Masthead News Archives
October 2001
October 31, 2001
Bonjour ma rédactrice
MONTREAL—Can you believe it’s been almost 14 years since she captured adolescent fancies with her hit single “Bye bye mon cowboy”? While her music career is still very much alive, Mitsou—the busty, puffy-lipped blonde warbler from Quebec—is now editor of Publicor’s glossy monthly clin d’oeil. She replaces Jean-Yves Girard who left the post about four months ago. She was installed last month.

October 30, 2001
Key Media to invite bidders into “data room”
TORONTO—Key Media executive chairman William Duron said the company expects to have completed the process of formally entertaining offers for the $40-million operation by the end of November. In an interview late last week, Duron said those bidders who’ve already “suggested a valuation that would be of interest to the shareholders” will be invited into a “data room” as soon as this week. While there, bidders can pore over the company’s confidential financial statements before submitting a formal offer. Key assets included Toronto Life magazine, Fashion, Quill & Quire and a 75% stake in Ottawa City. For sale here is Key founder Michael de Pencier’s 49.3% stake. TD Capital also owns 49.3%. The remainder is held by Key mangement.

October 29, 2001
Sherritt settlement bonus for trade mag
TORONTO—File this one under trade magazine as corporate confessional. Amendments to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act in 1998 offer violators alternatives to criminal prosecution. In this case, Toronto-based natural resource giant Sherritt International Corp. has agreed to divulge hitherto confidential details surrounding its illegal June 14, 2000 exportation of four cyclinders of ozone-depleting R-12 refrigerant from Calgary to Cuba. It will hand over details to Hollinger-owned bimonthly Hazardous Materials Management magazine for a story to be published in its December/January issue. “This is quite a scoop for the magazine,” says editor Connie Vitello.

October 26, 2001
Toronto Life partners to pursue TV extension
TORONTO—Craig Broadcast Systems of Calgary hopes that a content-sharing deal with Key Media’s Toronto Life magazine will sweeten its odds of landing a television licence to compete with CityTV for Toronto eyeballs. Key Media executive chairman William Duron says Craig approached the magazine roughly three months ago with a “very favourable proposition.” Competition for the new analog channel is steep; in addition to Craig, the CRTC is scrutinizing Toronto-channel applications from Torstar, CTV, Rogers, CanWest and Alliance Atlantis with public hearings scheduled for Dec. 3.

October 25, 2001
Avid sells quarterly on snowmobiling
MARKHAM, Ont.—Ownership of Snow Goer magazine, a quarterly launched by Avid Media in 1980, has changed hands. The glossy was sold 10 days ago for a multiple of 8.5 times earnings to Barrie, Ont.-based Digital Video Productions, owner of Snowmobiler Television. “The offer was just too good to turn down,” says Avid president Jacqueline Howe. Snow Goer has a circulation of 142,000, about 17% of which is paid.

October 24, 2001
Publisher fired following cunnilingus ad
TORONTO—Marketing Magazine publisher Cam Gardner was fired two days ago after the Oct. 22 edition of his magazine hit the street. The issue contains an ad for which Rogers Media senior vice-president Harvey Botting today apologized. The ad, which attempts to convey the rigorous judging standards in place for the 2002 Marketing Awards, depicts a seemingly unfulfilled woman lying in a bed with her arms crossed looking dispassionately off into the distance. Beneath the sheets, between her splayed legs, is the outline of a sexual partner presumably performing mediocre oral sex. The text box above the woman’s head states merely “Merit.” Asked if Gardner’s departure was related to the ad, Botting would only say that company policy precludes him from discussing human resource issues. Gardner could not be reached for comment.

October 23, 2001
Terrorist attacks take a nip at Rogers’ Q3 revs
TORONTO—Communications giant Rogers Communications Inc., parent of Rogers Media (the country’s largest magazine publisher with 67 trade and consumer magazines) released its third quarter results last week. Of Rogers total Q3 revenue of $951.8 million, magazine revenues contributed $68.1 million, down 0.3% from the same quarter last year. While circ and ad revenue from the women’s publications increased by 4.3% over last year’s Q3, the medical group has not fared as well. “Publishing sales have been negatively impacted by the overall slowing in the economy, and more recently, by the U.S. terrorist attacks,” the report notes.

October 22, 2001
E-commerce title folds, sector hurting
TORONTO—When Hollinger’s Business Information Group (formerly known as Southam Magazine and Information Group) launched dot commerce magazine last February, the Internet bubble had yet to burst. Now, after just five issues, the glossy bimonthly devoted to helping business executives get their heads around e-commerce practices has stopped publishing. A “Farewell” message was posted on www.dotcommerce.ca three days ago. Publisher John G. Smith attributes the closure to “constricted marketing budgets” and a contracting economy. The controlled-circ title had 15,736 subscribers. Its closure speaks to the general aridity in the technology sector. Plesman’s monthly tabloid Communications & Networking will be combining its October and November issues due to sluggish sales.

