Sunday, October 30, 2011

Professionals not replacing print with digital,
study finds

When daily there seem to be stories after stories about the switch to digital, at least some research is showing that professionals remain heavily invested in print, according to a story in Folio:.The study from Readex Research says that professionals aren't replacing one media form with another.
While 77 percent of respondents say they use search engines regularly in their work, 74 percent say they use print editions of magazines and e-newsletters. Websites were the third most used media (55 percent) with digital editions close behind (54 percent).
Other regular media usage included webinars, podcasts and video (49 percent), conferences/trade shows/industry events (43 percent) and websites of suppliers vendors (36 percent). Just 30 percent of respondents say they regularly use social media for work.

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CANTOO event nets $20,000 for NABS at Edmonton fundraiser

Magazine people and others from the media sector raised about $20,000 for the National Advertising Benevolent Society (NABS) at a fundraising event last week in Edmonton. CANTOO attracted 200 to the Art Gallery of Alberta in an event organized by a committee headed by Joyce Byrne, associate publisher of Alberta Venture magazine (and a director of Magazines Canada). The event features a screening of the Cannes Lions reel of advertising winners drawn from the annual international advertising festival.


Gaze, the Halifax-based free quarterly for LGBT community, folds

After about a year of publication, the Halifax-based queer quarterly Gaze has ceased production according to a posting by OpenFile's Bethany Horne, The last issue in print was distributed over the weekend. The reason was difficulties in selling advertising. 
The magazine was launched in July 2010 as a free, ad-supported publication that founder John Williams said was intended to be fun and informative without being preachy. He writes a farewell editorial in what is the fifth and final Fall 2011 issue:
Gaze has always been a labour of love. Never intended to be a cash cow or a permanent replacement for regular, paid employment, this undertaking was born solely from a personal desire to provide Atlantic Canada with a queer-themed publication capable of transcending the boundaries of both age and sexuality.
That it has fulfilled that mandate makes this announcement all the more difficult: this issue of Gaze will be its last.While profit was never paramount among my concerns, generating enough ad revenue to cover production costs remained crucial to the magazine’s long-term existence.
Regrettably, that goal remains unmet.The decision to cease publication was not an easy one. In fact, from an economic standpoint, it’s one that probably should have been made before now. But pulling the plug without properly signing off just didn’t seem right.
The final issue can be read in pdf here. 


Friday, October 28, 2011

Holmes magazine suspending publication in dispute between Holmes and Dauphin Media

[This post has been updated] A dispute between the Holmes Group and Dauphin Media Group, Holmes magazine (named after the popular TV contractor) has resulted in suspension of the magazine effective with its December issue. According to a Holmes group release, it was Dauphin's choice to cease in December and it seems that a new publisher is being sought. (It's not known whether the relationship with Dauphin was a partnership or a contract publishing arrangement.)
"We have requested [Dauphin Media Group] to continue publication of Holmes Magazine until May 30, 2012, in order for us to make a smooth transition to a new publisher," says Liza Drozdov, director of communications for The Holmes Group, "but, in light of a dispute between The Holmes Group and Dauphin Media Group, they have declined."
A website is being set up to keep subscribers and fans up-to-date with the status of Holmes magazine at The Holmes Group is committed to making it right for its valued subscribers, advertisers, corporate partners and fans during this transition. It is still unclear exactly how subscriptions how will be affected, but The Holmes Group will make every effort to honour the magazine's subscriptions and manage the change to a new publisher as seamlessly as possible for everyone affected by this change.
Holmes magazine was launched in November 2009, fronted by the muscular TV contractor and published by HMG in collaboration with Dauphin, which also publishes Canadian Architecture and Design. A one-year subscription cost $23.50 It was distributed in both Canada and the U.S. where it was seen on HGTV. The emphasis on the U.S. market was signalled by the opening of a New York office by Dauphin in January of this year. Dauphin also announced that it was going to launch a men's magazine called The Male Perspective.
[Update: According to a post by Masthead, the Dauphin Media Group says in a release that the Holmes Group always intended to transition the magazine to their control. Also, DMG says it plans to launch a celebrity-based shelter title sometime in the new year.]


Did the National Post plagiarize itself?

Blogger, poet, copyright maven John Degen points out on his blog that the National Post ran an editorial on October 27 that was a virtual copy of an op-ed column in the paper by one of its staff writers, Jesse Kline, from the day before.
"There are no less that 24 sentences that are wholly or partially in common between the two "original" pieces [Degen says]".
He notes the baffling irony of a mainstream paper choosing to attack "established old media players". But cutting and pasting? And about copyright? How weird and lame is that?


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Cross-border investigative journalism conference being held in Toronto Nov 5-6

The Canadian Association of Journalists Educational Foundation and the U.S.-based Investigative Reporters and Editors is co-hosting an investigative journalism conference called Crossing the 49th. It will take place in Toronto November 5 - 6  at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Leading journalists from both sides of the border will discuss issues including confidential sources, open records laws, investigative interviewing techniques and computer-assisted reporting as well as resources and tips for delving into cross-border issues such as terrorism and the environment.
Confirmed speakers include:
  • Harvey Cashore, CBC investigative unit
  • Michael Hawthorne, Chicago Tribune
  • Michelle Shephard, Toronto Star
  • Susanne Reber, National Public Radio investigative unit
  • Julian Sher, investigative book author and Globe and Mail reporter
  • Doug Haddix, Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism
  • Tom Harrington, CBC Marketplace
  • Steve Buist, Hamilton Spectator investigative reporter
  • Bert Bruser, media lawyer
  • Kevin Donovan, Toronto Star editor and investigative reporter
  • Derek Finkle, freelance journalist
  • David McKie, CBC Ottawa
  • Robert Cribb, Toronto Star investigative reporter
  • Josh Meyer, Medill National Security Journalism Initiative
  • Sharon Oosthoek, environmental journalist
  • Mark Horvit, Investigative Reporters and Editors
Fees are US$55 and US$25 for students (Ryerson students free with university ID).
The conference  is sponsored by Ryerson School of Journalism, The Toronto Star and the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

