Masthead News Archives
September 2003
September 3, 2003
Saturday Night installs new art director
TORONTO—Mark Koudis will succeed Paul Sych as art director at Saturday Night. Sych was the founding art director of SN's current incarnation as a bimonthly; he stepped down in June to return to his design consultancy noting that SN's jump to monthly frequency slated for 2004 would have been too much to juggle. Koudis, principal at Toronto's Koudis Design Office, is an established corporate designer with a range of experience, from designing stamps for Canada Post to magazine work for corporate clients, including The Globe and Mail's Destinations magazine in the early '90s. Koudis took up duties at SN last month on a contract basis. "I love the immediacy of magazines," he says. He describes himself as "more of a minimalist" than Sych, adding that he will change SN's text font (currently eidetic neo) but he declined to reveal the new font or what other changes he has in mind. While Koudis's fingerprints will be on the October issue, his redesign proper is scheduled to debut with SN's first issue of 2004 to mark SN's jump to 10 issues a year. Editor Matthew Church says more editorial departments will also be introduced with the January/February issue.

September 5, 2003
Deadline nears for Folio: show
TORONTO—Always wanted to attend the Folio: Show in New York City but couldn't afford the price tag? The Ontario Media Development Corporation may be willing to foot the bill for Ontario-based publishers. Through its Market Access Program, the OMDC will cover the US$995 registration fee and contribute C$500 toward travel and accommodation. Deadline for program applications is 5 p.m., Sept. 15. For information, contact www.omdc.ca or Keely Kemp at kkemp@omdc.on.ca.

September 9, 2003
Coast to Coast wins $25.5 million account
TORONTO—In its biggest deal since becoming an independent distributor in June 2000, Coast to Coast Newsstand Services edged out a pack of distributors many times its size and won the right to represent a collection of Transcontinental titles that collectively generate an estimated $25.5 million in single-copy sales. A letter of intent was recently signed with contract details yet to be finalized. Typical contract lengths are for three to five years. "We are thrilled that Transcontinental has determined that we are the best fit to assist them in growing their newsstand sales," said Coast to Coast CEO Glenn Morgan in a released statement. Transcontinental director of newsstand sales Tom Worsley said the current arrangement with New Jersey-based Curtis Circulation Co. (owned by publisher Hachette Filipacchi) expires at the end of this year. The magazines involved in the deal include: TV Guide, Canadian Living, Style at Home, Elle Canada, and Reader's Digest Canada (which is not owned by Transcontinental.) For more details, see the October issue of Masthead.

September 11, 2003
New "anti-lad" magazine to launch
MONTREAL—Calling itself the magazine "for the adequate man" and aimed at men 18 to 35 living a "Stu-ish lifestyle," Stu is set for a national launch at the end of October. Named and largely fashioned after publisher and editor Stuart Neihardt, the magazine is a reaction to the fantasy and glamour of the so-called "lad magazines" such as Maxim. "This is something that I thought about upon perusing the newsstands and seeing nothing that represented me or the guys I knew," says the 27-year-old rookie publisher, who has worked in shipping as a tracker for FedEx. "It's strange that magazines are just so mired in fantasy. They are projecting idealized lifestyles that no one can achieve." While the attitude may be anti-lad, humour is employed with just as much vigour. Sample coverlines from the premier issue include, "No Maintenance: The Stu guide to dating the hot girl's less-hot friend," and "Five low-impact, high-pleasure positions that let you gratify her without breaking a sweat." Circulation is set at 100,000, with plans to distribute free copies with retail hardware flyers. Neihardt is also lining up newsstand distribution, with a $1.89 introductory cover price. For the full story, see the October issue of Masthead.

September 17, 2003
B.C. publisher buys Winnipeg farm pubs
VANCOUVER—Technical manual publisher Glacier Ventures has purchased a collection of Manitoba-based farm publications owned by Winnipeg's Agricore United, including Canola Guide, Grain News and the Canadian Cattlemen, reports Business in Vancouver magazine. The deal is expected to close by October. The acquisition augments Glacier's purchase of The Western Producer last year. Madison Venture Corp., which holds a 32% stake in Glacier, also owns a portion of Business in Vancouver, the report disclosed.

