Monday, March 31, 2014

Toronto Life's first intern says why he backs the crackdown on unpaid internships

Derek Finkle, who was Toronto Life's first (unpaid) intern 21 years ago, has written a memoir of his experience for the Story Board site. It details how, soon after became an intern, he wrote what became a cover story for the magazine, yet didn't get paid for it. He explains why he supports the recent crackdown on unpaid internships by the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

The post is an interesting addition to the discussions provoked last week when we published a story about ministry inspectors requiring Toronto Life, The Walrus and other magazines to observe the terms of the Employment Standards Act and pay interns the Ontario minimum wage. The magazines chose, instead, to shut down their internship programs. 

Finkle runs the Canadian Writers Group and as an agent represents dozens of individual senior freelance magazine writers. Story Board is a joint venture between CWG and the Canadian Media Guild.

Deborah Morrison to leave as publisher of Canada's History magazine to run national youth travel exchange program

After 12 years leading Canada's History Society and being publisher of Canada's History magazine and Kayak, Canada's History Magazine for Kids, Deborah Morrison is moving on. It is being announced today that effective the end of June she will be resigning as president and CEO of the national charitable organization which, in addition to publishing, presents the Governor General’s History Awards, Canada’s top honours in history, and also produces a number of educational and online programs. 

Morrison will become executive director of the Society for Educational Visits in Canada (SEVEC) on July 1. SEVEC has been offering reciprocal exchanges between groups of Canadian youth for over 75 years. Each group spends time in the other group’s community, typically in another province. 
“This position provides the opportunity to engage youth more fully in the exploration of their country—the history, heritage, culture and languages that shape Canada today,” stated Morrison of her new job. “Building on SEVEC’s 76-years of success, I look forward to leading [it] into Canada’s 150th celebrations and inspiring youth to discover, connect and experience all that Canada and Canadians have to offer them.”
Morrison was the chair of Magazines Canada, the national magazine trade organization, from 2011 to 20013. In February, she stepped back from her role as publisher, to be replaced by Melony Ward, who is now responsible for advertising sales, circulation and marketing for both magazines. Canada's History Society has launched a search for a replacement of Morrison as President and CEO. 
Read more »


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ont Ministry of Labour says it intends to enforce "clear" employment rules as part of "blitz"

The Ontario Ministry of Labour this afternoon issued a statement about unpaid magazine (and other) internships.
Statement from Ministry of Labour re internships at magazines. 
Our government knows that investing in young people means making sure they are treated fairly on the job and we have strong rules in place to help make that happen.

Ontario’s rules are clear - regardless of your job title or what you agreed to when you started - if you perform work for somebody, you are protected under the Employment Standards Act (ESA). 
There are very few exceptions to this requirement, such as those who are in training and meet very restrictive conditions, individuals who perform work under a program approved by a college of applied arts and technology or a university, and secondary school students performing work under a work experience program authorized by the school board. 
In December 2013, inspections of Toronto Life Magazine/St. Joseph Media and [The] Walrus Magazine were commenced to determine whether certain publicly posted positions were ESA compliant. As a result of these inspections, Compliance Orders were issued for violations of several standards: Wage Statements, Record Keeping, Minimum Wage, Public Holiday Pay and Vacation Pay. This means that, pending any appeal, the workers involved have to be paid. The inspections are ongoing and have not yet been completed. 
It is important to note that the Ministry of Labour has on-going educational outreach program and proactive inspection team to make sure both businesses and our youth are aware of these rules and Ministry’s officers already inquiry about unpaid interns during all proactive inspections.

In fact, the government invested an additional $3 million last year in proactive enforcement – hiring more inspectors and conducting more workplace inspections. 
The Ministry of Labour will be launching an enforcement blitz this spring focused specifically on internships across a variety of sectors. Any concerns regarding working arrangements can be referred to the Ministry of Labour's Information Centre at 1-800-531-5551. Information is available in 23 different languages.
Related posts:

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The Walrus, now, says ministry of labour has closed intership program

The Walrus magazine is letting its interns go as the result of a crackdown by the Ontario ministry of labour that we first reported yesterday this week at Toronto Life. The co-publisher of The Walrus, Shelley Ambrose,  issued a statement today:
The Liberal Government of Ontario's Ministry of Labour has closed the internship program at The Walrus Foundation. The Ministry of Labour employment standards act inspector has said our four-to-six-month unpaid internships can no longer be offered unless the interns have a formal agreement for a work experience with a vocational school. We have been training future leaders in media and development for ten years, and we are extremely sorry we are no longer able to provide these opportunities, which have assisted many young Ontarians - and Canadians - in bridging the gap from university to paid work and in, many cases, to stellar careers.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ontario labour ministry cracks down on unpaid magazine internships, starting with Toronto Life

Come Monday, five unpaid interns at Toronto Life magazine will be out of work because of a visit this week by an inspector of the employment standards branch of the Ontario Ministry of Labour. St. Joseph Media has been told that under the provisions of the Employment Standards Act it can no longer offer four-month unpaid internships unless the interns are fulfilling a job placement requirement from a school of higher education. This is not the case for most interns at Toronto Life historically, although two of the current 7 interns qualify and will be staying on. 

