|Workshop finds new editor to replace Bennet
Markham, Ont., 28 Feb., 2000: Avid Media Inc. has finally found a new editor for Canadian Home Workshop, two months after the departure of former editor Doug Bennet. Douglas Thomson, a former Frank magazine contributor, was named editor in early January. Most recently, Thomson wrote The Globe and Mail's Subjects and Objects gossip column under the nom de plume Tertius. He is also a contributing editor at Toronto Life. Masthead founding editor Doug Bennet served three years as Workshop editor before stepping down last Oct. 1 to pursue a book proposal and several freelance projects. It was also last October that the Markham, Ont.-based consumer magazine publisher dropped its old name, Camar Publications Ltd., in favour of Avid Media Inc.
|Canadian crashes following airline merger
Toronto, Ont., Feb. 25, 2000: Thirteen-year-old Canadian, the inflight magazine for Canadian Airlines, will be permanently grounded following the release of its upcoming April issue. Thanks to the recent merger of Canadian Airlines and Air Canada, passengers on both carriers will now be served by Air Canada's inflight title, enRoute. "It's a sad time," says publisher Tim Goodman of Relevant Communications, who picked up the contract to publisher Canadian just over a year ago. According to Goodman, he has promised to help staff find work in the publishing industry. Among those out of a job is editor Penny Williams, a long-time magazine professional. It's unlikely, though, that staff will find a home at enRoute. "We are staffed to the level we need to be currently, but should the product grow, which we expect it will, we'll certainly be looking around," says enRoute publisher Raymond Girard of Toronto-based Spafax. The Air Canada title will be inheriting Canadian's circulation, however, and advertisers who had already booked with Canadian will have their contracts honoured through enRoute. With the mag merger, enRoute's circ will jump from 125,000 to 200,000. As for Relevant's future, Goodman would not elaborate on what other avenues his company will pursue.
Contact: 416-538-0152 (Spafax); 416-482-1500 (Relevant)
|Shift's Andrew Heintzman calls it a day
Toronto, Ont., Feb. 24, 2000: Shift publisher and co-founder Andrew Heintzman has announced that he will be relinquishing his post on July 1 to pursue another start-up venture. Heintzman, who announced his plans this morning by way of a press release, says he will remain on Shift's masthead as founding publisher and that he will continue to act as a consultant for the Toronto- and New York-based title. "I am incredibly proud of how far Shift has come, and I believe it has a bright future ahead of it," the release quotes Heintzman as saying. "I feel comfortable handing Shift over to a team of talented people who will drive it forward from here." So far details on his new venture are scant, although Heintzman does allow that he is in discussions with Normal Networks, Shift's parent company. In leaving eight-year-old Shift, Heintzman follows co-founder and former editor Evan Solomon, who stepped down in late April 1998. The pair founded Shift in 1992 as a literary journal for young writers under age 35, and since then the book has morphed several times in an attempt to find a winning editorial formula. Shift's current incarnation as a magazine focusing on "living in a digital culture" emerged early last year. Last Oct. 5 the magazine launched on U.S. newsstands, giving it a North American wide circulation of 150,000. And in January the magazine spun off shiftTV, a weekly half-hour program airing on the Life Network. Watch for the April issue of Masthead magazine for a full report on Heintzman's departure.
|CSME calls for board of director nominations
Toronto, Ont., Feb. 23, 2000: The Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME) is calling for nominations to fill three key positions on its board of directors. Nominations for president, vice-president and program director are due by March 10. The term for each position is two years. Elections will take place during CSME's regularly scheduled luncheon on April 25 at Ryerson Polytechnic University's Oakham House. Already, one nomination has been tendered. Incumbent president Judy Allen, former editor of now-defunct Modern Woman, has nominated current secretary Dwight Hamilton to take over her portfolio. Hamilton is an associate editor at CAmagazine. If he is elected president, nominations will also then be sought to fill the position of secretary. Other outgoing office holders include vice-president Rick Boychuk (editor of Canadian Geographic) and program director Howard Elmer (editor of RV Lifestyle Magazine and Hot Sled Magazine). Elmer took over the latter half of former program director Jane Doucet's term. Doucet stepped down after leaving her position as a researcher-reporter at Maclean's to go freelance. Halfway through their current terms, meanwhile, are treasurer Ian Portsmouth (managing editor of Profit), membership director Mara Gulens (managing editor of Toronto Computes!) and secretary Dwight Hamilton. In related news, CSME is now accepting nominations for its annual Editors' Choice Awards and the second annual Jim Cormier Display Writing Award. The next CSME luncheon is at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 29 at Ryerson's Oakham House. The guest speaker is Internet research guru Julian Sher.
