Masthead News Archives
August 1999
Telemedia hires Terry Sellwood as new veep
Markham, Ont., 31 Aug., 1999: Indas Ltd. executive vice-president Terry Sellwood has accepted a new posting as vice-president, circulation at Telemedia Publishing. Sellwood informed Markham, Ont.-based Indas of his plans yesterday. He takes up his new position on Oct. 4. At Telemedia he'll replace former vice-president, circulation Gloria MacDonald, who left in mid-August to become film actor Val Kilmer's personal assistant. Sellwood, a longtime Masthead contributor, began his career in magazine circulation 22 years ago as warehouse manager for the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association. Before joining Indas, he was vice-president, circulation at CB Media Ltd. His resumé also lists a three-year stint at the periodical distributor Disticor. The search for a replacement at Indas is now underway.
Contact: 905-946-0400 (Indas)
--The Editor

The Globe talks to possible partners for Gusto!
Toronto, Ont., 27 Aug., 1999: Although Gusto!, The Globe and Mail's culinary-inspired magazine, has been suspended for the summer, it will most likely reappear this fall, says vice-president and general manager Grant Crosbie. According to Crosibe, The Globe is currently in negotiations with "two parties" interested in co-publishing the glossy quarterly. Crosbie won't say whether there will be changes to the content, but he does note that food will continue to be the "central focus," adding "there may be some other elements in there as well."
Contact: 416-585-5600
--Deanna Rosolen

Chatelaine partly blamed for sister's death
Toronto, Ont., 25 Aug., 1999: The success of other titles within the Rogers Media Inc.-Publishing stable is partly to blame for the demise of Modern Woman, acknowledges publisher Lee Simpson. According to Simpson, the glossy women's book was "squeezed" out of its niche market by the revamped Chatelaine, which is now chasing the same younger audience. As well, Today's Parent "does a much more profitable job of reaching the young mother," says Simpson, who is also vice-president and group publisher of The Women's Group at Rogers. "I could dress it up in fancy terms," says Simpson, "but at the end of the day it was enormously successful and popular with readers, but it didn't bring in the advertising revenue that was necessary." While news of Modern Woman's closure hit the mainstream media just last week, discussions regarding the seven-year-old title's future began early this year, she notes. So far, most of the staff have found work within Rogers, while the rest will be looking for "outside employment," adds Simpson. The magazine will disappear from newsstands after the October issue.
Contact: 416-596-5425
--Deanna Rosolen

Ryerson earns nine student mag awards
Toronto, Ont., 24 Aug., 1999: The Ryerson Review of Journalism has further cemented its reputation as one of North America's top student magazines after earning seven awards from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). Produced by magazine students at Ryerson Polytechnic University's School of Journalism, the Review took home one first-place prize, two seconds and four honourable mentions. Another second-place prize and one honourable mention, meanwhile, went to two third-year students for articles not published in the Review. In all, 35 different universities entered 195 submissions to the U.S.-based association's annual student magazine competition. Only 11 schools earned awards. According to Review founding editor Don Obe, Ryerson entered 12 articles in just three categories to secure its nine awards. This year's first-place honour went to Karen Molfat in the consumer magazine category of "People and places." Her winning profile, "The notorious Peggy Wente," appeared in the Review's summer 1999 edition. In the same category, J. Timothy Hunt took second place for the spring 1999 edition's "An incredible hodgepodge of weirdness," a profile of New Yorker scribe Malcolm Gladwell. Honourable mention went to Philippe Devos ("Saturday's child," spring 1999). Also listed as a runner-up was Carey Toan for her piece "Canadian hip hop," which did not run in the Review. In the consumer category "Investigation and analysis," second place went to Kristy Thorne for "Bright lights, small city" (summer 1999), an examination of the transformation of Barrie, Ont.'s television station CKVR. Earning honourable mentions were Leslie Lucas ("A checkered present," summer 1999), Susan Nerberg ("Death by a thousand cuts?" summer 1999) and Tanya Coulthard ("Battle for survival," spring 1999). Finally, Ryerson's third second-place finish this year went to Beth Clarkson in the consumer category of "First person." Her winning piece, "Faith for sale," did not appear in the Review.
Contact: 416-979-5319
--The Editor