The ministry inspector also advised that, though he was starting with Toronto Life, the policy will be enforced later with other St. Joseph magazines and, indeed eventually, all magazines in Ontario. 

The interns were briefed about what is happening by St. Joseph CEO Douglas Knight. He said that he found the situation "bizarre", particularly since there was no notice or discussion. The ministry move effectively ends a successful 20-year program that has always been oversubscribed and in great demand by college and university graduates wanting to get into the magazine industry, he said. Most Toronto Life interns do such work as fact-checking and research or online posting for as well as participating in story conferences and production meetings.

Last June, the-then* minister of labour, Yasir Naqvi, responded to a call by the University of Toronto students' union for a ban on unpaid internships and said in a letter:
“If you perform work for someone – unless you are self-employed, in a co-op placement, or a trainee – you are an employee covered under the Employment Standards Act and should be paid – it doesn’t matter if you are called an ‘intern’ or not.”
According to the ministry website, interns are considered to be employees, entitled to the minimum wage (which will be $11 an hour starting June 1) and other employment benefits such as vacation pay, unless the internships meet ALL of the following under the terms of the Employment Standards Act:
  1. The training is similar to that which is given in a vocational school. 
  2. The training is for the benefit of the intern who receives some benefit from the training, such as new knowledge or skills.
  3. The employer derives little, if any, benefit from the activity of the intern while he or she is being trained.
  4. The intern's training doesn't take someone else's job.
  5. The employer isn't promising a job at the end of the training.
  6. The intern has been told that they will not be paid for their time.
*Naqvi was promoted in this week's cabinet shuffle to Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services; he was succeeded as Minister of Labour by Kevin Flynn.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Winners honoured as Spacing magazine takes over management of Jane Jacobs Prize

This is the first year that Spacing magazine has managed the iconic Jane Jacobs Prize.  It's named after the late author and campaigner who wrote The Death and Life of Great American Cities and was pivotal in various urban causes while a longtime resident of Toronto. 

The winners of the 2014 prize are two people -- Graeme Stewart and Sabina Ali -- who are working to transform the aging highrises of Toronto into livable communities. They join 17 other recipents recognized since 1997 when the award was first administered by Avana Capital Corporation. It decided that Spacing's attention to city building made it ideal to take over management and breathe new life into the award.

Stewart is an associate with E.R.A. Architects and the founding director of the Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal. He's best known as the driving force behind Toronto's Tower Renewal Project. 

Ali was instrumental in turning a park in the heart of Thorncliffe Park into a hub for the enormous high-rise multi-ethnic community, shepherding various programs aimed at school-age children, a community market, health and environmental education and a much-needed playground.

The two winners were featured on CBC Radio's Metro Morning.


Elle Canada readers and followers to be asked to contribute to June cover

TC Media's Elle Canada magazine says it is offering its readers and social media followers the chance to play a part in the look of the June issue of the magazine. On Thursday this week (March 27), readers are invited to join in deciding how the cover shoot of actress Emma Roberts will proceed in Los Angeles. 

Followers on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are able to use the hashtag #ElleCanadaEmma to share their opinion on the various outfits and accessories which Roberts will wear during the shoot by Max Abadian. They will also get a behind-the-scenes look on set and have the opportunity to have their questions answered by Roberts on Twitter. 

On March 31, they will have the chance to see and vote for their favourite among cover options, which the public will see May 6 on digital and iPad editions and on newsstands May 12. 
“Emma is the perfect choice for our very first interactive cover. Her career is blossoming, she has an incredible sense of style, and a highly engaged social media following,” explained editor-in-chief Noreen Flanagan. “Elle Canada has become such a strong digital brand with our website, iPad edition, e-newsletters, and blogs, so it seems like a natural evolution to integrate social media into our cover shoots.”


Monday, March 24, 2014

Mag world view: Heseltine takes full control; LGBT niche; HuffPo may charge; Peter Rabbit launches; Here's the BEEF!

Universities coming to grips with big data

Funny how a phrase or buzzword pops up and spreads quickly through day to day conversations. "Big data" is one of these. Freelancer John Lorinc has explored the field in a feature in the current issue of University Affairs. Essentially, he explains, there is a lot of data out there in many different formats, sometimes "a vast soup that can include snippets of text and images and all sorts of background noise". Some examples include GPS signals from cell phones or transaction records generated by e-commerce or satellite data about the movement of ships. 
"Computer science faculties have been teaching and researching very technical topics related to database management, data mining and machine learning for many years, but the potential of big data and its applications go well beyond these bounds," says Lorinc.
Many universities have moved as quickly as they may to establish big-data programs. Dalhousie in Halifax did so in 2011 with its Institute for Big Data Analytics. Ryerson University in Toronto has just named Ontario's outgoing information and privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian to be executive director of its new Institute of Privacy and Big Data. The Université de Montréal is developing a masters program in big-text data. Simon Fraser is offering a new four-semester professional masters program in big data starting this fall. 
"Many students are drawn to the field of big data because it offers them a chance to get involved in an emerging, knowledge-intensive profession," says Lorinc. There could be a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 workers in the emerging field by 2018.

