Thursday, February 28, 2013

Quote, unquote: On how 10 years of experience has changed Vice

 “I think traditionally we have been associated with staying up late and making a lot of noise. Maybe we've grown up, or maybe the world’s changed to such a degree that we can’t ignore it.But the things that get our attention now are more serious than just sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.”
-- Vice magzine's UK editor-in-chief Alex Miller talks to Press Gazette about how much the title had evolved in the 10 years of its existence.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Public to pick the (British) cover of the century

April 2005
The Professional Publishers Association (PPA)  (the British trade association equivalent to Magazines Canada)  is celebrating its centenary by choosing what it says are the 10 best magazine covers of the last 100 years then asking the public to vote on the one they'd like to win. The winner will be named November 21, 100 years since the day the PPA was created in 1913. 

Of course they are all British covers, in much the same way cover competitions in the U.S. only have American ones. But go to the PPA website and vote for your favourite anyway

Magazine world view: Girl Scout maggies; NUJ settles; Bloomberg redesigns; So sorry (not); Prevention rolls out new website

Canadian Cover Awards winners announced

August 2012
The new Canadian Cover Awards were presented last night in Toronto -- successor to the Canadian Newsstand Awards. The new competition, co-presented by the Circulation Management Association of Canada (CMC) and Magazines Canada, differs in several respects from its predecessor, including being agnostic about circulation size.  

The new awards are strictly based in seven categories on success of covers in Canadian single copy sales (50% of score based on sales, 50% on jury selection for cover excellence). Previously, small circ titles such as This Magazine were repeat winners among entries under 10,000. This year the smallest circulation winner was Sky News (25,000).

Winners were: 
  • Fashion, Shopping and Bridal: Elle Québec, August 2012
  • General Interest, Arts, Lifestyle & Regional: Legion Magazine, January/February 2012
  • Home & Decor: Style at Home, September 2011
  • News, Business & Celebrity: Canadian Business, February 2012
  • SIPs and New Magazines: Maclean's, Royal Wedding special issue
  • Sports and Leisure: SkyNews, May/June 2012
  • Women's Service: Chatelaine, February 2012
  • Newsstand Marketer of the Year: Greg Keilty, SkyNews
For details of the editorial and circulation teams behind the winners, see this release from Magazines Canada.

Related posts:

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Quote, unquote: The end of an error

"Internally, we've been referring to the paywall dropping as 'the end of an error'. It was an interesting experiment that didn't work. We look forward to welcoming back longtime Variety readers when the paywall drops March 1st."
-- Variety's owner, Jay Penske commenting on various changes: dropping online paywall; killing the daily paper; relaunching a redesigned weekly paper. Plus appointing three editors-in-chief


Dogs in Canada to publish again, in partnership with Globe and Mail

Bounding back?
Dogs in Canada magazine and its Dogs Annual are being resurrected by a partnership between its owner, The Canadian Kennel Club, and The Globe and Mail. The newspaper company's contract publishing division won the contract after an extended search that began 9 months ago. The magazine ceased publishing at the end of 2011. The plan is apparently to relaunch and redesign the title, which goes to 20,000 CKC members and last had a paid circulation of 42,000. No date for the relaunch was announced.
"The Globe team will bring a fresh new lifestyle perspective to Canadian pet owners in Dogs Annual and will bring the credibility, authority and expertise of Globe journalism to the purebred aficionados who are loyal readers of Dogs in Canada," said Charlene Rooke, group editor, custom content at The Globe and Mail.
Michael Shorman, chair of the board of the CKC said that the partnership was an exciting and innovative way to continue publishing Dogs in Canada.

Founded in February 1889, Dogs in Canada was Canada's oldest continuously published monthly magazine at the time of its closure, and its public face was as Canada's top selling pet magazine with Canada's top-selling annual.

Related posts:

Presets allow reader reactions on Facebook to Hearst magazine content

Hearst magazines is launching a way for readers to react more seamlessly through Facebook to stories in their major titles. According to a story in Adweek, the magazine company is using a new platform called MagShare that makes browsing Hearst magazines' websites more interactive. Readers can react to articles using a list of preset actions (like "want" or "love"), which are then posted directly to their Facebook feeds. Personalized sidebars also let users see how their Facebook friends are reacting to each story and which stories are getting the most reactions overall. 
"The main goal behind it was to build our social audience, to move beyond 'like' and ‘share’ and to integrate into the core Facebook experience," said Brian Madden, executive director of social media at Hearst Digital.
MagShare was launched on the Cosmopolitan website over the weekend and will next be available on Marie Claire and Harper's Bazaar. Each magazine's reaction choices reflect that magazine's unique editorial voice. 
For instance, Cosmo readers can "want," "OMG" or “WTF” a story, while Marie Claire readers can “want,” “love” or “try” it. 

