Masthead News Archives
November 2001
November 30, 2001
Redwood to serve Kraft stateside
TORONTO—What’s Cooking, a custom publication produced quarterly by Redwood Custom Communications for Kraft Canada, will be joined at the table by a U.S version called food & family, to launch next spring, also produced by Redwood. Where the Canadian title has a circ of one million, food and family will reach two million Kraft customers.

November 29, 2001
Assistant editor named publisher
WINNIPEG—Talk about rapid career advancement. Barbara Chabai, formerly assistant editor at glossy teen bimonthly What magazine, was appointed publisher of the 250,000-circ, pop culture, school-distributed title earlier this month. Chabai, 30, got her start in creative copy writing in 1990 at CJOB radio in Winnipeg; she left in 1996 as national sales co-ordinator. She joined What as assistant editor in 1999 and left briefly this past June before returning this month as publisher. “It’s very exciting to be given this opportunity,” Chabai says. She replaces Nancy Moore who will now focus on sales and new ventures at parent company M2 Communications.

November 28, 2001
Chief sales exec bids Rogers farewell
TORONTO—After just 18 months with Rogers Publishing, senior vice-president Bill Neill confirms that he’s leaving by year’s end. He currently oversees sales functions at all of Rogers’ consumer magazines, a post he’s held since summer; prior to that he oversaw sales and marketing functions at Rogers’ news and business publications. Neill is set to be installed as CEO of Mississauga, Ont.-based Magniform Technology International Inc., where he has been a director since 1999. “I have always wanted to run a public company and the chance doesn’t come too often,” Neill said in a recent interview. He hinted that his successor at Rogers will likely be promoted from within. Magniform had sales last year of $31.5 million and has proprietary products including impact-absorbing foam for aerospace applications. Current Magniform CEO Robert Keto’s executive compensation package for 2001 totals roughly $421,877.00.

November 27, 2001
Rogers Publishing sacks 23
TORONTO—Rogers Publishing laid off 23 employees last Thursday afternoon, or 2% of their work force of 1,100. According an internal memo distributed to staff last Friday morning, the decision was made in light of declining ad sales revenues. In the memo, signed by CEO Brian Segal, the move is described as part of a series of “cost-cutting measures and is in no way a reflection on the performance of our people.” Calls to Segal were not returned. Maclean’s publisher Paul Jones confirms that three of the 23 positions were at his magazine: one accounting person, a copy editor and an Ottawa-bureau researcher.

November 26, 2001
Outpost sells minority stake to Travelweek
TORONTO—A pinched cashflow and a cessation of funding from dot.com casualty/minority stakeholder Richard Szlawinski’s Normal Net Canada Corp. have prompted the owners of adventure travel magazine Outpost to sell a minority interest in their five-year-old bimonthly to Toronto-based Concepts Travel Media (CTM), publishers of Travelweek, a weekly trade title serving the travel industry since 1973. The deal closed in August. Outpost’s ruling triumvirate—co-publishers Matthew Robinson and Christopher Frey and editor-in-chief Kisha Ferguson—retain majority control of the magazine. “They can open doors for us,” said Robinson of CTM in an interview today. “They’re assuming a lot of the infrastructure functions ... circulation, mailing, accounting, business management. We’re benefiting from a huge knowledge capital.” Says Travelweek publisher Gerry Kinasz: “There were some obvious synergies ... It’s a good young magazine.” Kinasz and Robinson declined to reveal the amount of cash CTM paid for its stake.

November 23, 2001
Computer-to-plate summit evalutes risks, rewards
TORONTO—About 175 magazine production managers, printers and prepress vendors gathered in Toronto on Wednesday to assess the risks and rewards of computer-to-plate production technology. The day-long summit, called Dare To Go Digital, featured panel sessions, a hands-on workshop and a tasty lunch. John Hall, production director for Rogers Media Publishing, brought along his company's "Wall of Shame," a panel of past production goofs that now serves as a quality-control tool. "Problems will happen with digital ads sooner or later," Hall admitted. But the general consensus was that prepress savings, time savings, and other advantages are compelling reasons for adopting CTP. The event was produced by Magazines Canada and sponsored by Quebecor World, Clarity Digital Management, Que-Net Media, St. Joseph Print Group and Masthead. Watch the January issue of Masthead for more on this story.

November 22, 2001
ex-Marketing publisher may “go public”
TORONTO—With severance negotiations looking like they might drag into week six, former Marketing publisher Cam Gardner—fired on Oct. 22 after running a tongue-in-cheek ad containing implied cunnilingus—says he’s losing patience with ex-employer Rogers Publishing. “My situation is between Ted Rogers, [Rogers Publishing CEO] Brian Segal and myself,” Gardner said during an interview yesterday. “That’s really all I can tell you at this stage. If we can’t get them to move along a little faster, we’re going to have to go public on this in a little more expansive form.” Gardner confirmed that the sole reason Rogers Media cited for his termination was the cunnilingus ad. He also confirmed that he was fired in person by Brian Segal. Rogers Media does not comment on matters concerning human resources.

November 21, 2001
CanadaComputes.com plagiarizes, doesn’t apologize
TORONTO—CanadaComputes.com has yet to inform its readers that articles reproduced on its Web site—and then inexplicably removed—were plagiarized from American sources. (See News Archives June 14, 2001.)The site is owned by Canada Computer Paper Inc.—a division of Trader.com and publisher of such magazines as Toronto Computes! and Quebec micro!. General manager Richard Peters has not returned a series of phone calls dating back more than six weeks. In a faxed statement dated two days ago, Peters stated he is “continuing to monitor the situation and at this point cannot provide any further comment.” Meanwhile, U.S. lawyer James Chadwick, representing The San Jose Mercury News—one of the media outlets plagiarized—said yesterday that Canada Computer Paper has been asked, as part of a proposed settlement, “to post an acknowledgment [on CanadaComputes.com] on a temporary basis stating that material they had reproduced was in fact ours, and they refused.” The San Jose Mercury News reported last June that the plagiarized articles were originally posted on the site as far back as July 2000.

November 20, 2001
Ad deemed “justifiable cause” for sacking
TORONTO—The lawyer representing Cam Gardner has strengthened suspicions that the former publisher of Marketing Magazine was fired for allowing publication of a sexually controversial ad. (See News Archives, Oct. 24). “He was terminated for justifiable cause on the basis of an advertisement ... As far as I know, that [advertisement] is the only issue relating to his conduct,” Brian Grosman said in an interview today. “There are no other issues.” Grosman says he’s still negotiating with Rogers Media in a bid to avoid an unjust dismissal lawsuit. “If we can’t come to terms within the next week or so then in all likelihood there will be legal ramifications to that,” he added. Rogers Media declined to discuss the matter.

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November 19, 2001
Oberdorf leaving IE:Money
TORONTO—After nearly three years in the slot, veteran magazine journeyman Charles Oberdorf says he’s leaving IE:Money on Dec. 14. Oberdorf—who has worked at Canadian Living, Toronto Life and was one of the founding editors of Elm Street in 1996—joined IE:Money in March 1999. “I only ever took this as a two-year gig,” Oberdorf says of his initial contract with the magazine. He says he’s leaving on a high note; as of the November/December issue, the eight-times-a-year glossy—“Canada’s magazine for serious investors”—introduces revamped editorial, design and operational philosophies. Transcontinental Media is currently searching for his successor. Oberdorf says he’ll continue his six-year relationship with Ryerson’s continuing education program, where he teaches magazine editing.

November 16, 2001
B2B ad pages drop 21.7% stateside
NEW YORK—Adspend in U.S.-based business-to-business media was down 23.6% in August compared August 2000, according to the Business Information Network. Ad page counts also dropped by 21.7% over the same periods. The Business Information Network is a partnership between the American Business Media and Competitive Media Reporting.

November 15, 2001
Growth-minded CLB to swallow Kerrwil books
AURORA, Ont.—Upstart trade publisher Canada Law Book Inc. (Canadian Lawyer, Law Times and six other titles) is in the process of acquiring assets belonging to Kerrwil Publications of Mississauga, Ont., a family-owned B2B publishing operation founded by industry stalwart Jack Kerr in 1964 with the launch of Electrical Business. (Kerr, now 85, still goes into work regularly.) Kerrwil currently owns Canadian Yachting, six trade mags and two trade shows. This past spring, Kerrwil rebuffed overtures from CLB president Stuart Morrison regarding a possible sale but “we are a persistent suitor,” says Morrison. CLB is making good on its strategy, revealed last year, to reduce exposure to traditional law-book publishing—a dwindling enterprise—by acquiring magazines in other fields. Morrison said last year that CLB’s objective was to own 25 titles by 2004. “I think we’ll hit that mark,” he says, adding that five other properties are currently under consideration. With the closure of the Kerrwil deal, expected by year end, CLB will hold 16 titles. Last summer, CLB acquired Burlington, Ont.-based Clifford/Elliot Ltd., a $3.5 million trade publisher of five titles including Plant Engineering & Maintenance and Advanced Manufacturing.

November 14, 2001
Muscle car niche flourishing
TORONTO—Inside Track Communications has launched Sport Compact National, a glossy new bimonthly catering to compact car enthusiasts with a hankering for high performance rides. According to the mission statement, the 15,000-circ magazine will “focus on the people, events and cars that define a new way of living, and driving.” Inside Track launched flagship title Inside Track Motorsport News five years ago; it also publishes Inside Motorcycles. SCN was launched, in part, due to the success of Toronto-based rival Performance Auto & Sound, a five-times-a-year glossy that began as a supplement to Performance Racing News but relaunched as a standalone in January 2000.

November 13, 2001
Western Living to redesign
VANCOUVER—Watch for Western Living magazine to introduce editorial and design changes in its March 2002 issue. The Transcontinental Media title, published ten times per year, is currently analyzing readership-survey data, says editor Jim Sutherland.

November 12, 2001
Massive research helps InStyle covers soar
TORONTO — One of the secrets to InStyle’s spectacular newsstand success is extensive pre-issue research of different cover executions, revealed former InStyle art director Paul Roelofs at a seminar in Toronto last week. Different covers are sent to various groups of readers (Roelofs kept the exact procedure secret), then the results are used to help the magazine staff decide on the final cover. Some New York publishers spent $500,000 to $1 million per year on such cover research, Roelofs said. The Canadian-born designer and former art director of Western Living was speaking at a seminar produced by distributor Coast to Coast Newsstand Services for its clients. Roelofs is now art director for InStyle’s special editions. Six-year-old InStyle is a monthly spin-off of Time Inc.’s People magazine, and has a newsstand circulation of one million, with another 600,000 subscribers. Canadian circ is 125,000. Watch the January issue of Masthead for more on this story.

November 09, 2001
Transcon improves golf swing
MONTREAL—Transcontinental Media announced yesterday the acquisition of Golf International, a standard-size French-language bimonthly with a circ of about 55,000, virtually all in Quebec. Included in the deal was the Golf Clubs of Quebec Directory. Transcon already owns Golf and Golf Les Affaires magazines.

November 02, 2001
Saturday Night to relaunch as bimonthly
TORONTO—In a deal initiated mid-September and signed yesterday, Multi-Vision Publishing (Shift, Elm Street) has acquired Saturday Night magazine—its name, archives and Web site—and plans to revive the defunct 114-year-old general-interest title this spring as an oversize glossy bimonthly with national distribution via former owner National Post Co., a division of Winnipeg-based CanWest Global Communications. In an interview this morning, Multi-Vision president Greg MacNeil said he’s “delighted” with the arrangement. He approached the Post “a few days” after CanWest’s Sept. 17 announcement that it was suspending publication of the magazine. A new editorial staff will be assembled from scratch, MacNeil said.

November 01, 2001
Plesman retires IT mag
MONTREAL—After a 21-year run, the French-language information technology magazine InfoTech, which catered to the technology needs of small businesses in Quebec, ceased publishing with the October issue. Noting the dearth of advertising and marketing initiatives within the IT sector generally, a spokesman for the Plesman Communications title said sister publication Direction Informatique will soldier on with an expanded mandate. InfoTech had a circ of about 19,000. Transcontinental Media, of which Plesman is a part, also confirms that two Toronto-based sales reps connected to the IT mag were recently let go.

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