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Quote, unquote: Welcome to the era
of the megabundle

“Almost all the value in media has come from bundling.  We’ve gone from the age of the bundle that we knew – which was a newspaper, a magazine, a record album – to the age of a megabundle, a bundle of bundles.”
-- Ken Whyte, president of Next Issue Canada (and former head of Rogers Publishing), quoted in a Globe and Mail story. He says the appeal of the digital magazine subscription service, a joint venture between Rogers and five leading U.S. magazine publishers, is clear for consumers; it doesn't require them to be conscious of making a transaction every time they buy a magazine online.  


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Circulation Management Association of Canada unveils revamped awards program

The Circulation Management Association of Canada (CMC) has unveiled its revitalized CMC Awards. The awards will be presented at the annual CMC luncheon on June 4, as part of the 2014 MagNet conference. They will be honouring professional achievement in six categories:
  • Audience development
  • Volunteer of the year
  • Lifetime achievement
  • CMC Scholarship
  • 2014 Vendor award
  • Magazine of the year 
The association prepared a video to introduce the restructured awards.

Related post:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Billionaire computer magazine publisher Patrick McGovern dies

The death of Patrick McGovern on Wednesday, at the age of 76, marks the end of a man who built a remarkable publishing fortune as founder and chairman of the International Data Group. According to a posting by, IDG publishes 200 magazines, operates 460 websites and produced 700 events in 79 countries. The company published magazines such as Macworld, PC World, GamePro, Computerworld, CIO, Network World, InfoWorld and the ubiquitous line of ...for Dummies books.

McGovern is said to have been worth $5.7 billion, ranking 244 on the list the world's billionaires published by Forbes magazine.

He founded IDG after paying his way through school by working on the first U.S. computer magazine, Computers and Animation. He founded IDG five years later by selling his car for $5,000. His first inspiration was to persuade big computer makers such as Xerox, Burroughes and Univac (hark back to those names!) to pay him to conduct a census of computers around the U.S.

IDG grew to $3.55 billion in annual sales and McGovern retained an 84% stake in the company until his death. Among other legacies, he and his wife Lore gave $350 million to create and fund the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. 


Western Magazine Awards temporarily suspending online submissions

The Western Magazine Awards has temporarily suspended receipt of online entries to the competition because of problems with their website. An online note from Jane Zatylny, the president of the awards says
We regret that some entrants are experiencing challenges in regards to their online submission of entries to the competition.  We are working closely with the website provider to resolve these issues.  Accordingly, we have decided to temporarily suspend the submission process for the 2014 Awards Competition until we have the full confidence in the website.  Our intention is to have all areas of the website corrected, re-tested and verified before the end of this month.  As soon as the problems have been resolved, we will let you know and will post new deadlines at the beginning of April when we reopen the submission process. 
For those who have already provided a submission, or are in the process of submitting, please be assured that your entries will be maintained. 
In the meantime, I would like to thank you for your understanding and patience as we deal with these technical challenges.
The original entry deadlines were March 31 for early bird discount and April 30 for all entries. The awards are scheduled for September 26 in Vancouver at the Renaissance Vancouver Hotel Harbourside.  

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Alberta Showcase honours the best in the province's magazine publishing

UPPERCASE magazine  of Calgary won both as Magazine of the Year and editor of the year for Janine Vangool, its publisher and editor, at last night's Alberta Magazines Showcase Awards. Tom Tait, the owner and publisher of Galleries West received the Achievement in Publishing award for being an innovator in publishing operations for more than 30 years, and is a strong supporter of the province’s magazine publishing industry.

A release from the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA) reported the highlights:
Calgary’s Swerve magazine came away with numerous awards including Gold in Essay, Feature Design, Photograph (Landscape, Still Life and Architecture) and Service; and Silver in the Alberta Story and Service categories. Eighteen Bridges, a national-award winning magazine grounded in the narrative tradition, also had a strong showing, taking Gold in Cover, Feature Writing (Short), Fiction and Poetry; and a Silver award in Fiction. 
Alberta Views accepted Gold awards, in the Alberta Story, Illustration and Photograph (People & Portraiture) categories. Also receiving Gold awards were Alberta Venture for Profile, FreeFall for Emerging Writer, UPPERCASE for Art Direction for a Single Issue, and Westworld for Digital Presence.
Best New Magazine was awarded to Glass Buffalo, a literary magazine launched in 2012 to showcase the creative writing talents of students and alumni at the University of Alberta.  Emily Ursuliak received the Volunteer of the Year award for her contributions to filling Station magazine this past year.
Full list of Showcase Awards winners, including contributors and articles

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Photojournalist Peter Bregg to be given CJF Lifetime Achievement Award

From copy boy to lifetime achievement winner and it only took 50 years. Peter Bregg, the well-known and -respected photojournalist, is to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award June 4 at the 17th annual Canadian Journalism Foundation Awards. He is the first photographer to receive the award.

