February 26, 2003
Canadian men get new mag
TORONTO-A new bimonthly men's magazine called Toro is set to launch April 15. Circulation will be controlled with about 180,000 copies sent to Globe and Mail subscribers and another 100,000 mailed to Visa Aerogold cardholders. Toro is the brainchild of real estate executive Christopher Bratty and television reporter William Morassutti. The two men grew up together and are cousins. Many Toro staff were formerly on the masthead of the weekly Saturday Night, including former SN contributor and features editor Derek Finkle, who serves as Toro editor. The magazine will bear a closer spiritual resemblance to GQ than Maxim. Toro was designed by Leanne Shapton, the weekly SN's award-winning art director who is now rumoured to be in New York working on a top-secret launch for Condé Nast.
February 21, 2003
Cornerstone hires Zarbafi for new business
TORONTO-The Cornerstone Group of Companies has hired circulation veteran Kamy Zarbafi to run its new magazine fulfillment business. Zarbafi is currently group director, circulation marketing for Transcontinental Media. He has circ experience with both consumer and trade publications, and before Transcontinental he worked for Indas, the established fulfillment house with which Cornerstone will now compete. Zarbafi is also a past president of the CMC Circulation Management Association. He will take up his new duties in March.
February 19, 2003
Shift suspends publication
TORONTO-A little more than 25 months after rescuing Shift from bankruptcy, Multi-Vision Publishing (a division of St. Joseph Media) announced that "Canada's technology and entertainment magazine" will cease publishing following the March/April edition, its 13th issue. The five-times-a-year title was unable to get the requisite level of technology advertising, said St. Joseph president Greg MacNeil, noting that on a per-issue basis, Shift was about five double-page spreads away from break-even or better when one includes all the other lifestyle advertising the magazine attracted. "If we could get it to break even we wouldn't have killed it." Were employees presented with an austerity plan? "We did that two years ago," said MacNeil. About five of the eight-person staff will be offered jobs within the company; the remainder have been given "very favourable" severance packages. Editor Neil Morton could not be reached for comment. MacNeil said that St. Joseph will soon announce the purchase of "a small company" that will require investment and, combined with other projects needing support (such as Fashion 18), the money simply wasn't available to keep Shift afloat. "It's an expensive little puppy to keep going," MacNeil said. Should the tech sector rebound convincingly, Shift may do the same, he added.
February 11, 2003
Magazine bootcampers celebrate 20 years
TORONTO/VANCOVER-Graduates of the now-defunct Banff Publishing Workshop and the still-going Simon Fraser University Summer Publishing Workshop series will celebrate two decades of intensive magazine training. Former graduates of the programs are invited to attend an evening party Feb. 14 at The Mockingbird in Toronto, 580 King St. W. and Feb. 20 at The Alibi Room in Vancouver, 157 Alexander St. A $5 cover will apply. RSVP at email@example.com.
February 07, 2003
New publisher at Quill & Quire
TORONTO- When former Quill & Quire publisher Susan Linton left the magazine last September following the expiration of her one-year contract, advertising manager Alison Jones began serving as the de facto publisher. Two weeks ago she was officially promoted to the post while editor Scott Anderson was elevated to editor-in-chief. Jones is a long-time Key Media employee, joining Where Toronto in 1990. Anderson joined QQ in 1993 and in 1996 succeeded Ted Mumford as editor. Mumford, by the way, is now senior editor at Report on Business magazine.
February 05, 2003
Vogel is Modern Dog's best friend
VANCOUVER-An Edmonton-based publisher of television guides has acquired a minority stake in Modern Dog, a quarterly launched four months ago by Connie Wilson. "They put some money into the business and will take care of our circulation and fulfillment," says Wilson of her new partner, Vogel Publishing, publishers of Satellite Entertainment Guide, Vu magazine, Satellite Direct and Satellite Orbit. Wilson says she'll retain editorial, design and sales functions. Response to Modern Dog has exceeded expectations, she says, noting that television producers have expressed an interest in extending her editorial concept which basically targets urban dog owners with information on how to better incorporate their pets into their lives.