June 29, 2004
Heritage minister loses her seat
OTTAWAOntarians and Maritimers returned the Liberals to power in yesterdays federal election but gone is their majority status and gone, after just six months on the job, is the fledgling Heritage minister. Hélène Chalifour Scherrer, who had been overseeing the countrys cultural policy, including subsidies to the magazine industry, was defeated in the Quebec riding of Louis-Hebert by Bloc Quebecois candidate Roger Clavet, who took 43.1% of the vote compared to Scherrers 33.7%. Speculation has commenced on who might succeed Scherrer. There are at least three candidates, says one source who spoke on the condition of anonymity: (i) Liza Frulla (Quebec riding of Jeanne-Le Ber) is a former journalist who entered Quebec provincial politics in 1989 on the Liberal ticket; in 1990 she was appointed minister of culture. She left politics in 1998 to host her own TV show (Liza), but emerged federally in 2002 and last December was appointed Minister for Social Development by Prime Minister Paul Martin. She was previously considered a favourite for the Heritage portfolio, the source says; (ii) Sarmite Bulte (Parkdale-High Park), is a lawyer and arts advocate who served as parliamentary secretary to former Heritage minister Sheila Copps from August 2000 to January 2003. Shes a member of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage; and (iii) Mauril Bélanger (OttawaVanier), who served as parliamentary secretary to Copps from 1998 to 2000, and so is well versed in the battle over foreign split runs and Bill C-55. Last December, Paul Martin appointed Bélanger deputy leader of the Government in the House of Commons and chief whip. While these may seem plausible candidates for the post, the source notes that Heritage is a portfolio where someone with not a lot of experience can be put there and the decision could be based on regionalism and gender and that sort of thing, as opposed to policy issues. To illustrate the point, the source points to Scherrer, who had no background in culture when she was appointed Heritage minister last December.
June 24, 2004
Maynard to end reign at Chatelaine
TORONTOAfter 10 years as editor of Chatelaine Rona Maynard is stepping down at the end of this year. Im not retiring, she says. There was nothing I would rather be doing professionally and personally than editing Chatelaine, says Maynard. She wants to continue working with magazines as an editorial consultant, possibly for Rogers Media. I have fulfilled my mission here and I have identified and promoted and left in place a very strong successor who is going to do a stunning job and Im proud of that. The December 2004 issue will be Maynards last, although shell remain a regular columnist. Succeeding Maynard is long-time freelancer Kim Pittaway, a native of Moncton, N.B. Pittaway started writing for Chatelaine in 1994 and freelance editing in 1997. Two years later she started her monthly column Broadside. In 2001, she joined full-time as managing editor. My goal, says Pittaway, is to continue to build on the fantastic foundation that [Rona]s put in place. Donna Clark, senior vice-president, womens group at Roger Media and publisher of Chatelaine says, Kim has been stepping into that role for [some time] so she is very ready to take it on. Clark adds shes planning to shop for a new publisher for Chatelaine in the next few months. Its just been too much for me to [do both].
June 23, 2004
Transcontinental snaps up Avid Media
TORONTOAfter weeks of industry speculation and rumours, Transcontinental Media finalized its purchase of Markham, Ont.-based Avid Media this morning for an undisclosed amount. Avid has a stable of four special-interest magazines (Canadian Home & Country, Outdoor Canada, Canadian Home Workshop and Canadian Gardening) along with various brand extensions, and annual revenues of $16 million. Why sell? It was a great opportunity and the price was right, says Avid Media president and stakeholder Jacqueline Howe. She will be joining Transcontinental as vice president and group publisher, womens magazines. Her 60-plus staff will be moving into Transcontinentals Toronto headquarters at Sheppard and Yonge in the coming months during which a 100-day integration period will take place to determine any overlapping job positions and potential lay-offs. Its too premature to determine any loss of employment, says Transcontinental Media president André Préfontaine. This acquisition reinforces Transcontinental's position as top consumer magazine publisher in Canada in terms of its number of titles (42), readers (over 20 million), and ad pages (29% market share).