Bregg was chief photographer and photo editor at Maclean's magazine for 17 years and has worked with Canadian Press in Ottawa and The Associated Press in Ottawa, Boston, London, New York and Washington, D.C. He has shot eight Olympic games, countless Stanley Cups and World Series games and covered the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001. He has also cut a stylish figure wherever he and his moustache has gone. 
Trudeau by Bregg
"Peter's body of work has been an extraordinary composite sketch of Canada in the last nearly-half-century," says Kirk LaPointe, a jury member who is also adjunct professor and executive-in-residence at The University of British Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. "He has been one of the most generous, consummately professional journalists in my experience, a mentor to newer photojournalists and a trusted source of advice and leadership in how great journalism is generated. He has remained true to the principles of high-calibre journalism while being an early adopter of modern, digital methods to tell visual stories. He exemplifies what a lifetime of journalism should be: constant renewal, consistent excellence, high integrity and a commitment to community."
Bregg is a member of PhotoSensitive, a photo collective that uses photography to support charitable causes, and he continues to take freelance commissions while teaching photojournalism at Toronto's Ryerson University Journalism School. Samples of recent work and his archives.

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Rogers's mobile and web redesign is paying off in increased readership

Since rolling out redesigned, tile-based layouts for all of its consumer magazines, with Maclean's being the most recent, Rogers Publishing has seen significant growth in digital readership on both websites and mobile, according to a J-source story

Ryan Trotman, senior director and digital publisher is quoted as saying that responsive design -- all content curated and edited the same for various platforms and for all titles -- has proven popular with readers, but engagement is highest on the iPad.  On the app version, readers don't visit as often but when they do, they read more pages and are more likely to read cover-to-cover. Website users tend to visit more often, but only read a few articles at a time. 

Since November 2012, pageviews on mobile have gone up 65% and on the redesigned websites about 35%. (Particularly in mobile, it should be noted that these percentages are from a relatively small base.) 

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David Frum becomes senior editor of The Atlantic

Expat David Frum is joining The Atlantic magazine as a senior editor effective March 31. He will write for the website and the magazine and participate in Atlantic events. Frum is perhaps best known as being the former special assistant and speechwriter for President George W. Bush who coined the term "axis of evil". He is a fervent Republican, though often a critic of the party. (His first book was called Dead Right and his most recent e-book was Why Romney Lost. He was fired by the American Enterprise Institute, a right-wing think tank, for being critical of Republican strategy on health care.)

Frum is a native of Toronto, though he now lives in Washington, and is the son of the late Barbara Frum, well-known as a radio (As it Happens) and television (The Journal) host.
“In a media world of quick takes and fast reacts, The Atlantic offers something indispensable: news that stays news," says Frum. "I hope to offer readers content they will continue to think about even after the browser window closes and the latest Facebook status update is buried beneath the Twitter feed.” 
According to the post by the Atlantic
Frum has worked on the Wall Street Journal editorial page, Forbes magazine, and for the Manhattan Institute and the American Enterprise Institute. In the 1990s, he was a regular contributor to the Weekly Standard; between 2003 and 2008, Frum wrote a daily blog for National Review. Between 2009 and 2012, he edited a group blog,, dedicated to the reform and renewal of political conservatism. Frum’s blog was hosted at the Daily Beast/Newsweek from January 2012 until May 2013.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Writer Heather Robertson, who championed copyrights of her freelance colleagues, dies at 72

Photo by Aaron Marshall
Heather Robertson, the Canadian magazine writer and author died Wednesday on her 72nd birthday. 
Her colleagues  and freelancers everywhere owe her an enormous debt of gratitude, particularly since she was the lead plaintiff in two long-running suits over the electronic rights of writers. These settled that newspapers and periodicals could not appropriate writers' work and publish them on databases without credit or payment. 
The magazine industry recognized her in 2012 with its highest honour,the National Magazine Awards Foundation's award for outstanding achievement. 
In a 40-year career, she wrote for most of Canada's best magazines, including Saturday Night, Equinox, Elm Street, Toronto Life, Chatelaine, Canadian Forum, Canada's History, Weekend, The Canadian and Maclean's
Her close friend Elaine Dewar summed up Robertson's life in this way. 
"She was an early bestselling author of Canadian non fiction books (Reservations Are for Indians and Salt of the Earth are two early works that found large audiences.) Early in her career she was a very well read and controversial columnist for Maclean's, as well as a writer of well reported and beautifully written feature stories for most of the magazines in the country.    
"She was also a co-founder of various writers' organizations including the Periodical Writers' Association of Canada , and The Writer's Union of Canada, and helped talk the Canada Council into recognizing non fiction writing as an art form." 
In Robertson v. Thomson, which reached the Supreme Court in 2006, Robertson brought suit in a class action on behalf of freelance writers whose work was being reproduced on certain electronic databases without permission or reimbursement. In May 2009, a settlement of more than $11-million was awarded to the writers involved in what is and was one of the most important copyright cases in Canadian history. A similar suit,Robertson v. ProQuest et al., was settled in 2011 with additional compensation. In all it took almost 14 years to prevail, during which Robertson was steadfast as the figurehead and spokesperson.
Related posts:

