimon Byrne; Creative Director, Ian MacKellar; Copy Writer, Joe Musicco; Art Director, John McDougall.
  • “Face Punch” for Best of Show. Advertiser, Ultimate Fighting Championship; Agency, Bensimon Byrne; Creative Director, Ian MacKellar; Copy Writer, Joe Musicco; Art Director, John McDougall.
Judges for the awards were
  • Israel Diaz, EVP, Chief Creative Officer at Young & Rubicam Canada
  • Deborah Prenger, VP, Creative Director, Dentsu
  • Doug Robinson, Chief Creative Officer, doug & serge
  • Nancy Vonk, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy & Mather

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Toronto Mayor, vexed by cover illustration, orders NOW magazine copies destroyed

[This post has been updated] Municipal staff in Toronto have been instructed to search out and destroy all copies of NOW magazine from City Hall and all municipal facilities because it features an unflattering cover image of Mayor Rob Ford. An internal memorandum published by the magazine says the purge was ordered by the mayor's office.
The image for the cover story by Enzo Di Matteo, is clearly Photoshopped, and shows the mayor nude all-but nude with the main coverline "“The naked truth about Rob Ford.”".  
It's not clear whether it's just this particular issue, but all issues from now on.
“We are outraged”, says NOW Editor/CEO Alice Klein. “Rob Ford does not want Torontonians to know the naked truth”
“The only thing that is offensive is the way Rob and Doug Ford are running this city,” says NOW editor/publisher Michael Hollett. "The last mayor that tried to ban NOW Magazine was Mel Lastman and how well did his administration work out? The mayor refers to himself as "300 pounds of fun”, well, he’s 300 pounds but he’s sure no fun. We will fight Ford on this issue and all the others that we are certain makes Toronto less than the city we want it to be, less than the great city it can be.”
[Update: Rob Ford's office is now saying that this was all a "misunderstanding", that the mayor took the whole thing in good humour, that an overzealous staffer had merely enquired about the appropriateness of the distribution of the paper and city staff mistakenly ordered the removal and destruction of  the paper (leaving the impression that they should have known better.) On  the CBC Metro Morning program this morning, editor and publisher Michael Hollett said the statement from the mayor's office was mere "spin" and Hollett made no apologies for the way the story and image were presented. By the way, we used the term "nude" above. In the actual cover image, the visual mashup was wearing boxer shorts; inside, there was the image shown at the top of this post.]

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Best Health magazine unveils winners of inaugural best blog awards

Best Health magazine, published by Reader's Digest, has announced the winners of its inaugural best blog awards. Readers were invited to enter the names of their favourite blogs in four categories. The winners were:
The winning entries will be featured in the Summer 2011 issue, out mid-June.


Rogers' former digital boss joins social media agency Sycapse

Claude Galipeau, who recently departed Rogers as general manager and senior vp of the digital division, has fetched up at social media agency Syncapse as chief service officer, according to a report in the Hollywood Reporter.


Comedian Rick Mercer writing weekly election column for Maclean's

Comedian, commentator and TV personality Rick Mercer has signed on to write an exclusive column for Maclean's magazine during this federal election. According to a Rogers Publishing release the first column will be in the issue on newsstands today.
Mercer is the host of The Rick Mercer Report, the highest-rated comedy show in Canada, returning to the CBC for its ninth season this fall. He launched his television career in 1994 as one of the creators, performers and writers on the hit weekly show This Hour Has 22 Minutes. His CBC Television special Talking to Americans, based on the regular This Hour segment wherein he poked fun at Americans' ignorance of Canada, became the highest rated Canadian comedy special of all time with 2.7 million viewers.
In his first column he observes: 
"Being a political junkie in this country is a bit like being a diehard Leafs fan.  Year in and year out you believe you will witness magic; year in and year out you experience the opposite. But yet, you continue to show up, cheer on the team, pay through the nose for a hot dog—and it almost always ends in tears."

