Masthead News Archives
May 2001
May 31, 2001
Cycle Canada goes CTP, hits Web
MONTREAL—How much did Cycle Canada publisher Jean-Pierre Belmonte pay to improve his paper stock, shorten the production cycle by two days and print colour on every page? Nothing. The money saved by converting to computer-to-plate technology as of the June issue was reinvested in the monthly glossy’s paper stock. French-language sister title Moto Journal served as a guinea pig, converting to CTP about one year ago. Cycle Canada also recently planted its first flag on the Web at www.cyclecanadamagazine.net.

May 30, 2001
Elle Canada gets subscribers, ad revenue
TORONTO—The virgin issue of Elle Canada appearing in March raised more than $1 million in advertising revenue, says parent company Transcontinental Media, which shares ownership of the glossy with the U.S. division of Hachette Filipacchi Magazines. Transcontinental says a direct marketing campaign along with standard blow-in cards generated 36,000 subscribers, almost twice as many as the anticipated 19,000. Elle Canada converts to a monthly publishing schedule as of the September issue.

May 29, 2001
CAJ winks at Maclean’s—again
ST. JOHN’S—For the second year in a row Maclean’s magazine has bagged the Canadian Association of Journalists award for best investigative magazine article published in 2000. “The Smugglers’ Slaves” by Tom Fennell and Sheng Xue examined indentured Asian labour in Canada. The honour was bestowed here three days ago during the CAJ’s 23rd annual conference. The Maclean’s report is also nominated for a National Magazine Award for investigative reporting, to be decided at a gala event this Friday at Toronto’s Royal York Hotel.

May 28, 2001
Maclean’s to disband editorial “SWAT team”
TORONTO—Maclean’s editor Tony Wilson-Smith says his ongoing editorial reorganization means an end to the magazine’s “quick response unit”—a team of reporters and editors typically engaged to cover late-breaking stories. Wilson-Smith likens it to “a large SWAT team.” The cut comes as part of an impending staff reduction announced last week that could pare Maclean’s unionized editorial staff of 40 by up to 12 people as soon as June 7, he said. Howard Law, a representative with the Local 87M of the Communications, Energy and Paper Workers Union, could not be reached for comment.

May 25, 2001
Oxygen goes monthly
MISSISSAUGA, Ont.—Having grown newsstand sales to about 130,000 in the U.S. and 20,000 in Canada, Robert Kennedy says it was time to transform his bimonthly women’s fitness magazine Oxygen to a monthly format. Six additional staffers have been hired. “We don’t have a lot of money to suddenly launch a monthly magazine,” Kennedy says. Oxygen launched as a bimonthly in Novemebr 1997. Kennedy targets the U.S. market with two other titles—MuscleMag and American Health & Fitness.

May 24, 2001
Kinesis folds after 27 years
VANCOUVER—Staff burnout, a steady decline in subscriptions, fewer volunteers, money woes and office robberies all contributed to a recent decision by the Vancouver Status of Women (VSW) to cease publication of its feminist monthly Kinesis, which launched in January 1974. VSW restructuring coordinator Benita Bunjun says a deal to digitize all back issues is currently being negotiated with U.S.-based Softline Information Databases.

CORRECTION
TORONTO—Fleet Street Financial Corp. principal Michael Yasny says he acquired Olga Stein’s 51% interest in Geriatrics & Aging magazine for approximately $80,000, not $26,000 as reported in our May 4 news item, “BiC publisher speaks, sells other title.”

May 23, 2001
Satirical quarterly suspends publication
TORONTO—Publisher/editor Stephen Lategan estimates he invested about $20,000 into Grip—a satirical quarterly he launched in March 2000. It just didn’t sell. The third and last issue, dated September 2000, contained no advertisements and had a newsstand sell-through rate of about 10%, Lategan says. If traffic at www.grip.ca picks up he may consider a relaunch.

May 22, 2001
Fuse hires successor to Chevrier
TORONTO—Playwright Christina Starr replaces Petra Chevrier as managing editor of Fuse magazine. Starr, whose social justice reportage has appeared in Mix and Xtra! magazines, joined Fuse earlier this month. Chevrier resigned from the 23-year-old arts and culture quarterly in March after more than six years with the title, the last four as managing editor. Chevrier is now a project manager at Bruce Mau Design. “I learned all I could,” she says of her time at Fuse. “It was becoming routine.” Fuse is published by Artons Cultural Affairs Society and Publishing Inc., a non-profit artists collective.