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Non-fiction authors feted at event hosted by Rogers Publishing president Ken Whyte

Ken Whyte, the president of Rogers Publishing, is hosting an event on Wednesday evening in Toronto at which the shortlisted authors for the 2012 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction are interviewed. This is in advance of the naming of the winner on March 4. The event is presented by Authors at Harbourfront Centre and Maclean's magazine. Moderator David Staines talks with 
  • Carol Bishop-Gwyn about The Pursuit of Perfection: A Life of Celia Franca
  • Tim Cook  about Warlords: Borden, Mackenzie King, and Canada's World Wars
  • Sandra Djwa about Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page
  • Ross King  about Leonardo and The Last Supper
  • Andrew Preston about Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy
The Charles Taylor Prize recognizes excellence in Canadian non-fiction writing. It is named to honour the late Charles Taylor who, among other things was an author, essayist and foreign correspondent for the Globe and Mail

Monday, February 25, 2013

Libraries buying digital magazines for their borrowers

A public library in Phoenix, Arizona started in January to make 290 magazines available through the mobile application Zinio, meaning that thousands of library users can read the magazines electronically. According to a story on, the Phoenix library is one of 500 across the U.S. which subscribes to Zinio and then allows its borrowers to check out an expanding inventory of magazine titles.

Phoenix paid $7,000 for a year’s Zinio subscription and will pay $60,000 in user fees per year. The library's web content librarian proudly said that one staff member saved $190 in fees in a test of Zinio before it was rolled out last month.

The library says it is not intending, at this time, to reduce the number of print magazines to which it subscribes. And borrowers have access only back a year because Zinio doesn't maintain an archive.
Jim Schmidt, with Recorded Books LLC, a Zinio partner, works with libraries and said offering electronic magazines is a good deal for the library because print magazine circulation is decreasing and advertisers benefit, he said.

“We think it’ll increase the readership,” Schmidt said. “The subscriber pays for the cost of print (magazine) and its distribution. In the digital world, you don’t have that cost ... the distribution is through digital, and it’s very efficient ... and it supports the advertisers.”

Vervegirl magazine claims to create the first 4th dimension magazine cover

Vervegirl, a magazine aimed at high school teen girls and given out free, claims to have discovered a fourth dimension with its February-March issue out today. 

In case you were wondering the 4th dimension is scent -- in this case the scratch 'n' sniff smell of a new line of shampoo from the manufacturer Garnier Fructis. 

The cover of the issue features Claire, a cast member of The Avenue, a YouTube reality series that is owned by the magazine's publishers Youth Culture Inc.. Readers can click on an app and watch the cover pop out at them. The magazine says in a release
The first 4D cover pushes the envelope, inviting readers to use their senses to truly engage with the pages, rather than merely flipping through.
Apparently the so-called 4th dimension  is only available if you have the magazine in hand and click on the app.
 "Vervegirl is introducing yet another layered campaign for our clients, delivering content integration and innovation," says Youth Culture publisher Kaaren Whitney-Vernon. "Scent is a key motivator when teen girls make a decision to purchase a new hair product. We took this knowledge and created an opportunity for teen girls to sample the new shampoo and learn more from one of their celebrity idols. This is the most interactive magazine ever and we know teen girls will love it."

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ganley is Alberta editor of the year; Kupser given achievement in publishing award

Mike Ganley, editor of Alberta Venture magazine since 2011, is this year's recipient of the 2013 editor of the year award in the Alberta Magazine Awards. Elaine Kupser, who launched and has run IMPACT Magazine for 22 years, is the recipient of the 2013 Achievement in Publishing award. 