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

MoneySense ranking of his city dismissed as "nonsense" by Port Alberni mayor

While many cities (like Victoria) bask in the glory of being near the top of the list in the annual rankings of Canadian cities by MoneySense magazine, one small city mayor on Vancouver Island is steamed. Port Alberni ranks 172 out of 180 cities, slightly better than its 175 last year, according to a report in
The Best Places to Live rankings are done based on 24 criteria, including housing, income, new cars, access to health care and weather.
Port Alberni ranks low because of the rain and low on household income, number of new cars and severity of crime. Mayor Ken McRae says the ranking is nonsense.
“I've invited them here before to experience what our town is about and they never came,” he said.“They don’t know what they’re talking about so I don’t bother with them now.”
He says the criteria fails to note an ongoing building boom.
“We've got Pacific Coast University going up, the new B.C. Hydro building, the new high school and the Athletic Hall. They don’t see these things because they weren't here.”
And the rain?
“So we live in a rain forest — some people would love our clean water and hydro electricity,” McRae said.

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Rogers launches magazine for the wealthy called Canadian Capital

Rogers Publishing has launched a new magazine aimed at Canadian entrepreneurs. It's called Canadian Capital and has a companion website called
 The new quarterly is designed to meet the special needs of business owners in a complex world of building and managing wealth, says a release. The first issue's cover story features clothier Harry Rosen talking about handing over the reins of his business to his son, Larry.
"This audience has a huge appetite for unbiased advice," says Canadian Capital executive editor Philip Porado. "Many of them have worked so hard on their businesses, they haven't had time to focus on managing, growing and enjoying their wealth. We have access to the experts who can show them how."
The new magazine, which as a circulation of 35,000 and is being distributed to a controlled list of business addresses,  keys off Rogers' considerable stable of financially related publications such as Advisor's Edge and Benefits Canada. Interested readers can also subscribe through an RSS feed or by receiving  a weekly e-letter.
"Given our long-standing relationships with the financial community, Canadian Capital and are natural extension for us," says publisher Donna Kerry. "We're leveraging our connections to bring readers valuable expert guidance they can not get anywhere else."  
The editorial focus is indicated by the tag line Plan, Prosper, Provide and the inaugural issue profiles execs who developed second careers in philanthropy, people who reinvent themselves after they retire and how to calculate multiples when selling a business. Content will also be about planning a legacy, building and managing family wealth and transitions in businesses.

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Long form comes to digital; Atavist offers pay per view articles up to 30,000 words

A new company called The Atavist is offering long journalistic stories on the Kindle and Nook and in an iPad app. The company doesn't yet offer a subscription model, but has hopes to do so soon, including allowing readers to buy a bundle of articles.
According to a story in Folio: the stories are being sold for US$1.99 each on e-readers like the Kindle and $2.99 in the app, which offers multi-media such as video. The application allows readers to switch between reading and listening to a story and keeps track of where the reader left off.
The Atavist was founded by Evan Ratliff, a contributing editor to Wired magazine and Jefferson Rabb, a programmer and web designer. The business was created mostly with Apple products in mind, but it is going to make the articles available in an Android-friendly format in coming months.  

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Tablets change the way people read and perceive magazines, research shows

According to research conducted by Bonnier Publishing anad CP+B Group, an advertising agency, it is no longer just rival publications that will lure away a magazine's readers but publishers must now consider that they are competing for attention with apps and tablet features. This, from a story on Audience Development.
It also found that on a tablet, readers sometimes can't distinguish between ads and editorial content.
“In a tablet environment, each page stands alone and there's less context to help the reader orient herself. This presents an important design challenge for publishers: there should be clear visual distinctions between ads and edit, and both need to add value to the user experience,” the study said.
Bonnier's vice-president for publishing, Gregg Hano, said:
“We intend to work hard to make sure that it’s clear which content is our ad or edit, but we think it’s absolutely tremendous that people are equally interested in looking at both,” he said. Hano said that another study Bonnier has reviewed found that individuals that pick up special interest magazines read them not only for the editorial content but to view the advertisements as well.