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Pushing Quebec hydro into New England a hard sell: Maisonneuve

The spring issue of Maisonneuve magazine (on newsstands Friday 21st) has a major cover story on the contention over a major project that would carry Quebec hydro into New England. 

"Northern Impasse", by Michael Lee-Murphy, reports that for all the "green" benefits claimed, what's called the Northern Pass is proving hard to swallow for landowners and residents along the route. The story is illustrated with photography by Nate Mosseau; the striking cover (right) is by the magazine's art director Anna Minzhulina.

The massive transmission line in partnership with Hydro-Quebec would carry 1,200 megawatts of power into southern New England. It's a crucial part of the Quebec government's Plan Nord, which means to encourage northern development by finding hungry customers for power in the United States. The result, as Lee-Murphy says, is not quite what was expected:
"To a dispassionate observer, the transmission line looks like a win-win-win: cash for Quebec, clean power for New England and less carbon in the atmosphere. But like most development projects, Northern Pass will leave a certain amount of destruction in its wake. The transmission line would cut a gash through northern New Hampshire, marring some of New England's most beautiful wilderness and tarnishing the deep connection to the land felt by the region's residents. Many blame Quebec and its namesake energy corporation for their predicament. For a province rarely cast as the marauding bully, it's an unusual role."

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Prefix Photo an editorial finalist in Redgee Awards

The finalists for the Redgee Awards have been announced and among those are included editorial work from Toronto-based Underline Studio's work on Prefix Photo magazine, issues 27 and 28. 
The Redgee Awards are run by Designedge magazine (C. J. Oyster Publishing Inc.) and they divide the country into eight regions representing the best of local Canadian design. Designers compete within their own geographic region in up to 14 print and digital categories, including editorial. Best in region, honourable mention and regional category winners will be announced on Monday, April 28 at the Berkeley Church in Toronto. Tickets are $25.

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Maclean's magazine launching one-hour political radio show from Parliament Hill

John Geddes, Paul Wells and Aaron Wherry
Maclean's magazine is launching a weekly one-hour radio show from Ottawa  called Maclean's on the Hill.  It starts this Saturday and features Ottawa bureau chief John Geddes, political editor Paul Wells and associate editor Aaron Wherry and it will be hosted by Cormac MacSweeney, Parliament Hill reporter for CityNews. [The story was  reported by]

It will be distributed on various Rogers radio stations: on Ottawa’s News1310 on Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday at 8 a.m. ET.;  and as a podcast on,, 680News (Toronto), News1130 (Vancouver), 660News (Calgary), News95.7 (Halifax) and 570News (Kitchener).

“We are extremely fortunate at Maclean’s to have the best and brightest team of political journalists in the country,” said Mark Stevenson, editor of Maclean’s, in a press release. “On and on tablet and in print, they are already extremely well-read. Now, to be able to connect with audiences through our Rogers radio stations is an exciting expansion.”

Zoomer finds its readers are pretty cool with their sexuality in their maturity

Zoomer, the magazine for the mature audience, has probed readers for its first annual sex survey and reports in its April issue that 66% felt an active sex life will help them live longer. The online survey and interviews were with 1,310 English Canadian respondents, 45 years of age or older. 

In a release, it reports some of the highlights:
  • 72% enjoy sex
  • 57% want more sex
  • 56% of those in relationships want sex weekly
  • 73% have confidence in their ability to satisfy a sexual partner
  • 64% think they “look younger than they are”
  • 64% of women (going steady or dating) confirm their sex life is more satisfying today than it was in their youth
 “We are the free love generation and what we know, in the biblical sense, and love, need and feel about the matter is all laid bare in this special issue,” said editor-in-chief Suzanne Boyd.“We may have issues with sex, but we are still having it; we are sexual. Definitely.”

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Future palettes to influence design and

For shelter and lifestyle publishers, editors and art directors out there, Pantone the colour experts have published a series of palettes that contain 72 forecasted colours which they say will inspire and influence home furnishings, design and other aspects of taste-making in 2015. According to a post on Dexigner, Pantone View Home + Interiors 2015 provides colour swatches and images for use in their work. The palettes go by names such as Style-Setting, Abstractions, Botanicum, Zensations, Urban Jungle, Tinted Medley, Past Traces, Serendipity and Spontaneity. (That's Style-Setting up there, ranging from Champagne Beige to Steel Gray; it is said to be all about poise, fitness and polish.)