The awards, along with other individual awards, will be presented March 14 at a gala event in Calgary. The largest number of award nominations is 17, for Swerve magazine, the supplement to the Calgary Herald.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Magazine world view: Demand split?; NUJ boycott; Behind RDA bankrupt filing; new digital era; newsstand canary


Reader's Digest Canada focussing even more on print while U.S. parent flounders

Reader's Digest Association (Canada) Ltd.says that it is doubling down on print, investing the money it saved by last year shutting its direct marketing division. Phillipe Cloutier, the general manager, told the Globe and Mail 
“We’ve taken the approach to walk away from our direct marketing catalogue business and reinvesting that in the magazine business. We used to sell a variety of products, books and merchandise. But the digital transformation means that’s no longer sustainable from a profitability standpoint. … We have a plan to maintain subscriptions around 500,000.”
The Canadian operation, independent of the U.S. parent -- which just filed for bankruptcy protection for the second time in four years -- has seen its paid subscription base slip 15 per cent  to 472,883 in the last six months of last year. The drop meant it went from its long-held  claim to be Canada's largest circulation magazine to third, behind Chatelaine and Canadian Living

One of the ways it is buttressing its print business is to start Taste of Home Canada magazine, a Canadianized version of the successful U.S. brand (see earlier post).
The Canadian company has added sales staff to its roster of 140 employees in an effort to increase the advertising in its pages. And while it has developed tablet versions of its magazines, it hopes to keep users hooked on the printed copies by embedding each copy with technology that will allow readers with smartphones to find enhanced content online. 
“We recognize customer needs are changing,” Mr. Cloutier said. “Print is eroding, but I feel print will always be there.”

Toronto Life launching paid event series called "Love Your City"

Toronto Life is launching its own paid event series called Love Your City, offering curated events with "unique experiences in food and drink, real estate, arts and culture and much more" according to the TL web page. Naturally given the proclivities of the magazine and its audience, the first event will be about real estate. 

"Buy, Sell or Hold: The future of Toronto Real Estate" will be on Wednesday, March 27 from 6 to 8:30 at the Arcadian Loft at Queen and Bay in Toronto. A press release promises an expert panel discussion followed by a cocktail reception. Price: $40. 

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Crew, a new online magazine for gay males, to launch with big bank support

An online magazine aimed at gay men is being launched November 26, with the sponsorship of RBC Royal Bank. Crew says it intends to go beyond sex and politics. The publisher is Peter Coish who is president at Cloud Advertising Agents and publisher of, a web-only publication aimed at men.
"We aim to be the guide to a sophisticated urban male lifestyle. Discovery and web curation is a big part of the brand – we surface stuff that is new, cool, stylish, useful, or just plain entertaining," it says on its website.
The new site says it has created an advertising environment that is friendly to mainstream advertisers and offers standard leaderboards and various other IAB-sanctioned advertising formats. It appears that sponsored content, ranging from 50 to 500 words, will form a significant part of the site. Crew's site will be augmented by a daily e-letter.

TC Media senior VP Ted Markle promoted
to president

TC Transcontinental has promoted from within, naming Ted Markle as president of the company's publishing and media division, TC Media. Markle has been senior vice president, content solutions, for TC Media since 2011, having joined the company in 1999. He takes over immediately from François Olivier, president and CEO, TC Transcontinental who has been acting as president of TC Media since last June after the previous president, Natalie Larivière, resigned
Markle had been responsible for the integration of Telemedia's publishing division and led the creation of Transcon's hybrid printing platform for the Globe and Mail
As head of TC Media, Markle is now responsible for the company's stable of consumer and b2b magazines, including Canadian Living, Coup de Pouce, Elle Canada and Elle Québec, Style at Home, Decormag, The Hockey News, Vancouver and Western Living.

What journalists mean when fending off
PR approaches

A while back we posted an item about the buzzwords that public relations people use but which journalists hate. So it seems only fair to report some of the lines that journalists use to fend off public relations people. These from British P.R. firm 10 Yetis:

Said by a journalist, to a PR person, with translation:
  • "I've put it up to the editor, so it's out of my hands." Translation - "I haven't got the heart to tell you that the story is sh*t and won't get coverage. Anywhere, in fact."
  • "The sub editors must have taken the client mention out, sorry!" Translation - "There was no way your client was ever getting a mention."
  • "Can I have it exclusively? We might run it then." Translation - "We probably won't run it, but we don't want anyone else to either. Plus, just in case we do decide to use it, we don't want other papers to have it."
  • "Sounds good. Send it to < insert generic editorial email address here > and if someone likes it, they'll get back to you." Translation - "It doesn't sound good and I want to get you off the phone right now. Send it to this generic email address that nobody monitors and it'll be completely ignored."
  • "It's not one for me, but send it on to Brian - he loves stories like this." Translation - "I wouldn't run this in a million years and neither would Brian. Send it to him though, because he's possibly the most evil journalist in the land and I want to have a bit of a giggle about the fact he'll probably give you an earful of abuse."
  • "Sure, I can make that meeting/event." Translation - "I almost certainly can't make it. Tell your client I'm coming though, just to get their hopes up."
  • "We might do something with that release, yeah."  Translation - "We probably, definitely, might not be using that release."
[Thanks to Axegrinder at Press Gazette.]