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PMB spring data shows that younger magazine readership still strong

“It’s not as if there is a diminishing level of interest in the printed copy of magazines. The media world is changing rapidly, but the reality is people are still reading printed magazines.”
-- Steve Ferley, president of the Print Measurement Bureau, >commenting in Marketing magazine on the just-released spring results of the twice-a-year research report.
 The Marketing  story says that, although the general impression is that the web is siphoning away print readers, fused data with comScore Canada found that among the 30 measured titles in the PMB/comScore database, a magazine’s website added an average of 15% unduplicated readership to the print product.  It also found that young people are still readers, despite prevailing opinion; people aged 12 – 24 read an average of 3.6 issues of PMB-measured magazines each week, slightly less than the national average of 3.8 issues.
The spring data shows little signficant change in the overall readership with the readers-per-copy figure remaining at 5.1.
The spring report produced no significant changes in the overall magazine landscape, with Reader’s Digest remaining the country’s most widely read publication with 5.93 million readers 2+.
Canadian Living is the country’s second most-read title with 3.99 million readers, followed by Kraft Canada’s custom title What’s Cooking with 3.45 million, Chatelaine with 3.36 million readers and Canadian Geographic with 3.31 million.
Qu’est-ce qui mijote is the most widely read French-language title with 1.2 million readers, followed by Coup de Pouce with 1.1 million and Touring with 1.08 million readers.
Topline readership data from PMB

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Sheepdogs still running, or in the running, for Rolling Stone cover

In what may only seem to be the most drawn-out magazine promotion ever, a Saskatoon band, the Sheepdogs, have now made it into the "final 8" to be considered for the reader's choice cover selection contest for Rolling Stone magazine.


World view: Buy and close; ABM shakeup; £1m payout; Russki corruption;changing Times

Forthcoming events, imminent and interesting

A number of forthcoming magazine events, imminent or otherwise
  • Christie Blatchford, the querulous Globe and Mail columnist, is in conversation with Master John Fraser at the Massey Press Club, a community of journalists, 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30 in the upper library of Massey College, 4 Devonshire Place, Toronto. No charge, no RSVP, just show up; later, reception with cash bar. 
  • A celebration of National Poetry Month, presented by publisher Biblioasis (which publishes Canadian Notes and Queries) on Wednesday, April 6 7 - 9 p.m. at the Dora Keogh pub 141 Danforth Avenue; featuring Biblioasis writers David Hickey, Joshua Trotter and Zacharia Wells.
  • The 7th annual C Magazine benefit auction, April 5, 2011; Preview 5:30pm, Live Auction 7:00pm, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), 952 Queen Street West, Toronto. Tickets $75.
  • The April 1 deadline looms for the Awards for Reporting on the Environment, open to any journalists from any country is coming up on April 1;
  • The Art of the Short Review is a seminar being led by Patty Osborne of Geist magazine for anyone who wants to write what they think—in a few strong sentences --  valuable to those who want to write reviews, but also for clear, succinct blog postings.It's on Saturday, April 30 at the Listel Hotel in Vancouver. 


Käthe Lemon of Avenue Calgary named Alberta editor of the year

Käthe Lemon, editor of Avenue Calgary magazine and editorial director of RedPoint Media Group Inc., was named Alberta editor of the year at the Alberta Magazine Awards; they were presented at a gala on Thursday night.The awards are presented by the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA).
 “To say Avenue magazine is a group effort is an understatement [she said] — it takes all of us as well as having this vibrant city to write about — that makes the magazine all that it is. As in so many facets of this job, I am the voice and face to the work that so many people here do and I couldn't, and wouldn't want to, do it without them. So although it's my name on the trophy, I think it really is a testament to the quality of the whole team and the creative work they do."
Rob Tanner (left) of TannerYoung Publishing (which publishes Where Edmonton and Canadian Cowboy Country) received the Achievement in Publishing Award for his many years of volunteering and media work (he won Volunteer of the Year last year). 
Other winners were:
  • Best New Magazine: Eighteen Bridges
  • Best Alberta Story: Techlife, “Declaration of Independence” by Scott Messenger
  • Best Cover: Alberta Venture, “The Green Issue” Kim Larson, art director; Pierre Javelle, illustrator
  • Best Feature Design: Wine Access, “Taste to Go” Teresa Johnston, art director; Jared Sych, photographer; Joy Lee, food stylist
  • Best Illustration: Alberta Venture, “Aerospace” Sonia Roy, illustrator; Kim Larson, art director
  • Best Photo: Alberta Venture, “The Final Cut” Aaron Pedersen, photographer; Kim Larson, art director
  • Best Short Editorial: Impact, “You Can Run But You Can’t Hide” by Peter Estabrooks
  • Volunteer of the Year: Claire Lacey, Dandelion
Full llist of finalists


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hearst set to announce $900 million deal for Lagardere portfolio

Hearst Publishing is expected to announce as early as Monday that it is paying French publishing house Lagardere $900 million for its portfolio of international magazines, according to a story in the New York Post.
Lagardere, whose US unit Hachette Filipacchi publishes such titles as Elle, Woman’s Day and Car and Driver, and Hearst, publisher of Cosmopolitan and Esquire, are expected to announce the deal as early as Monday, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

The deal would make Hearst the clear front-runner in the international magazine business, and close the gap on US titan Time Inc.

Hearst and Lagardere announced on New Year’s Eve they had entered an exclusive negotiating period.
It would make Hearst the landlord, so to speak, for the licensing arrangement that Tanscontinental Media has to publish Elle Quebec and Elle Canada.

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Inflights flying high with iPad versions of seat pocket magazines

That venerable category, the in-flight magazine, is still going strong but many publishers are putting them up on tablets such as the iPad. A story in the blog Jaunted lists some of the airlines that are putting their custom magazines on iTunes-available iPads:
 [h/t to Arjun Basu]   

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Quote, unquote: Taking away the crumbs

"The point is not that one way is better than the other, but that relying only on market forces to determine what survives as literature in Canada seems unnecessarily narrow. The market culls a certain way, that’s all.  It isn’t the best way for all things, and it isn’t the only way.  And in any event these numbers are minuscule compared to most other kinds of costs – take your pick from increasing Defence budgets to expanding prison systems.  They’re crumbs by most federal budgetary standards.  Do we really need to take the crumbs away, too?"
-- Michael Lithgow, writing in the Art Threat blog about the Harper government's attitudes towards literature


Friday, March 25, 2011

Quote, unquote: Why (some) literary magazines should fold

"The problem with the market for literary journals now is that there’s too much supply for too little demand. The demand is there, to be sure, and isn’t in danger of diminishment should a number of these journals fold; quite the opposite. A culling will improve quality on both sides of the editorial table; the quality of submissions will increase as places to publish become more scarce, as will the calibre of the editors. And if we move from having a couple dozen journals to a handful, the readership that now is so thinly spread will coalesce around the remaining organs. The standard of the whole enterprise will rise."
-- Poet and essayist Michael Lista, in an opinion piece in the National Post 25 March.


Yellow Media sells off Auto Trader and other classified publications and websites

Auto Trader magazine and New Home Guide are among the properties sold by the Montreal-based publisher of the Yellow Pages to global private equity firm Apax Partners for $745 million. 
According to a Canadian Press story, the transaction involved Yellow Media Inc.'s Trader Corp. division. The company has about 169 print publications and 22 websites in automotive, general merchandise and employment. It is said there are about 1 million readers and 3.5 million unique visitors.  They are businesses that the once-mighty Yellow Media is trying to get out of as it reinvents itself into a digital company. 
"This divestiture is attractive for our shareholders and will allow us to deploy capital in our core business, helping accelerate our digital transformation while further strengthening our capital structure," said president and CEO Marc Tellier.
"As Canada's number one Internet company, we want to focus our efforts on the acceleration of our digital transformation via our Yellow Pages 360 Solution."
Yellow Media last year bought online directory publisher Canpages and Clear Sky Media Inc., which owns, and Scarlett Lounge.

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Readers' quality perceptions depend on how much they trust the source

Magazine publishers bang on about branding a lot and clearly believe that building a consistent, trusted image for their publications is a strong contributor to success. Now, according to a column today in the Globe and Mail by Chrystia Freeland, there may be proof that successful publishing is indeed in the business of providing readers with an editorial environment they trust.
She reports that some research from a Harvard Business School professor, as yet unpublished, seems to indicate that it is very important to readers where their information -- including advertising -- comes from. Bharat Anand, a Harvard professor and Alexsander Rosinski, a former visiting researcher there have say that conventional wisdom about the commodification of information may be wrong. They showed a story about Greek public finances to 700 readers as an unlabelled piece, an online piece by the Huffington Post and as an online piece from The Economist.
When respondents believed they were reading an Economist story, they rated its quality at 6.9 on a scale of 10; when the same piece was attributed to the Huffington Post, it drew a score of 6.1; and when it had no label, it scored just 5.4.
A similar exercise drew a clear distinction between ads and the perception of quality. So-called "good ads" had a marked impact on perception of the editorial quality. 
When the article was viewed beside ads for Jaguar and Credit Suisse, but without a brand, readers rated it a 6, nearly high as the 6.1 it received as an ad-free Huffington Post piece. Even the “cheap” ads (for online card games and astrology) earned a slightly higher rating of 5.6 for the no-brand story.
Not surprisingly, Freeland pointed out that the research showed advertising was seen as a negative by readers, making them a little more critical the more highly perceived was the quality of the source."Good" ads don't necessarily transfer their value to "good" editorial brands. 
But in my opinion advertisers come to trusted publications precisely because they bask in the reflected glory and quality of the editorial rather than the other way around.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

R. R. Donnelly buys JournalismOnline and its Press+ metered paid content model

U.S. printing giant R. R. Donnelly has made a strategic move by buying JournalismOnline's content project and, with it, the Press+ technology that allows publishers to create flexible pay models for digital content, according to a story in minonline. Stephen Brill, who had founded American Lawyer and Court TV and later Brill's Content before founding JournalismOnline, has been a champion of metered paid access as a revenue stream for newsapepr and magazine partners; it claims 1,600 affiliates for the platform. Brill's partner in the venture had been former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz, who said in a statement:
“The scalable Press+ model enables publishers to quickly test and implement a variety of content distribution strategies. Our experience demonstrates that publishers using Press+ for metered access to web sites and other digital products retain their online ad revenue and readership while adding a valuable revenue stream from online subscriptions.”
R. R. Donnelley's CEO and president Thomas J. Quinlan III said 
“Press+ enhances our offering and opens new avenues for publishers to generate incremental subscription and advertising revenue.”

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Val Maloney leaves as editor of Masthead magazine; joins Media in Canada

Val Maloney, the editor of the online magazine about magazines, Masthead, is leaving to take a new job at Media in Canada, an online media and marketing site. Maloney joined Masthead (published by North Island Graphics Media) in September 2009 after being an associate editor of five b2b titles at CLB Media. She was responsible for content in Masthead and its sister magazines Design Edge Canada and Graphic Monthly Canada. No appointment has yet been made to replace her.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Quote, unquote: Every silver lining has a cloud; or is it the othe way around?

"The apparent failure of the Google Books settlement, at least in its broadest form, has given more power to copyright owners of previously published books, "inserts," and periodicals, and to Google's rivals in digital publishing.  Now may be a good time for publishers to negotiate with digital distributors (such as Google, Internet Archive, Amazon, Microsoft, Lexis-Nexis and others) as to digital distribution rights to your publishing archives."
-- from a bulletin put out by American Business Media concerning the district court decision rejecting the Google Books settlement. 


comScore being sued by Nielsen over patents
and sues right back

comScore, which partners with Canada's Print Measurement Bureau on readership and purchase metrics, is being sued by Nielsen over patent infringement. 
On March 15, according to a story on Audience Development, Nielsen filed suit in U.S. district court in Virginia, claiming infringement on five paents relating to monitoring, collection and analysis of audience data. No surprise that comScore has counter-sued.
The damages Nielsen is seeking were not specified in the filing, but outside of a ruling that decrees comScore willingly infringed on the patents, Nielsen is looking for compensation on royalties, damages from the infringement itself and legal fee coverage.
The suit drives right to the core of the data collection and analysis methods the companies use. Nielsen is claiming infringement over patents responsible for a "computer use meter and analyzer"; "metering of Internet content using a control"; "network resource monitoring and measurement system and method"; "content display monitoring by a processing system"; and a "content display monitor".