|New satirical mag will be no Frank, says founder
Toronto, Ont., Feb. 22, 2000: A new satirical magazine for the 18- to 35-year-old crowd is set to launch this Thursday. But Grip will be no Frank, promises editor/publisher Stephen Lategan. "They're more of a scandal sheet," Lategan says of his nearest competitor. Instead, he says Grip will take a humorous and purely satirical look at Canadians in all facets of public life, including politics, television, sports and business. According to Lategan, his new title is "a revival" of another satirical publication of the same name that existed in Canada in the late 1800s. To be published by Lategan's fledgling Lategan Media Group, Grip will include cartoons and caricatures from the original publication. The new magazine will have a two-colour cover with black-and-white pages inside. It will be distributed on newsstands across Canada. There will be no advertising in the first issue, but Lategan says he may pursue advertising in future editions. Grip is his first magazine publishing venture. Thursday's launch will be held at Toronto's SkyDome.
Cover price: $2.50
Black and white ad: tba
|Key Media sells 50% stake to Harrowston
Toronto, Ont., Feb. 21, 2000: Former Maclean Hunter Publishing Ltd. chairman Jim Warrillow has reappeared on the Toronto magazine scene as the head of a new "North American media company." The nucleus of the yet-to-be-named company, created by the Toronto-based acquisitions firm Harrowston Inc., is a 50% stake in Key Media Ltd., publishers of Toronto Life and Where magazines. News of the new company, and Harrowston's 50% investment in Key, was released last Wednesday. The Key deal is expected to close on March 15. The other 50% of Key Media remains with parent company Key Publishers Company Ltd., of which Michael de Pencier is the principal shareholder. Warrillow, who left Maclean Hunter (now Rogers Media) in September 1997 to head up a publishing venture in his native England, has been appointed CEO of the new media concern. "Relevant, quality content is the key to growth in a digital environment," a press release quotes Warrillow as saying. "We will drive growth by extending our brands across media platforms, developing new concepts, acquisitions and strategic alliances." Harrowston Inc. describes itself as a "Canadian company focused on acquiring and building high-quality operating businesses." Among its holdings are Marsulex Inc., a provider of environmental compliance solutions for the mining, oil and electrical industries, and the tool and die maker Anchor Lamina Inc. For a full report on the Key acquisition, see the April issue of Masthead magazine.
Contact: 416-944-1257 (Harrowston media contact)
|Photographers association relaunches mag
Elora, Ont., Feb. 18 2000: The official magazine of the Professional Photographers of Canada has changed publishers and is now poised to relaunch under an entirely new name. Last month like-named Professional Photographers of Canada magazine moved from Winnipeg's Craig Kelman & Associates to Mach One Design & Communications in Elora, Ont. The 20-year-old bimonthly is slated to relaunch later this month as en.VISION, complete with a new look and new content. The last issue of Professional Photographers of Canada appeared last month. "The exciting part about the whole thing...is that it's going to be completely different and new," says Mach One president Jackie Ranahan. "I look at it as almost a new publication." According to Ranahan, readers will find profiles, updates on the likes of digital photography and other articles related to professional photography. Half of the standard-sized glossy is printed in colour and half in black-and-white. In addition to association members, the magazine will be sent to agencies and schools. Advertisers include camera and film companies, photo labs and other companies that produce photographic equipment.