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Mags Canada webinar will answer questions about forthcoming anti-spam regulation

July 1 will see the imposition of CASL Canada's new, sweeping anti-spam legislation which will have major impacts on magazine publishers. In preparation, Magazines Canada is holding a webinar on March 27 at 1 p.m. It's led by Puneet Soni, a lawyer with McCarthy Tetrault and the one-hour webinar will be moderated by Melissa Kluger, lawyer and publisher of Precedent magazine. The webinar is free to Magazines Canada members, who will also receive free a copy of the Magazines Canada CASL Flipbook, a how-to guide and resource about the new legislation. Participation in the webinar for non-members is $250. 

Study suggests consumers are wary of
"native advertising"

A new study about to be released by Nielsen on behalf of tech startup company InPowered suggests that readers are wary of so-called "native advertising". A report in Ad Age, written by Steve Rubel, chief content strategist for public relations firm Edelman, says that 60% of readers in the U.S. lab study were less likely to trust a product review if they knew it was paid for by the company selling the product. And half of the study participants didn't trust a brand's own website for reliable product information. 

This may cause questioning about sponsored content being somehow almost as trusted as journalism. It also may counter a belief among marketers that they can simply go direct, becoming their own publishers.

The study found that consumers are quite sophisticated in seeking out what the research called "trusted content" -- 3rd-party articles by journalists. 85% seek this out and 67% say such information informs their buying decisions.
"[The data] raises serious questions over whether native advertising threatens to upend this trust publishers have earned with their audience. This is a particularly prickly issue as it could become harder for readers to discern ads from editorial."

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Government approves regulations for postal rate increase effective March 31

The new regulations governing the cost of postal services are now a fait accompli, as the Privy Council Office has posted its approval, effective March 31. The National Association of Major Mail Users Inc. (NAMMU) is continuing to push back against commercial rate increases. The new commercial discounted rate will be $0.75 for small and medium enterprises using postal meters, but it is entirely at the discretion of Canada Post management.Incentive Lettermail rates are proposed to rise 15 per cent, from $0.61 to $0.70 (Machineable); from $0.60 to $0.69 (Presort). Single stamps for letters will go to $1 each for a 30g basic letter. 

Precedent tells its readers what it takes today to be "polished" at work

Precedent magazine has always prided itself on its sense of style. It has just published a six-part guide for its lawyer readers telling them what it means and takes to look polished today. It's a little bit different than in years past.In one part of the guide, a group of Bay Street lawyers sat down to say what it means to dress for the job. 

Among the other things we learn from their conversation that there is a lot more casual dress, particularly among senior partners, that women don't have to wear high or the highest heels anymore, that colour is not only allowed but more frequently seen, and that "nice, neat" beards are OK on men. 

In another part of the guide, the distinction is drawn between fashion and style at work.
“As with everything, you should dress for your audience,” says [Will] Stewart, [a consultant with the public relations firm Navigator]. “Know your clients, understand how they would view you with too much or too little emphasis on your attire. Dress as an extension of your work with them.”
 The case is also made for buying custom-made shoes, the kind that will set you back about $1,500. 

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Three new group publishers named at
Rogers Publishing

Sandra Parente
More changes at Rogers Publishing, with Sandra Parente, currently publisher of MoneySense and once a general manager of corporate sales for Rogers Media, becoming group publisher of Rogers’ current affairs group, which includes Maclean’s and Sportsnet.
Ian Portsmouth, who currently oversees Canadian Business and Profit will now have all three consumer-facing business magazines in his portfolio as he takes over as group publisher, business, including MoneySense
Sophie Banford, newly arrived from TVA (where she was publisher at  Clin d’Oeil and Moi & Cie.) has been pointed group publisher of the Quebec-based women’s titles, responsible for such titles as LouLou and Chȃtelaine, Banford (like Parente) will report to executive publisher Lorraine Hoefler. 
The three appointments round out other management changes made recently as part of creating a group publisher structure: the appointments of Penny Hicks as group publisher for women's service magazines Chatelaine, Today's Parent and Canadian Health & Lifestyle and of Melissa Ahlstrand as group publisher of fashion and beauty books, including Flare, Cosmetics and Hello! 
Related posts:

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Mag world view: New York goes Vulture; glossy collusion; The Fly dies; mobile eclipses newspaper

Monday, March 10, 2014

Editor of Report on Business leaves Globe to be director of content strategy for Rogers Publishing