October 19, 2001
Federal report nears completion
OTTAWA—The Department of Canadian Heritage (DCH) is polishing up a report on how the Canadian magazine industry is faring in a post-Bill C-55 setting. Entitled, “The Canadian Magazine Industry: The New Competitive Environment,” the study was produced by Peter Kaskey of Peter Cameron & Associates. It examines real and potential foreign publisher activity and how Canadian publishers are responding. It will likely be released sometime before December, says Pierre Lalonde, DCH’s head of research, analysis and compliance.

October 18, 2001
Magazine workshops suspended
TORONTO—Budgetary tightening has resulted in the suspension of Rogers Media’s annual sales and editorial conferences. The measure, says CEO Brian Segal, is temporary, effective only for 2002. The complementary editorial and sales awards, he notes, will go on. Meanwhile, as part of its strategic review of operations, the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association has temporarily suspended this fall’s installment of the Quebecor CMPA Magazine Publishing Workshop. The intensive 12-day boot camp is a trial by fire exposing magazine rookies to all aspects of magazine production, from editorial conception to marketing and distribution. Formerly known as the Banff Publishing Workshop, the program’s alumni include such award-winning editors as Dianna Symonds (Saturday Night) and Bruce Reeve (Cycle Canada).

October 17, 2001
Bowes dissolves into Sun Media
LONDON, Ont.—Bowes Publishers Ltd., formed in 1950, is no more. Its 190 community weeklies—and four magazines including London City Life and London Business—have been consolidated with the publishing assets of parent company Sun Media Corp. Consequently, Bowes CEO Bill Dempsey now fills the newly created position of Sun Media chief operating officer. The consolidation, announced today, involves the elimination of 125 jobs, 30 of which are at Bowes. Sun Media also announced the closure of its free daily newspaper FYI Toronto. All told, the moves are expected to yield annual savings of $10 million.

October 16, 2001
Feds approve CMPA promo campaign
TORONTO—Earlier this month the Department of Canadian Heritage approved a $6-million proposal by the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association aimed at raising public consciousness of indigenous magazines. The CMPA’s National Circulation and Promotions Program received federal funding via the Canada Magazine Fund’s infrastructure-development component. The initiative will be directed by industry veteran and former Saturday Night publisher Maureen Cavan, who was formally retained by the CMPA in August. Starting January 2002, Canadian consumer magazines will be advertised on specialty TV channels and starting next spring mobile kiosks will pop up across the country to call attention to the industry’s wares. There will also be a direct marketing campaign designed to, in part, steer Canadians to the CMPA’s circulation-building Web site, www.magomania.com.

October 15, 2001
Smorgasbord of Maritime media stories
HALIFAX—Feeling a bit out of touch with the Eastern Canadian media scene? The Atlantic edition of Frank magazine is looking for younger readers. The University of King’s College has ended its association with the Atlantic Journalism Awards. Nova Scotian journalists have a few bones to pick with the province’s Freedom of Information Act. These and other stories are part of the annual King’s Journalism Review, the online publication produced by students of the School of Journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax. The site will launch this week. Check it out at http://journalism.ukings.ns.ca/kjr

October 12, 2001
B2B publishers served by a new Web site
MISSISSAUGA, Ont.—Frugal, basic, austere. Those are just a few adjectives that describe the Web site belonging to the Canadian Business Press, the industry association representing the county’s business-to-business media. And it’s led a largely dormant existence for the past 18 months. That’s about to change. CBP Internet committee chair Todd Latham says the Uducat-designed site will relaunch this coming Monday offering a bundle of new features including an industry forum, weekly news stories and archived industry reports from both the CBP and other sources. “We’ll have all the downloads,” Latham says, adding that a job board populated with openings at both Rogers Media and Southam will also be offered in the near future. The CBP’s Internet committee was struck last summer in response to membership demand. Check it out at www.cbp.ca

October 11, 2001
Xtra! shuts Go Big
TORONTO—Pink Triangle Press has decided that it doesn’t have the resources to make a long-term commitment to Go Big, an oversized biannual glossy devoted to profiling members of the gay community who have, in some way, gone big. Go Big had a circulation of 97,000; it was distributed nationally through editions of Pink Triangle’s biweekly gay news and lifestyle tabloid Xtra! in Toronto Vancouver and Ottawa and as a standalone in Montreal. The decision to close was made in August. “We just realized that it was going to take a lot longer to meet our financial objectives,” says Pink Triangle associate publisher Andrew Chang.