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National Magazine Awards names four new board members

The National Magazine Awards Foundation has elected four new members:
  • Gary Campbell the executive producer of, the digital portal of Toronto Life magazine. In 2010 he was nominated for two National Magazine Awards for digital design and digital magazine of the year.
  • David Hayes,a  NMA-winning freelance writer whose work has appeared in Report on Business, Toronto Life, The Walrus, Chatelaine, Saturday Night and other publications, and he also teaches advanced magazine writing at Ryerson University’s Continuing Education program.
  • Sarah Moore, managing editor at More magazine, nominated for a National Magazine award in 2009, and formerly senior editor and managing editor at Today’s Parent
  • Brian Morgan, creative director of The Walrus and formerly  editorial designer at Saturday Night and deputy art director at Maclean’s. A three-time magazine award nominee, he won gold in 2009 in the best single issue category.
Other NMAF board members are:
  • Arjun Basu, editorial director, Spafax Canada (president)
  • Douglas Thomson, editor-in-chief and brand manager, Canadian Home Workshop( vice-president)
  • Susan Zuzinjak, president, smitten creative boutique (secretary)
  • Patrick Walsh, editor-in-chief and brand manager, Outdoor Canada (past president)
  • Joyce Byrne, associate publisher, Alberta Venture and unlimited
  • Robert Goyette, vice-president and editor-in-chief, Reader’s Digest
  • Graeme Harris, principal, Strategic Profile Management
  • Angela Jones, associate publisher, Chatelaine and Châtelaine
  • Bonnie Munday, editor-in-chief, Best Health
  • Carolyn Warren, regional manager, cultural programming and new integrated content (Radio, Web, TV), CBC Montreal
  • Lisa Whittington-Hill, publisher, This Magazine
    The foundation has also introduced a new blog ( promote the success award winners, publicizing awards and opportunities for Canadian magazine content creators, and communicating news and events of the foundation and the Canadian magazine industry.


    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Corporate Knights magazine gives award for green GDP vision to former PM Paul Martin

    Corporate Knights magazine has given former prime minister Paul Martin its award of distinction "for his visionary leadership to open the way for Canada’s abundant natural capital wealth to be included in our core economic measurements." The award was to be presented at a luncheon in Toronto, with Martin introduced by former world bank president James Wolfensohn.
    "Eleven years ago, then finance minister Paul Martin commissioned the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy to develop environmental and sustainable development indicators in collaboration with Statistics Canada.," Corporate Knights said in a release
    "In his presentation to Parliament at the time, he noted that “as we move to more fully integrate economic and environmental policy, we must come to grips with the fact that the current means of measuring progress are inadequate.” He went on to say that “in the years ahead, these environmental indicators could well have a greater impact on public policy than any other single measure we might introduce.” 
    Mr. Martin’s early clarion call for natural capital wealth to be integrated into the core economic indicators used by policymakers is viewed as a fundamental precondition for sustainable development, as you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Following in Mr. Martin’s footsteps, over 20 countries including China, India, and Norway are now set down a path to integrating natural capital wealth into their gross domestic products."

    Homemakers magazine being closed by owner Transcon after 45 years

    November issue
    After 45 years of publication, Homemakers magazine is being closed by its owners, Transcontinental Media. The 2011 holiday issue of the magazine will be its last. The magazine has had Jess Ross, formerly executive editor, as acting editor since the previous editor, Kathy Ullyott was let go in August. The French-language counterpart Madame magazine was closed in February.
    According to the most recent (Fall 2011) PMB data, the magazine has over 1.4 million readers per issue as it comes to an end. There was no word on what would be happening to the staff of the magazine (we'd be glad to hear; click on comment, below).
    The company said in a release that the profile of the Homemakers readership, was very similar to other women's magazines that it produces, including Canadian Living, ELLE Canada, Style at Home, More and Canadian Gardening. The magazine in recent years followed an "eat well/live well" positioning to distinguish it from Canadian Living.
    "While this positioning has resonated well with readers, market conditions have made it increasingly challenging to maintain the current business model", explained Pierre Marcoux, senior vice president, business and consumer solutions group at Transcontinental Media. "After studying several scenarios, we have decided to focus our efforts on developing our core multiplatform brands while pursuing new, innovative publishing initiatives.”
    Lynn Chambers, group publisher, said “It has been a tremendous privilege to work with the Homemakers team and I share with them a sense of pride that the quality of content in Homemakers has never been higher than it is today. Given the market changes, we have made the very difficult decision to stop publishing Homemakers and we would like to take this opportunity to thank our very loyal readers and advertisers over the years."
    Homemakers began its life as Homemaker's Digest, published by Comac Communications Limited starting in 1966. At first, it was given away in stores, but later it became a controlled circulation powerhouse with as many as 1.2 million copies going into households with women with children under 18 living at home. Under the editorship of Jane Gale Hughes, the magazine became well-known for its relatively hard-hitting editorial, focussing on food, some fashion and lifestyle but also on national issues (and later, international issues under the editorship of Sally Armstrong). Under Hughes's editorship, for instance, the magazine created a successful national campaign to promote daylight use of headlights on cars for safety.
    A group of young advertising executives split off from the company and went head-to-head with Homemaker's by creating a digest publication called Recipes Only for several years, before the two were re-merged under the ownership of Telemedia; in turn, Telemedia was purchased by Transcontinental Inc. which explains why there were overlapping mandates between titles such as Homemakers (which lost its apostrophe a few years ago) and Canadian Living. Transcontinental converted Homemakers into wholly paid, with a circulation most recently of 287,000 and also redesigned it in a super-digest format.


