December 24, 2003
Libel action against Masthead dismissed
TORONTOThe Ontario Superior Court of Justice has dismissed a $2.2-million libel suit filed by Luxury Media Inc. against Masthead magazine. Masthead published an article in its January 2003 issue that questioned Luxury magazine's circulation claims. Masthead filed a statement of intent to defend the story. The action was dismissed by the court on Dec. 8 as having been "abandoned" by the plaintiff.
December 23, 2003
Globe absorbs ROB reps
TORONTOThe four advertising representatives who have historically sold ad space exclusively for Report on Business magazine have been integrated into the parent and flagship product, The Globe and Mail newspaper. The move is part of a multi-platform selling strategy, said publisher Phillip Crawley. Sales reps from the online division, who previously reported to Bell GlobeMedia Interactive, were integrated into the newspaper last February, Crawley added. The newspaper's sizeable sales force means that ROB mag will get more representation, he said. "We believe we'll have more conversations with clients [regarding ad space in the magazine] because we've got more feet on the street." Ad space in ROB will not be discounted as an inducement to buy space in the daily, Crawley said. Michael Grier, director of advertising sales at rival National Post Business, is curious to see whether newspaper reps can increase sales at ROB. "Magazine sells are quite different than newspapers sells," he said. According to LNA Canada, the number of run-of-press ad pages at ROB magazine declined 20% in the third quarter of this year compared to a gain of 10% at National Post Business, which will continue to rely on its four-person sales team, Grier said.
December 19, 2003
CanWest taking offers for biz mag
CALGARYBusiness in Calgary magazine, a monthly founded in 1990 and purchased by the Calgary Herald in the late '90s, has been put on the block by parent company CanWest Publications. The magazine has a controlled circ of 41,000, distributed mostly to businesses in Calgary, Canmore and Banff. It has 300 subscribers. Ad sales for this year are $742,896 compared to $891,981 in 2000. "It's a business we inherited," says Geoffrey Elliot, vice-president of corporate affairs at CanWest Communications, adding that the company is focusing on its core print assets-the Southam daily newspapers it agreed to acquire from Conrad Black in August 2000. The Calgary market is a crowded one for business titles, witness RedPoint Media's Calgary Inc., which recently repositioned itself as a business read, and Business Edge, a 46-times-a-year newsprint tab, launched in 2000.
December 16, 2003
RealScreen editor dies
TORONTO-RealScreen editor Susan Zeller passed away suddenly on Saturday morning. She was recovering from major complications due to an emergency c-section she underwent on December 7 to deliver her first child, a healthy baby boy. Zeller was on her way to recovery when she suffered a pulmonary embolism and died Saturday. Upon hearing the news of his daughter's death, her father suffered a fatal heart attack the same day. Zeller had been editor of RealScreen since May 2002 and a Brunico Communications' staffer for almost five years. She was 33. "Susan was one of the sweetest and nicest people to work with and she was very passionate about her team and the magazine," says Brunico's vice-president and editorial director Mary Maddever. A fund has been set up in memorium under her son's name, Evan James, at the Scotiabank on Spadina and Adelaide, account number 416320014885.
December 11, 2003
Reader-written magazine preps for launch
MONTREAL-Reader's Digest Canada will introduce Our Canada magazine in Toronto on Jan. 6. (See News Archives, Sept. 26) Content will be selected from reader submissions ranging from recipes to real-life parables, amusing anecdotes, tales of local heroes, gardening and craft ideas, Good Samaritans and "the sneaky squirrel or bold bear that decided to adopt your backyard," writes editor-in-chief Murray Lewis in a letter to readers posted on the magazine's Web site. Published contributors will receive gifts such as a subscription to the magazine for smaller pieces or, in the case of photo submissions, a photo album. Larger features can net contributors as much as $200, says communications manager Manon Sylvain. Former Reader's Digest editor-at-large Bonnie Munday will be managing editor. The glossy bimonthly will sell for $3.99 on newsstands. Circulation will pursue a paid model but has yet to be determined.
December 9, 2003
Maclean's to shut Halifax bureau
TORONTOThe cost-cutting continues at Maclean's, Rogers Publishing's flagship magazine. MastheadOnline has learned that the Atlantic bureau in Halifax is slated to close by year-end leaving bureau chief John DeMont without a position. Suneel Khanna, the magazine's public relations manager, says DeMont will continue to be a regular contributor. The magazine's remaining four bureaus (Quebec, Ottawa, Prairies and British Columbia) will remain open. "For various reasons (i.e. politics/population) there's a significant amount of activity coming out of each of those areas," said publisher Paul Jones in an e-mail. In addition, Robert Marshall's position of assistant managing editor will be phased out by year end. "Bob is an absolute pro who has played an important role in Maclean's successes over the last 25 years," said editor Anthony Wilson-Smith in a released statement.
December 4, 2003
Bards blast board decision
TORONTOPoets and literary magazine publishers are expressing disappointment following a decision by the National Magazine Awards Foundation to eliminate the poetry category from next year's awards to make room for three new service categories. "The vast majority of Canadian magazines do not publish poetry, and for those that do, other national awards programs exist," reads a recent message from the foundation. THIS magazine board member Judith Parker took issue with that logic in a letter to NMAF president Terry Sellwood. "The vast majority of Canadian magazines don't publish a lot of things. But there are significant minorities that do publish content of a similar nature, and that is why we have categories to recognize their excellence," she wrote. Taddle Creek editor/publisher Conan Tobias says the move means more than 30 small literary magazines have now lost opportunities for recognition. "I think [the decision] is shortsighted," he says, adding that he's considering mounting a boycott of the awards to deprive it of entry-fee revenue. Poet John Degen, chair of the National Poetry Month Committee and executive director of the Periodical Writers Association of Canada, notes that the NMA award for poetry was the most significant honour for single publication of emerging poets. Degen, who was nominated for a poetry NMA last year, says the established Griffen Prize is for a book of poems. NMAF president Terry Sellwood said he's received about 30 e-mails protesting the decision. "There's a board meeting next Thursday and I will present the viewpoints that I've received," he says, adding that it's possible the board could reverse its decision since there's no printed matter that would require revision as all information is now on the Web at www.magazine-awards.com. The board could rule on the matter next week.
December 2, 2003
Torstar acquires Formula Publications
OAKVILLE, Ont.In a deal worth approximately $6 million, Torstar Corp. has purchased J.H. Robinson Publishing, owner of Formula Publications, and sister company Silva Litho Solutions, a full-service digital printer also based here. The deal, announced yesterday, augments Torstar's dominant presence in southern Ontario, where it publishes The Toronto Star, The Hamilton Spectator, The Record (Kitchener/Waterloo), The Guelph Mercury, Metro Today and Sing Tao as well as the altweekly eye magazine and more than 60 community newspapers through its Metroland Printing, Publishing and Distributing division. Formula publishes the flagship bimonthly Carguide, Le magazine Carguide, The Boat Guide and bimonthly trade magazine Boating Business. Formula also has an active contract publishing division which includes LeisureWays, Journey and Going Places for CAA and the weekly MegaWheels section for The Globe and Mail.