Cover price: tba
Colour ad: tba
|Newsstand sales still falling, ABC reveals
Toronto, Ont., Feb. 17 2000: Newsstand sales of some of Canada's top magazines are continuing to drop, although the pace has slowed somewhat over last year, the latest ABC figures indicate. Of the 40 titles reporting year-over-year single copy sales figures, 23 took a hit at the newsstand, according to ABC's Fas-Fax for the six months ending Dec. 31. Averaged across all 40 magazines, the overall drop was 5.1%. In 1998 the average decrease was 6.6% (for 48 titles). In all, 15 titles recorded double-digit losses in newsstand sales last year, with French-language magazines bearing the brunt of the hit. The top five losers were: Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins (-44.9%); Capital Santé (-33.4); Magazine Affaires Plus (-20.9%); Maclean's (-19.6%); and Canadian Gardening (-18.9%) Inversely, only four magazines saw a double-digit jump at the newsstand. The top five performers were: Style at Home (30.2%); Time (20.9%); Toronto Life FASHION (18.4%); Preview Sports/NBA Basketball (15.6%); and Canadian House & Home (7.6%). In terms of total paid figures, the overall average dip for the 42 titles with year-over-year data was just under 2%. The top five losers were: BC Outdoors (-18%); Preview Sports/Pro Football (-16%); Derniere Heure (-15.9%); Preview Sports/College Football (-15.5%); and Le Lundi (-11.3%). As for an increase in overall paid figures, the top five performers were: Canadian House & Home (23.5%); Capital Santé (18.1%); Preview Sports/NBA Basketball (15.6%); Super Shopper Buy (6.5%); and Canadian Business (4.2%). Finally, with subscriptions the 37 titles reporting year-over-year data saw an overall average gain of 1.5%. Here the top five losers were: BC Outdoors (-22.6%); Canadian Geographic (-11.1%); Style at Home (-8%); Reader's Digest (-7.4%); and Selection du Reader's Digest (-6.1%). The top five performers in subs were: Capital Santé (50.3%); Canadian House and Home (28.6%); Coup de Pouce (12.9%); Québec Science (9.7%); and Le Lundi (7.3%). (For a full analysis of last year's circ figures from both ABC and CCAB, watch for the April 2000 issue of Masthead magazine.)
|Cafeteria supplier launches lunchtime reader
London, Ont., Feb. 16, 2000: Beaver Foods has launched a new youth title to further complement its high school and college cafeteria business. The Listening Post Magazine is an offshoot of Beaver's two-year-old subsidiary Listening Post Rhythm & Food, which has brought jukeboxes into more than 500 cafeterias across Canada. Launched in December, the new magazine is published by Toronto's Winfield Sound & Media, the same company managing the jukebox service. While the glossy, digest-format book targets young people in high schools and colleges, it's "skewed" more to the 13- to 18-year-old crowd, says co-publisher Aubrey Winfield. Along with editorial on careers, extreme sports and music, the magazine invites reviews and opinion pieces from students. All editorial is approved by London, Ont.-based Beaver Foods, as is the advertising, which encompasses music, film, snack food and soft drinks. "We're very cautious as to the content and making sure [it] is clean," says Winfield.
Cover price: free
Colour ad: $4,970
|Magazine Fund will not be ready by April 1
Ottawa, Ont., Feb. 15, 2000: Publishers eager to take advantage of Ottawa's much-anticipated Canadian Magazine Fund are going to have to wait several months longer than first expected. Suggestions that the program would be up and running by the April start of the new fiscal year now appear to have been premature. Instead, indications are that publishers will be able to tap into the $50-million-a-year fund closer to June. In fact, Department of Canadian Heritage (DCH) officials are loathe to make any promises as to when the program will be launched, explaining that they are continuing to meet with industry reps and individual publishers to hammer out an equitable funding formula. "It's a big fund. There aren't any existing models to work from," Tara Ragan, the department's manager of periodical publishing policy, told Masthead Online today. "We're starting from scratch." Nonetheless, DCH hopes to have the applications ready for early June's Magazines University, where it is scheduled to conduct an information session on the new fund. "There's a lot to do," says Allan Clarke, director of publishing policy and programming at DCH. "I wouldn't call it a delay. We're working as hard and as quickly as possible to get the program in place." In DCH's defence, it has only ever promised that the fund would be operational "beginning in the 2000-2001 fiscal year," technically giving the department until April 2001 to get something in place. The perception that the money would be available much earlier likely arose from a press release from the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association, which stated that the program "was expected to be in place by April 1" this year.
|New magazine replaces defunct fitness title
Georgetown, Ont., Feb. 14, 2000: The contract publisher of now-defunct Canadian Fitness is putting its muscle behind an entirely new magazine for health and fitness providers. Georgetown, Ont.-based Mill Pond Publishing Inc. launched Fitness Business Canada last month, just four months after the demise of Canadian Fitness. According to editor/publisher Don Longwell, the three-year-old title folded after its owner, Toronto-based fitness equipment supplier TRC Fitness, went bankrupt. "We were promised by the advertisers that they would support us if we did it independently of any supplier," Longwell says of the new magazine, which focuses on professional development, business practices, education, training, physiology and trends. With a controlled circ of 11,000, the standard-sized, full-colour glossy goes to fitness providers, commercial clubs, parks and recreation facilities, corporate clubs, YMCA branches and exercise physiologists across Canada. As such, advertisers include fitness equipment and accessory manufacturers and suppliers. The magazine also has a related Web site (www.fitnet.ca).
