|Southam set to relaunch FP Mag under new name
Toronto, Ont., 31 May, 1999: The Financial Post Magazine, purchased less than a year ago by Southam Inc., is poised to relaunch in September under a new name: National Post Business.
Details of the impending changes were announced earlier this month. Also new for September will be a complete graphic redesign, featuring a larger, 9" x 10.75" format and a higher grade of paper for the cover and inside pages. Carrying out the redesign on a contract basis is former Saturday Night art director Karen Simpson, along with newly hired staff art director Nadine Arsenault, herself a former assistant art director at Saturday Night. According to general manager and executive vice-president Mauren Cavan, the revamped monthly will also be adopting a new approach to covering the nation's business. "It will take somewhat of a different attitude towards business reporting," says Cavan, promising a significant challenge to category rivals Report on Business Magazine and Canadian Business. "It will be perhaps more controversial." Charged with this task is editor Tony Keller, who took over from former editor Wayne Gooding last fall. In fact, Keller himself is already on the record as vowing that the magazine will not only better its competitors, but that it will also become the best magazine in Canada. As for the new name, Cavan says it better identifies the magazine as a companion title to the National Post, while the inclusion of the word "Business" helps "to clearly identify that this is a business magazine." Also new as of the September relaunch issue, 15,000 copies of the magazine will be distributed nationally via select newsstands in urban centres and major airports. Since Southam Inc. acquired FP Mag from Sun Media last July, meanwhile, subscription circ has climbed from 189,000 to 230,000--due largely to the fact that it is now carried as an insert in the National Post (Southam purchased the magazine along with The Financial Post newspaper, which was subsequently merged with the National Post prior to its late October launch). For more on staffing changes at The Financial Post Magazine, see this month's posting entitled "Chuck Davies to FP Mag."
|Maclean Hunter Publishing Ltd. gets new name
Toronto, Ont., 28 May, 1999: Get ready to bid farewell to 112 years of Canadian publishing history: Maclean Hunter Publishing Ltd. will soon be no more. In name only, that is. This July the venerable moniker will be officially dropped in favour of Rogers Media Inc.-Publishing, ostensibly to highlight the publisher's corporate link to parent company Rogers Media Inc. "The marketplace knows we are Rogers Media and we should just enshrine it in our nomenclature," explains MHPL president and CEO Brian Segal, noting that staff were informed of the impending change earlier this week. "I've told a lot of people not to order new letterhead," he jokes. Since its purchase four and a half years ago, says Segal, MHPL has become integrated into Rogers' wide range of media products, making the impending name change a natural progression. "I think the feeling is we are known by our brands, such as Maclean's and Chatelaine, rather than the corporate identity," he says, noting the change will make it clear to the uninitiated that MHPL is indeed part of the Rogers family. Also set to change are the names of the other divisions within Rogers Media Inc.: Rogers Broadcasting become Rogers Media Inc.-Broadcasting, and Rogers Interactive will be renamed Rogers Media Inc.-New Media.
|Magazine industry lauds Copps, criticizes U.S. deal
Toronto, Ont., 27 May, 1999: The magazine industry's two leading associations have reacted with predictable "disappointment" over Ottawa's decision to avert a trade war by allowing foreign publishers access to the Canadian advertising market. But the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association (CMPA) and the Canadian Business Press (CBP) tempered their criticism of yesterday's agreement between Ottawa and Washington with praise for Heritage Minister Sheila Copps. According to a press release issued last night, the CMPA/CBP coalition is "grateful for the continuing efforts being made by Heritage Minister Sheila Copps in fighting for the survival of Canadian magazines." At the same time, though, the magazine industry warns of dire consequences if measures are not put into place "to mitigate the damage" caused by split-runs. "In the absence of some significant re-balancing of the playing field," concludes last night's release, "a large number of Canadian magazines will have ceased to publish." For its part, Ottawa has promised to offset financial losses due to the agreement, but has yet to offer details on how that will be achieved. The most likely route is subsidies, although publishers have long said they do not want to rely on government largesse for their survival. "We supported Bill C-55 and argued for an outcome which would have continued to ensure that U.S. split-run magazines could only compete in Canada on a level playing field," the releases quotes industry spokesperson François de Gaspé Beaubien as saying. According to the Telemedia Publishing chief, the deal "will put the magazine industry at serious risk by allowing U.S. magazines to scoop up an unacceptable percentage of the magazine advertising services market." And by watering down Bill C-55 in order to avoid a trade confrontation, Ottawa has "irrevocably altered the competitive landscape in the Canadian industry," states the release. (See yesterday's Daily News posting for a full report on the deal itself; the complete CMPA/CBP press release can be found in the latest CMPA C-55 Update in the Grapevine conference.)
