April 28, 2005
Workers vote to strike at magazine depot
TORONTOEighty-one unionized workers from ProLogix Distribution Services went on strike last week in a push for a bigger increase in salary, benefits and pension, says Teamsters Canada Local Union 419 president Tom Fraser. His members rejected the company’s contract offer on April 19 and set up a picket line the following morning. Their three-year contract expired Dec. 31. Another issue of concern for his members, says Fraser, is the large discrepancy in the number of part-time workers versus full-time employees at its Toronto facility. According to Fraser, the company employs approximately 140 part-time employees, some of whom are currently running the plant. Publishers have been told that it’s business as usual at ProLogix and although they may experience minimal disruption in services, the strike is not a cause for alarm. Fraser says it’s too soon to tell when talks will resume. The three-year-old company offers magazine and book processing and distribution services and is co-owned by wholesalers Metro News and The News Group. ProLogix vice-president Larry Payne and Metro News president Mitch Massicotte had no comment. News Group president Glen Clark was unavailable for comment.
April 26, 2005
Former RedPoint president to announce decision
CALGARYIt’s rumoured that ex-RedPoint Media Group head honcho Dan Bowman has found an investor to match co-principal Don Graves’ shotgun buyout offer. Bowman and Graves are remaining tightlipped about negotiations that took place after the shotgun clause expired on April 15 (see Masthead Online stories for March 22 and 24). However, Bowman says they are now in the midst of a 30-day transaction period and will make no announcements regarding ownership of the company until May 17. Just days before Bowman had to make his move, he told Masthead that “it looks like I have a good opportunity to step back in but I really can’t confirm that yet.” He also told Masthead he found a new business partner after receiving several different inquiries from potential investors. Bowman had hoped to make a formal announcement last week but they have both decided to keep quiet out of respect for staff, clients and suppliers who are affected by these decisions over which they have no control.
April 21, 2005
Two trade mags will thump it out for honours
TORONTOThe 51st running of the Kenneth R. Wilson Awards has attracted 759 entries across 20 categories and, once again, two magazines dominate the nominations list, released yesterday. They are CAmagazine, published by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, and Marketing Magazine, published by Rogers Media. CAmag leads the pack of trade magazines vying for coveted KRW honours, garnering 19 nominations (including five in editorial categories and 12 in visual categories) while Marketing attracted 17 nominations (13 in editorial categories and two in visual categories). Both magazines will go head to head in the Best Issue and Best Web site categories. Other titles that showed well this year include Hotelier (seven nominations), National, published by Rogers for The Canadian Bar Association (six), Foodservice and Hospitality (six), The Medical Post (six), Le Coopérateur Agricole (five), Canadian Lawyer (five), OHS Canada (five), L’actualité medicale (four) and Objectif Conseiller (four).
The KRWs celebrate excellence in the trade press.
Gold and silver winners and three honourable mentions will be announced at a gala dinner to be held in Toronto on Monday, June 6, kicking off Mags U week.
For the complete list of nominees, please visit www.cbp.ca.
April 19, 2005
CLB to launch industry initiative
AURORA, Ont.CLB Media, a trade publisher that produces about 19 magazines, has made arrangements with JobChart International to carry out a salary survey of Canada’s trade press. “The research will be disseminated equally to everyone who participates,” says Niel Hiscox, CLB vice-president of media publishing. The initiative is remarkable for at least two reasons: (i) it’s rare for a private company to finance a project that will produce information freely available to all survey participants, and (ii) participating publishers will certainly be wary of revealing their payroll data to CLB. Hiscox emphasizes that JobChart International will be the third-party conducting and collecting the research and that CLB’s access to the data will be no greater than access accorded to various survey participants. “This whole thing will only fly if people can satisfy themselves that their numbers aren’t coming to CLB,” he says. He says he’ll soon be sending out an explanatory letter to the b2b community.
The survey will attempt to determine average compensation levels for sales, circulation, production, editorial and managerial positions, Hiscox says. The initiative was originally conceived of by CLB Media president Stuart Morrison in an attempt to ascertain standard compensation levels.