Western Magazine Awards deadline March 1

If you're involved in a western Canadian magazine, you've got 10 days to make your entries for the Western Magazine Awards.  The awards are also looking for nominations for the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Former Toronto Life art director Jessica Rose creates cover for British Sunday Times mag

Artwork by Jessica Rose, who was the art director of Toronto Life from 2008 to 2011, is featured on the cover of the February 17 issue of the Sunday Times Magazine, published in London. Rose, who moved to Britain following Toronto Life, is working on a graduate degree and freelancing as an art director and designer. 

Among her projects were the ELLE Collections and helping develop a new section  for the Sunday Times Magazine as well as working for art magazines such as MONACO and Misery Connoisseur. She is also about to launch an artist's project in the form of a magazine. 

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Reader's Digest Canada imports idea to launch Taste of Home Canada magazine

Reader's Digest Canada is launching a new food and entertaining magazine called Taste of Home Canada. It is a Canadianized version of Taste of Home, a U.S. brand that it says is the world's largest food publication, with 3.2 million circulation. The U.S. version already had 75,000 circulation in Canada. 

The magazine, in both French and English and produced out of the company's Montreal offices, will be published quarterly and its Summer 2013 issue will be on newsstands June 3. A 4-issue subscription will be $17.97. 

Each 120-page issue will have more than 100 recipes from Canadian home cooks, who are being asked to submit their best-loved recipes and cooking secrets to be eligible to win $500 and be featured in an upcoming issue. All recipes will be tested and curated in Canadian test kitchens. 
"Taste of Home Canada will be filled with recipes featuring familiar, everyday ingredients, beautiful photos and easy-to-follow instructions," said Robert Goyette, editor-in-chief, Reader's Digest Magazines. "The publication is completely unique in its nature, featuring recipes that have been submitted by - and for - Canadian home cooks, filling an otherwise empty niche in the market across the country - a formula which has been successful for the U.S. edition."
In a way, the magazine is similar to other RDC publications that rely on reader-submitted content, such as Our Canada

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Time Warner said to be selling 18 of its magazines to Meredith Corporation

Time Warner Inc., which encompasses a huge empire of film, television and print, is considering selling most of its magazines to Meredith Corporation, the publisher of Better Homes and Gardens, according to a story published by Some well-known Time Warner titles are not included but the majority are.
Under the terms being discussed, Meredith would acquire all but three of Time Warner’s 21 U.S. magazine titles, according to the person, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. Time, Sports Illustrated and Fortune would remain with Time Warner, the person said. Meredith is more interested in titles such as People, Real Simple and InStyle that fit with its magazines aimed at women, according to the person.
Time Warner's publishing revenue fell 6.6 per cent last year, to $3.44 billion. 

The Grid named best designed newspaper, again, but also wins awards as magazine

The Grid, the newspaper that walks like a magazine, or vice-versa, has won big time again at the annual Society for News Design (SND) awards. The publication, which is owned by Torstar, won as best-designed newspaper in the world for the second year in a row and managed to create a furor when it won in a magazine category as well, taking silver medals for overall magazine design, magazine cover story design/features and magazine cover story design.  

We'll let the memo to staff from publisher and editor in chief Laas Turnbull speak for itself:
• out of 9,300 global entries, The Grid won 3 silvers out of only 36 awarded
• we won world’s best designed newspaper for the second year in a row
• something unprecedented: we won both world’s best designed newspaper and were awarded the only silver in the best overall magazine design category (there’s no world’s best in that category). Apparently, this caused a huge flap at SND, so there’s talk of changing the rules next year to prevent any future cross-media winners. Hopefully, it will be referred to as the Grid Rule or Grid Exception hence.  
(It should be noted that The Grid's unabashed newspaper/magazine hybridity caused some muttering closer to home when it won four golds and two silver awards at the National Magazine Awards, though it is described by its owners, Torstar, as a weekly newspaper. The Grid calls itself a "weekly city magazine".)