ABC stats show ongoing newsstand decline
Toronto, Ont., 23 Aug., 1999: Newsstand sales among many of the country's major consumer magazines are continuing their downward slide, recent Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) data reveals. According to ABC's Fas-Fax report for the six months ending June 30, 29 titles reported lower newsstand sales over the same period last year, while only 15 magazines recorded gains. Of the losers, 14 were saddled with double-digit losses. The 10 worst performers included: Filles d'aujourd'hui (-30.6%), Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins (-23.7), Femme Plus (-21.8%), Canadian Gardening (-16.6%), Clin d'oeil (-16.2) Preview Sports (-15.9%),TV Guide (-15.6%), Flare (-15.5%), Time (-14.5%) and Le Bel Age (-14.2%). Across the board, the drop in newsstand sales was 4.7%, while the total paid count was down 2%. As for subscription sales, the figures were marginally better: the combined figures from all 45 magazines represented an overall increase of just half a percentage point. The June 30 Fas-Fax report, which was released just last week, included data from 45 different magazines. Since it does not offer newsstand sales, single copy figures for Good Times were not included. Another five magazines, meanwhile, missed the reporting deadline altogether: Alberta/Western Report, Equinox, Harrowsmith Country Life, Sentier Chasse-Pêche and Western Sportsman.
Contact: 416-962-5840
--The Editor

Pattison wrests newsstand turf from CMMI
Vancouver, B.C., 12 Aug., 1999: The News Group, part of Vancouver tycoon Jim Pattison's vast business empire, has made huge gains in the ongoing turf war among magazine wholesalers after successfully wooing Loblaw Companies Limited and Chapters Inc. away from main competitor Canadian Mass Media Incorporated (CMMI). The Chapters contract, which encompasses all Chapters, Coles and SmithBooks outlets, came into effect Aug. 4. Included in the Loblaw Companies deal, meanwhile, are roughly 900 retail stores across the country, among them the likes of Loblaws, Zehrs, No Frills and Value Mart. They are slated to switch over to The News Group on Sept. 1. The loss of so many accounts is clearly a major blow for CMMI, a national collective of magazine wholesalers dominated by NewsWest, Benjamin News Ltd. and Metro News Limited. (Both deals see three CMMI affiliates in northern Ontario stay on as service agents for The News Group.) Particularly bruised is Toronto-based Metro News, which has seen its 90% share of the Ontario market drop to an estimated 55% in recent months. In fact, these latest losses follow two other recent defections to The News Group: The UCS Group (The Great Canadian News Co., Maison de la Presse, etc.) dropped Metro last January and the Ontario grocery store chain A&P left CMMI in July 1998. It's not all bad news for Metro, though. Effective Sept. 1 it regains six Lichtman's stores that had crossed over to The News Group, while CMMI will take over all Indigo Books outlets on Oct. 7. Plus, CMMI still counts Wal-Mart, Shoppers Drug Mart and Silcorp Limited (Mac's, Mike's and Becker convenience stores) among its major clients.
--The Editor

Heritage still devising subsidy plan for publishers
Ottawa, Ont., 11 Aug., 1999: The Department of Canadian Heritage hopes to nail down the framework for a new subsidy package to assist Canadian publishers "within the next month or so," says a senior federal bureaucrat. According to Allan Clarke, the director of publishing policy and programming at Heritage, the package will be "broad-based and directed at a wide spectrum of magazines." To date, Heritage officials have met three times with representatives from both the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association (CMPA) and the Canadian Business Press (CBP) to develop a subsidy plan. The latest meeting was held today in Ottawa, with more meetings planned for late August and early September. "We're some ways from having a package," says Clarke, "but we need something soon because we expect the impact of the new market to begin." Before any new program is enacted, however, it must first be forwarded to Heritage Minister Sheila Copps for approval. After that, discussions with industry reps will begin focussing on how to administer the subsidies. Although details remain sketchy, it is expected that the package will include a mixture of new or revised subsidy programs and tax concessions, ostensibly designed to help publishers offset losses due to America's new-found access to the Canadian magazine industry (see "Now What?" in the July/August issue of Masthead magazine). So far, Heritage has been reluctant to place a dollar value on the subsidies, since some of the measures under study--such as tax credits--are "open-ended," notes Clarke. "We're not looking at compensation," he adds. "We're looking at how to help Canadian magazines adjust to the new competitive environment." In the meantime, the CBP has been asked to come up with "quantifiable data" to help support the case for subsidies to the business press. "The question is being asked, ‘Who should and who shouldn't be included?' and everyone has to make their case," says Philip J. Boyd, the CBP's representative on the joint CMPA-CBP team currently working with Heritage. "One of the biggest problems we've had in business publishing is the lack of quantifiable data," he says. To that end, the CBP is now collecting comparative data, including net advertising revenues, on 236 Canadian business titles in tandem with efforts to secure similar information on U.S. trade publications. Boyd says the CMPA is embarking on a similar study for consumer books. According to Heritage official Jan Michaels, the request for more information should not be construed as a sign that the business press may be dropped from the subsidy equation. There had been some concern among CBP members that this was indeed the case following Heritage's request for more data. She concedes, however, that some federal bureaucrats had been questioning the need to fund business magazines based on the conclusions of a two-year-old draft report by HYPN, which found that the business press would not be "substantially affected" by the collapse of barriers to foreign publishers. Michaels says CBP's new study--designed to "characterize the industry"--will help Heritage devise its new subsidy programs while addressing the incomplete conclusions of the HYPN study.
--The Editor