    "Sorry to bother you about money": Taddle Creek sends up circ

    The always-cheeky twice-annual Taddle Creek continues to poke fun at the audience-building conventions of the mainstream magazine world by reproducing its direct mail package on its website, complete with the outer envelope, a hilarious cover letter, a flyer and order form. All are intended to lampoon the various devices and language that circulators use to lure in readers.  
    Keeping the joke alive is, not coincidentally, in service to a special offer that ends November 6 of $15 for two years.
    "Odds are you’ve heard all kinds of good stuff about Taddle Creek’s recent junk-mail subscription campaign. If you used it to subscribe—thanks, and enjoy! If you tore it up into little pieces and sent it back, well, you weren’t the only one.
    "But if you weren’t lucky enough to have one of the other magazines you subscribe to sell Taddle Creek your address, fear not! Now you can view the magazine’s junk mail on-line, including envelope, letter, and flyer." Even better, you can take advantage of the special subscription offer without all the annoying paperwork.
    A mere $15 gets you two years of Taddle Creek (four issues!), and you can pay with your Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, or via PayPal. You’re welcome."
    The text of the cover letter is a classic. And this is probably the only magazine in the world which would include a grammatical mea culpa in its direct mail for using the phrase "most unique" in a previous mailing.

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    Transcon sells its editorial so readers can be reminded that crackers go with soup

    Canada's largest publisher of consumer magazines, Transcontinental Media, has apparently decided that editorial integrity is an optional extra. It says it is pleased and proud to have played a part in publishing an ad which is made to look exactly like part of an editorial spread. The ad for Premium Plus crackers is incorporated into an editorial food spread about soup shared across nearly one million copies of Canadian Living, Style at Home, Canadian Gardening, Coup de Pouce and Decormag, according to a story in Marketing magazine.  A sticker of soda crackers is strategically floated on top of the soup in a pot so that, when peeled off, it directs the reader to a site called where there are additional recipes and product information.The ad/photo is made to appear as an integral part of the spread.
    The ad was developed in collaboration with agency MediaVest Canada on behalf of client Kraft Canada and Transcon makes no secret of its role in skipping over the once-clear line between ads and edit.  The ad contravenes both the letter and the spirit of the Canadian magazine industry advertising-editorial guidelines (whichTranscon played a part in developing.)
    “It acts as a point of interruption and leverages editorial content to pique curiosity and inherently link soup and our crackers,” said Melissa Grant, senior brand manager for Premium Plus crackers [in the Marketing story]. “By using a captive audience of readers already looking at soup recipes, it acts as a reminder to use Premium Plus with soup and increases awareness of other Premium Plus varieties.”
    According to a Transcontinental representative, the idea arose from planning sessions between the company’s national account manager, Monique Hourd, and a MediaVest Canada representative.
    “We are always open to exploring creative uses for print that will capture the reader’s attention and add value to their experience,” said Janice Davidson Pressick, senior specialist, marketing and communications, for Transcontinental Media in Toronto. Asked about the apparent melding of advertising with editorial content, Pressick said: “It marries nicely with the editorial and is not much different than running a bind-in insert over the editorial magazine page or a pop-up blocker over an article online.”
    “We are so pleased to be working with an open-minded agency like MediaVest, which appreciates the importance of providing unique campaigns that are so well suited to our editorial,” said Lynn Chambers, group publisher with Transcontinental.
    Advertising Age in the U.S. a while ago wrote that the demarcation between advertising and editorial was increasingly being worn down to a mere warning track. Uh-huh.

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    Scottish publisher says it's time for a drink magazine called Hot Rum Cow

    My latest magazine crush is for a new Scottish newsstand magazine hilariously called Hot Rum Cow, published in Edinburgh by White Light Media, which has heretofore been mostly a contract publisher. 
    “There are lots of magazines about food, and some of them are very good,” said publisher Fraser Allen [quoted in a story in Press Gazette.]. "There are fewer magazines about drinks, and none of them are like Hot Rum Cow.
    “We believe this is a niche that is crying out for a cleverly written, beautifully designed magazine and we're having a great time bringing it to life.”
    The 100-page quarterly will be distributed on UK newsstands starting in the new year and subscriptions will be available online.
    You can see a 16-page sample issue here. If the whole magazine is like this, it should be a hoot. Hope it makes the transAtlantic crossing.


    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Quote, unquote: Nothing is still nothing

    "If I work for someone who has the means to pay me significantly more than they are, I’m being exploited. That’s it."
    -- David Topping, former editor-in-chief of Torontoist, wades into the freelance fees debate and the paid/unpaid internship discussion in a provocative essay written originally for the Toronto Freelance Editors and Writers listserv but recently published on his own blog, The Dave Topping Show. 


    Pretty scary, eh kids?

    Seizing the season, Geist magazine is offering a nifty online Hallowe'en promotion by which people who buy a sub get a copy of the Geist Atlas of Canada with the Spooky Map of Canada included showing all sorts of scary places such as Lac Fear or Terror Island. One of the reasons Geist prospers is that it never misses a trick. The deal, which ends at midnight on All Hallows Eve (Oct 31) is $29.99 for six issues, with the atlas free.