June 22, 2004
Bryan Adams takes shots for Flares 25th
TORONTOIn celebration of its 25 years in publishing, monthly fashion book Flare is launching an extra issue. The Rogers Publishing title, with a paid circ of over 158,000, will be polybagging a special anniversary edition with its October issue, on newsstands and for its subscribers. Flare25thCelebrating Canadian Beauty is a separate one-off that features new photography by Canadian singer Bryan Adams and is exclusively sponsored by Dove. The 84-page issue features 30 black and white photographs of famous Canadian women including Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, singer Avril Lavigne, actor Nia Vardalos and Globe and Mail columnist Leah McLaren. Adams has been a longtime contributor to Flare; he was also involved with its 20th anniversary.
June 17, 2004
Here come the brides, all dressed in pink?
TORONTOIn response to last years Ontario Court of Appeal decision to legalize same-sex unions, Gaiety.ca is launching a trade show for same-sex marriages next week. Gaiety Grouppublisher of Toronto-based Gaiety.ca, a lifestyle magazine for gays and lesbianspresents its Pink Weddings Expo Show at the Courtyard Marriott near Torontos gay village on June 24 and 25 during Gay Pride Week. After the launch of its well-received Pink Weddings insert last fall, the tri-annual giveaway will be increasing its circulation to 50,000 and will be distributing copies of its new 50-page Pink Weddings issue at the show. Exhibitors will receive advertising space in this new edition and a directory link on pinkweddingscanada.com. Due to the magazines popularity in Vancouver, Gaiety.ca is expanding out west this year with Gaiety Pacific. The glossy is currently distributed in Toronto and surrounding areas with approximately 5,000 issues shipped to Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Miami and Chicago.
MastheadOnline.com takes silver
MastheadOnline.com won a silver award for best Web site at the K.R. Wilson Awards last week. Presented by the Canadian Business Press, the K.R.W.s honour excellence in business-to-business journalism. CAMagazine.com won gold in the new Web site category. Masthead magazine also won a silver award in the Best Editorial category for editor Bill Shield's editorial, "Satan's Choice," in the March 2003 issue. For a full list of K.R.W. winners click here.
June 15, 2004
National Post Business editor sacked
TORONTOTony Keller, editor of National Post Business, was fired yesterday. Keller joined the title as editor in January 1999, shortly after Southam bought the Financial Post magazine six months earlier, and relaunched it as National Post Business in September 1999. Before joining NPBusiness, Keller was the assistant editor on The Globe and Mails editorial board. Im very proud of the work that I did with the magazine, says Keller. Im very, very happy with all that weve accomplished. Im leaving the magazine in great shape in terms of the content that weve produced, the people who work there and the financial viability of it. Its probably the most profitable magazine in Canada. National Post editor-in-chief Matthew Fraser and National Post magazines publisher Robert Attala were both unavailable for comment at press time. NPBusiness is at the top of its category with over 1.3 million readers according to the Print Measurement Bureaus 2004 readership data released in March. It celebrates the 40th anniversary of its popular FP500 issue this month. The magazine also won a gold in the service: personal finance and business categoryalong with five other separate nominationsat the National Magazine Awards on Friday where Keller was on hand to accept the award on behalf of his staff. There has been speculation the National Post plans to further integrate the magazine with its business section, the Financial Post.
June 10, 2004
Mags U panelist calls Canada a canary in a coal mine
TORONTOCanadas nasty 1999 battle with U.S. split runs was a seminal influence in prompting other countries to examine their own levels of cultural vulnerability under freer trade laws, says a 30-year veteran of cultural industries law. Peter S. Grant, a specialist with the Toronto firm of McCarthy Tétrault, says that five years after that epic battle, Canada has perhaps the most sophisticated set of support measures for cultural industries of any country in the world. And those measures are not under attack. Canada, he said, has managed to educate the world on this issue and other countries are beginning to understand. Canada neither won nor lost the split-run battle, he says, but was rather the canary in a coal mine. Last fall, a UNESCO resolution with the support of 76 countries endorsed cultural diversity measures, thanks in large part to Canada. Grant, author of Blockbusters and Trade Wars, was speaking at Magazines University yesterday as part of a panel moderated by Macleans editor Anthony Wilson-Smith. Mags U, the industrys largest professional development conference, kicked off on Tuesday and runs through to Fridaymore than 30 seminars and panel discussions on circulation, editorial, sales, production and distribution issues. The next issue of Masthead will cover the events and offer 101 Tips for Magazine Prosa compilation of information gleaned from both Mags U and Mags West, which commences next week in Vancouver.
