Thursday, July 31, 2014

British newspapers to split away from shared research with magazines

The decision by British newspapers to split away from a combined research measurement system they have shared for 60 years with the magazine industry is apparently driven by a hunger for better information about digital audiences. Guy Consterdine, research consultant for the international magazine association FIPP says the National Readership Service (NRS) has worked well, but magazines and newspapers are diverging:
To some extent one could see a split coming. As in so many other countries, for most national newspapers their total audiences have become weighted towards websites and other digital sources, as the latter grow rapidly while their print circulations continue to fall. For example, The Guardian has 10.4 million visitors to its website but only 3.9 million adult readers of the daily printed newspaper. Consumer magazines, by contrast, have audiences heavily weighted towards print. The newspapers’ core product – the fast-moving news, continuously updated – is so much more suited to digital media than once-a-day print that newspapers (or newsbrands as they are increasingly calling themselves) must focus more on their digital audiences in future, especially if as some commentators predict most newsbrands will eventually become digital-only.
In Canada, magazines are served by the PMB, the Print Measurement Bureau and newspapers are served by NADBank. PMB has been developing a combined print and online audience measurement mechanism in collaboration with comScore.  

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Clearing out some back issues, Brick magazine holds a "buck a copy" online garage sale

Anyone who admires Brick magazine knows that being able to buy an issue for a buck is a heckuva deal. But that's what you can do during the online "garage sale" of the magazine's more plentiful back issues. For the month of August, Brick 71, 75, 76, 78, 79 and 81 can be bought for $1 plus another dollar in shipping. (If you're in Toronto, you can pick them up and save the mailing costs.) 
Every one of these issues is a knockout, timeless Brick. You’ll find writing by Dionne Brand, Geoff Dyer, Sheila Heti, W. S. Merwin, Robert Hass, John Berger, Lisa Moore, A. L. Kennedy, and many more, as well as conversations with the likes of Charles Bukowski, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Toni Morrison, and Marilynne Robinson. So snap up your copies while the sale lasts—and spread the word to fellow Brick-lovers.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fitter after 50; writer Margaret Webb pursues a stronger "second act"

Freelance writer, author and teacher Margaret Webb has written Older, Faster, Stronger: What Women Runners Can Teach Us All About Living Younger, Longer (Rodale Books, 2014), which is to be launched in Toronto in October. 

To whet readers' appetites Webb, who teaches Writing for Magazines and the Web at Ryerson's Chang School, has just released a 5-minute trailer featuring some of the extraordinary women she's met in the course of writing about setting out to get fitter after 50 than she was at university: the world's fastest 75+ sprinter, two 80+ marathoners and a 94 year old sprinter

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Mixing a bit more fun with authority, Ski Canada's new look unveiled

Ski Canada magazine is unveiling a whole new look starting with its 2015 Buyer's Guide. The redesign, including a new swooping serif logo, is done by the magazine's designers for the past 8 years, K9 Strategy and Design. 

Partner Jennifer Lourenco says the goal is to strengthen the 42-year-old brand as a current, authoritative voice on all things ski.
"Every redesign is a balancing act between yet-to-be-realised new readers and current loyal readers – you’re constantly asking have we gone too far, or not far enough," she said. "For Ski Canada, we’ve introduced elements that will bring a bit more fun to the reading experience, while still maintaining their role as the leading publication that is synonymous with skiing.”

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Quote, unquote: Employment measures

"If I were limited to a single metric to use for the health of the labour market, I would use this one. But limiting ourselves to one measure is ill-advised. There are a number of factors we could still control for, such as the ratio of new Canadians to those born here. We have said nothing about wages and the labour market struggles of new graduates and women are important and not captured here. But to properly analyze the health of the labour market, we need to control for demographic, population size, nature of work and social changes. Simply citing the unemployment rate or the number of people with a job is not enough. But by controlling for these factors, we see that the Canadian labour market is not particularly strong."
I have never understood the employment data as well as I do now, having read Mike Moffatt's blog post on Canadian Business


Mag world view: FT is 2/3 digital; What's up doc? in Baltics; LinkedIn buys Bizo; Turkey veggies; Gift Shop sold; Bucking trend at Vogue


Friday, July 25, 2014

Anna Wintour without rival in controlling
Condé Nast editorial

The ascension of Condé Nast president Bob Sauerberg to be in charge of all revenue generation activities means that Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour has seen off all of her rivals for control of editorial at the company as creative director. According to a story in  Crain's New York Business,
Editorial Director Tom Wallace will leave the company. Though he is not being replaced, his job was considered redundant after Ms. Wintour was named creative director last year. John Bellando, a 15-year veteran who was both chief financial officer and chief operating officer, is also leaving the company, to be replaced by an executive from Time Inc....
"Anna really has more power than Bob and Chuck [CEO] combined," said the former executive. "She's the person everyone sees as a visionary and as having a huge amount of influence inside and outside of the building."


Rogers's wireless issues depress Q2 results

Rogers Communications Inc. owns and publishes many of Canada's largests circulation and most popular magazines, but you'd hardly know it in light of reporting on the parent company's wireless woes. For instance, the Financial Post reports that Rogers's profit dropped 24% in 2nd quarter growth and the company is facing weak revenue growth and an increasing pressure to pay down the company's roughly $15 billion of adjusted net debt. Yet nowhere is there any reference to its publishing portfolio, which indicates its relatively small contribution to either profit or problems.
Adjusted operating profit in wireless came in at $843-million, up slightly from $821-million a year ago on lower revenue resulting from reductions in roaming rates in 2013 and simplified pricing plans that took effect over the past year.
According to the company's own release, Media in the 2nd quarter accounted for $475 million, up $5 million from the same period a year ago. However, profit, $54 million, was down $10 million from Q2 2013. There was a great deal of discussion about hockey rights on TV, but only a single paragraph that related to magazines, principally a reference to the expansion of Next Issue Canada, the one-price subscription service that Rogers operates in partnership with major U.S. magazine publishers. 


Terry Sellwood promoted to president of
Cottage Life Media

Terry Sellwood has been promoted  to be president of Cottage Life Media. Founder Al Zikovitz will continue in his role as CEO but will start transitioning more responsibilities to Terry over time. Since joining Cottage Life in 2000, Terry has been general manager and involved in all the company's magazine brands and its events business. Sellwood has been a major player in the magazine industry, including being the chair of the board of Magazines Canada (where he began his career working in the warehouse) and president of the National Magazine Awards Foundation. He was previously well known as a circulation expert, working for Transcontinental Media and Telemedia.

Cottage Life, Cottage Life West and Outdoor Canada and associated web and television properties and consumer shows are part of the broader Blue Ant Media portfolio.  Blue Ant is a privately held media company that owns and operates 11 media brands including Cottage Life, AUX, Smithsonian Channel Canada, and Oasis. Based in Toronto, it recently made an investment in Omnia Media, a YouTube video network operating in Los Angeles.


It will be smaller, and members will pay more, but MagsBC will carry on

The Magazine Association of BC, beleaguered and under threat for a couple of years, is going to carry on, after a vote at the association's annual general meeting on June 26. It will do so as a smaller entity, operating out of executive director Sylvia Skene's home and giving up its longtime offices on Homer Street in Vancouver and even its fax number, to save money. And its fees will be going up.

In a member newsletter, Trudy Lancelyn, the 2014-15 president, said

"Associations exist because their members derive benefits from joining. For MagsBC, the internship grants, professional development seminars and networking events pay back – in some cases in ways that go directly to members’ bottom lines....However, funding is only possible if the association exists, which means that we as members have to show our commitment and support by ensuring its continued viability."
Members are being asked in a survey to rate current and suggested projects and member feedback is very important, says Lancelyn.

As but two examples of the difficulties under which MagsBC has been labouring, the newsletter pointed out that their popular internship subsidy may or may not be subsidized by the Canada Periodical Fund and, in the meantime, they will continue to collect applications should funding become available. And the announcement of an Economic Impact Study being undertaken this summer by Rowland Lorimer and associates at Simon Fraser University turns out to have been premature, though magazines are being asked to continue to take part.

"What we didn't realize [when the announcement was made] was that the CPF has not yet decided whether to approve funding for this research. 
"We apologize to the folks at CPF for thanking them prematurely. We had no intention of using our thanks to pressure or embarrass the CPF, only to acknowledge its importance in supporting our industry."
 In February 2012, Mags BC was  thrown into a crisis when two funding applications, totalling $151,694, were rejected by the CPF; the agency relented and approved one of the two applications, but still with $25,000 less than it had applied for. A task force was created to address problems in four areas: grants/partnerships, fundraising/sponsorships, Board/Committee recruitment/development, and advocacy. The positive vote at the AGM is the most recent outcome of these discussions. 


Thursday, July 24, 2014

The disappearing bookstores and the shrinking shelf space; book publishers' concerns familiar to magazine publishers

The most common concerns raised by book publishers in Canada, according to report prepared for the International Publishers Association (IPA), were the closure of bricks-and-mortar bookstores and reduced shelf space for books in stores. This will likely resonate with magazine publishers, particularly of the independent and cultural kind, who rely just as heavily on independent bookstores and display space. The third most common concern was the cost of developing e-books; this is congruent with the challenge that magazine publishers face in creating digital editions. [H/T TWUC]

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Canadian Art to launch 30th anniversary issue as part of free Gallery Hop Day

Canadian Art magazine will mark its 30th anniversary on Saturday, September 20 with a special free Gallery Hop Day. It consists of a round-table discussion  on contemporary art writing, at the Art Gallery of Ontario's Jackman Hall, six tours through Toronto's galleries, led by some of the city's most knowledgeable art experts and a launch of the 30th anniversary issue of the magazine at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA). 

A few days earlier, on Thursday, September 18, the Canadian Art Foundation's Gallery Hop gala dinner and auction fundraiser will be held at Kool Haus. Individual tickets are $600. 

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Golf World ends 67-year-run in print and is rolled in with Golf Digest

Golf World, a 67-year-old title owned by Conde Nast, is discontinuing its print edition and going digital only as part of the Golf Digest website, owned by the same company. Golf World was bought from the New York Times Company in 2001 and had been publishing 31 times a year. Now, according to a story on Ad Age, it will be a weekly golf newsletter sent to subscribers 50 times a year. Print subscribers to Golf World will start receiving the 12-times-a-year Golf Digest from now on. It's reported that 10 people are losing their jobs as the result of the consolidation.

Recently, Golf Digest (the largest golf magazine in the world) launched a redesign to appeal to a younger audience. 

Garden Making magazine goes all to pots with new container gardening app

Garden Making magazine, based in Niagara-on-the-Lake, has launched a free Phone/iPad app for people who like to garden in pots. The new My Garden Containers app provides users with plant recipes for various combinations and a list of 80 plus container plants, plus how-to articles and videos. Users can share photographs and documentation of their own plantings in a public gallery.
“We try to make gardening approachable while providing expertise, tips and techniques," says publisher Michael Fox of Inspiring Media Inc., which produces Garden Making.
The company developed the app with support from the Ontario Media Development Corporation and through collaboration with developer Addicted to Touch, a division of Symetric Productions, Inc. in St. Catharines, Ont. .

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Making it easy for readers to feel smarter key to success of Mental Floss

The New York Observer has an interesting profile of the magazine Mental Floss that essentially says prosperity can come from telling readers interesting stories about interesting things they didn't realize they were interested in; off-beat rather than insidery; breaking all the rules. Co-founder Mangesh Hattikudur says "“Everything is still about trying to make you feel smarter, without feeling like it’s a chore.”
“This is going to sound kind of like Al Gore saying he invented the Internet, but I really think in some ways Mental Floss invented the culture of lists,” editor in chief Jessanne Collins crowed. 
The magazine, which tells stories that are easily converted to dinner party anecdotes, slowly developed a cult following, helped along by book deals with HarperCollins, board games and t-shirts.
Now publishing 10 times a year, the magazine started out in a dorm room conversation at Duke University in 2000, grew until today it has 160,000 circulation in print. It has a Youtube channel that recently hit a million subscribers. The publication was snapped up in 2011 by Felix Dennis, the (recently deceased) British magazine publisher.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mag world view: Author's Guild loses; NatGeo back to recycled paper; From "months to moments"; investigating Amazon

Quote, unquote: Yes, a million sounds like a lot, but...

“When tablets first came on the scene everyone was very excited about selling digital magazines to consumers. One million sounds like a lot, but you have to think we sell 27m/28m print magazines a month in the US.” 
-- Hearst CEO Duncan Edwards tells the Guardian why, despite selling a million a month in the U.S., he is not holding his breath about the potential of digital magazines aimed at users of tablets;no format has yet been a proven winner with consumers. 


Rogers has quietly cut "several hundred" mid-management jobs and 15% in the executive suite

A spokesperson for Rogers Communications Inc. has acknowledged that the company has quietly cut "several hundred" middle management positions across Canada and 15% of its executives at the vice-president level and above. The confirmation came Monday in a story in the Toronto Star and aligns with recent announcements of the departure of several key senior editors at Rogers Publishing (although it's not known what proportion of the "several hundred" are editorial employees.)

The clearout is part of Rogers 3.0, a multi-year plan designed to streamline management, first heralded in May by Rogers recently arrived CEO Guy Laurence. 

Rogers spokesperson Patricia Trott told The Star's Dana Flavelle:
“As part of the restructuring we have reduced the number of vice president and above positions by 15 per cent and several hundred middle management positions have also been eliminated across the company. These decisions are never easy. The goal is to become a more nimble, agile organization with much clearer accountabilities. Savings will be reinvested in areas like training and systems to better serve our customers.”

Monday, July 21, 2014

PEN Canada now in the crosshairs of Canada Revenue charity audit team

If you wondered whether the flying squad set up at Canada Revenue Agency to target charities for overstepping the allowable amount of political activity is close to the magazine business and journalism, think no longer. The Canadian Press reports that CRA has in its sights PEN Canada, which champions freedom of expression at home and abroad. It is perhaps best known for highlighting imprisoned journalists and writers around the world, but in the course of its work it has been highly critical of the Harper government and its policies. 
Two tax auditors showed up Monday morning at the tiny Toronto offices of PEN Canada, asking to see a wide range of internal documents. 
PEN Canada's president, Philip Slayton, says the tax agency gave notice of the audit two or three months ago, and that the group is "fully co-operating."
The federal government built an item into its budget in 2012 to finance special teams targetting charities such as  Amnesty International Canada, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Environmental Defence, Canada Without Poverty, and the David Suzuki Foundation, although the CRA says it receives no direction from the government or the cabinet. 

A number of charities have said that they are feeling a distinct "audit chill", made worse by the fact that the possible loss of their charitable status hangs over them like a Damoclean sword, sometimes for years. The PEN Canada audit could take a year or more. 
Charities are permitted to spend up to 10 per cent of their resources on political activities, based on a 2003 government policy, though they cannot endorse any party or candidate.Slayton says PEN Canada has abided by the rules, but there are grey areas. 
Slayton said that the wave of audits raises the question of whether charitable status is worth having:
 "I refuse to let it have a chilling effect on us, We are not going to have some kind of fear — about having our charitable status questioned by authorities — stop us speaking out on issues ...If it means you have to live in fear of the revenue authorities, and if it means that there are things you want to say, you feel you should say, but you feel you cannot say because of the rules, well then, what price charitable registration?"

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To the bare walls! Everything at FUSE must go!

FUSE magazine,is being wound up this week and there are a lot of details to be covered off, apparently. It has published its last e-newsletter and is publishing its last print issue (a commemoration) in August. 

It is holding a "garage sale" on its last day in business, Friday July 25 at 454-401 Richmond Street West during which everything, including back issues, monographs, catalogues, office supplies and furniture, will be on the block.

The magazine is to be congratulated about being careful about copyrights. When the publisher -- Artons Cultural Affairs Society -- dissolves, all of the past materials will be deposited with e-artexte, carrying a Creative Commons license. Copyright is retained by the original contributors and they have the option until Friday of opting out of being part of the digital repository. Current subscribers whose subscriptions go past August are having them fulfilled by copies of Canadian Dimension and C magazine.

FUSE was launched in 1976 and announced in December it was ceasing publication after 37 years. The magazine started out as a newsprint magazine called Centrefold based in Calgary in 1976. Relocated to Toronto in 1978, it changed its name to FUSE, the founding editors of which were Clive Robertson, Lisa Steele and Tom Sherman.

Several key senior editors let go at Rogers Publishing

[This post has been updated] Several senior editors at Rogers Publishing have been laid off as part of what is dubbed Rogers 3.0, its plan to position the company for growth. In a brief internal note to staff about the departures headed "Thank you Dianne, Beth and Kristen", Steve Maich, the senior vice-president, publishing and Derek DeCloet, the vice-president of content announced that the departures are:
  • Dianne de Fenoyl, who has held various editorial management roles at Maclean's,
    Chatelaine and elsewhere within Rogers, has seen her role as editor-at-large eliminated. She was managing editor of Maclean's from 2005 until 2009 and then editorial director of Chatelaine. The note described her as "one of the country's most talented editors" who had "fine-tuned editorial instincts". de Fenoyl had earlier in her career held various lynchpin jobs at the Globe and Mail  (Review editor),executive editor at Saturday Night magazine and life editor of the National Post
  • Beth Thompson, is leaving the company and her job as editor-in-chief of Canadian Health and Lifestyle magazine, which now falls under the Chatelaine umbrella. She became editor last September after Rogers bought the magazine in April 2012. The magazine is a controlled vehicle distributed through the Rexall Group of pharmacies. Previous positions had been editor-in-chief of Glow magazine and beauty editor of More
  • Kristin Vinakmens is leaving as editor-in-chief of Cosmetics and Made for Men magazines, both now rolled under the Flare brand. Vinakmens had been beauty editor at Flare and Glow magazines and online editor of Totem's Rouge.  
[Update] Also laid off was Antonia Whyatt, the features director at Chatelaine since June 2010 and previously beauty director at Conde Nast's Tatler and at Jane magazine in New York. 

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Quote, unquote: On web enhancing print
(and vice-versa)

"We think that there is a future in print. Obviously the momentum is with the Web, but in the last four years working with the Web has enhanced the content of the magazine. The content there is stronger than ever before. Obviously print revenues are under pressure, but the desire for people to use print is still there. We don’t think of it as either/or. One enhances the other, and one gives credibility to the other."
-- Steve Forbes comment to Digiday about the future of the Forbes magazine and media empire in which the family agreed to sell majority control to a consortium of Hong Kong investors for about $475 million. 


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mag world view: USPS and 3-D; Creepy Tatler; The Atlantic comes calling; hardball at checkouts

Gold, two silvers for Professionally Speaking in Tabbie Awards

Oct 2013, silver winner,
feature design
Canadian magazines have done well at the annual Tabbie Awards, which honours business-to-business titles from around the world; this year nominations came from the U.S., Canada, the UK, Australia, NewZealand, Singapore and South Africa. 

Professionally Speaking, the magazine for the Ontario College of Teachers, won a gold editorial award for department ("Exemplary OCT": Trish Snyder,  Leata Lekushoff)  as well as five other awards, including silvers for focus/profile article ("Exemplary OCT": Carmen Gassi ,Trish Snyder, Leata Lekushoff) and for feature design for "Fresh Start" (Luis Albuquerque, Charlene Watson, Jacqueline Kovacs, Leata Lekushoff, Studio 141 Inc.). Benefits Canada magazine won silver for best cover photograph ( "No Guts, No Glory": photographer Mike Ford, art director Scott Jordan.) 

In the feature article category, a silver winner was Atlantic Business magazine for "State of the Union", by Stephen Kimber; also among the top 25 in this category was Professionally Speaking

Among the top 25 for the best single issue category were honourable mentions for Canadian Nurse and Wood Design and Building. 

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Elle Québec cover shows a sense of perfect timing

Talk about perfect timing; days after she wowed Wimbledon. Eugenie Bouchard on the just-released August cover of Elle Québec.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Funding still available, says Canada Periodical Fund, but best get applications in by Sept. 15

The Canada Periodical Fund is reminding eligible publishers that funding is still available for the 2014-2015 year under the Collective Initiatives component and, although applications are accepted through the year, the Fund suggests that applications should be filed by September 15 to allow sufficient processing time. More information. 


Renovation Contractor joins
Homes Publishing Group

Renovation Contractor magazine is joining the Homes Publishing Group. Founder and editor-in-chief  of RC, Jim Caruk, says in a posting "part of the agreement was that we would continue to do things the way we've been doing since day one."
Homes Publishing Group (Homes for Sale Magazine Ltd.) concentrates on the home market with Homes magazine, Reno & Decor and Condo Life, Moving To magazines plus Active Life and Ontario Design as well as associated websites and show guides for three leading consumer shows and two building industry membership directories. 
Renovation Contractor publishes six issues annually, with a distribution of 33,000 copies per issue mailed directly to professional contractors and small and medium-sized home renovators across Canada. The magazine was established in 2011 by Caruk Media Group Inc. and has been a finalist for trade magazine of the year in the Kenneth R. Wilson Awards in 2013 and 2014. Caruk has been in the renovation business for 40 years and is well known for his HGTV series Real Renos and Builder Boss.

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Melony Ward named interim president and CEO of Canada's National History Society

Melony Ward, the recently named publisher of Canada's History and Kayak magazines, has been named the interim president and CEO of Canada's National History Society. The appointment pends the extended search that the board of the society is making for someone to replace Deborah Morrison, who left the organization after 12 years.


MagNet conference will not be held in 2015, instead integrated with FIPP World Congress

MagNet, the annual industry conference in June will not be held next year, according to Magazines Canada. Instead, some of the Canadian programming will be integrated with the FIPP World Congress that is to be held in Toronto October 13-15. (It's the first time that the international congress of magazine media has been held in Canada.) The association will be considering how to revitalize MagNet before June 2016. 

In a message to members, Mark Jamison, CEO of Magazines Canada said:
After broad consultation, Magazines Canada’s Board of Directors and the team behind the MagNet conference have decided to develop and integrate Canadian programming with international programming at FIPP 2015 instead of mounting the annual MagNet, normally held in June.  
Over the next few months, the Canadian and European management team will create a 2015 FIPP World Congress program that will shine a global spotlight on Canada’s magazine media within a diverse international perspective. The Congress Co-chairs are Fabrizio D’Angelo (Hubert Burda Media, Germany) and Douglas Knight (St. Joseph Media, Canada).  
And there is more good news. This change in scheduling will allow Canada’s magazine media to consider future-focused initiatives to serve the needs of our evolving industry, including a dynamic new MagNet conference in June 2016.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Chatelaine fashion shoots are part of northern Ireland tourism strategy

Fashion and beauty editor Catherine Franklin and photographer 
Alvaro Goveia  of Chatelaine flank Claire 
Keenan of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Wooing the media with air fares and accommodations is standard operating procedure for tourism marketing boards. A good example is the recent promotion by Tourism Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board that led the Canadian magazine to do two fashion shoots in northern Ireland. The result, according to a story in Ballymoney Times, will be two, 8-page fashion features shot at places such as the Causeway Coast, the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, Mussenden Temple and Dunluce Castle.and the gardens and grounds of Glenarm Castle, to run in issues later this year. Plus videos will be shared on Chatelaine's social media platforms. 

Jayne Schackleford, Tourism Ireland's manager for Canada, says

“Both articles will highlight our beautiful scenery and our wonderful castles and gardens – encouraging Canadian holidaymakers to come and experience the destination for themselves.”

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Magazine intensive pro dev sessions to be held in Calgary, Edmonton

Three magazine intensive professional development sessions are being offered in the next couple of months by the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA). The sessions are full days, team taught.

In Calgary
Sales Intensive: Build and Market Your Integrated Sales Program, Monday, August 18 (10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.). 
Presenters: Melissa Ahlstrand and Michelle Kalman; includes an in-depth look at what to consider when creating and developing a highly valued integrated program that’s right for your magazine. (registration closes 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 15)
Cultural/Small Mags Intensive: From Marketing and Promotions to Readership and Audience.  Saturday, September 13 (10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.). Presenters: Trevor Battye and Hal Niedzviecki; provides an opportunity for publishing professionals at small, cultural and literary magazines to explore new solutions for growth.(registration closes 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 10)
In Edmonton
Design Intensive: Revitalizing Your Magazine’s Design from Process to Cover, Tuesday, August 19 (10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) Presenters: Bob Hambly and John Montgomery; you'll also look at cover design, addressing what makes a good cover, the design process from idea to implementation and presentation, and ideas for working within a limited budget.(registration closes 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 15)


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Beauty mag "rotation" being abandoned by Conde Nast in face of change

The so-called "beauty rotation" whereby major beauty advertisers such as Revlon, Estee Lauder, L'Oreal and Procter & Gamble took turns in the order in which they appeared before the masthead in the front of Conde Nast magazines such as Vogue, Glamour, Self and Allure, has ended. 

According to a story in Ad Age, the rotation was a longstanding policy that hearkened back to when ads were sold on relationships between buyers and sellers. But these have eroded because of digital competition and automated advertising auctions. Some advertisers have been diverting their multi-page print buys into other media.
One ad buyer said the hierarchy was a relic. "The marketplace has changed," said a media buyer who is not involved in the negotiations. "Archaic policies should be thrown out."
The rotation was a way of encouraging companies to spend money with Conde Nast pubs and removing it may be a recognition that Conde Nast books are no longer the only game in town. There is also a big shift in media buying  habits and ad sales budgeting. 
Today...magazines such as Allure and Glamour face an onslaught of competition from not only traditional competitors like Hearst Magazines and TV networks aimed at women, but also a host of digital upstarts, including, a content site run by L'Oreal. 
Meanwhile, increased competition and eroding single-copy sales have stung magazine companies, which have limped through the first half of 2014, with print ad sales -- where they make the bulk of their revenue -- proving anemic ahead of the critical September issues for women's fashion magazines.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

The New Yorker to have 3-month "free for all" leading up to unveiling of new, metered paywall

While it spends three months working on a new, metered paywall, The New Yorker is making all of its articles and any it has published since 2007 free, beginning July 21. 

According to a story in the New York Times, the new site will be based on the WordPress publishing system and is expected to be particularly navigable by mobile users, the fastest-growing segment of the magazine's readership. The new venture is based on a firm belief that online readers will continue to pay for long, deeply reported articles in which the magazine specializes. 

The New Yorker has always limited availability of its magazine articles online, but has been somewhat capricious until now in what it makes available free and what it restricts to subscribers. Editor David Remnick  described the existing system as "awkward" and said  
“It is a challenge but I don’t mean the word ‘challenge’ in the way that it’s used in the business world as a cliché for disaster. I mean it in the original sense of the word.”

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Quote, unquote: Giving millennial women readers what they want

“Everything we've done was created with our reader in mind, The site gives millennial women exactly what they want—a simple feed that is easy to view on mobile, filled with content that is easy to share.”
-- editor Amy Odell, commenting on the rollout of a new digital publishing platform, first used for Cosmo, soon to be shared by some 18 Hearst Magazine titles. 


This Magazine to launch first
summer reading issue

This Magazine, which has had a literary component for most of its 48 years, is for the first time publishing a summer reading issue. The special issue will be introduced at a special event on Wednesday, July 16 at the Supermarket in Toronto's Kensington Market (268 Augusta Ave.) Literary editor Dani Couture will host short readings by Aisha Sasha John (THOU, The Shining Material),David Seymour (For Display Purposes Only), and Tony Burgess (Pontypool Changes Everything, The n-Body Problem). The event starts at 7:30 and the $5 entry includes a copy of the special issue. 

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Monday, July 07, 2014

CRTC issues first bulletin telling businesses how to comply with anti-spam legislation

In an effort to smooth the way in its efforts to enforce regulations under Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has issued the first of what will be a number of "compliance and enforcement information bulletins". 

The first bulletin is five pages setting out what businesses need to do to set up their compliance programs (and, not coincidentally, establish a due diligence defence in the case of alleged or actual violations of the demanding act.)

The bulletin can be accessed here:


Sarah Fulford of Toronto Life to receive honorary degree at Humber College

Sarah Fulford, the editor-in-chief of Toronto Life magazine is being given an honorary degree by Humber College at this week's Spring 2014 convocation. Fulford sits on the Humber Journalism Advisory Board and has been editor of TL since 2008, the first woman ever to run the magazine. She sits on the board of the Toronto Public Library Foundation and, in 2012, co-founded "The New Collection", TPL's young  professional program. 

In its citation for the degree,  the college says
"In 2010, Fulford successfully overhauled Toronto Life with a redesign that a reporter for The Globe and Mail called “smart,” “nuanced,” and “a clear improvement.” "


Friday, July 04, 2014

Largest golf magazine in the world redesigned to appeal to younger audience. Will it work?

There has been a great reluctance to mess with specialty sports magazines for fear of scaring off the core audience. There seems to have been the assumption that the readers were older, set in their ways and resistant to change. Well, we shall see.

Golf magazines have seemed ossified, stuck in 1962 and featuring a round-robin of topics and cover lines so that readers may bask in the deja vu. Their own kind of handicap, so to speak.

Condé Nast decided to make over Golf Digest, the most widely read golf publication in the world and allowed their design team and Luke Hayman, a partner in the design house Pentagram, to go get them some of those millenial golfers. As the Pentagram site notes 
The format opens up the magazine for a looser, more playful feel that conveys the game’s athleticism and virtuosity, as well as the growing “cool” of golf culture, embodied by player-fans like Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon. For the designers, part of the challenge was finding new methods to visually represent the subject—to break up the monotony of pictures of golf course greens against the bright blue sky, or to show golf tips like swing paths in an unexpected way.
To update the masthead, the designers looked for a font with balls—specifically, ball terminals, which add a playful touch given the subject matter. The contemporary stencil-like font Dala Moa was selected for its distinctive ball terminals, which break free from the letterforms so balls can be hidden in plain sight in the logotype and in display text. With the blessing of Dala Moa’s designer, Paul Barnes, the terminals were customized to make them perfectly round. Commercial Type, the foundry that licenses the font, worked on refining the logotype by adjusting the letter spacing as well as the spacing of the stenciling, to make sure the identity would work in a range of different sizes. The colored dot of the “i” in “Digest” was retained as a link to the magazine’s former logo. 
Inside, the tone is smart, sophisticated, and irreverent, with content designed to engage both golfers and non-golfers. About a quarter of the magazine continues to be instruction––tips and techniques––joined by more articles that contain data and stats about golfers, games and gear, both for pros and amateurs. Shorter articles offer more entry points for the reader, and a flexible grid gives the dense information room to breathe.
Pentagram is well known for its design generally, but its magazine work specifically, ranging from TIME to the New York Times magazine and Atlantic, from Vanity Fair to Billboard

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Mag world view: "Zero-nipple" policy; NUJ condemns £5 per 150 words; alienating covers; cats & dogs; Gawker's menu


Thursday, July 03, 2014

TV Guide online-only edition eliminated

TV Guide Canada, which has been a shadow of its former self, is ending its 61 year run. According to a Canadian Press story, Transcontinental Media is eliminating its last remaining full-time editorial position which had been used to produce an online-only edition since 2006. TV Guide Canada started publishing in 1953 and was spun off from its U.S. counterpart TV Guide in 1977.
Transcontinental Media (TSX:TCL.A) acquired it from Telemedia in 2000. It subsequently underwent a string of changes and by 2005 it was reduced from six regional editions to two — one for Eastern Canada and one for Western Canada. 
Aside from special editions, the print version was cancelled entirely in 2006 when TV Guide Canada became available online only. 
In December 2012, was incorporated into Bell Canada's lifestyle and entertainment webmagazine, The Loop.
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Tablet magazine ads get same reader recall as print

GfK MRI Starch Advertising Research says advertising in magazines on tablets have the same degree of impact and recall as the same ads in print. According to a story in Talking New Media, Starch compared reader recall for 28,624 magazine ads in 805 tablet magazines published in 2013 with consumer print recall data. The result was an average of 52% of readers in both recalled ads; over 80% of readers "noted" ads in both. 

Tablet edition readers like the interactivity of tablets and saw advertising as an essential part of the magazine experience (exactly what print readers say.)
“We have found that tablet magazine readers not only are engaged with the editorial and advertising content, but that digital ads have the power to grab attention,” said Mickey Galin, EVP, GfK Starch Advertising Research. “This speaks to what is most likely unrecognized value in digital magazine advertising, and the ability of tablet ads to raise the effectiveness of print/digital campaigns. We see that both static and interactive tablet ads are able to capture readers’ attention and earn strong ‘Noted’ scores.”

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Anti-spam legislation and opt-in provisions will likely be challenged in court by summer's end

The CASL anti-spam legislation has been a massive makework project for the Canadian magazine industry, for its publishers and their staffs. Magazine readers were asked quite recently -- mostly in the week leading up to Canada Day -- to give explicit permission (called opt-in) to have e-mailed communications sent to them by Canadian magazine publishers. 

There is no data available about a) how many magazines have done this (or are even aware of the situation) and b) how many readers responded positively. I suspect that there will have been some slippage as many readers considered whether they really wanted to be on dozens of mailings lists, whether they really wanted to continue receiving dozens of e-letters and wondered how the heck they'd got there in the first place. 

But publishers had already modified their direct mail, e-letter signups and similar to gain reader buy-in. The whole thing just added to the workload. Some seemed to fear that the spam police were going to be at their door on July 2. Not true. 

There is a three year phase-in before enforcement will be required and, even then, it will be complaint-driven (what is called "private right of action"). The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which is charged with enforcement, is still trying to figure out how it will document and assess the expected thousands of cases that will come their way; not only in the magazine business but in businesses generally, anyone who contacts customers unbidden and maintains a customer database. 

The magazine industry has been briefing its members for more than a year about CASL and its requirements and most publishers paid attention. A lot of them have already found ways to be compliant and to keep up their readership and subscriber numbers. 

Magazines are just one sector in the Coalition of Business and Technology Associations opposing certain aspects and trying to amend the anti-spam legislation, which came into force July 1. It would probably be wise to wait until the first person or business is actually charged three years or more from now (and it could be an independent flower shop or other small business every bit as likely as a small cultural magazine) then get behind and support them in the long, winding road to the Supreme Court (which is where such a test case could end up in 10 years or so.) That's a wise course and reflective of reality, but it may not be the way things play out.

Some of the members of the coalition, led by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, backed up by the Canadian Marketing Association, are considering a court challenge and it may be launched by the end of summer, apparently trying to get out ahead of the three-year deadline (and therefore keeping their members satisfied that something is being done in return for their dues.) It will certainly make lawyers rich (such a challenge could cost $500,000 or more.) 

But meanwhile, publishers will be figuring out how to do what they do best, which is serving their customers and giving them content that they'll be happy to opt into. Seems a better use of time and money, frankly.
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Air Canada enRoute film festival to bring short film finalists to seatback screens

Air Canada's Enroute Film Festival will be launched later this month at a free public screening and after-party in Vancouver (July 29 7:30 p.m. PT at Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street.) The event and competition, produced by the airline and its eponymous in-flight magazine enRoute, gives a preview of 16 selected short films that Air Canada passengers will be able to watch between August 1 and December 31 on their seatback in-flight entertainment systems as well as online at enroutefilmcom

The winners will be chosen from the shortlist of 16 in November by a jury headed by noted filmmaker Don McKellar and the winners of the People's Choice Awards will be voted online by Air Canada passengers. 
The films will compete to win prizes for Best Short Film, Achievement in Direction, Achievement in Cinematography, Achievement in Animation, and, new this year, Achievement in Documentary. Winners will each receive an all-inclusive trip for two to the Berlin International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, courtesy of Air Canada. The winner of Best Short Film will also receive $5,000 courtesy of presenting sponsor Cineplex.

Free public screenings will be held in Montreal at Centre Phi (407 Rue Saint Pierre) on November 3, 2014 and Toronto on Wednesday, November 5 at the Scotiabank Theatre (259 Richmond Street W). Following the Toronto screening, prizes will be presented at an invitation-only awards celebration at 2nd Floor Events.


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Next Issue Canada digital sub service adds National Geographic titles

Next Issue Canada, the digital magazine subscription service, has added National

Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic Kids,
and National Geographic Little Kids to its menu. It brings the titles offered to more than 140, charged at a flat monthly rate.
"At Next Issue, we are continuously expanding our catalogue to deliver incomparable access to the publications readers value most," said Steve Maich, senior vice president, publishing, Rogers. "The National Geographic suite of magazines is among the most respected and well-known brands in the world, and adding them to our catalogue enhances the breadth of best-in-class content available to subscribers of all ages."
Next Issue Canada is a joint venture between Rogers Media and Next Issue Media, co-owned by the largest U.S. magazine publishers.


The Grid is shutting down

It will be a matter of sadness to its many readers that The Grid, the Toronto weekly magazine published by the Star Media Group (Toronto Star) is being shut down. After 162 issues, it was announced, this Thursday's will be its last. 

The decision, announced by John Cruickshank, the president of Star Media Group, was attributed to insufficient advertising revenue, despite the strong and loyal reader following. 

Among he many ironies of the decision is that The Grid was accreting the kind of young, hip, urban following that the parent company wanted to reach. And in the process had won international prizes as one of the world's best-designed newspapers and many National Magazine Awards for design and writing. Recently, the magazine had significantly reduced its trim size in an apparently unsuccessful attempt to reduce costs. 

The paper was launched in May 2011, succeeding Torstar's Eye Weekly, heralding itself as "a fresh, accessible voice for Toronto". Among other things, it eschewed the sex ads that had been a staple of Eye

Among the many things that will likely be missed by its readers is the insightful column The Keenan Wire by Edward Keenan and the energetic infographics that The Grid excelled in. 


Magazine launches outpace closures more than 3-to-1 in first half of 2014

First half 2014 magazine launches outpaced closures more than 3-to-1, according to the online North American database MediaFinder; 93 launched, 30 closed (about the same as the same period in 2013.)

Top category for new launches was “regional interest” with six new print titles such as 12th & Broad and The Sip. In the “craft” category, new magazine launches include Craft Beer & Brewing and Willow & Sage. Other new titles in the first half of 2014 are Barbecue America and San Francisco Cottages & Gardens. Ceased magazines include Diabetic Cooking, Scene (NY), and 13 specialty automobile titles from TEN: The Enthusiast Network (formerly Source Interlink Media).
 “While it appears that the magazine industry may be stabilizing, it is sad to see that two venerable magazines, Jet and Ladies Home [Journal], have dropped their print editions,” said Trish Hagood, president of “We are seeing continued strength in specialized magazines such as regional and crafts.”
 In the business-to-business magazine sector, 15 new titles launched, such as IEEE Cloud Computing Magazine, compared with 14 new titles in 2013. During the same period, five b-to-b titles closed, including Seafood Business, while nine magazines closed in 2013. In addition, Computerworld and CSO dropped their print editions during the first half of 2014.

MediaFinder maintains information on about 77,000 U.S. and Canadian magazines, journals, newsletters, directories and catalogues. 

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