Contact: 416-504-0274 (CMPA); 905-946-8889 (CBP)
|Foreign publishers to get piece of Canadian ad pie
Ottawa, Ont., 26 May, 1999: Ottawa is claiming victory in its dispute with Washington over Bill C-55, even though American magazines will soon have access to Canada's advertising market. In a press conference this afternoon in Ottawa, Heritage Minister Sheila Copps and International Trade Minister Sergio Marchi announced that Canada had reached an "agreement-in-principle" with the U.S., thus avoiding a costly trade war. "This agreement ends a long period of uncertainty and removes the shadow of trade retaliation from a wide range of Canadian industries," Marchi read from a prepared statement. "Everyone can go back to business with more security and confidence." And while representatives of the Canadian magazine industry have yet to formally respond to today's announcement, the newly unveiled package of amendments is unlikely to earn their approval. The Bill, which was designed to prevent foreign titles from selling ad space primarily targeting Canadians, will now be amended to allow varying degrees of access. And to make up for the expected loss of advertising revenue, the federal government has vowed to provide equalization subsidies--despite the fact that Canadian publishers have long said they do not want such a program. Details have yet to be announced. Most likely to earn the wrath of Canadian publishers, though, is an exemption clause allowing foreign titles to target the Canadian market with up to 18% of their ad space (Canadian publishers have already warned that any exemption beyond 10% will decimate their industry). The so-called "de minimis" exemption will be phased in over three years from the date Bill C-55 is enacted: 12% will be allowed immediately, 15% after 18 months and 18% after three years. Further sweetening the pot, Canadian firms purchasing ads in titles that invoke the exemption will be able to deduct 50% of the cost of the advertisement. A foreign publisher wanting to sell more than 18%, meanwhile, will also be exempted from Bill C-55 if it "invests and creates new businesses, hires Canadians, and produces magazines containing majority Canadian content" states a Government of Canada communiqué. According to the communiqué, such investments will be reviewed under the Investment Canada Act for "net benefit" to Canada. Authority for review and approval will be transferred from Industry to Heritage. Acquisitions of Canadian publishing houses will continue to be prohibited. Currently, 100% tax deductibility is only granted for ads placed in magazines with 75% Canadian ownership and 80% "original content." That will now be changed to allow for full deductibility for ads in any title--regardless of ownership--as long as it carries at least 80% "original or Canadian content." If such content is between 50% and 79%, the tax deduction to advertisers will be just 50%. Here, "original or Canadian content" is defined as any article or artwork created by a Canadian (even if it has already appeared in a foreign edition of a magazine), or any article or artwork that has not already appeared in a foreign edition of a magazine. "There will be no subjective assessment of themes or subject matter to determine what is Canadian content," adds the communiqué.
Contact: 819-997-9314 (Canadian Heritage)
|Outpost gets monetary boost from Montreal's BHVR
Toronto, Ont., 25 May, 1999: BHVR Communications, owner of Shift magazine, has acquired a minority interest in the three-year-old travel magazine Outpost.
The deal was officially announced last Thursday during the launch party for the Toronto-based title's current summer issue. Majority control of "The Traveller's Journal" remains in the hands of publisher Christopher Frey, editor-in-chief Kisha Ferguson and director of advertising Matt Robinson. The three will also continue to oversee the day-to-day management of the magazine. According to Frey, BHVR's investment--an amount was not disclosed--allows the magazine "to go to the next level a lot quicker." The fresh captial will be used primarily for circulation and marketing initiatives, as well as for bolstering the title's infrastructure as it gears up to go bimonthly in 2000, he says. Montreal-based BHVR and Outpost began discussing a possible relationship in earnest late last December, says Frey, noting that his magazine had already been looking for potential investors for roughly a year.
|Departure of enRoute's top editor sparks changes
Montreal, Que., 21 May, 1999: The executive editor of Air Canada's inflight magazine, enRoute, has been appointed to take over the title's top editorial post. Promoted to the position of editor is Ann Brocklehurst, effectively replacing former editor-in-chief Lise Ravary. Ravary, who had been with the Montreal-based magazine for five years, left in late March to become editor-in-chief of Elle Québec. Taking over Brocklehurst's executive editor duties, meanwhile, is former assistant editor Arjun Basu, who is now listed on the masthead as features editor (the titles of editor-in-chief and executive editor have been dropped). Finally, replacing Basu as assistant editor is former CBC Radio reporter Danielle Adams.