May 18, 2001
enRoute takes over Saturday Night sponsorship
MONTREAL—It was announced earlier this month that winning submissions to the Canadian Literary Awards would be published in both official languages in Air Canada's inflight title enRoute magazine, published by Montreal-based Spafax Canada. enRoute takes over from Saturday Night magazine as the print media sponsor of the awards. Created in 1979, the Canadian Literary Awards have a total purse of $30,000, offering $6,000 and $4,000 as first and second prizes respectively in three categories: short story, travel literature and poetry. Deadline for entries is Aug. 31.

May 17, 2001
Sex mag plans 400k circ
TORONTO—About 325,000 copies of the première edition of Trafalgar Production’s Everything To Do With Sex magazine will be distributed as an insert to The Toronto Sun. The proposed quarterly is a brand extension of the consumer/trade show of the same name to be held for the second year in a row this October in Toronto. Publisher Keith Sharp said Sun officials will be permitted to view the magazine prior to distributing it. Show owner Zeev Landesverg of Free Land Marketing Inc. holds a minority interest in the magazine.

May 16, 2001
Black expects mags to fetch high multiple
TORONTO—Following the company’s annual shareholder meeting this morning, Hollinger Inc. CEO and chairman Conrad Black said there have been “expressions of interest” in the company’s stable of 30-plus trade magazines, but so far no buyers. When asked if the magazines are slow to sell because of Hollinger’s rich asking price (rumoured at eight times EBITDA), Black replied: “And that’s high?” Indeed, he said, Hollinger wants to fetch a multiple of 10. Failing that, “we’re happy to hold onto them.” He said the titles will not sell for less than a multiple of eight times EDITDA. The magazines, part of the Southam Magazine and Information Group (SMIG), include Canadian Architect, Canadian Plastics, Canadian Mining Journal, Pulp and Paper Canada and Hazardous Material Management.

May 15, 2001
CMPA’s Auddino moves to Coast to Coast
TORONTO—It was announced late last week that Gino Auddino, director of newsstand marketing for the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association, has accepted a position with Coast to Coast Newsstand Services where he’ll forge new distribution channels with specialty retail stores. He starts next week. The two-year CMPA staffer had drawn criticism from small magazine publishers for his allegedly abrasive manner. Auddino says he was unaware of the criticisms, suggesting only that “I might have been a little firm” in advising publishers on such matters as the importance of adhering to production schedules, attaining a UPC code and making sure a retail price was on the cover. “It was a very tough decision to leave,” Auddino says, noting that he’s proud to have increased overall newsstand sales by 28%.

May 14, 2001
AMPA’s founding executive director moves on
CALGARY—After six and a half years with the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, founding executive director Lori Shyba called it quits on May 1. Shyba says she’ll grow her publishing/design company, Sundial Media.

May 11, 2001
Dunjko rumoured to be joining AGO
TORONTO—Gossips in the graphic design community are suggesting that former Shift creative director and multiple National Magazine Award winner Carmen Dunjko will accept a senior creative post with the Art Gallery of Ontario’s exhibitions and publications division. Dunjko politely declined comment. AGO officials could not be reached for comment.

May 10, 2001
Executive shuffle at Pink Triangle
OTTAWA—Brandon Matheson, publisher and editor-in-chief of Capital Xtra!, has been appointed associate publisher of Toronto’s Xtra!, effective June 1. He replaces Andrew Chang who becomes associate publisher of parent company Pink Triangle Press. Capital Xtra!—the alternative fortnightly tabloid covering the gay and lesbian scene in the national capital region—launched in 1994 and has a controlled circ of about 20,000. Applications are being solicited for Matheson’s successor at Capital Xtra!

May 9, 2001
Canadian mag industry $1.7 billion
OTTAWA—Findings from the most recent survey of magazine publishers will be released within four weeks and will reflect the industry as it stood in 1998-99, says StatsCan’s Tom Gorman, manager of the biennial Periodical Publishing Survey. The survey tracked more than 2,000 titles generating revenue estimated at $1.7 billion. For the first time, Web-based magazines have been measured. The magazine survey will become an annual affair as of the 2000-2001 edition, Gorman says.