    Christian businessmen launch magazine in Halifax

    A group of Christian businessmen have launched a business magazine in Halifax. Integrity Magazine, "serves to inspire all of us in the workplace to promote a higher standard of conduct in the way we live out our spirituality every day,” says a release
    The multi-denominational team putting it out say that Integrity, available in both print and electronic form and with a circulation of 10,000 copies, is intended to stand up for Biblical principles in the workplace. The first edition is available online and the next issue is scheduled for sometime during the winter.


    Canada Post backs down on restrictions on half-wrap magazine covers.

    Canada Post, faced with bewildered and annoyed responses from magazine publishers, has backed off its intention to start restricting partial covers starting in January. The restriction would have allowed a half-wrap on the front only if the back wrap was a full page. Many magazines use half wraps front and back, the front to promote the issue, the back to, for instance, notify readers that their subscription is about to run out. The half-wrap at the back leaves the OBC ad showing.
    It was said it was a "health and safety issue", though no one was able to say exactly how or why. Part of the bewilderment in the industry came from the post office calling the wraps "gatefolds".
    Anick Losier, Canada Post spokesperson, said in an email to Masthead Tuesday, "Given the recent feedback and impact on our customers, we've decided not to introduce the proposed changes to 'gatefolds' in January 2012. In fact, we're reassessing and putting the project on hold indefinitely."


    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    Sparksheet and Torontoist win big in online publishing awards

    The Walrus and University Affairs magazines and the Globe and Mail won gold awards in for best websites by publications with print companion brands at last night's announcements of the 3rd annual Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The Walrus won in the red division (consumer) and UA in the blue division (business-to-business). The Globe won in the green division, for newspapers and broadcasters.
    Multiple winners on the night were Sparksheet, which took home 7 gold medals in the business-to-business category and Torontoist, which took home 3 gold in the consumer category.
    The best online-only websites were Torontoist (red), IT Business (blue) and Best web design went to Toronto Standard (red), Sparksheet (blue) and (green). Best digital edition (or digital replica edition) in all divisions went to CIO Canada. Sparksheet was a gold winner from all divisions for best mobile-optimized site. 
    COPA is presented by Masthead magazine and the awards capped off a day-long conference at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto.
    A full list of gold and silver winners and finalists.

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    Monday, October 24, 2011

    The Atlantic reports ad sales up in digital and...yes, print, too

    The search for the "hybrid" model of print and online has been elusive for some, but The Atlantic magazine seems to have found the sweet spot. It is reporting that advertising revenues in both digital and print were up in the third quarter, with overall ad revenues up 19%. Digital was up 41% and print up 3%.
    Jay Lauf, VP and publisher of The Atlantic, said the publication is finally starting to see significant revenue from mobile advertising as well. Ads for its iPhone and iPad apps accounted for 2% of overall digital ad revenue in the third quarter, a figure Lauf expects to increase in 2012.
    Unique visitor traffic on its three web-based properties,, and the recently launched is up to 10 million per month, more than double the number of visitors it was bringing in on average a year ago.
    Of course it helps to produce a great magazine and excellent online content. 

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    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Celebration of life of editor and teacher Charles Oberdorf to be held October 25

    [Note: correction of day error.]Many of his friends and colleagues will want to attend the celebration of the life of Charles Oberdorf, who died last month. The event will be held WednesdayTuesday, October 25 at Glebe Road United Church, 20 Glebe Road East in Toronto at 3 p.m., followed by a reception at Grano restaurant. 


    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    OOPs...The Economist (finally) realizes it was giving free digital subscriptions

    The Economist magazine has been serving some people a digital subscription to its magazine for free, sometimes for as long as five years. According to a story in paidContent, the magazine will revoke those premium digital subs next week and insist that people pay for them.
    “There was an error in our database which resulted in a number of people being assigned full subscription rights by mistake,” [said] Economist digital editions publisher Oscar Grut. A digital-only, multi-device sub is worth US$110 a year.

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    Canzine 2011 features record number of zinesters and, maybe, 100 monkeys

    Canzine, the annual fair for homemade near-mags organized by Broken Pencil magazine, is on Sunday at the 918 Bathurst Centre in Toronto (a new location) from 1 - 7 p.m. Entry is $5, which includes a copy of the magazine.
    According to a story in Torontoist, the fair has an all-time high of 193 vendors displaying and selling everything from comics and chapbooks to craft items. Not only does it feature publications such as Static Zine -- launching its second issue -- but it has a series of interactive events. These include a Punch Book Pitch, in which hopefuls have two minutes to pitch their book idea to a panel of industry insiders and a Piracy Zine challenge, in which three zinesters compete to create a winning zine based on a famous movie. There is also a mini food fair.
    "Participants can glean further inspiration from Canzine’s two art rooms," the article says. "The first, Trash Palace, will feature old classroom videos (on such essentials as good manners), and the second will be a “typewriter orchestra room”—an installation that we, at least, hope will feature 100 monkeys attempting to reproduce Shakespeare’s genius."


    Publishers surprised about Canada Post restrictions on half-wrap covers

    Canada Post -- citing "health and safety" concerns -- will be limiting half-wrap covers on magazines. They will only be allowed on the front (see a typical newsstand copy of The Walrus) if the back cover is a full page size. Until now, magazines have been able to have half-wraps or half-overcovers front and back. It's not clear what the safety issue might be (paper cuts?).
    Although it was announced last summer amidst a flurry of other changes, the decision by Canada Post to restrict the use of cover wraps on magazines has caught some publishers by surprise. Perhaps part of the surprise springs from the misnomer "gatefold" that Canada Post used to describe the cover wraps. In industry parlance, a gatefold more usually a double width cover that folds inside the front of the magazine.
    A story on PrintCAN, the website of Graphic Monthly Canada says the restrictions come into effect in January. Another proposed change that was announced in the summer involved changed specifications to business reply cards but, after a flurry of protest and complaints from direct mailers and publishers, Canada Post deferred the implementation (originally to start in January) until next July, to allow for consultations.