There's a good deal of crashing around in the undergrowth about the announced departure of Derek DeCloet as editor of the Globe and Mail's Report on Business to join Rogers Publishing as director of content strategy for its magazines. Various people in the Twitterverse have referred to their sadness at the "crushing news" and the loss of the "soul of the ROB". (ed. note: Phew).
His departure was announced to the staff by Globe editor John Stackhouse in these very gracious terms, given that he's losing an important lieutenant:
Derek will be director of content strategy for Rogers Publishing, leading the editorial operations of their consumer magazines, including Maclean's, Canadian Business, Chatelaine, MoneySense and Sportsnet Magazine. It’s an enormous opportunity and exciting challenge as Derek will lead a group of 300 journalists and be charged with setting a new digital direction for them and their magazines. 
Rogers’ gain is very much the Globe’s loss. Since joining us in 2003, Derek has established himself as one of the country’s most respected business journalists and one of the Globe’s most beloved editors. He started as a reporter in the ROB and became our Vox columnist that year. After six years of business writing, he was appointed managing editor of the section in 2009 and ROB Editor in 2012. Like many in the newsroom, I have come to rely on Derek’s wise counsel, calm confidence, sharp journalistic insight and, most of all, unwavering human decency. 
He will be missed here by many, none more than me.
Read more »


Friday, March 07, 2014

Former Chatelaine publisher Rev. Lee Simpson tries a year of buying nothing

Photo: Ingrid Bulmer, Chronicle Herald
Lee Simpson, who was the publisher of Chatelaine magazine for 16 years before becoming a retired United Church minister in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and a regular contributor the United Church Observer, is attempting to spend a year buying nothing. Well, not nothing, but not much.
Simpson acknowledges in her introduction to the fortnightly series that, as a publisher, she presided over the promotion of  the very thing for which she is now seeking some expiation:
Part of my job was to promote the purchase of stuff, and the majority was fattening, silly, fragile, fleeting of use and unnecessary to the well-being of the reader. I was an enthusiastic participant in a business that reduced people to their lowest common denominator: consumers. 
I remain unhappy about that, but this is the year of my personal mea culpa. This quest is an elongated Lenten reflection. Whenever I purposefully do not buy, I dedicate that moment to God.
She wrote about a venture into downtown Toronto for the memorial celebration of a friend; she apparently did not yield to temptation:  
"My enforced jaunt to downtown Toronto necessitated facing that double-edged sword of retail opportunity. I could acquire the gluten-free mix my celiac daughter favours. But this required visiting that kitchen emporium with a name like a California law firm: they clearly saw me coming. Getting to the flour meant bypassing groaning boards of glorious ceramic decanters, stacks of luscious linen tea towels and all of the newest appliances; sausage-making gizmos, milk-frothing thingies and gigantic silvery vats that create gelato in 30 seconds. And then, the kitchen cosmetics: liquids, foams and gels wafting lemon and lavender in bottles suitable to a Paris parfumieres. Get thee behind me, Satan of the soaps!"
The initiative caught the attention of CTV's Canada AM program. 
Meet the N.S. woman trying to buy nothing for a year
After years of touting the latest gadgets and beauty products, the former publisher of a Canadian women's magazine is making amends for years of promoting over-consuming with her pledge to buy nothing for an entire year.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

AMPA conference March 21 offers free webinars and keynote

The Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA) is offering free live webcasts of some select sessions from its 2014 annual conference on Friday, March 21. These include the 1 p.m. keynote luncheon speech by Andrew Loswsky, talking about how digital is the best thing that ever happened to print. Other free sessions are:
9 – 10:25 a.m. Making Social Media Make Sense for Your Business
Using real-life case studies from media brands using Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, Jennifer Reynolds (digital media strategist at Reader’s Digest) will teach you to create and maintain a social footprint that fits your publication, and will expand your audience, promote your brand, and drive more revenue. 
10:45 – 12:10 p.m. Business Planning in a Shifting Environment
John Milne (president of Breakwell & Company, a business communications and publishing consulting firm) explores the many factors publishers must keep in mind—from reader research and budgets to platforms and salaries—as they manage today’s challenges and plan for the future. He’ll help clarify priorities, highlight challenges and separate needs from wants.
2 – 3:25 p.m.  Designing for Readers
Matthew Bates (group creative director at Active Interest Media, publishers of award-winning Backpacker magazine) explains why, in an increasingly visual world, readers connect with far more than just the words on the page. Learn how audience research can help guide a redesign process, and how the look of your magazine can speak not only to the readers you have, but also to those you want.

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Alberta Oil reports on the "first mover" race to get gas to Asia

Illustration: Tom Froese
Alberta Oil magazine's current issue has a good look at the race between North American and other suppliers to see who can deliver their liquified natural gas to the high-priced Asian markets. It's called "first mover advantage". This is particularly urgent since shale gas production in the U.S. is muscling out Canadian suppliers; they have to look elsewhere. The piece by Kirsten Smith comes illustrated with several good maps and tables.
"Though Canada seems to be later to the game than our neighbors to the south, WCSB [Western Canada Sedimentary Basin] producers will also see some distinct advantages. Canadians, and the Canadian regulatory authorities governing energy development, are used to the idea of exporting resources. Whether or not public opinion has changed to expect further domestic processing does not alter the fact that our resources will eventually be shipped to be consumed elsewhere."