May 8, 2001
Provincial grant money up for grabs
TORONTO—A $350,000 purse backs a new Ontario Arts Council program that launched in February. The Consulting, Mentoring and Technical Assistance Program offers arts organizations—including arts-focused magazine publishers—cash to hire business consultants, finance the mentoring of staff and beef up business practices such as developing a more effective circ-renewal program. The aim, says program designer Steven Campbell, is to “increase the capacity of an organization to achieve its mandate.” Magazines normally eligible for OAC funding are invited to apply. Visit www.arts.on.ca for more info.

May 7, 2001
Editor snagged to head Fashion edition
MONTREAL—Claude Laframboise, stalwart at Publicor’s Clin d’oeil magazine for five years and beauty editor since 1999, has been poached by Key Media to edit the Montreal edition of Fashion magazine which will launch in September.

May 4, 2001
BiC publisher speaks, sells other title
TORONTO—Books in Canada publisher Adrian Stein contacted MastheadOnline yesterday through a conference call hosted by a public relations intermediary retained by Amazon.com. Insisting that he has always been available for comment, Stein confirmed that he will relaunch the title in July. He and wife/acting editor Olga Stein “are actually going to devote the lion’s share of our time right now to making sure this thing gets off correctly and well.” Stein added: “I have freed myself from some other commitments. I sold my interest in Geriatrics and Aging.”

Indeed, Stein creditor/financier Michael Yasny, principal at Toronto’s Fleet Street Financial Corp., confirmed yesterday that he acquired Olga Stein’s 51% interest in Geriatrics & Aging last month. A source close to the deal says Yasny paid roughly $26,000 for the title.

Meanwhile, the status of a lawsuit launched by Toronto businessman Dennis Joseph Wong against Adrian Stein and brother Justin for defaulting on a business loan remains unclear. Stein said yesterday that Wong “has consented to certain terms” and that the matter has been settled. Asked this morning if the matter was settled, Wong said “No.’ He referred all other questions to his lawyer Bernard Gazzee, who said he is not currently “as of today” litigating against Stein on behalf of Wong. “Things are ongoing,” Gazzee said.

Ex-PWAC exec promises lawsuit
TORONTO—Former Periodical Writers Association of Canada executive director Victoria Ridout says her lawyer sent PWAC a statement of claim by registered mail two days ago. Ridout resigned from her $38,000-a-year post in February alleging that PWAC directors attempted to stymie her participation in meetings of the nine-member board. “In effect, it constituted a demotion,” she said yesterday of their attempt to silence her unsolicited utterances before the board. Her constructive dismissal lawsuit seeks $10,000 in damages, she says. As of yesterday, PWAC president Kathe Lieber said she knew of no lawsuit filed by Ridout against PWAC.

May 3, 2001
Books in Canada relaunch in question
SEATTLE—Books in Canada publisher Adrian Stein is not returning calls these days. Ditto for wife/acting BiC editor Olga Stein. Adrian Stein was available and garrulous last January when he struck a cash-for-content deal with Amazon.com (see Archives Jan. 17). He announced triumphantly that BiC would relaunch in March. It didn’t. April, he promised. The magazine is still a no show. Stein himself is embroiled in civil litigation, copyright infringement allegations and is alleged to owe former employees thousands in back wages.

In the absence of the publisher, the de facto representative of this once-respected magazine is now an American—Amazon.com international spokeswoman Margaret Dawson, who told MastheadOnline yesterday from her office in Seattle that Stein has informed Amazon that he’s planning to relaunch BiC in July.

May 2, 2001
Magazine list broker sold
TORONTO—Herbert A. Watts Ltd.—divisions of which are well-known direct marketing companies Watts List Brokerage and Watts List Management—has been purchased by FirstService Corp. for a reported $38 million. Both companies are based in Toronto. The deal was announced March 8. FirstService trades on the TSE and Nasdaq and specializes in property management and business services with sales last year of $520 million.

May 1, 2001
Key nails two dot.com deals
TORONTO—Key Media—an equal partnership between Key Publishers and Harrowston Inc.—will pair its 20-year-old WeddingBells brand in two separate dot.com deals announced late last month.

In the first deal, Key acquired a majority stake in IdoIdo.com, a Canadian online gift registry and wedding planner. Weddingbells.ca will be a companion site.

In the second deal, Key announced that it had sold its two-and-a-half-year-old U.S. edition (and U.S. regional editions) including Weddingbells.com, to WeddingChannel.com, an online wedding planning resource. In exchange, Key takes a minority equity position in WeddingChannel.com.

Key Media generated revenue last year of approximately $40 million, says Harrowston spokesman Jim Warrillow.

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