    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    Magazine world view: Bye, bye agencies?; CDO needed; greedy journalists; BBC magazines deal cleared

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Fortune says every issue will be a special
    next year

    Fortune magazine, which last year reduced its frequency from 25 issues to 18 (while beefing the issues up),  is going to have themed features in every one of those issues next year, according to a story in Adweek. Fortune is best known for things like its Fortune 500 and is looking to grow outside of its traditional print business.
    “The big franchise issues score the highest when it comes to reader opinion,” said Jed Hartman, publisher of Fortune. “They also perform great for advertisers, and they also have that third ingredient: They’re picked up by the press or they’re influential in the community.”
    Among the new special features (which fortune calls "franchises") will be“The Shape of the Future” that will name the people, companies, and ideas that will most influence the world in the years ahead. “How It Works” will explore the secret sauce of products and concepts. There also will be “Best Advice I Ever Got” and “Venture Special,” a look at small businesses. 
    In addition to being adaptable to other platforms and providing a focus for advertisers, such special sections finance more space for long-form journalism, according to Andy Serwer, the managing editor of Fortune “That means they’re fat issues, and then we can do all this other stuff,” he said.


    Monday, October 17, 2011

    Earl McRae's writing is his monument

    The sudden death this weekend of Earl McRae, an award-winning columnist and author, gives us the opportunity to recall his contribution to Canadian magazine journalism -- namely his superlative profiles, mostly published in the weekend supplement The Canadian. He died of a massive heart attack in the newsroom of the Ottawa Sun, where he had lately been a columnist. He was 69.
    Roy McGregor, the columnist and author, who worked with McRae at The Canadian starting in 1975, is quoted in a Star article as saying that McRae was the funniest person you'd ever meet. I can attest to this from my experience at the Toronto Star. Nothing he liked better than holding a whole table, or a newsroom, in thrall with a complicated, hilarious story, replete with physical impersonations. He described himself as "a lippy little shin-kicker".
    McRae was nominated nine times for National Magazine Awards for sportswriting and won two gold medals for articles in The Canadian. He wrote two books based on his magazine profiles: A Requiem for Reggie; and The Victors and the Vanquished. The 1975 profile of Reggie Fleming in The Canadian was described by Stan Fischler, the dean of hockey writers, as "the best hockey story ever written." It's particularly apt in light of current controversy over fighting in the NHL. The article was reprinted by the Ottawa Sun at the time of Fleming's death in 2009 and it's well worth rereading, both as an example of what magazine profiles can be and as a recollection of what we've lost with McRae's death. 
    [Photo (2006): Pat McGrath, Ottawa Citizen]


    Saturday, October 15, 2011

    Torstar affirms faith in print with takeover of full control of Metro newspaper chain

    Torstar Corp., the parent company of the Toronto Star, has purchased virtually full control of Metro, the free weekday newspaper distributed in cities across Canada. Torstar announced the terms of the deal after markets closed Friday. It paid its partner Metro International SA of Sweden $51.5 million for 80% of its 50% share in the Free Daily News Group; Torstar now owns 90% of the business.
    The Free Daily News Group publishes Metro in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and London, Ont. It also publishes in Halifax in a joint venture with Transcontinental Media G.P. The combined daily readership of the chain is more than 1 million.
    “We see this as a terrific opportunity to continue to build this growing, national franchise,” said Torstar president and CEO David Holland in an interview with the Star. “For the past decade, it's been a strong medium, attractive to both readers and advertisers. We think that will continue.”
    He said the acquisition complements the rest of Torstar's media assets including Star Media Group, Metroland and other digital properties.
    Lorenzo DeMarchi, Torstar's chief financial officer, said readership and advertising have increased steadily at Metro papers, and at $51.5 million, is a good investment.
    “It's a reasonable price. It reflects the growth trajectory that the business has been on,” DeMarchi said. “Metro is a print medium that has shown strong growth. We continue to believe in print and Metro's a great example of that.”
    Most recent NADbank figures for fall 2010 and spring 2011, the "read yesterday" readership among adults in the Greater Toronto area was 966,000 for the Toronto Star and 495,000 for the Toronto edition of Metro.

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    Friday, October 14, 2011

    Quote, unquote: Demands follow conversation:Adbusters founder

    "This has launched a national conversation that is bigger than anything in the last 20 years. It is totally magical. And after the dust settles there will be crystal clear demands that emerge out of the movement."
    -- Adbusters founder Kalle Lasn, responding in an interview with the Montreal Gazette to the criticism that the Occupy Wall Street movement didn't have a simple, clear goal.The genesis of OWS is credited to a call put out by the Vancouver-based magazine.


    Answer, educate, inspire: how readers searches work

    With magazine engagement with their audiences increasingly dependent on canny use of the web, it may pay off to give some attention to research about how readers search for what they want. A proprietary study conducted by (part of the New York Times) in collaboration with Latitude, looked at how users exhibit three distinct search behaviours.Though the research is pitched to advertisers and marketers, it may be particularly interesting to editors to see which topic areas align with which search mode:
    • Answer Me (46% of all searches): People in an Answer Me search want exactly what they ask for, and no more, delivered in a way that allows them to get to it as directly as possible. The top categories in Answer Me search are Entertainment, Fashion and Beauty & Style.
    • Educate Me (26% of all searches): People in an Educate Me search want 360 degrees of understanding, and multiple perspectives on critical topics. They will search until their goal is achieved, which may stretch over long periods of time and through related topics. The top categories in Educate Me search are Health and Finance.
    • Inspire Me (28% of all searches): The fun, “browsy” type of search, where people are looking for surprises, have open minds and want to be led. The top categories in Inspire Me search are Travel and Home & Garden.