Cover price: $5
Colour ad: $3,034
|Caldwell promoted to editor of Cottage Life
Toronto, Ont., Feb. 11, 2000: Cottage Life managing editor Penny Caldwell has been chosen to replace outgoing editor David Zimmer, who announced his resignation last month. Caldwell, who has been involved with the 12-year-old glossy since its launch, takes up her new post following Zimmer's scheduled departure in late April. Initially a freelance contributor and later a contract editor, Caldwell officially joined Cottage Life's staff in 1997 after being named ME. Among her editorial credentials, Caldwell is the founding editor of Ports Cruising Guides and a past editor of the Maclean Hunter-era Canadian Yachting. She began her career in 1979 as a sports reporter for a community newspaper in Ajax, Ont. With her new appointment, Caldwell becomes the third editor in the award-winning magazine's history, alongside Zimmer and founding editor Ann Vanderhoof.
|Elm Street finds replacement for Cameron
Toronto, Ont., Feb. 10, 2000: Multi-Vision Publishing has hired Gwen Smith to replace Stevie Cameron as editor-in-chief of Elm Street. Smith, who is now wrapping up her position as assistant managing editor at Maclean's, officially takes over later this month. According to Multi-Vision president Greg MacNeil, the decision to hire Smith was made last Friday. A veteran print and broadcast journalist, Smith is no stranger to Elm Street. In 1998 before joining Maclean's, she worked for the Toronto-based women's book as a consulting editor on a six-month contract. Her resumé lists several other senior media positions, including national editor and deputy managing editor of The Globe and Mail, producer of CBC-TV's The Journal and editor of The Toronto Star's now-defunct "Insight" section. As for Cameron's ongoing relationship with Elm Street, details have yet to be finalized, says senior vice-president Lilia Lozinski.
|Winnipeg publisher launches title for grooms
Winnipeg, Man., Feb. 9, 2000: August Communications marks its first foray into consumer publishing this month with the February launch of Groom, a wedding magazine for men. But don't expect to find the latest china patterns or wedding dress designs in this new biannual. Instead, Winnipeg-based Groom is what associate publisher Grant Crosbie refers to as a hybrid of the men's and wedding magazine categories. "Our big problem was people were thinking that it was going to be like a wedding magazine with a male model on the front cover," he says of the early response to the concept. Instead, the cover features a sports personality while the editorial is geared toward affluent men aged 23 to 40 with articles on the likes of honeymoons, finances and relationships. Targeted advertising categories include tuxedo and car rentals, travel agencies and photography. The standard-sized, full-colour glossy can be found on newsstands across Canada.
Cover price: $3.95
Colour ad: $9,500
|Planning for Profits to relaunch as new title
Vancouver, B.C., Feb. 8, 2000: The fledgling Internet portal Investment.com has purchased four-year-old Planning for Profits, a high-end investment guide with city editions throughout North America. The Vancouver-based title is to be relaunched this month as Investment.com Magazine, with founding publisher Terry Tremaine staying on as a consultant. By relaunching under the Investment.com banner, the magazine's new owners hope to drive readers to their year-old Web site. While initial distribution will be in Canada only, there are plans to ship subsequent issues to the U.S. and other countries.
|Trade publisher forges links with U.S. firm
Mississauga, Ont., Feb. 7, 2000: Kerrwil Publications Ltd. has partnered with a like-minded Nashua, R.I.-based publisher to overlap operations in Europe, Australasia, Canada and the U.S. The alliance with PennWell Publishing centres on the merger of Kerrwil's U.K.-based Structured Cabling with PennWell's Cabling Installation & Maintenance Europe. The resultant publication will retain the name of the original PennWell publication, while relying on Kerrwil's editorial infrastructure in Canada and the U.K. The first issue is expected to published mid-winter. Along with the merger, the deal sees Mississauga, Ont.-based Kerrwil become PennWell's Canadian representative, and vice versa. As well, both companies will represent a licensed edition of the new magazine serving Australia and New Zealand.