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Magazine world view:Google deal fails; b2b digital; editor prevails; paid-for still tops; dancing on BBC's grave


New ABC circ rules allow magazines to count digital sales even if ads are different

Changes to the rules of the Audit Bureau of Circulations mean that magazines can carry different ads in their digital editions than in print, a development that pleases publishers but annoys media buyers. 
Publishers will be able to take credit for success in developing new platforms such as iPad editions and ABC will break out print and digital edition circulation data even if different advertising is carried in each. Until now, ABC rules required tablet editions to carry the same ads as print if publishers wanted  them to count towards paid circulation guaranteed rate bases.
According to a story from AdAge, this approach to total circulation will make work for media buyers and ad agencies.
The rules didn't support today's landscape any longer, said Robin Steinberg, senior VP-director of publisher investment and activation at MediaVest USA as well as a member of the audit bureau's board, which unanimously approved the rule change. "The publishing area is becoming increasingly digitized. The rules need to evolve."
That evolution won't be simple, Ms. Steinberg acknowledged. "Today it's complicated," she said. "Tomorrow it's going to become even more complicated."
"We need to move the industry forward," she added. "Unfortunately, initially it's going to result in additional, unnecessary work for the buyers as there might be confusion to understand where your ad was placed. Print only? Digital only? Or both?"
The rules change is detailed in a news release from ABC.
ABC President Mike Lavery noted that the changes are more accommodating to digital publishing deadlines and realities. “Early magazine digital editions were commonly PDFs of the print version, so ABC required a digital replica to be just that—an exact version of the print issue,” Lavery said. “But with today’s advanced publishing software for tablet devices like the iPad, the environment is far richer and more complex. Even static print ads often require reformatting for digital publication. These production requirements can put a burden on the deadline-driven communication between client, agency, and publisher to ultimately determine the advertiser’s wishes, especially for fractional and classified buys. The new parameters simplify the process, make the advertiser’s intent clear, and streamline the audit requirements.”
Replica digital editions that meet the new ABC standards will continue to qualify as paid circulation and be credited toward rate base. Additional details are on ABC’s website.

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Not FOB; magazine series has Asian students tell about how they see themselves

In a sense, Maclean's magazine and its "Too Asian?" article of months past (see this post, too) may have done Asian students a favour by bringing attention to the issue of how immigrants fit into Canadian life.
Vancouver Observer and Schema magazine have launched a series of articles in which they ask 35 Vancouver teenagers in 12 high schools how they see and define themselves. While names have been changed, the responses are quite interesting. For instance, they found that English-speaking kids don't like ESL (English as a second language) kids because they think they are "lower".(By the way, FOB means "fresh off the boat" and Honger means an immigrant from Hong Kong, particularly one who lacks English.)


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Magazines Canada gets a shout-out with international magazine association

Magazines Canada has been profiled in the most recent quarterly issue of Magazine World from FIPP, the worldwide magazine media association, which publishes a decidedly upbeat interview with CEO Mark Jamison.
The article highlights, in addition to the MagNet conference and its recently-launched promotional magazine Canadian Magazines Canadien, the association's various programs and services on behalf of consumer and b2b titles. It reports that Magazines Canada has a strategic goal of topping 400 member titles in the next year. A digital version of Magazine World can be found here.  

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Disney to launch a line of kids' subscriptions magazines in U.S.

Disney Publishing is taking another crack at building a kids' subscription magazine publishing business in the U.S.
According to a story on the New York Times media blog, "Kids want them and moms will pay for them." Disney is set to announce plans for a cluster of magazines that will replicate the success they have had producing similar titles in Europe. Advertising in the new subscription magazines will initially promote other Disney character franchises, although other types of advertising may be accepted  later.
Phineas and Ferb, a print companion to the animated television series of the same name, will be a 52-page bimonthly available at retail outlets for $4.99 and via annual subscription for $23.95.
Disney will introduce a monthly Cars magazine in the fall. Disney also plans magazines built around Marvel movies like “Thor” and “Captain America.” [Aparna Pande, Disney’s general manager for American magazines] said that the company had high hopes for the new magazines based on demand for test issues last year. “They greatly surpassed our expectations,” she said.
In 2007, Disney shuttered its Disney Adventures digest magazine, which at the time had a circulation of 1.2 million.