June 9, 2004
Magazine editors talk sex at the CSME dinner
TORONTOIf youre wondering why your editor was yawning so much this morning, he or she may have been up late the night before at the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors dinner at the Old Mill, one of the many events at Mags U this week. Approximately 40 editors were on hand for the annual CSME awards. This, Cottage Life and Saturday Night each won best magazine awards in their respective size categories, small, medium and large. Explore won for best front of the book, Outdoor Canada for best display writing and the inaugural best editor award went to former This editor Julie Crysler. The night included some titillating conversation with guest speaker, sex columnist Josey Vogels. Vogels writes syndicated sex and relationship columns My Messy Bedroom and Dating Girl and is the author of five books including Bedside Manners, to be released this weekend. Vogels encouraged editors to push the envelope regarding sex coverage and to be frank, not sensational, when addressing issues surrounding sex. Readers are more tolerant than editors and publishers. They can handle more than [we] think they can. Vogels Messy Bedroom column was pulled from the Halifax Daily News after she wrote a blunt retort to The Globe and Mails coverage of the 19-year-old P.E.I. male who served jail time for receiving oral sex from two female minors, aged 12 and 13. Vogels then created her more family-friendly column, Dating Girl.
June 8, 2004
New dog title to launch
TORONTOFamily Communications, which publishes Todays Bride, Parents Canada, Expecting and other family-information publications, is preparing to lift a leg in the canine market. Puppy Basics, targeting first-time puppy owners, is scheduled to launch this coming February. Circulation will be controlled at 160,000. Distribution will be through a network of veterinarians who were surveyed regarding their willingness to participate in the project; 98% of them reacted positively to the idea, said Familys project co-ordinator Trevor Baker in a released statement. The articles will also be written by vets. The magazine will be placed in a handled polybags with an external pocket that can hold marketing material specific to each clinic.
June 3, 2004
Ad agency delves into custom publishing with new division
MONTREALOn Tuesday, Quebec City-based marketer Cossette Communications Group announced the launch of its new division, Ricochet Branded Content, devoted to the increasingly popular advertising concept of developing television or radio shows, video games, movies or magazines with content that promotes a brand or product. Publishers are very good at what they do, which is publishing magazines, but agencies are very good at what they do as well, which is understanding communication objectives, communication strategies, and thats where we come in, says Jacques Labelle, Cossette senior vice-president and Ricochet managing partner, creative, in Montreal. If a client wants to produce its own magazine, Ricochet will interpret the clients needs and objectives before teaming up with a contract publisher to produce the publication, he says. The main [advantage], I believe, is our deep understanding of how our client thinks and works and the added value that we can bring to them in terms of managing the whole project. Labelle says they will also reformat, repurpose and reuse the clients content, from any medium, to help them get the most out of their investment.
June 1, 2004
Over-sized Montreal mag resurfaces, makes Guinness bid
MONTREALAfter 14 years the over-sized Montreal-based arts and culture magazine, Manoeuvres, has resurfaced. This time its doubled in size. Now two-feet-by-three-feet, the glossys creators Daniel Charron, André Ducharme and Jean Blais believe it could be the largest magazine in the world and have sent a sample to The Guinness Book of World Records to prove just that. With a spread-span of four feet its definitely not a magazine you can read on an airplane, jokes artistic director Charron, whos hoping to hear back from Guinness in a few weeks. The black-and-white glossy was reintroduced with a limited circ of 3,000 and was handed out at a swank launch event three weeks ago that saw approximately 1,500 people in attendance, many of whom were too young to remember Manoeuvres first incarnation, says Charron. If the Rolling Stones can do a world tour at their age then we decided there was some sort of way of doing [a comeback] too. For more info see the July/August issue of Masthead.