|CMPA-CBP continue to hold out hope for C-55
Ottawa, Ont., 20 May, 1999: While Ottawa and Washington teeter on the brink of an all-out trade war over Bill C-55, Canada's two main periodical publishing associations continue to urge federal backing for the beleagured legislation. At a press conference this morning in Ottawa, industry spokesperson Francois de Gaspé Beaubien lauded Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and Heritage Minister Sheila Copps for "refusing to accept unreasonable U.S. demands" and taking "a strong stand for Canada." "Canadian publishers support Bill C-55 as the best way to prevent unfair and insurmountable competition from U.S. publishers," said de Gaspé Beaubien, chair of the joint working group of the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association and the Canadian Business Press. "We are confident that the bill will proceed to passage in the Senate." Talks designed to reach a compromise alternative to Bill C-55 broke down yesterday between Canadian and U.S. officials, reportedly over the issue of advertising caps. According to press reports, the U.S. wants magazines carrying up to 25% Canadian advertising to be exempt from any restrictions, while the Canadian government is apparently holding fast at 10%. "Such an exemption would have gutted Bill C-55 and placed the entire Canadian magazine publishing industry at risk," warned de Gaspé Beaubien, noting that Canadian publishers believe any ceiling beyond 10% would "jeopardize" the industry. "This is because it would have opened the door to unfair competition by U.S. publishers, akin to dumping, in our advertising market," he said. It is now expected that Bill C-55 will pass through the Senate by early June before returning to the House of Commons for royal assent--barring any last-minute solution to the current impasse or a weakening of Ottawa's resolve.
Contact: 416-504-0274 (CMPA); 905-946-8889 (CBP)
|Former Jim Pattison exec to run CMPA distribution
Toronto, Ont., 19 May, 1999: A former Jim Pattison News Group distribution manager has been put in charge of the all-important distribution department at the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association (CMPA). Dave Sweetman, a 21-year magazine distribution veteran, officially took over the position on May 10. Disticor founder Glenn Morgan had been overseeing the CMPA operation on a contract basis since the departure early last November of former distribution manager Ron Sellwood. Prior to joining the Jim Pattison News Group three years ago, Sweetman held positions with the World News Corp., Kable News, Newsweek and the ICD/Hearst Corporation. "The CMPA is fortunate to add Dave to its team," a press release quotes CMPA executive director Cindy Goldrick as saying. "He has a wealth of experience and will bring a new energy and perspective to one of the CMPA's most important member services." During Sweetman's tenure with Jim Pattison, sales jumped threefold while the company's roster of retail clients climbed from 450 to 1,500, largely due to the addition of A&P, United Cigar Store and 7-Eleven outlets. As for Ron Sellwood, earlier this month he was named marketing and promotions manager for Ajax, Ont.-based Disticor Magazine Distribution Services. He will report directly to Frank Auddino, vice-president, sales and marketing. In other changes at Disticor:
national sales manager Susan Keaveney has been promoted to director, national sales;
distribution analyst Diane Temple is now special projects coordinator;
director of client services Valerie Madill has taken on the additional portfolio of director of distribution; and
account executive Kelly Caldwell has been promoted to circulation manager.
Contact: 416-505-0274, ext. 29 (CMPA distribution); 905-619-6565 (Disticor).