Contact: 905-890-1846 (Kerrwil)
|Local publisher picks up continent-wide award
Unionville, Ont., Feb. 4, 2000: Homes Magazine has been named North America's "Best Housing Guide of the Year" by Housing Guides of America (HGA), a U.S.-based marketing network of new home guides. Along with the top honour, Homes also picked up four gold awards (consumer advertising, consumer promotion, industry promotion, industry news) and two silver (reader service card program, special issue). The awards were presented Jan. 13 during the association's annual convention in Dallas, Tex. Published by Unionville, Ont.'s Homes Publishing Group, 14-year-old Homes is the HGA's only Canadian member.
|New Globe hire fuels mag launch rumours
Toronto, Ont., Feb. 3, 2000: British newspaper and magazine veteran Nigel Horne is joining The Globe and Mail this month as editorial director, magazines. According to Globe publisher Phillip Crawley, Horne will lead the way in "reorganizing the way we run our magazines." The appointment has fueled speculation that The Globe is poised to launch a weekend magazine to go up against Saturday Night when it relaunches in May as a weekend edition to the National Post. Horne, son-in-law of Mordecai Richler, was editor of The Daily Telegraph's Saturday magazine for five years in the 1990s and later worked alongside current Globe editor Richard Addis at London's Daily Express. Meanwhile, Crawley has replaced Stephen Petherbridge as publisher of Broadcast Week and Report on Business magazine. Petherbridge, increasingly involved in ROBTv since last May, is now vice-president of TV and new ventures, says Crawley. Speaking to the rumour that The Globe intends to launch a weekend magazine, Crawley acknowledged that it's "obviously an option." He adds that the National Post's decision to convert Saturday Night into a weekly insert has prompted his paper to once again "examine the business case" for a weekend magazine. "It's an expensive proposition to support" from the standpoint of generating ad revenue, he says, noting that The Globe has also considered purchasing an existing magazine rather than investing in a start-up.
|Telemedia sale jeopardizes printing deals
Montreal, Que., Feb. 2, 2000: Concord, Ont.-based St. Joseph Printing is on the brink of losing $13 million in printing contract renewals thanks to rival G.T.C. Transcontinental Group's takeover of Telemedia Publishing. Subsidiary Transcontinental Publications Inc. purchased Telemedia Communication's publishing properties last Thursday evening for a reported $150 million (see "Telemedia Publishing sold" in this folder). St. Joseph was also reportedly bidding for the magazines, and holds contracts to print three of them. However, an industry source says that those contracts contain transferable escape clauses providing for unilateral termination with just two issues' notice. They are: Canadian Living (five-year, $8-million contract expires this fall); Homemaker's/Madame au Foyer (three-year, $3.5-million contract, expires mid-2001); Style at Home (rolling annual, $1.5-million contract, expires year-end). Also expected to be adversely affected is another Transcontinental rival, Quebecor, printer of Telemedia's TVGuide, TV Hebdo, Vancouver and Western Living. It stands to lose between $7 million to $12 million in contract renewals. The Telemedia deal, expected to close March 21, makes Transcontinental Canada's second largest magazine publisher behind Rogers Media.
Contact: 514-392-9000 (Transcontinental Publications)
|Your Baby to get Today's Parent branding
Toronto, Ont., Feb. 1, 2000: Today's Parent is lending its brand-name recognition to sister title Your Baby. Starting in April, the digest-sized, full-colour glossy will be known as Today's Parent Special Editions Baby & Toddler. Already published twice yearly, Your Baby focuses on the parenting of children from birth to age three. According to publisher Chris Emery, the change reflects "the first time that we've actually taken an old product and renamed it under the Today's Parent name." Currently, all new products automatically fall under the Today's Parent brand, he says. In tandem with the relaunch, Your Baby will adopt a standard-sized magazine format. Its French-language counterpart, Mon Enfant, will adopt the same format in April. The title will continue to be distributed to doctors' offices, while up to 25,000 copies will be mailed to Today's Parent subscribers who have children aged three year or under. Total circulation is 175,000.
|Dennis Kelly says:|