Disticor founder moves to Coast to Coast
Toronto, Ont., 10 Aug., 1999: Coast to Coast Distributing Company has hired Disticor co-founder Glenn Morgan as its new general manager. Morgan, who was most recently helping the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association revamp its distribution system, officially joined the national distributor on July 26. He replaces former general manager Peter Willson, who left in March to become director of retail sales for the CMD News & Business Group. Michael J. Fox, vice-president of Rogers Media Inc.-Publishing's Consumer Marketing Division, had been filling in as acting general manager. Morgan, who began his career in newsstand distribution 27 years ago with Gordon & Gotch, co-founded Disticor in 1980 with partner Bob Scott. They sold the company in 1991, but Morgan stayed on as president until April 1998. Coast to Coast, the distribution arm of Rogers Media Inc.-Publishing, handles major consumer titles such as Maclean's, Chatelaine, Canadian Business, Canadian Gardening, Canadian Home Workshop, Explore and the The Financial Post 500.
Contact: 416-596-5505
--The Editor

New title aims to give Black Canadians a voice
Brampton, Ont., 6 Aug., 1999: Although there are already several U.S. publications for Blacks, Tricia Hylton says she couldn't always find what she wanted--a magazine that provides Canada's 600,000-member Black community with "a national voice" all of its own. "It's just simply that I know that I wanted something like this and it wasn't there," says Hylton, "so I decided to create it." Enter the the debut this month of Black Canadian Magazine. Hylton, who is publisher and editor-in-chief, says her new publication aims to "celebrate the culture, identity, distinctiveness and diversity of Black Canadians."
As such, readers will find editorial on politics, religion, law, education, social issues, the arts, health and beauty--all from the perspective of the Black community. According to Hylton, the editorial mix is designed to captivate the attention of readers aged 15 to 64. The Brampton, Ont.-based magazine can be found in libraries, colleges, universities and bookstores in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, as well as at selected businesses in the Greater Toronto Area and Ontario's Peel Region.
Contact: 905-452-1729
Frequency: 3/year
Circulation: 2,500
Cover price: free
Subscription: $12
Colour ad: $1,500
--Deanna Rosolen

Halifax's alternative weekly adopts new look
Halifax, N.S., 3 Aug., 1999: Halifax-based The Coast celebrated its six-year anniversary last month with a redesign--just weeks before launching an offshoot bimonthly for the 35-plus crowd. Acknowledging that the changes are not "radical," associate publisher Christine Oreskovich says the "cleaner" look makes the alternative weekly "a little bit more modern and readable." Throughout the newsprint tab, headings and decks now sport new fonts while certain sections have adopted new names. According to art director Chris Mueller, the cover treatment and logo were not changed, although the front page does now include sell lines for the revamped entertainment listings, "the Guide." Meanwhile, The Coast has launched CoastLife, a high-end lifestyle book for affluent Halifax residents (see "Glamourizing the Maritimes for yuppies," in the June issue of Masthead magazine).
Contact: 902-422-6278
--Deanna Rosolen

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