|Ontario Arts Council set to unveil new rules
Toronto, Ont., 18 May, 1999: Alternative titles such as This Magazine, The Canadian Forum and Fuse should know by the end of next month whether they'll continue to enjoy funding from the Ontario Arts Council (OAC). According to newly installed executive director Donna Scott, the OAC is now preparing definitive eligibility requirements for publishers hoping to tap into its $2.35 million literary program. "We can't fund every magazine. It's impossible. So we have to put up some parameters," says Scott, noting that the current rules are too open to interpretation. "The rationale as it is today doesn't really work because it's too broad." Along with structuring the new criteria so that it "can't be continually reinterpreted," Scott says she also wants to ensure that eligible magazines conform to the OAC's mandate: to support the creation and/or distribution of art to Ontarians. The new funding rules, which the OAC hopes to have in place by the end of June, will end almost a year of uncertainty over how the provincial body intends to continue supporting the magazine sector. The issue first arose last July when the Council decreed that only magazines devoted "substantially" to literature or "critical coverage of the contemporary arts" would continue to receive grants. That announcement immediately drew protest from the predominantly left-leaning titles that would be affected, as well as from the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association (CMPA). In particular, magazines such as This, Fuse, Border/Lines and The Canadian Forum were put on notice that their funding would be cut if they did not fall into line with the new criteria. Critics quickly charged that the OAC was embracing a very narrow view of culture, intimating that it had succumbed to political pressure from the neo-conservative government of PC Premier Mike Harris--a charge that Scott herself rebuffs. At the time, OAC chair Hal Jackman also scoffed at the idea of political interference, arguing instead that the Council was merely tightening the guidelines because the program had strayed from its original mandate to fund only arts and literature. Last December, the OAC appeared to be backing off when a jury awarded grants to most of the magazines that had been on the hit list. The reprieve was short-lived, though, when funding for all literary programs was subsequently frozen pending an independent review by the consulting firm Research Strategy Group. Then in late April, soon after receiving the consultant's $30,000 report, the OAC "reaffirmed its support" for Ontario's literary scene. However, that reaffirmation only meant that the OAC would maintain its current level of spending--leaving the door open for revamping the way it doles out the grants. Along with the impending changes to the eligibility guidelines for magazines, the Council's programs for book publishers and literary events are also now under review (grants to professional writers have already been reinstated). The OAC promises to have all new program deadlines and guidelines in place by the end of June. For now, the magazine community appears to have adopted a wait-and-see attitude. "It's very hard at this point to read into this whether it's good news or not," CMPA chair designate Sharon McAuley says of the impending changes. Given Scott's magazine background, however, McAuley remains optimistic that alternative magazines will not be dropped from the program. "I think everyone is very hopeful because she's had that experience and seems to be a champion of magazines," she says. If the new eligibility does exclude the likes of This Magazine, however, McAuley warns that there will be a "very messy outcry." For her part, Scott already appears resigned to the fact that not all publishers will be enamoured of the changes. Says Scott: "I'm sure we won't please everyone, but who ever did?"
Contact: 1-800-387-0058, ext. 7438
|Quebec travel title targets wealthy professionals
Montreal, PQ., 17 May, 1999: According to publisher Francois Tremblay, there's no other magazine like it in Quebec. While some business and finance titles may share its target audience, he says, Luxuria is the province's only lifestyles magazine to specifically go after prosperous professionals, executives and business people. To that end, the French-language quarterly boasts a controlled circulation of 30,000 readers with personal incomes averaging $75,000 (another 10,000 copies will be distributed to Quebec newsstands). Scheduled to have launched this month, Luxuria promises high-brow coverage of food, cars, wine, art and interior design. As much as 25% of the editorial, though, will focus solely on travel--and in tandem with the launch Luxuria is opening a travel agency. "Every trip we're going to talk about in the magazine, everybody will be able to do," says Tremblay. Also accompanying the new glossy, which is published by Editions Azur, is a new Web site (www.luxuriamag.com).
Cover price: $5.95
Colour ad: $4,995
|Freewheelin' changes while eyeing U.S. market
Toronto, Ont., 14 May, 1999: The entertainment, fashion and lifestyle mag Freewheelin' has grown up. So says editor and publisher Jonathan Bogo, whose revamped book debuted with the April/May issue. "We wanted to go with a bit more of a sophisticated look," Bogo says of the new logo--a stylized "FW"--and text fonts. Also new is a section called "Thrive," which covers self-help topics, but "not in a hokey kind of way," Bogo points out. In other changes slated for this fall, the Toronto-based title plans to boost its frequency to bimonthly (five issues are planned for 1999). As well, Bogo says the glossy will expand its U.S. readership, noting that 40% of the content will be generated south of the border. Says Bogo: "We're really expanding to give it more of an international scope."
|Cunningham to receive life award at Nationals
Toronto, Ont., 10 May, 1999: Industry veteran Lynn Cunningham has been named this year's recipient of the coveted Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. The honour will be presented June 4 during the National Magazine Awards presentation dinner at the Toronto Sheraton Centre. Cunningham, who has served in a variety of editorial capacities on numerous Canadian consumer books, currently teaches magazine skills at Ryerson Polytechnic University's School of Journalism. As assistant professor, she also oversees the production of the Ryerson Review of Journalism.
Contact: 416-422-1385 (NMAF)
|New women's title aims to offer alternative
Toronto, Ont., 7 May, 1999: Just because there's a wide variety of women's magazines out there on the newsstands, not every woman will find what she wants. At least that was the case with Rachel Horvath and Tasha Wasyliniuk, who banded together to launch BLONDE magazine. The new title debuted with the current May issue. "We felt like the exact magazine that we wanted wasn't out there, so we decided to do it ourselves," says Horvath, who shares the editor-in-chief's title with Wasyliniuk. Based in Toronto, BLONDE offers the usual women's magazine fare: editorial on sex, food, drink, decor, fashion and beauty, along with music, book and movie reviews. How, then, does the title differ from other women's books? "We're aiming at a very definite segment of the market," says Horvath, explaining that the magazine specifically targets "young, urban, creative and energetic" women in their mid-20s (distribution is via newsstand and subscription). And according to BLONDE's debut editorial, the magazine is "a real Canadian alternative" to U.S. titles as it strives to be "cutting-edge, fun, informative and entertaining to a generation of readers who do not find their voice reflected in most of the magazines they buy."
Cover price: $2.95
Colour ad: $5,000
|Q&Q's McAuley nominated to chair the CMPA
Toronto, Ont., 6 May, 1999: The Canadian Magazine Publishers Association (CMPA) has drawn up its slate of candidates for the upcoming board election at Magazines University '99. Four seats are up for grabs as four members complete their three-year terms:
Saturday Night publisher Maureen Cavan;
Ryerson prof Lynn Cunningham;
TickleAce managing editor Bruce Porter; and
incumbent chair Michael Rea, vice-president of Key Publishers.
Nominated to replace Rea is current board member Sharon McAuley, publisher of Quill & Quire. Since McAuley has a year left in her current mandate, the board has proposed that past-president Diane Davy complete McAuley's term. TickleAce's Porter, meanwhile, has agreed to stand for re-election. Completing the CMPA's hand-picked slate of candidates are Geist managing editor Barbara Zatyko and Maclean Hunter vice-president Lee Simpson, who lost out last year to surprise candidate Petra Chevrier. The election will be held during the CMPA's June 7 annual general meeting at The Old Mill.
|FP Mag hires Chuck Davies as managing editor
Toronto, Ont., 5 May, 1999: The Financial Post Magazine is ramping up for its September relaunch as new editor Tony Keller continues to flesh out the monthly's editorial masthead.
The most recent additions include managing editor Chuck Davies and associate editor Nora Murphy, a former contributing editor. Davies, who was most recently working part-time at the National Post while completing a book project, had been serving as managing editor of The Financial Post newspaper when it was purchased and absorbed into the National Post last year. Brought on earlier this year as senior editor, meanwhile, is David Berman, a former staff writer with Canadian Business (where Davies also once served as editor). A new art director has yet to be named.
|New magazine aims to cover life in the Rockies
Fernie, B.C., 4 May, 1999: Nestled amid the Canadian Rockies in the southeast corner of B.C., the town of Fernie is home to an aptly named new quarterly for readers "who live, work and play in the Rocky Mountains." The inaugural spring issue of Elk Valley Publishing's Rockies debuted last month. According to publisher and production manager Bernie Palmer, the new magazine serves a need to connect the small, isolated towns scattered throughout the famous mountain range. "There's nothing for the local market," she says, explaining that her new lifestyles magazine intends to fill that niche. Along with general interest articles pertaining to the Rockies, the title features regular departments on local history, homes, gardens, travel, health and art, as well as a calendar of events. The giveaway glossy is distributed to area airports, cafés, resorts and medical and dental offices.
Cover price: free
Colour ad: $2,100
|Redesigned logo leads to legal tiff in Vancouver
Vancouver, B.C., 3 May, 1999: Publisher Michael Parker says he just wants readers to know his magazine is a "Vancouver product." That was thinking, anyway, driving the recent redesign of Vancouver Lifestyles. Problem is, the new logo now emphasizes the word Vancouver, and that's not sitting well with Telemedia West's Vancouver Magazine, where the V-word also figures prominently in the logo. While Parker says he can't divulge details of Vancouver's challenge--"it's in the lawyer's hands"--he does maintain that he holds a trademark on the title. Minor controversy over the logo aside, the redesign, which debuted with the recent March issue, also features new treatments for text and display copy. In other changes, the glossy has launched two bound-in supplements: Vancouver@Home and Autofile, which will each appear five times a year. Parker says an extra 2,000 of each supplement will also be distributed to newsstands as standalone publications.
|Colleen Nicholson says:|