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    Thursday, October 13, 2011

    Some U.S. publishers leap on Apple's new iOS newsstand feature

    "It's kind of like having the paper delivered to your front door. Only better."
    -- from the Apple website, referring to a feature in its new iOS --  a virtual newsstand which lets readers access magazines and newspapers quickly on iPods and iPads and alerts them automatically when a new issue is available.
    According to a story on Folio:
    When viewing the Newsstand in iTunes, some featured titles include Wired, The New York Times, National Geographic Magazine, The Daily and Reader's Digest. Bonnier, always an early adopter with almost everything app-related, says Popular Science, Popular Photography and Sound + Vision are available on the iOS 5 newsstand as well.

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    St. Joseph sells Alaska & Yukon edition of Where to U.S. franchise-holder

    St. Joseph Communications has sold its Where Alaska & Yukon title to Georgia-based publisher and franchise-owner Morris Visitor Publications, LLC
    The acquisition adds the visitor title to MVP's roster of Alaska-based publications, including Alaska Magazine, The Milepost, the Alaska Journal of Commerce, The Chugiak/Eagle River Alaska Star, the Alaska Equipment Trader and Destination Alaska.
    MVP owns the Where brand worldwide except in Canada [see comment]. St. Joe's owns the Canadian brand and continues to publish 11 Canadian regional editions with a total readership of 9 million in Calgary, the Canadian Rockies, Edmonton, Halifax, Muskoka, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler and Winnipeg. St. Joseph also operates, a travel website. Effectively, the sale divests the only part of the Where Canada portfolio outside of Canada.
    MVP has a broadly based portfolio of travel and visitor-related publications throughout the U.S. and in New York, London and Paris.


    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    More than 200 Canadian magazines collaborate in "Buy 2, Get 1 Free"promotion

    If ever there was a collaborative idea whose growth was deserved, it is the annual subscription marketing campaign of Magazines Canada -- known popularly by its tagline as "Buy 2, Get 1 Free".
    The initiative is supported by government grants (Canadian Heritage and Ontario Media Development Corporation) and private sector sponsors with a stake in the health of Canadian magazine publishing (Quad/Graphics, Canada Post, Consumer Intelligence Group and CDS Global).
    This year there are 209 magazines on offer through the end of February 2012 and more and more of them are available in both print and digital format. The idea was first launched in 2003 and in 2007 sold about 10,000 subs. In 2009 it sold 14,600 and last year, even in the teeth of the recession, sold more than 13,000. Ninety-seven per cent of respondents consistently take advantage of the 3-for-2 deal.
    "This is a unique and important campaign," says Darlene Storey, vice president of consumer marketing at St. Joseph's Media. "It brings together magazines of all sizes from across the country, in a way that allows them to support each other and gain greater national exposure. This means more access and more selection for Canadian consumers."
    Entirely aside from the salutary effect of working together to get Canadian magazines into Canadian readers' hands, the promotional program is simply a great deal.
    [Disclosure: Magazines Canada and CDS Global advertise on this site.]

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    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    Expat Canadian Tyler Brûlé named editor of the year by Ad Age

    Wallpaper and Monocle magazine founder Tyler Brûlé has been named editor of the year by Ad Agemagazine. The magazine said "it comes as no surprise that he remains perhaps the most devoted and adventurous advocate of 'magazine-ness' working today." 
    Brûlé moved to Britain in 1989 and launched Wallpaper in 1996 and Monocle in 2007. He is lauded for his insistence on creating substantial, luxurious and high-end publications in an era when most editors are cheese-paring budgets by downgrading paper quality or trim size.
    The budget's always been tight at global-affairs monthly Monocle -- launched in 2007, it's still in startup mode -- but for founder and editor in chief Tyler Brûlé, the primacy of the physical product is inviolable. With its glossy heft, sections on all manner of different paper stock, and exquisite printing, Monocle is a media product for the luxury market -- the global jetset -- that actually feels luxurious.
    "When the little van comes with the first-bound editions," says Mr. Brûlé, speaking from Monocle headquarters in London, "it's like Christmas. That fresh smell of the glue, the feel of the paper under your fingertips, the click of the pages and the crackling of the spine -- it is touching every single sense."

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    Quote, unquote: Getting Toronto's groove back

    "Toronto has many admirable qualities, as John Lorinc acknowledges in the introduction to his article “How Toronto Lost Its Groove.” No city in the world has as successfully absorbed so many nationalities and religions. And it continues to be one of the safest big cities on the planet. But it is no longer the city Robert Fulford celebrated in his 1997 book, Accidental City, which argued that without meaning to Toronto had evolved into one of North America’s most livable urban environments. The intervening years have not been kind to Canada’s largest municipality, which now finds itself cash strapped, poorly governed, seriously congested, economically polarized, and generally falling apart. Toronto is a mess, but this is no accident. The city finds itself in this fix due to a litany of bad decisions by politicians, planners, and voters."
    -- John Macfarlane, editor of The Walrus, in his November 2011 editor's note


    Staff-written magazine archives can be repackaged and re-sold as "collections"