October 10, 2001
Editor dies in car crash, designer injured
OAKVILLE, Ont.—Last Friday evening, Carguide editor Tim Lindsay was killed after the Dodge Viper he was driving collided with a utility pole. Carguide is a 30-year-old bimonthly magazine published by Oakville-based Formula Publications. “The police investigators have said that excessive speed wasn’t a factor,” says senior vice-president Alan McPhee. Lindsay turned 33 three days before the accident. Roads in the area were slick with rainfall at the time. Passenger Omar Cushnie, a layout designer with Formula, was extracted from the vehicle and flown to hospital. A service will be held for Lindsay this Friday at 2 p.m. at Glen Abbey United Church at 1469 Nottinghill Gate in Oakville. For information on the service, contact Formula’s Carolin Green at 905-842-6591 ext. 229.

October 09, 2001
CSME proposes peer review program
TORONTO—The Canadian Society of Magazine Editors is organizing a national editorial feedback program intended to assist editors seeking constructive criticism. The CSME will match up two editors who will then review the each other’s magazine. Editors need not reside in the same city as feedback may take place over the telephone or via e-mail. CSME secretary Nancy Clark, who is also editor of Seasons magazine, says the Book Buddies program will provide participants with valuable independent feedback. To participate, contact Clark at nancyc@ontarionature.org.

October 05, 2001
Massive postal increases feared
OTTAWA—Controlled-circulation publications are in for a royal pummeling if rumours foretelling massive postal increases are true. Industry sources suggest that a worst-case scenario will see controlled-circ titles hit with a 12% increase in April 2002 and another 12% increase in January 2003. As for paid-circ magazines, most of which are Publications Assistance Program (PAP) recipients, they face an increase of 41% on the amount they currently pay (not their base rate). “We’ve heard there are major increases pending,” said Canadian Business Press president Phil Boyd. “Clearly, if they are as large as we’re hearing, the industry would be hard pressed to absorb those kinds of increases without experiencing similar losses of 10 years ago.” In 1991, 99 controlled-circ trade mags folded when their PAP funding got cut. Canadian Magazine Publishers Association president Mark Jamison called the rumoured increases “shocking.” Both the CBP and CMPA are in negotiations with Canada Post. Canada Post could not be reached for comment.

October 04, 2001
Maclean’s editor addresses CSME
TORONTO—Say good bye to the red background found in Maclean’s nameplate and look out for a redesigned table of contents in the very near future. These and other changes were announced today by Anthony Wilson-Smith during a luncheon organized by the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors. Wilson-Smith promised that Maclean’s will continue to address a set of concerns now shared by virtually all Canadians in the wake of Sept. 11—concerns about safety, Canada’s military role, personal freedoms and a shared sense of uncertainty. He also suggested that so-called Scud Stud Arthur Kent will serve as Maclean’s man in the Middle East.

October 03, 2001
Canadian Forum still looking for cash
HALIFAX—Subscribers to Canadian Forum are being told to keep the faith, says publisher James Lorimer. Speaking from his office at Formac Publishing based here, Lorimer says he still intends to relaunch the feisty, left-leaning nationalist journal which ceased publishing as of the July/August 2000 issue. It launched in 1920. Proposals have been directed at the Department of Canadian Heritage and The Canada Council for the Arts. “We’ve been knocking on doors in Ottawa and we’ve had a very good hearing,” Lorimer says, adding that it will require private and public funds to refloat the scuppered enterprise. The problem, however, is that the Forum is ineligible for Canada Magazine Fund and Canada Council subsidies because it has not regularly published in the past year. Private investors will need to buoy the Forum into the realm of CMF/CC eligibility.

October 02, 2001
Key Publishers co-founder to be feted
TORONTO—Key Publishers chairman Michael de Pencier has been named recipient of the 2001 Canadian Letters Award. He’s scheduled to be honoured for his role in promoting Canadian writing at a Nov. 9 luncheon at Toronto’s King Edward Hotel. The award is presented by the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters, the non-profit arm of the Periodical Marketers of Canada. Past recipients include the Pierres Trudeau and Berton. De Pencier’s publishing empire began in 1962 when he and university classmate Phillip Greey launched the trade magazine Building and Management. He later co-founded Key Porter Books. Growth by acquisition included the 1970 purchase of Toronto Life magazine from Michael Sifton. A student of philosophy, de Pencier has expressed his intellectual curiosities in financial terms, making cash gifts to both This Magazine and now-defunct Canadian Forum.

October 01, 2001
CoastLife magazine folds
HALIFAX—Call it the battle of the East Coast lifestyle mags. It’s over. Jim Gourlay’s bimonthly Saltscapes magazine won. CoastLife magazine suspended publication following its Fall 2000 issue, less than six months after the emergence of rival Saltscapes. CoastLife was published by Coast Publishing Ltd., which continues to produce the successful weekly tabloid The Coast. Coast Publishing co-owner Kyle Shaw says the plan was to grow the new quarterly slowly without a large front-end investment. “Our plan kind of got blown out of the water by Saltscapes [which launched in May 2000 with heavy promotional back-up and top-end production values].” Shaw says white knights for CoastLife were sought as late as this past June. “We decided the magazine market ... was not big enough for the both of us.”

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