September 19, 2003
Another retailer simplifies supply chain
TORONTO—HDS Retail has declared its sister company, magazine distributor LMPI, its "category coach" for specialty and import titles. All other direct-to-retail (DTR) distributors must go through LMPI in order to access HDS's chain of 200-plus retail stores in Canada under such banners as Relay (airports), Picadilly Place (hotels) and La Maisons de la Presse Internationale. The move comes on the heels of a July decision by the Chapters/Indigo chain naming Gordon & Gotch Periodicals the exclusive supplier of its specialty and import titles (see news archives, July 24). That decision riled DTRs, especially Gotch rival LMPI, which must now go through Gotch to access Chapters/Indigo racks. Under the HDS arrangement, as of Nov. 24 all Gotch titles looking for HDS rack space must come through LMPI. By next February, all other DTRs must come through LMPI. HDS marketing vice-president Gerry Savaria says the decision is not a tit-for-tat response prompted by the Chapters decision, but that it was something already in the works. "The people in the industry can gossip," Savaria said. "Perhaps [Chapters/Indigo] beat us to the clock." As HDS's largest supplier, LMPI has been working with the retailer to build its electronic data interchange (EDI) capabilities, says Savaria, to help HDS streamline its time-consuming returns process and other back-office functions. Savaria added that the move will benefit CMPA member titles that currently sit on shelves of only 20 stores. Now, through LMPI, member titles have easier access to all stores.

September 23, 2003
New men's mag for French Canadians
MONTREAL—French-speaking Quebec males aged 18 to 34 need no longer feel neglected by one of the most successful concepts in recent publishing history: the lad magazine. Launched last week with a press run of 45,000, Summum (loose translation: maximum) will be published 10 times per year by Genex Communications. "There was no magazine serving French Canadian men," said general manager Felipe del Pozo. The original name was to have been Maximum, he added, but the American division of Dennis Publishing (which publishes Maxim) filed a successful injunction to block use of the name. For more details, see the November/December issue of Masthead.

September 26, 2003
Reader's Digest planning new title
MONTREAL—Reader's Digest Canada is soliciting subscriptions for a new magazine called Our Canada. Tentatively tag lined, "Where readers share their stories," the glossy, standard-sized bimonthly will primarily publish content generated by readers. Our Canada will also have a newsstand presence, says spokeswoman Manon Sylvain. A launch date of January 2004 is targeted. "This is something unique to Canada," she says, noting that the concept is not borrowed from a Reader's Digest franchise publishing in another country. Circulation was not disclosed but a Web site (www.ourcanadaonline.ca) is trolling for subscribers. The new title will be edited by Reader's Digest Canada editor-in-chief Murray Lewis, Sylvain says.

September 26, 2003
Stu magazine a hoax
TORONTO—Saturday Night contributor Jesse Brown has perpetrated a hoax involving a fictitious anti-lad magazine called Stu. Regrettably, we fell for it (see News Archives, Sept. 11). Also, Masthead's October issue, which has gone to press, will feature a 900-word article on Stu and phantom publisher Stuart Neihardt (a.k.a. Jesse Brown). That article should be approached with a degree of skepticism.
Brown's prank will be published in the "Experiment" section of Saturday Night's Nov. 15 issue. He could not be reached for comment.
The hoax was exposed across Canada yesterday by CBC Radio One's As It Happens. After interviewing Neihardt, the CBC called an alleged Stu advertiser (a toothbrush company) who was unaware of the magazine. The CBC was also unable to locate a single Stuart Neihardt.
National Post columnist Rebecca Eckler and op-ed columnist Colby Cosh also fell for the prank. U.S. media continue to be targeted, said Saturday Night associate editor Dré Dee, an accomplice to the hoax. "I don't really know what his progress is for things south of the border but I know that it's something that he's trying to keep open as a possibility. I mean, if you make it there you can make it anywhere, right?
Dee says that response to Stu-from writers, illustrators and curious advertisers-has been so positive that plans are actually hatching to launch the magazine once modifications to the original non-existent business plan have been made. "It's fascinating to see just how many people wanted this to be true," Dee says. "I hope he gives me a cut if it happens." We'll believe it when we see it.

September 30, 2003
Quebec publisher eyes Toronto
LONGEUIL, Qué.—An upstart Quebec publisher based in this city south of Montreal expects to have reached an agreement to acquire at least one Toronto-based magazine by November. More acquisitions are planned, says Section Rouge Media president Richard Desmarais. Since becoming a publicly traded company earlier this month (SRO on the Toronto Venture exchange), Section Rouge Media has announced the $325,000-acquisition of three magazines from Les Editions Multi-Concept: Junior, Bébé and Pregnancy. Section Rouge publishes more than 30 magazines, game books and newspapers. It was formed when Desmarais (a former Telemedia radio executive) and noted Quebec criminal lawyer Jean-Pierre Rancourt teamed up in March 2000 to acquire Allô Police-a graphic weekly tabloid on crime and justice. In July, Section Rouge announced that it had acquired agricultural journal Ma Revue de Machinerie et d'Equipements Agricoles for $1.15 million. The company does not currently own an English-language magazine. "Part of our business plan is to grow outside of Quebec," says Desmarais.

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