    A new revenue opportunity may be open to magazines which can repackage their archival material into iPad-only collections, according to a story about The New Yorker, published by Reuters. At the Ballpark, a collection of staff-written baseball writing from 1929 to 2011, features John Updike, David Grann and the inimitable Roger Angell. The revenue came from sponsorship by United Airlines. There was also sponsored golf and "sustainability" collections.
    "Nearly all of these pieces are timeless, just waiting to be rediscovered," writes Felix Salmon. "And the New Yorker’s archives are so deep, and are of such high quality, that there’s really no limit to how many of these things it can produce. Each one is very cheap to put out — just cobble together a bunch of articles under a theme, and get a TNY writer to pen a short introduction. Meanwhile, the advertisers get to align themselves with popular or trendy subjects (golf, “sustainability”), and reach an audience which is affluent even by New Yorker standards."
    One of the things that Salmon doesn't address is non-staff written content. Today, magazine publishers strong-arm freelance writers to obtain "all rights" (usually for the same price as one-time rights); but previous to that, most archives of most magazines consist of material that was bought on a first rights basis and reverted to the writers afterwards. For magazines in that position, there is a lot of paperwork (and expense) getting the rights to package such archival material.

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    The four worst things a writer can hear

    Freelance writer David Hayes, wrote an entry in the Toronto Freelance Editors and Writers listserv called  Four Worst Things a Writer Can Hear. Here they are, slightly edited:
    • PAY ON PUBLICATION: Articles get bumped to future issues for all kinds of reasons (the mix worked better by moving your piece to a future issue; fewer ads than expected shrunk space in the issue your piece was scheduled) that have nothing to do with the quality of the writer’s work. Yet the writer is kept waiting. And try telling the bank (mortgage or personal loan), landlord or credit card company that your payment has been delayed so you’ll be paying your bill later. 
    • EXPOSURE: As in, “We don’t pay, but we can provide you with valuable exposure.” Here’s a simple test: who wrote the cover stories in last month’s Reader’s Digest, The Walrus, Toronto Life & Maclean’s? Can you come up with more than one name? And we’re in the business. 
    • ON SPEC: If you’ve written a detailed, well-researched & well-written query, why isn’t that more than enough evidence that you can write the story?
    • ALL RIGHTS: (Or some variation on this wording.) On its web site, the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) is succinct on the subject: “If publishers want additional rights beyond first print rights -- exclusive or non-exclusive -- they should pay for them. If publishers want "all rights," they should pay a substantial premium or be willing to share with the author any additional income they get from sublicensing.” That’s the position held by PWAC, the CFU, Derek Finkle’s Canadian Writers Group & smart writers everywhere. That’s not the position held by most media organizations, large & small. It’s probably the main ongoing source of stress for us all.  
    One other member of the list added the phrase "It's good, but..."

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    Quote, unquote: How cover dreams
    come true

    “I have been after Gwen Stefani for a Fashion cover ever since I arrived at this magazine more than two years ago. I think Gwen is a perfect Fashion cover girl – a glamourous mom, talented performer and fashion devotee.My dream finally came true last spring when our beauty editor Sarah Daniel flew to Cannes to interview Gwen during the Cannes Film Festival.”
    -- Bernadette Morra, editor-in-chief of Fashion magazine


    Thursday, October 06, 2011

    Mobile opportunities are huge but publishers have to make the most of them, MPA says

    A white paper from the Association of Magazine Media (MPA, formerly the Magazine Publishers of America) says that tablets, e-readers and smartphones have created a whole new world of opportunities for publishers and advertisers, if they can just stay flexible and figure out how to take advantage of the opportunity.
    Personal Mobile Devices: Tablets, E-Readers and Smartphones (Implications for Publishers and Advertisers) notes that the transformative environment began with the 2007 introduction of the iPhone and there is no letup in sight.
    The paper (which is downloadable as a pdf) says not every platform makes sense for all forms of content, but notes that the new, mobile landscape requires publishers to understand not only the features and capabilities of various devices, but the ways in which readers use them. That means understanding that consumer can interract with each other over such devices, can interract directly with the content creator (publisher or advertiser) or can interact with the content directly. 
    Smart publishers will want to be offering content on each of the major operating systems concurrently.
    They need to be aware that each new OS requires a separate product development investment.


    Spafax's Sparksheet to launch new online magazine for digital marketer Dx3 Canada

    A new online magazine called the Dx3 Digest is being launched at the end of October by Sparksheet on behalf of Dx3 Canada, a digital marketing trade show. Sparksheet is an online magazine and content provider that is part of Spafax, (the company that contract publishes enRoute magazine on behalf of Air Canada.) (No word on the new magazine's frequency or the expected size of its audience.)
    The new magazine is intended to engage with the digital community across the country, Sparksheet says in a release
    "Organizational change begins when people read, watch, and listen to content that informs and inspires," says Dx3 Chief Content Curator, Ron Tite. "I'm pumped that Sparksheet will help Dx3 create content that complements the live aspect of the trade show. They're smart and credible and the perfect partner."
    Sparksheet will be creating and curating original think pieces and in-depth Q&As with Dx3 speakers, partners and industry thought leaders. Hosted on a specially-designed micro-magazine website, this actionable content will help Canada's digital leaders make sense of the ongoing media revolution and what it means for their business.