Maclean's cover story features tough-guy Putin and impotent West

Maclean's magazine is pulling out the tab type for its cover story by Michael Petrou and commentary by columnist Paul Wells about the evolving situation in Ukraine. 

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Getty Images is making most of its picture library free to use

Getty Images, the world's largest and inarguably one of the best photo services, particularly for historical photos, is making most of its picture library free to use. The images were previously watermarked and you had to pay to get the watermark removed; now, a magazine or a blog could use the images without watermark, providing they agree to appending a credit and link to the licensing page. 

Howcum? Well, according to a story on The Verge
"Look, if you want to get a Getty image today, you can get it without a watermark very simply," says Craig Peters, a business development executive at Getty. The way you do that is to go to one of our customer sites and you right-click. Or you go to Google image search or Bing Image Search and you get it there. And that's what's happening...Our content is everywhere already."
Essentially, Getty is acknowledging reality and gambling that the embed program will give it much more control, meaning it could insert ads or collect user information. Getty still actually makes money on its sales, mostly through digital licensing. But it is accepting that a lot of small, lower-end sites can't or won't pay, but will use pictures anyway.
"Peters' bet is that if web publishers have a legal, free path to use the images, they'll take it, opening up a new revenue stream for Getty and photographers....
"The principle is to turn what's infringing use with good intentions, turning that into something that's valid licensed use with some benefits going back to the photographer," says Peters, "and that starts really with attribution and a linkback."

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The Writers' Union of Canada now to accept self-published authors for membership

A large majority of The Writers' Union of Canada (TWUC) has voted in favour of opening its membership to professional, self-published authors. The referendum, which required a 2/3 majority,  followed the unanimous recommendation from delegates to the 2013 TWUC AGM last June. 

Where for many years professional writers distanced themselves from the self-published (often dismissed as "vanity publishing" or books that mainstream publishers wouldn't touch).
"The membership and volunteer leaders of the Union have taken a long, hard, and responsible look at the state of the writing and publishing industries worldwide,” noted current TWUC Chair, Dorris Heffron [in a statement posted on the TWUC website], “and we have concluded there is a population of highly professional self-published authors who would be well-served by membership in TWUC.”
The organization will have to revise its constitution and membership criteria at the upcoming AGM which is being held in St. John's. 
“It’s important to note we have not simply dropped the gate,” added Heffron. "TWUC membership criteria has always maintained it is not ‘easy’ to become a professionally published author. This vote is simply a recognition that the gatekeepers for this accomplishment have changed somewhat. The publishing industry remains a central arbiter of professional authorship. TWUC is now taking up the responsibility of gate-keeping as well.”
 The decision matches a growing worldwide trend.The once-exclusive Authors Guild in the U.S. has now opened its membership to self-published authors, though it has yet to establish an income screen for acceptance.

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Scott Havens still to be MagNet kickoff speaker, only now talking about Time Inc.

Scott Haven’s recent move  to Time Inc. from The Atlantic (as reported here) hasn't changed his commitment to be the marquee speaker for the MagNet 2014 conference in Toronto. Only his title and the titles for which he's responsible have changed. (The full MagNet program will be available later this month.)

Magazines Canada says that, as the new head of digital for some of Time Inc.’s most iconic magazines, Havens will be sharing his vision for TimePeople, Sports Illustrated and other brands, his strategies for succeeding in an increasingly fractured media landscape, and his ideas on how the magazine industry can ensure that great journalism not just survives, but thrives.


Mag world view: Guardian windfall; challenged printers; Can Intercept reinvent journalism?; Pro Publica goes retail; new AAM CEO

Monday, March 03, 2014

Newsweek brought back in print as
a "luxury product"

When the deep pockets and big brains of the business couldn't manage to keep Newsweek publishing, somehow a couple of audacious online publishers -- much to their surprise -- are bringing it back (at least in a small way) in print. 

According to a story in the New York Times, IBT Media bought Newsweek's assets at fire sale prices with the goal of publishing the newsweekly wholly on the web. They tripled Newsweek's online traffic and surprised themselves by coming to the conclusion that they could put out a hard copy edition and make it pay.

“We had no real plans to bring it back into print,” Jim Impoco, Newsweek’s editor in chief, said during a recent interview at the company’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan. “We called it the p-word.”
But Etienne Uzac, 30, and Johnathan Davis, 31 say that reader demand made them consider print. They plan to put 70,000 copies on the newsstand (a far cry from its circulation of 3.3 million 20 years ago) and sell them for $7.99 each (like The New Yorker).
“You would pay only if you don’t want to read anything on a backlit screen,” Mr. Uzac said. “It is a luxury product.”
Related stories: