Masthead News Archives
January 1999
Transcontinental unplugs lighting industry trade
Toronto, Ont., 28 Jan., 1999: The lights have gone out for Transcontinental's Eclairage Plus as a standalone trade magazine for the lighting industry. The last issue was November/December. Publisher Johanne Rouleau of Transcontinental's Groupe Constructo says the 10-year-old magazine has been absorbed by Quebec Construction, where it will now appear as a section with the same name and covering the same topics: new products, innovations and different lighting projects in the industry. Rouleau says Groupe Constructo "tried to keep it [Eclairage Plus] as a standalone for many years without the success we would have wished for." She notes, however, that the subject matter at least will now have more exposure--Quebec Construction has a circulation of 21,000 and it is published seven times a year, while Eclairage Plus was a quarterly with a circulation of just 7,000.
Contact: 1-800-363-0910

Multi-Vision strikes deal with Southam on Chic
Toronto, Ont., 27 Jan., 1999: Multi-Vision Publishing Inc. has partnered with Southam Inc. to handle all advertising sales for Montreal-based Chic magazine. According to Multi-Vision president and CEO Greg MacNeil, the deal was finalized on Jan. 18 after months of discussions. The women's beauty and fashion quarterly remains 100% owned by Southam, with The Gazette continuing to handle the editorial and graphics. In addition to its new responsibility for Chic's ad sales, Multi-Vision will also be consulting on the title's content. However, there will be no editorial cross-over with Elm Street, says MacNeil. "We're involved obviously in generating revenue and we're also keen in the profitability of the product," he says. "Our job is to add whatever expertise we bring to the table from a publishing point of view." Multi-Vision's involvement was precipitated by Chic's recent shift in content from advertorial to pure editorial. That change debuted with the recent holiday issue, released late last year. "My belief in product and content is so great that the only reason we could be involved is because of Chic's move to an editorial direction," says MacNeil. In related changes, Chic's frequency will be jumping to five issues a year, while distribution will be expanding to Calgary and Edmonton in March (the title currently goes to Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver). For Southam and Multi-Vision, the cooperation on Chic furthers the relationship the two publishers have enjoyed since the launch of Elm Street, which is distributed nationally to major urban centres through Southam's network of dailies (distribution in Toronto is through The Toronto Star). "It's always nice when a relationship expands," observes MacNeil. Currently, Elm Street's controlled circ stands at 655,000, with the recent move to convert to paid already starting to show promise: so far, the Toronto-based title has 45,000 paying subscribers.
Contact: 595-9944

The Globe launches new advertising supplement
Toronto, Ont., 26 Jan., 1999: The Globe and Mail today launched a new magazine-format advertising supplement called Canada ICI, defined by its tagline as the "Industrial, Commercial and Investment Real Estate Review." Distributed with today's edition of The Globe and Mail, the 18-page debut issue of the four-colour glossy covers such topics as real estate construction, big-box shopping centres, commercial real estate investors and how companies use office designers. There are also two regular departments called "Property Profile" and "Trend Watch." Advertisers, meanwhile, include real estate companies, construction firms and property developers and brokers. The title will be published three times a year, with the next issue slated for May.
Contact: 416-585-5600

Ad group complains to PM over C-55 process
Toronto, Ont., 25 Jan., 1999: The Association of Canadian Advertisers has fired off an angry letter to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, complaining that Canadian advertisers have been "shut out of the process" regarding discussion of Bill C-55. The letter, dated last Friday (Jan. 22), accuses Ottawa of cutting a "sweetheart deal" with magazine publishers at the expense of advertisers who "ultimately pay the bill for Canadian magazines with their ad dollars." Signed by ACA president and CEO Ron Lund, the letter derides Chrétien's cabinet--in particular Heritage Minister Sheila Copps--for failing to schedule meetings with ACA representatives "despite numerous letters and phone calls." According to Lund, the ACA--which stated its case in Ottawa last fall before the Heritage standing committee--opposes Bill C-55 because:
• "it deprives us of freedom and opportunities to tell Canadians about our products and services";
• "rather than encouraging competition that spurs the growth of new voices and new publications, it would curtail or deny such opportunities";
• "it does nothing to either protect or enhance Canadian culture;" and
• "it puts Canadians at risk of U.S. retaliation."
The letter offers no evidence or examples to support its criticisms of the Bill. "Your government has had plenty of time to listen to the concerns of the Canadian magazine industry, dominated by two companies--Telemedia and Rogers," writes Lund. "…Why can't your government find the time to meet with the Association of Canadian Advertisers? After all, without our members and their ads, there would be no Canadian magazine industry."
Contact: 416-964-3805

Toronto tab eye unveils new look, more editorial
Toronto, Ont., 22 Jan., 1999: Seven-year-old eye weekly, Torstar's attempt to take on the highly successful, long-time alternative weekly Now Magazine, has unveiled a minor redesign along with expanded news coverage and events listings. The refurbished eye, complete with a new logo sans "the crazy eyeball," hit the streets of Toronto yesterday. Ironically, the changes coincide with an article in the current issue of Toronto Life about the ongoing battle between eye and 18-year-old Now for the city's lucrative advertising market. According to February's media column by Robert Fulford, eye and its frat-boy humour have been largely unsuccessful in wooing away significant portions of left-leaning Now's advertising base. Ostensibly, the expanded editorial is intended to meet reader demand--solicited via survey--for more news coverage of the city, along with more listings of city events. These are precisely the areas in which Now has long excelled. Indeed, it is for that reason that observers believe this week's changes are geared more to attracting advertisers than readers. Until now, the weekly has mainly consisted of columnists opining--from a largely youthful, urban perspective--on everything from media to wine. Additions to eye's editorial mix include:
• weekly editorials on city issues
• a city news section, staffed by two reporters
• vastly expanded listings of the city's entertainment offerings (compiled by a newly hired listings editor)
• expanded coverage and reviews of the arts
In his editorial this week, Bill Reynolds stresses that the changes have not been made at the total expense of eye's irreverent humour, writing that readers wanted the weekly to "keep the humour, but get more serious." The overall effect of the changes, Reynolds writes, is to "get more local, be more hard-hitting and tell Toronto stories from a downtown point of view."
The changes coincide with a hike in circulation to 105,000 copies, distributed throughout Toronto via more than 2,100 drop boxes and other distribution points.
Contact: 416-504-4339

FP Magazine's editor among recent departures
Toronto, Ont., 20 Jan., 1999: There have been several changes to the mastheads of both The Financial Post Magazine and Saturday Night since the formation of Southam Inc.'s fledgling consumer magazine division last September. Most significant are the departures of FP Mag editor Wayne Gooding, senior editor Jocelyn Laurence and art director Dave Woodside. According to division head Maureen Cavan, Gooding and Laurence have launched their own contract publishing business, through which they'll continue working with the magazine (they've been contracted to produce the March and April issues, as well as The Financial Post 500). Taking over as editor this month is Tony Keller, most recently assistant editor on The Globe and Mail's editorial board. As for Dave Woodside, Cavan says his departure was precipitated by the rationalization of the two magazines' art departments. Saturday Night art director Barbara Solowan is now overseeing the creative on both titles, with David Wilson on contract as FP Mag's art director. At Saturday Night, meanwhile, senior editor Zsuzsi Gartner left in December to concentrate on writing fiction. Filling her position is new senior editor Paul Wilson, most recently a producer on CBC Radio's This Morning. Also new is senior associate editor Adam Sternbergh, a former associate editor at Toronto Life. According to Cavan, the additions bring Saturday Night's editorial staff back up to its full complement. In related news, both titles are now preparing for complete graphic redesigns. Saturday Night's new look, complete with a new logo, will debut with the upcoming March issue, while FP Mag will sport its new design starting in September.
Contact: 416-368-7237

Two new mags feed Quebec taste for celebrities
Montreal, P.Q., 20 Jan., 1999: Quebeckers seem to have an insatiable appetite for stargazing--or so one might deduce given last month's launch of two new French-language magazines devoted to celebrities and showbiz. Star Inc., for example, is for readers who simply must know what the celebrities are wearing to the latest movie premieres, along with other behind-the-scenes glimpses of show business. Published by Montreal-based Trustar Ltd., Star Inc. intends to give readers a glimpse of "what we don't see" about celebrities, says Trustar's vice-president of monthly magazines, Elizabeth Deschamps. And as its name suggests, Star Inc. covers not only the private lives of celebrities, but also the business of being a star, including articles on how they spend and manage their earnings. The debut issue, for instance, takes a look at the child custody and financial arrangements surrounding the divorce of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis. Regular editorial includes fashion-related articles, profiles of local and international celebrities, and reports on who the stars are dating off screen. The new glossy can be found on newsstands across Quebec. The second launch, Édition Spéciale, comes from Quebec City-based Les Aristocrates Inc., publishers of the humour magazine Safarir. In fact, Édition Spéciale was conceived after a "new kind of content" originally intended for Safarir "didn't fit it at all," says editor and publisher Sylvain Bolduc. Instead, that same new content became Édition Spéciale, an "entertainment magazine" that's "a little bit spicy, a little bit funny, a little bit crazy," says Bolduc. "It's not a straight magazine." Allowing that his new magazine is somewhat more serious in tone than Safarir, Bolduc says readers will nonetheless find that Édition Spéciale's writers "like to have fun" with their coverage of celebrities and celebrity gossip. Most of the stars covered--and profiled--will be American, although readers will find some local faces, he says. Along with the entertainment coverage, the new French-language title will also include a lifestyle section; one upcoming feature, for example, will take a light-hearted look at the 20 crazy things people should do before the year 2000. Édition Spéciale can also now be found on Quebec newsstands. It is slated to come out eight times a year.
Contact: 418-692-4499 (Édition Spéciale)
Contact: 514-848-7164 (Star Inc.)

New trade targets public procurement industry
Ottawa, Ont., 19 Jan., 1999: Buyers and sellers in the $60-billion public procurement industry--involving everything from school text books to consulting services to jet planes--now have their very own quarterly publication. Launched in October by the Ottawa firm Prospectus Inc., Summit magazine aims to fill "a big hole in communication" between public sector buyers and private sector suppliers, says assistant editor Anne Phillips. Taglined "The Business of Public Sector Procurement," the four-colour glossy targets individuals, businesses and organizations selling goods and services to the public sector, as well as those who make the purchases--whether they're local school board officials or federal bureaucrats. To serve both buyers and sellers, Summit promises reports on policy trends, national procurement programs, how-to articles and other news and issues from the procurement sector. The 20,000 circ title will carries a cover price of $6.95; a year's sub is $21.95. A one-time, full-page colour ad goes for $3,690.
Contact: 613-580-2208

TPG and Paton to help YTZ launch youth title
Toronto, Ont., 18 Jan., 1999: Today's Parent Group has again teamed up with Paton Marketing Resources to launch a new publication, this time in conjunction with the youth television network YTV Canada, Inc., it was announced today. Targeting seven to 11 year olds, YTV WHOA! is set to debut in May with an initial national circulation of 200,000, distributed primarily through Pizza Hut restaurants. The magazine will also be available by subscription, and at newsstands. The cover price is $3. According to a YTV press release, the new general interest title will be "the weirdest, most off-beat and entertaining magazine around," featuring comics, horoscopes and 3-D graphics, as well as coverage of sports, music and movies. "The YTV magazine offers a wonderful new medium to deepen our relationship with kids," says YTV president Paul Robertson, noting that the specialty channel already "connects" with Canadian youth through television, the Internet, the mail, computer software and toys. "Our aim is to create the most entertaining, funny and irreverent kids' magazine anywhere." Three issues of YTV WHOA! are planned for this year, with the frequency increasing to at least four issues in 2000. TPG and Paton first joined forces last spring to publish a new magazine for Eaton's called Kids Scoop (see "Joint Custody," June 1998). YTV, owned by Shaw Communications Inc., boasts a national audience of 7.6 million Canadian households,
Contact: 416-530-5121 (YTV)

Magazines cited in Applied Arts Awards Annual
Toronto, Ont., 15 Jan., 1999: Several Canadian magazines have made the grade in this year's hefty Applied Arts Awards Annual, which hits the newsstands this month. Honouring the best in advertising, design, photography, illustration, new media and printing, the glossy, 252-page annual presents the winning creative from Canada, Europe, the U.S. and South America. Canadian periodicals that nabbed awards include:
• article design, Wedding Bells, enRoute and Shift
• cover design, harry
• complete issue design, Azure and harry
• editorial photography, Wedding Bells, Canadian Geographic and Mariage Québec
• editorial illustration, Saturday Night
• new media editorial, Shift Online
Published by Toronto's Applied Arts Inc. (publisher of the bimonthly magazine Applied Arts), the $22 annual will be on the newsstands until August.
Contact: 416-510-0909

Vancouver mag editor heads for The Sun
Vancouver, B.C., Dec. 14, 1999: Jim Sutherland is stepping down as editor of Telemedia's Vancouver magazine at the end of December to join the Mix, The Vancouver Sun's broadsheet Saturday section on West coast culture. Vancouver staff were informed of the news just last week, although Telemedia West vice-president and group publisher Greg Hryhorchuk has known since early November that Sutherland had been contemplating a career move. At the Mix, Sutherland will take over as editor from David Beers, who has been promoted to a senior editorial position within the main paper. As part of his new job, Sutherland will also be working with Beers to improve The Sun's features. Interestingly, Beers served as a contributing editor for Vancouver during Sutherland's editorship, earning a National Magazine Award for column writing in 1998. Sutherland, who acknowledges that the decision to leave Vancouver wasn't easy, is largely credited with breathing new life into the city book after taking over the editorial reins six and a half years ago. At the time, recession-weary Vancouver had gone through four editors in the previous five years. "There was a lot of speculation when I arrived that the magazine was going to be folded," Sutherland recalls. "It had been going through a combination of a lot of change and some rough times." Since then, though, Vancouver has seen newsstand sales more than double, RPC numbers climb significantly and ad sales jump by 50%. While some of this turn-around could be attributed to the improving economy, there's no question that Sutherland has been producing a quality book: alongside numerous other awards, Vancouver earned the Western Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year in both 1996 and 1997, and the National Magazine Awards' Magazine of the Year in 1998. The search is now underway for a new editor.
Contact: 604-877-7732

C-55 meeting canceled amid threats of trade war
Toronto, Ont., 14 Jan., 1999: A strategy meeting planned for today to rally public support for Ottawa's much-maligned Bill C-55 has been canceled due to a severe snow storm, expected to hit here by mid-afternoon. Extreme winter storm warnings have been issued for all of southern Ontario and as far north as Muskoka, with another 25 cm of fresh snow expected in already beleaguered Toronto. The call to cancel the meeting was made yesterday afternoon. No new date has yet been set. Co-organized by the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association and the Canadian Business Press, the meeting at Toronto's Metropolitan Hotel was intended to discuss strategies for countering "scare-mongering and misinformation" about Bill C-55 from both the U.S. and some Canadian media. Representatives from across the Canadian magazine industry were expected to attend. The cancellation comes at a time when the U.S. has stepped up the rhetoric against the new Bill, which is designed to thwart foreign-owned magazines--particularly U.S. split-runs--from biting into the Canadian magazine industry's crucial advertising base. Just this week, in fact, The Globe and Mail reported that a top U.S. official had given Canadian ambassador Raymond Chrétien verbal notice that Washington would retaliate in four key sectors--steel, textile, wood and plastics--if Bill C-55 is enacted. The Bill, which has already passed second reading, is expected to be first up on the order paper when the House of Commons resumes sitting early next month. After third reading, it then goes to the Senate before receiving Royal assent and becoming law. For its part, Ottawa appears to be remaining firm in its support of the Bill, arguing that any unilateral retaliation on the part of the U.S. at this point would in itself contravene American trade obligations vis-a-vis both NAFTA and the WTO. The real test of U.S. resolve to engage in a trade war will come once C-55 is passed into law; it is at this time that Washington has said it will formerly publish a list of key sectors in which it intends to retaliate with "measures of equivalent commercial effect" (read block selected Canadian imports into the U.S.). According to CMPA consultant Anne McCaskill, however, America's right to retaliate applies only to Canadian actions that violate NAFTA's precursor, the original Free Trade Agreement. And under the FTA, argues McCaskill, Canada assumed no obligations regarding magazine advertising services--the focus of Bill C-55.

Malcolm Publishing and Equinox ed part ways
Montreal, P.Q., 13 Jan., 1999: Equinox editor Alan Morantz has confirmed that he will be leaving the Malcolm Publishing Inc. bimonthly once work on the upcoming February/March issue has been completed. Staff were told of his impending departure last Friday. Morantz, who first joined "Canada's magazine of discovery" almost eight and a half years ago, says that his departure was prompted by Malcolm's decision to change the 18-year-old glossy's editorial direction. "Technically, they are saying goodbye to me," he says, "but I think in spirit, really, it was the end of the line for both of us." Although Malcolm has yet to decide on the new direction it will take the magazine, the Montreal publisher "quite reasonably" wants a new editor, says Morantz, stressing that he doesn't want the job. "It was clear that I had a vision for the magazine and it was equally clear that they no longer shared that vision," he says. Publisher Michel Paradis has so far been unavailable for comment. According to Morantz, he was mandated by Malcolm after taking over from previous editor Jim Cormier in 1996 to return Equinox to its original editorial mission: provide a top-end forum for in-depth articles with sweeping pictorials. "The mag has changed my life…in terms of outlook it's really moulded me, and I'm extremely grateful for that," says Morantz, pointing to the many interesting people--fellow staffers, freelancers, readers--he has met through Equinox. As for his career, Morantz says he's "totally energized" and "raring to go," noting that he's currently working on two book editing projects and some freelance opportunities. He says he also has an idea for a new magazine. Says Morantz: "I'm anxious to do some more writing, and to get a little more variety in my life." With Morantz's departure, it is expected that current science editor Wayne Grady will take over the editor's duties, at least in the interim. In related news, Heather Grace is also leaving Malcolm Publishing. Although she was associate editor of Equinox, Grace worked primarily on sister title Harrowsmith Country Life.
Contact: 1-800-563-6738

Quebec B-to-B magazine launches English edition
Sainte-Thérèse, P.Q., 12 Jan., 1999: Logistics Publishing Inc. has launched an English-language version of Logistics Magazine, a year after the November 1997 debut of the original French edition. The English edition made its debut with the recent November/December issue, bringing the bimonthly's total circulation to 22,000 (8,000 French, 14,000 English). Sent free to upper management personnel in procurement, distribution, purchasing and quality management, the "magazine for logistics planning" aims to educate readers about such tasks as obtaining raw materials, manufacturing, warehousing, transporting and delivering. To do this, says president and publisher Marc Duhamel, Logistics typically features case studies of actual "logistics chains" currently used by various industries. A full-page, colour ad goes for $3,450 in the Sainte-Thérèse, Que.-based title.
Contact: 450-437-0888

Profit forges ahead with increase in frequency
Toronto, Ont., 11 Jan., 1999: Canada's only national magazine for small- and medium-sized businesses, Profit, is following through on plans to boost frequency from six to eight times a year (see "Profit changes" in the Sept. '98 Daily News archives). The change, which will coincide with the release of the February/March issue, is designed to allow for more coverage of Canada's successful entrepreneurs, as well as more how-to stories on business improvements. Profit announced the change on Friday, along with news of two promotions in the Toronto-based title's editorial department: associate editor Jennifer Myers is now senior editor, as is former assistant editor Ian Portsmouth. Myers, who has worked with Profit for the past decade, will take on greater responsibility for production and scheduling in her new role. Portsmouth, meanwhile, will now have more responsibility for feature editing and the book's overall editorial quality. A graduate of Centennial College's book and magazine publishing program, Portsmouth has been with Profit for three years. Profit--"The Magazine for Canadian Entrepreneurs"--is published by Canadian Business Media Ltd.
Contact: 416-596-5999

Ajax publisher puts the brakes on new car mag
Ajax, Ont., 8 Jan., 1999: Home Digest International Ltd. has scaled back plans for the April launch of a new quarterly for automobile owners. Car Care Digest will now appear as an eight- to 16-page supplement in Home Digest, the Ajax, Ont.-based company's flagship title, says publisher Barry Holmes. The new supplement will debut March 1. According to Holmes, lack of advertiser support fueled the decision to drop plans to launch the title as a standalone. He notes, however, that it could still become a separate magazine down the road if advertiser interest grows. The idea for Car Care Digest, which Holmes says will cover "what's on, in, around and under the automobile," originated from a section in Home Digest called "Family Wheels."
Contact: 905-686-3093

Les Affaires launches new annual for investors
Montreal, P.Q., 7 Jan., 1999: The Montreal-based business weekly Les Affaires has launched yet another annual offshoot, Le Guide de L'Investisseur 1999.
The sixth annual to be published by Transcontinenta's Les Affaires, the new guide for investors looks at mutual funds, stocks, bonds and what's in store for the global economy in 1999. The French-language publication hit the newsstands last month. Interestingly, Le Guide offers different sections for five different age groups and their investment needs--a concept that makes it unique among such publications, says editor Gilles Gagnon.
Contact: 514-369-3232

Pregnancy mag prepares for quarter-century club
Toronto, Ont., 6 Jan., 1999: The Today's Parent Group magazine about pregnancy, birth and newborn care is celebrating its own 25th birthday this year. Great Expectations' entry into the quarter-century club was officially marked with the current Winter 1998/99 issue, tagged as "a special edition celebrating 25 years in print." Thematic stories include a retrospective of both the magazine itself and childbirth in Canada over the past 25 years, as well as look at what it might be like to have a child 25 years in the future. While there will be no major changes (or birthday party), the traditionally text-heavy publication will institute a more visual back page with pictures of moms and their babies, says editor Holly Bennett. Bennett says that since its inception 25 years ago, Great Expectations has become more research-based. "It's much more rigorous about [asking] what does research say, what do we really know about a topic and then blends it with how individual women make their own decisions about birth," she says. Published three times a year, Great Expectations is distributed through childbirth educators, obstetricians, family doctors and maternity wards.
Contact: 416-596-8680

Mag for small biz owners enters Quebec market
Toronto, Ont., 5 Jan., 1999: On the heels of a 400% jump in circulation, Toronto-based Your Office magazine plans to expand into Quebec this May with a separate French-language edition. This month, the five-year-old bimonthly sees its circ jump from 60,000 copies to 300,000, precipitated in large part by a partnership with Business Depot, which has agreed to distribute 200,000 copies through its outlets. The remaining 100,000 copies of the magazine, published by the Canadian Office Products Association for small business owners and managers, will be distributed via direct mail. As for the new French edition, which has yet to be named, 40,000 copies will likewise be distributed in Quebec via Business Depot stores. According to editor Andrea Scott, content for the French edition will rely primarily on translations of the English version.
Contact: 416-740-1363.

Canadian Geo hires new CEO to run operations
Ottawa, Ont., 4 Jan., 1999: Canadian Geographic Enterprises has hired Beautiful British Columbia Magazine president John Thomson as its new CEO. Thomson begins his new job on Jan. 11, effectively replacing former Canadian Geographic publisher Edwin O'Dacre, who relinquished his post in September after almost four years with the Ottawa-based title. Unlike O'Dacre, however, Thomson will also assume overall responsibility for the title's related brand extensions, a responsibility currently held by chief executive Louise Maffett. Maffett, who has been splitting her time between Canadian Geographic Enterprises and The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, will concentrate solely on the Society itself once Thomson comes on board. Thomson joined Beautiful British Columbia Magazine, a subsidiary of The Jim Pattison Group, in 1988 and became president four years later. He began his publishing career in 1974 as a community newspaper editor and photographer, moving on to work for the B.C. government and the Expo '86 Corporation. Immediately before joining The Jim Pattison Group, the Victoria, B.C.-native was marketing director of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. As CEO of Ottawa-based Canadian Geographic Enterprises, Thomson will assume overall responsibility for the magazine and its attendant merchandise, as well as related ventures into other media such as the Internet, television, book publishing and CD-ROMs. The CGE is a partnership between The Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Toronto's Key Publishers.
Contact: 613-745-4629

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I can't wait till this rag of a newspaper chain dies. Shouldn't be long now...
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So what's the solution going forward? I know all about the challenges the industry faces in this reg...