    Wednesday, October 05, 2011

    Putting the special in special interest publications

    Special interest publications -- spinoffs from a core magazine -- are definitely a growth area for traditional publishers, according to Maryam Sanati, editorial director for special projects,   responsible for the production of SIPs at Toronto Life. She told an audience of Toronto-based editors on Wednesday that one of her goals is to "surrender to the consumer" and, meeting their needs, have the newsstand-only products leap off the racks. Among the SIPs her division produces are a Real Estate annual, the Stylebook and Toronto Weddings. She had a number of tips for her fellow editors attending the seminar presented by the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME).:
    • Build on your publication's core competencies -- in Toronto Life's case, food and dining, real estate, style
    • Be as specific as possible
    • Plan ahead and organize seasonally
    • Be nimble and seize opportunities
    • Repurpose what you can from the main book, but fund what you can't to give readers the best experience
    • Very specific, very vertical = very successful
    "We used to do 'the most', but now we do 'the best''" she said. Toronto Life used to rely heavily on listings and directory information that's now most likely to be delivered online. But since joining this spring, she's been imposing a longer-term plan and scheduling. "This is definitely a growth area for the company."
    Ryan Kennedy, an associate senior editor for The Hockey News said that the most important thing about their program of SIPs is to get the opportunity to explore a tangential topic with greater appeal to casual fans and the newsstand -- things such as their "Greatest masks of all time" or a commemorative issue on the Olympics. Where a typical biweekly issue of THN might be 64 pages, an SIP might be very topical but with a longer shelf life, sell for a bigger price and be up to 200 pages with better quality stock and binding. "It's a treat for the readers," he said. Sell-through is strong, too, with a "Top 100" issue selling 55% of the draw.
    Unlike Toronto Life, which operates as an autonomous division,  the SIPs at THN are done as extensions of work of the regular staff.
    A good example of a departure from the regular editorial is an SIP called Fully Loaded, essentially a gear and lifestyle title aimed at consumers strictly on the newsstand. It also allows the sale of advertising to a wider range of clients. It has been so successful that it is now being produced four times a year. Unquestionably sexier than THN, with features on cheerleaders and players' expensive cars, it is aimed squarely at a young male audience; Kennedy said it was sort of a "Maxim for hockey".
    He said a key to their success is that they are the "experts of our brand". "When it comes to SIPs, that's when we can spread our wings."


    Tuesday, October 04, 2011

    David Hamilton to join Toronto Life as publisher

    Word is that David Hamilton, the former longtime publisher of Flare magazine and more recently publisher of Hello! Canada (2007-10), is to be the new publisher of Toronto Life. He's been working as a consultant to Rogers at Hello! since January while being co-general director of Opera Canada.
    Hamilton is stepping into the pivotal job at St. Joseph Media that was vacated in March by Sharon McAuley.
    More to follow.


    The power of magazine brands applied to restaurants and clubs by Condé Nast

    Vogue Cafe, Moscow
    A while ago we reported on the rollout of the eponymous restaurant and general store in Truro, Nova Scotia by Saltscapes magazine. 
    The idea is similar, only the scale is different as this restaurant thing is catching on worldwide. Condé Nast, the publisher of Vogue and GQ, opened a branded cafe, bar and gentlemen's club in Moscow last year and is planning to put  Vogue Cafés in Kiev and Istanbul soon. According to a recent story in Media Week,
    Stuart Nielsen, director of restaurants for Condé Nast International, said: "Turkey and the Ukraine are both exciting emerging markets with a strong appetite for luxury brands in retail and hospitality. Vogue Café and GQ Bar address this powerful consumer desire."
    Condé Nast is working in partnership with the Otrada Luxury Group in the Ukraine, and the Dogus Group in Turkey, to launch the outlets.
    Nielsen said more openings would be announced in the coming months, including in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
    Condé Nast is also planning to launch a line of Vogue-branded fashion courses in London.


    Magazine world view:Funnest mag; more starts than stops; Future looks ahead; Hearst (surprise) makes money

    Is the wired generation actually a re-wired generation?

    A study commissioned by Time Inc.and previewed Monday at a New York conference appears to show that millenials, the people who grew up after the explosion of digital media, have become wired differently because of this changed environment. According to a story in MediaDailyNews, young people had biometric sensors attached that tracked their heart rates, breathing, sweating and even how and what they are looking at. It was followed up by interviews.
    Final data from the study, dubbed "A (Biometric) Day In The Life," will not be released until early 2012, but a glimpse of preliminary findings from two respondents - Rachel, a 23-year-old "digital native," and Dan, a 47-year-old "digital immigrant" - suggests it will reveal profound differences in the way generations process media. Rachel, who cannot live without her smartphone, incessantly multitasks media options, and could care less about television, averaged more emotional engagement, but fewer "peaks" and "valleys" of intensity compared with Dan, a "digital immigrant" who could care less about his smartphone, loves TV, and didn't exhibit one instance of media multitasking in the day he was observed consuming media.
    "We like Dan," quipped Betsy Frank, Chief Research and Insights Officer of Time Inc., while presenting the preliminary findings with Dr. Carl Marci, CEO and Chief Science Officer of Boston-based Innerscope Research, which is conducting the study.
    Frank said that the results are critical to publishers migrating their content from traditional platforms such as print to digital. The company has created a panel of tablet users to conduct studies about the differences between their use of print and digital media.

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    Monday, October 03, 2011

    The rich are not like you and me; they have bigger boats & a "superyacht" magazine

    Owners and prospective owners of "superyachts" (no small yachts need apply) will be interested, we're sure, in the launching of a new publication called 360º Magazine.
    It's about global business, wealth management trends and luxury lifestyle and it's aimed at 10,000 "ultra high net worth individuals collectively worth more than £300bn".
    Yachting Partners International (YPI), one of the world’s leading superyacht brokerage houses, used London-based Progressive Customer Publishing (PCP) to launch it (this is the same company which owns UK Press Gazette.)
    It was launched at the 21st Monaco Yacht Show and 60% of the copies will be distributed in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, with 20 per cent going to the US, twice a year. It will have no advertising; the premier issue is sole-sponsored by Merrill Lynch's wealth management division and the sponsor's logo is on the cover. So, more of a sophisticated brochure than a periodical.