The Canadian Business Press, the trade association representing the interests of Canadian b2b publishers, has discussed CLB’s survey proposal at recent board meetings. Neither CBP president Phil Boyd nor CBP chair Susan Fredericks, who is president of Annex Publishing & Printing, were available for comment.
Harvey Botting, senior vice-president at Rogers Publishing who oversees Canada’s largest collection of trade titles, could not be reached for comment, but Bruce Creighton, president of Hollinger’s Business Information Group (the second-largest collection of trade magazines at roughly 30 titles) and immediate past chair of the CBP, says he will not be participating in the survey.
April 14, 2005
RRJ dishes on Laas Turnbull, Lisa Tant and others
TORONTOLast night, Ryerson School of Journalism’s magazine class of 2005 launched this year’s spring and summer editions of the Ryerson Review of Journalism. Journalists from all areas of the trade packed a trendy downtown club with some huddled over the bar, too eager to wait until they got home to read about who and what’s making news in Canadian journalism. On the magazine side, the spring edition profiles Flare’s new chief fashionista, Lisa Tant and Scott Taylor, publisher of military magazine Esprit de Corps about his Iraqi kidnapping experience. It also features stories on the rise of Canadian shopping magazines and sex in the gay press; Fab magazine editor Mitchel Raphael poses with a handful of tassels from his leather ensemble for “Whip it Out.” The summer edition includes a profile of Report on Business editor Laas Turnbull.
April 12, 2005
Feature to relaunch as entertainment mag
MONTREALFeature, the 18-year-old pay-TV listings guide with a CCAB audited paid circulation of over 879,000, is now called MovieEntertainment magazine. The move follows subscriber focus-group requests for more pop culture editorial in the magazine, says publisher Marvin Boisvert. Although Feature had already satisfied the Publication Assistance Program’s requirement for more editorial and Canadian content, it decided to continue improving the quality of the magazine, says Boisvert. “Our subscribers liked what they saw but they wanted more.” He points to television shows such as eTalk Daily, Inside Entertainment and Access Hollywood and the mountain of U.S. celebrity mags as examples of a growing trend toward celebrity entertainment news and gossip. MovieEntertainment will feature what’s hot in movies, celebrity news, music, DVDs, video games, live theatre and cinema as well as cover highlights on its specialty channels including the Movie Network, A&E, Viewer’s Choice and Playboy TV. The monthly is distributed in Eastern Canada to Pay TV subscribers who spend an extra $1 per month to receive the publication.
April 7, 2005
Head of Transcon’s Western pubs resigns
VANCOUVERAfter eight years with the company, Lance Neale says it’s “time to step off the treadmill.” Neale, Transcontinental Media’s vice-president, Western Publications, was hired by president André Préfontaine in April 1997 as the general manager and later vice-president of the Sports Division and IT Publishing Group. Neale was previously with the Southam newspaper group. He’ll be leaving the company April 29 and says that he will not be taking the summer off. “I’m not built that way,” he says. Still young at 38, Neale says he and his family plan to stay in Vancouver where he’ll perhaps engage in some entrepreneurial activity. When he relocated to the West Coast city in October 2000, he says he only intended to stay for about four years. He oversaw operations at Vancouver, Western Living and Guestlife magazines and Transcontinental’s Western Canadian newspaper operations.
April 5, 2005
ABC, PMB team up to verify publisher research
TORONTOAt a panel stacked with media buyers at last year’s Magazines University it was agreed that when presented with publisher-commissioned research that was not objectively verified, buyers would simply pitch the material directly into the garbage. A new partnership, announced yesterday, between the Audit Bureau of Circulations and the Print Measurement Bureau is designed to address that understandable practice. “What this will do is give Canadian magazines an opportunity to present research to advertisers that has an ABC and PMB logo on in it which would give it good credibility right away,” says ABC senior vice-president Bob White. The subscriber profile audit service is modeled on ABC’s U.S. offering but is adapted to meet Canadian market needs. Neither ABC nor PMB will actually conduct research into a magazine’s subscribers; publishers hire research companies to do that. For $3,500, PMB/ABC provide a methodological framework to the researcher. ABC determines if the final research product was faithful to that framework. To be eligible, publishers must be audited by ABC and be ineligible for PMB membership for reasons typically due to circulation being too small.