The judges who made the SPD gold award said 
The Grid feels ahead of its time when many newspapers lack freshness. It knows exactly what the readers need and expect, and it goes deep in the search for stories.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Azure magazine profiles Regent Park revitalization

Azure magazine in its March/April issue features inspiring projects from around the world; it's nice to see Canadian projects among them, including the revitalization of Toronto's Regent Park. Writer John Lorinc looks at the five-phase master plan, including Daniels Spectrum a mixed-use building by Diamond Schmitt Architects (shown above).

Canada Council's Flying Squad program to no longer be offered, at least in present form

The Canada Council for Arts's Flying Squad may return in the future in name, but not in its present form. The program's half yearly round was suspended last fall while a review was done and now the spring deadline is also being suspended because the  review is taking longer than anticipated. 

However, no matter how that turns out, the longstanding assistance program will not be coming back as it was; according to a posting on the Council's website, the Flying Squad is effectively being suspended permanently:
"The Council has now confirmed that the Flying Squad program will no longer be offered in its past form. The Council will announce an alternative strategy to support adaptive capacity in June 2013."
Coordinators will no longer be available for consultations about the program, though one will remain to receive final reports on outstanding projects. The sole exception is the aboriginal version of the program, which will continue, but will also be reviewed.

Open to organizations which had received either an operating or project grant from the Council, the Flying Squad is (was) an important fund, accessed by many arts and culture magazines and magazine-related organizations, created to provide organizational research and planning and mentorship to organizations facing crisis or undergoing a transition. 

The Flying Squad began in the late 1990s with help to theatre and dance organizations; it was expanded in 2005 to music, visual arts, media arts and Inter-arts and Literary and Art Magazine grant recipients became eligible in November, 2005.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Ryerson Review holding fundraiser Feb 13

The Ryerson Review of Journalism, produced by 4th-year magazine students, is holding a fundraiser on Wednesday, February 13, starting at 8 pm at the Black Bull Tavern (298 Queen Street West, Toronto), with all proceeds going towards production of the magazine. Tickets are $7 at the door. Anyone who knows about or reads this magazine knows how important this publication is to the business. Anyone who doesn't should know that RRJ acts as a "watchdog on the watchdogs", well worth supporting.  Plus they throw a pretty good party.

Magazine world view: Newsstand drag; PPA combines print and digital; erasable cover; outing commenters


Quote, unquote: On the checkout line
attention deficit

One of the reasons given for the precipitous fall in newsstand sales is the "mobile blinder", the name given to the habit people now have of using their mobile phone while waiting to pay in the supermarket, where once they would have browsed magazines or picked up some chewing gum.  
"We do find a number of people, if stalled for a minute, will steal a look at their email or news feed," David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, told the FT. "Everyone that has products at checkouts has to battle for consumer attention," he added.
-- Linking the drop in US newsstand sales to mobile phone use, the so-called "mobile blinders" effect. [from the site of research firm, WARC]

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New Transcon freelance contract even more demanding

TC Media has ramped up the agreement they impose on their freelance contributors and are apparently now insisting on not only full copyright but also a waiver of moral rights. 
According to a report on Story Board, the new contract terms not only specifies a full transfer of copyright but that is also that it relates to the more than 30 Transcon titles, not just the assigning one. And the moral rights waiver would give Transcon the right to change an article, with or without the writer's byline.
"[T]he problem with this agreement is that it covers everything you ever do for them. So once you sign it for one thing, it applies to everything else," says Derek Finkle of the Canadian Writers Group, an agency for writers. "For something that’s more personal, or something that has some unique reportage in it, or something that could potentially be spun out into a book or another article or a television show or a documentary, it starts to get really problematic because you’ve now given up your copyright, it seems to me, not just to the words but even to the idea,” he says.
Read more »

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Will anti-spam legislation endanger magazine gift subscriptions?

Michael Geist, the University of Ottawa law professor said  in a recent blog posting that the magazine industry and other industry groups such as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Marketing Association and the Entertainment Software Association of Canada were trying to legalize the secret installation of programs in Canadians' computers to monitor their activities.

His post was ostensibly in reaction to a submission made by the Coalition of Business and Technology Associations, a collaboration of various industry groups, including Magazines Canada, commenting on the federal government's proposed anti-spam legislation (CASL).

