October 28, 2003
IT books scale back frequency
TORONTOTranscontinental Publishing will reduce the frequency of three of its IT trade books starting next year. Computing Canada will drop from 24 to 18 times a year; the monthly Edge (on technology for c-level executives, such as CEOs, CFOs, COOs) drops to nine as does the monthly Technology in Government. "The market conditions in our industry are driving this," says publisher Joe Tersigni, claiming that his market share will remain the same. "It's a way to be more profitable and I can always come back." While traditional ad revenue streams have slowed, Tersigni says custom publishing, online operations and special-event supplements are growth areas. "We haven't had to let anyone go [as a result of the reduced frequencies]," he notes.
October 23, 2003
Bate quits Frank
OTTAWACiting general fatigue, an aching back and a gruelling redesign process, the long-time editor/publisher of Frank's Central Canada edition resigned last Sunday morning after 14 years on the satire/gossip beat. Just a few months after selling the magazine to former Globe and Mail columnist Fabrice Taylor and a secret clutch of Bay Street investors (see News Archives, Aug. 6), Michael Bate says the time was right to step aside to attend to more personal matters, such as his health. "I'm gonna take six months off and get my back fixed," Bate said yesterday, citing ongoing "muscle spasms in the bottom left-hand lumbar area... It's painful to sit and I'm starting to get little nerve things down my leg, which I don't like," said the 58-year-old. "[The redesign] signalled a new era and a perfect opportunity for me to step out," he said. Bate was supposed to have stuck around as deputy editor until 2005 but said that he only ever intended to stay for a year at the most. The redesign took more out of him (and his back) than anticipated and so he decided on an early exit. It's not known who will succeed him as chief author of Frank's Remedial Media section, which traffics in tales about the personal and professional lives of members of the mainstream media. Taylor said that Bate will remain an equity holder in the magazine "so he can feel the heat of a lawsuit." Will Bate himself perhaps become a target of Frank, now that he is removed from the action? "Michael has for so long been Franked by the mainstream press that he has earned lifetime immunity," Taylor said.
October 21, 2003
PMB grows by 14 titles
TORONTOThe Print Measurement Bureau, a tripartite organization of magazine publishers, advertising agencies and advertisers, will begin measuring 14 new titles next year with readership and other data available in 2005. The English-language titles are: Sports Illustrated, Toro, Rev, Cottage Life, Inside Entertainment, Ottawa City, Canadian Home & Country, Where Canada and Fashion 18. The French-language titles are: Côté Jardins; En Primeur; Le Devoir; Recevoir; Styles de Vie.
October 16, 2003
NMAF focuses on awards, not mergers
TORONTOAt a board meeting of the National Magazine Awards Foundation scheduled for today, members will vote on proposals recommending that new categories be created to honour service journalism, says NMAF president Terry Sellwood. Many in the industry have for years complained that large and successful service magazines such as Chatelaine, Canadian Living, Style at Home and Canadian House & Home too often fail to penetrate the winner's circle. Historically, magazines with strong investigative or narrative inclinations have claimed the most honours (think Saturday Night and Toronto Life).
The focus on the awards themselves comes after the volunteer-driven NMAF wrestled with the notion of whether to partner with the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association-a scenario recommended in a study commissioned by the NMAF. After reviewing the matter, the NMAF decided this spring that there was no demonstrable net benefit of such a partnership. "We have to get on with the show," says Sellwood. Partnering with the CMPA is, for now, "on the back burner," he adds.
October 15, 2003
Editor dies in motorcycle crash
DORSET, Ont.Cycle Canada assistant editor Piero Zambotti, 26, was killed last Friday during a road test trip through cottage country. Riding with him were editor Bruce Reeve, associate editor Costa Mouzouris and contributor Hugh McLean. Zambotti was riding a Honda Goldwing, a large touring motorcycle, when he drifted wide on a left-hand corner on Highway 35 northwest of this small village near Huntsville. He collided with a guardrail. Condolences flooded the Cycle Canada reader forum after Reeve broke the news on Saturday morning. "We're at a loss to explain the cause of the crash," wrote Reeve, "as there were no marks on the pavement to suggest he'd grounded the Wing before leaving the road, and there was no other traffic in the corner. Hugh was travelling behind Piero, but was just out of view. I offer these few details because I know people want to understand why something like this happens. I wish there was a better explanation." In October 2001, Carguide editor Tim Lindsay, 30, was killed after the Dodge Viper he was testing collided with a utility pole.
October 9, 2003
New trade magazine launches
TORONTOLaunches in the trade press are a rare occurrence these days but Rogers Publishing is stepping forward with a new offering this month. Attempting to reclaim some of the business that has drifted away from its industry-focused Plant magazine, Rogers has launched Machinery Engineering and Maintenance, a separately bound bimonthly that will be tipped into issues of Plant. The plan is to utilize Plant's 30,000 circ and the opportunity to get MEM passed along to the relevant specialized audience within the plants and factories to which Plant is delivered, says publisher Peter Helston. "[We're] using Plant as clout in terms of its circulation to deliver an effective product for advertisers and a good read for our readers," adds Helston.
October 7, 2003
Flare temporarily shelves spin-off
TORONTOFlare Pregnancy, an annual launched in 1999 catering to the health and beauty needs of expectant mothers, will not publish in 2004, says Flare publisher David Hamilton. "It was quite popular but the market got a bit soft on the advertising side and we just decided to leave it for a year," he said. The standard-size glossy had controlled circ of more than 140,000 copies, largely distributed at locations such as doctors offices, clinics and retailers. It also sold about 2,000 newsstand copies. "We might resurrect it in 2005 depending on market conditions," Hamilton added.
October 2, 2003
Hudson's Bay Co. to tap database for new mag
TORONTO-After four years, Zellers Family, a custom title published for retailer Zellers by Rogers Publishing, has run its course. The Spring/Summer issue was the last. But that doesn't mean parent Hudson's Bay Co. is getting out of the custom publishing game. It has contracted Planning Ahead Communications to produce Living Spree, a 500,000-circ glossy set to debut next month, says Planning Ahead president Anne Sutherland. Like Glow magazine, published for Shoppers Drug Mart by Rogers Publishing, Living Spree will be sent to frequent Zellers/The Bay shoppers whose addresses and purchase patterns are stored in sophisticated databases compiled by the retailer. "The magazine's content is geared to families and moms as heads of families," says Sutherland, adding that third-party advertising will be sought. Frequency will be three times per year.
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