Starnino leaves Maisonneuve to join Reader's Digest; Drew Nelles new EIC

Nelles and publisher Varkhonyi
The longtime editor-in-chief of Maisonneuve magazine, Carmine Starnino is stepping down. He co-founded the Montreal magazine with Derek Webster in 2002, who left to become managing editor of Reader's Digest in 2009. For the past year, Starnino has been working as a part-time editor at RD and will now be joining it full time as senior editor. Starnino will stay on the Maisonneuve board of directors and will be an editor-at-large for the magazine.
"It's heartbreaking to leave Maisonneuve. So much of my identity is bound up with this organization," Starnino said in a release. "Four times a year, bleary-eyed and over-stressed, we scrambled to produce one of the best magazines in the country. It's been exhilarating. But the opportunity to work editorially with Derek again, on the scale of a magazine like Reader's Digest, was too good to pass up."
Drew Nelles, who has been with Maisonneuve since 2009, lately as senior editor, is the new editor-in-chief. Madeline Coleman, who joins from Concordia's the Link, becomes associate editor.  Nelles was a contributor to Maisonneuve's much-missed daily briefing called MediaScout and, at one time, he too worked for Reader's Digest as associate web editor.
An award-winning poet, Carmine Starnino has written four collections of poetry. His most recent book, This Way Out (2009), was nominated for the Governor General's Award for Poetry.
Maisonneuve will continue its quarterly publishing schedule under the direction of publisher Jennifer Varkonyi, and Anna Minzhulina will stay on as art director. In 2010, Maisonneuve was nominated for ten National Magazine Awards, including Magazine of the Year.
The Spring 2011 Issue—Nelles' first as editor-in-chief—includes new writing by Sheila Heti, Pasha Malla, Naheed Mustafa, Ira Basen and rapper Cadence Weapon. "Captain Poetry,"  Starnino's essay on legendary poet bpNichol, will also appear. The issue will be on newsstands March 25.

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Sweetspot founder to launch online retail site

The woman who started is about to launch a new venture, an online retailer and shopping destination called Dealuxe. According to a story in Marketing magazine, Joanne Track has hired the Toronto media agency Blammo to create a campaign that will start April 4, preceeding Dealuxe's official lauch May 2.
A self-described “start-up junkie” who launched in 2004 (the site was subsequently acquired by Rogers Publishing), Track said she was drawn to online retail because of the dearth of Canadian players in the space.
“I love the idea of starting with a completely blank slate and figuring out what I’m going to turn it into,” she said. “There’s been a huge gap in the market for a purely Canadian online retailer, so my intention is to fill that gap and take a leading role.”
She described Dealuxe as a blend of the “flash sale” sites Gilt Group and, taking best practices from both.
The focus of the membership-based shopping site will be on women's fashion, though there is an intention to move into men's and kids' lines. It will have editorial features. Sign up for the site is free, but people who do so now get a $10 credit to their account. 
Rogers Publishing's LouLou magazine last fall struck a deal with an American online private sale shopping site Beyond the Rack. Today's Parent magazine recently launched a free mobile application called Gift Finder to allow readers to shop online for childrens' gifts. Transcontinental has a searchable online flyer site called which allows readers to research products, locate sources and print coupons and read content from such magazines as Style at Home, Canadian Living and Homemakers.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Quote, unquote: No more free lunch from the New York Times

"One way or another, news readers have to get used to paying for content that they use heavily, and they might as well start getting used to it now. After all, if the Times, which is easily the best general purpose news outlet in the country, can't convince people to pay for their stuff, then who can?"
-- Mother Jones magazine columnist Kevin Drum, commenting on the New York Times announcement of a paywall that allows 20 free items to be viewed each month but otherwise will require a digital edition subscription. 


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Transcon Media names Lavalife exec as SVP business development

Transcontinental Media has announced the appointment of a senior executive from the online dating industry to become its vice-president business development in its new media and digital solutions group. Before joining Transcon, Andrew Osmak was senior vice-president business development and new ventures for Lavalife and had been deeply involved in the growth of that company's mobile business.He had been founding co-chair of Mobile Marketing Association Canada (MMA).
"With his extensive experience in business development, Andrew will play a key role within the digital team, helping to increase the exposure of our representation house and showcase our services on the market. His entrepreneurial thinking and expertise in developing strategic partnerships are very important assets, and I am thrilled to welcome him to Transcontinental Media" said Dominique-Sébastien Forest, vice president, national digital solutions in a release.