The group's 34-page document to Industry Canada essentially asked that there be some exemptions from the draft regulations. 
Geist counters that such exemptions would "gut" the legislation. 

Of particular interest to magazine publishers, however, is a parallel submission that Magazines Canada made to Industry Canada concerning CASL. It says requiring consumer "opt-in" consent for certain kinds of magazine marketing would do serious damage to the industry and some of its longstanding practices. It says that, in fact, there are already well-constructed safeguards existing which provide for "opt-out" and "unsubscribe" tools and that the regulations are so unclear they could result in forbidding such usual practices as offering gift subscriptions. 
Read more »

Friday, February 08, 2013

Wine Access magazine, including awards programs, shut down by RedPoint Media

The February/March issue of Wine Access magazine of Calgary will be its last. The closure of the magazine, its digital properties and associated awards programs was announced on Friday by the publisher RedPoint Media Group Inc. 

It also announced that the 2013 Canadian Wine Annual would not be released and the decision effectively means the end of the Canadian Wine Awards which Wine Access ran.
RedPoint Media Group Inc. President Pete Graves said in a release that the decision would allow refocussing on areas of greater potential growth.
"I would personally like to thank everyone who has contributed over the years to Wine Access, whether in its pages, website or newsletters, for their hard work and commitment,” Graves said. “I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal readers and subscribers for their support. While it’s always difficult to say goodbye to a brand, our goal is to focus on our top-performing brands, which are very healthy, and on other strategic endeavours."
RedPoint has owned and operated Wine Access since 2004. The magazine was founded in 1991. The magazine published 6 issues a year. It had a circulation of 14,000 copies per issue, including 6,000 paid individual subscriptions and 1,500 digital copies. 5,000 of each issue were distributed to newsstands. The magazine's media kit claimed a readership of more than 70,000 per issue. 53% of its circulation was in British Columbia and Alberta, 28% in Ontario.

The publishing group will now apparently focus on its other properties, including  Avenue Calgary and Avenue Edmonton, WestJet’s inflight magazine up!, and a number of custom publications.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Deadlines loom for magazine awards programs:

'tis the season for awards, most of which culminate during Magazines Week and the annual MagNet conference in Toronto in June. But before the awards comes the nominating process and there are several with looming deadlines:

Members and non-members alike of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) may enter the 2013 PWAC awards. Anyone, including non-PWAC member, is eligible for the features and short articles writing awards, entries for which are due by February 28. Only PWAC members are eligible for the Barbara Novak Writing Award for Excellence in Humour/Personal Essay Writing, with nominations also due by Feb 28.  Deadline for nominations for the Lawrence Jackson, Regional Volunteer and Editor of the Year Awards: is Thursday, March 22.  Note that mailed submissions must be received at the PWAC office, not postmarked, by each award's respective deadline. Winners will be announced at MagNet. 
* * *
Each year, the National Magazine Awards include the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. It's a signal honour (I know because I got it two years ago), a recognition from the entire industry.The award is open to circulation experts, editors, marketing, sales and promotion professionals, publishers, creators, designers, production managers - in short, to everyone in the industry - and nominations are welcome from everyone in the industry. Nominations for this year's award are being received now and are due by March 1.
* * *
There is just a week left for submitting entries to the Kenneth R. Wilson Awards, recognizing excellence in trade and business-to-business publishing. Deadline is February 15. The awards are open to all specialized business-to-business media written and produced in Canada in either English and/or French, regardless of association membership. Editorial staff, contributors, freelancers, designers and people engaged in co-operative efforts with the publication may enter. They do not need to be full-time employees of the publication/or web site. For more information, go to the website
* * *
March 8 is the deadline for submisions to the 2013 Editors' Choice Awards of the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME). These honour the contribution of editors within the Canadian magazine industry. There are winners in each of the Small (under 50,000), Medium (50,000 to 149,999) and Large (150,000+) circulation categories, as well as the trade and custom magazine categories, each earn the right to use the Editors’ Choice Award logo on their cover for a year. There are also awards for Best Front of Book, the Jim Cormier Award for Display Writing, Best Website, Best Editorial Blog and, of course, the coveted Editor of the Year.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Getting to The Nub delivers daily content from leading indie mags

There are things worth making room for in your smartphone inbox and one of them is The Nub, the indie arts hub that brings arts and culture content from five of Canada's best small magazines. 

It's a 5-day-a-week mini-digest delivered to your phone, with a new column, poem, short story, interview, profile, book/zine review, comic or rant. The project is funded by the Ontario Arts Council and Canadian Heritage. 

Participating magazines are Broken Pencil: The Magazine of Zine Culture and the Independent Arts; Geist Magazine; Subterrain Magazine; Matrix Magazine; and Taddle Creek Magazine.

The Nub can also be followed on Twitter (#thenubapp) and you can like The NUB on Facebook.

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The Kit launches a new, interactive app

The Kit, the beauty and fashion online magazine has unveiled a new app for tablets and smartphones, which debuts with the February issue. The magazine now publishes 10 issues a year of the interactive magazine and the  app -- for iPad, Android and Kindle users -- now features 360-degree views of some items, such as being able to see a handbag from all angles.

The magazine, which is part of Star Media Group, a division of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited, has 100,000 app installs and 70,000 subscribers as well as e-letters and a weekly newspaper print supplement in select copies of the Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Edmonton Journal and Vancouver Sun
“Readers have new expectations with consuming digital media, and so we’ve redesigned our interactive magazine to fully utilize the multi-touch and multi-sensory experience that today’s technology offers,” said associate publisher Kelly Whitelock. “For advertisers there are opportunities to interact with readers in unique ways that are both meaningful and engaging.

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Magazine world view: Strike vote; UBM sells; Edit shuffle; Amazon may sell used stuff

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Quote, unquote: On publishers' struggle to make
e-tailing pay

"Understanding editorial and merchandising curation is not the same. Most of these media companies don’t have a single merchandiser in the building.”
-- Ben Lerer, the co-founder of Thrillist, talking about how difficult traditional media companies are finding it to get into e-commerce; they don't want to take risks, he says in a story in Adweek.

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ELLE (Canada and Quebec) share model Jessica Paré for March covers

ELLE Canada (L); select cover (middle); ELLE Quebec (R)
Transcontinental Media's ELLE Canada and ELLE Quebec have, for the first time, shared a model for their cover -- Jessica Paré of the television hit Mad Men. Their March 2013 issues feature her from a shared shoot in Toronto at the Four Seasons Hotel. The March covers of ELLE Canada cover is on newsstands Feb 18; ELLE Quebec's  Feb 22. (A third, separate collector's cover, is being published for select subscribers of ELLE Canada.) 
“No television show has quite captured the fashion world’s imagination quite like Mad Men,” said ELLE Canada features editor Kathryn Hudson. “Once Paré’s character Meagan Draper joined the show, the fashions began to mimic her free spirited attitude with shorter hemlines and bold patterns. She’s been a film festival darling for years and it’s time she gets the global exposure she deserves.”

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People in magazines: Osborne now editor of Azure; Gierasimczuk is VP of Canada Wide

Catherine Osborne has been promoted to be the editor of Azure, the architectural and design magazine, succeeding founding editor Nelda Rodger, who remains as editorial director. 

Osborne joined Azure in 2005 as senior editor and was promoted to deputy editor in 2010. She had edited sister title Designlines from 2006 to 2009 and had previously been an editor at The Walrus. She co-launched the Toronto arts and culture magazine Lola, which published from 1997 to 2003. Osborne said in a release
"My goals are to keep Azure moving forward in what is now an uncharted and multifaceted media realm and I'm completely excited by so much potential and possibility." 
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Tom Gierasimczuk, the editor in chief of BCBusiness, has had his duties expanded to become vice-president, editorial of parent publisher Canada Wide Media. 

He had been editor of Marketing magazine in Toronto before being named to take over the business magazine on the left coast in August last year. Previous to that, he had been the founding editor of up!, the inflight magazine of Westjet. 

New magazine HB out of Montreal celebrates contemporary drawing

A new twice-annual magazine celebrating drawing is being launched in Montreal on Wednesday. HB (presumably named after the pencil, although the logo is an eraser) describes itself thus:
HB is a magazine, a gallery on paper, a platform—a dynamic space dedicated to contemporary drawing. We intend to showcase the work of a wide range of artists, from the hard-to-miss who have made their mark on the artistic landscape and continue to shape it, to marginalised artists, young artists whose practices move and promise, artists who draw in hiding, artists who, by sheer misfortune, have as yet enjoyed little exposure. structured so that each page threads together a set of visual sequences, HB is a space for exchange that gives precedence to imagery over text.
The magazine was conceived and launched by Julie Tremble and Jonathan Demers, who enlisted a number of community partners, including Joyce Yahouda Gallery, Clark Center, ARPRIM (Montreal) and Saw Gallery (Ottawa). 
"The idea came when flipping through the magazine FUKT [published in Berlin]," says Tremble. "How is it that there is nothing of its kind in Quebec," Demers asked? "We started thinking about all the artists who make drawings and whose work is not really distributed."
According to an interview published in Le Devoir, HB will for now concentrate on drawings only, but won't follow a rigid formula. Tremble said they would like in future to look at drawing that is not only on paper -- such as tattooing -- and possibly animation.

The launch is at 5 p.m. at Bookstore Formats, 2, rue Sainte-Catherine Est, Montreal.  


The future of "contextualized commerce" in magazines

The president of Dwell Media and publisher of Dwell magazine, Michela O'Connor, enthuses about the joys of "contextualized commerce", which means that the recent special "fully shoppable" online issue of the magazine will likely become the norm.
Over the past two years, Dwell has experimented with different e-commerce models through partnerships with OpenSky and Gilt. Those initiatives have come and gone as Dwell searched for a deeper, more integrated shopping experience for its audience.

“Flash sales were fine when they first came on the scene, but that model is fatiguing,” O'Connor Abrams said in a phone interview. “We’ve been looking at the best way to utilize our content in the commerce world, and our firm belief is that contextualized commerce is the future.”
There has been a rush of enthusiasm recently for what is called the "integration" of ads and editorial -- but, of course, without compromising editorial integrity [wink] -- using terms such as "native advertising" (what we used to call "advertorial") and, now, "contextualized commerce" (what we used to call a catalogue).

Dwell was launched in September 2000 and has a total circulation of 331,000. 


Amazon discontinues its recently launched Canadian online newsstand

[This post has been updated] Amazon has discontinued its Canadian online newsstand only weeks after launching it. It means that Canadian magazines and books no longer will have a "Canadian storefront" on the popular Kindle tablet, according to a story posted on the Globe and Mail website by media reporter Steve Ladurantaye.  It means that individual single digital copies will no longer be available. No reason has been given for stopping the initiative before it had time to gain momentum. 

Amazon announced January 23 that the top-of-the-line Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite were available in Canada.
“Current subscriptions will be cancelled and refunded,” a spokesman at the company’s Canadian public relations agency Sonic Boom Creative Media said, adding he couldn’t answer any questions about why the decision was made or whether the newsstand could be revived at some point. 
The digital editions have found a niche audience among Canadian readers, who pay far less for the Kindle subscription than they would for home delivery of a physical product. Publishers across the country – whose subscriber counts range from a few hundred to a few thousand each month – said they weren’t notified of the change.
The rival Kobo newsstand will continue to offer monthly subscriptions, but not the single copies to a larger catalogue of titles which Amazon offered. Google has also recently begun selling digital magazines in Canada. And the Digital Newsstand, a joint venture between Magazines Canada and Zinio,  continues to offer both digital subscriptions and single copies of a large number of Canadian titles. 

[Update: Magazines Canada has informed me that its digital newsstand sales are up 59% in last fiscal year and it  is on track to break its second 1 million single copy sales by later in 2013.]

Friday, February 01, 2013

Quote, unquote: A magazine website standing
on its own

"The website is it's own business, it's not an extension of the magazine at all. We do put some of the magazine content online, but 97 percent of it is all original. If you're running a website and you want to grow it from a few million dollars in revenue to tens of millions of dollars you have to look at it as its own business and you have to look at the ad model, the e-commerce model, and figure out how to grow it."
-- Bill Phillips of Rodale, telling Audience Development about how the Men's Health website was spun off as a standalone brand. 

Quote, unquote: Shrinkage at the Post

"There was a time in my tenure here where it was a standalone magazine, and then obviously it became a broadsheet section, and then it became a couple of pages of a broadsheet section. So I guess it was lacking a bit of the 'oomph' compared to having a book in your hand versus finding a couple of pages tacked onto the back of another section. We thought this was a better reading experience overall."
-- Ben Errett, National Post managing features editor, explaining why the paper was discontinuing its weekend Toronto section. According to a posting in blogTO, the weekend paper will now consist of four parts: the news section, Financial Post, Weekend Post and Post Homes. At one time Post Toronto was a compact pullout magazine; it last appeared in the fall. Now some of its content will be shifted to various spots in the main paper.