Masthead News Archives
April 2006

April 27, 2006
Publisher takes webcasting inhouse
MONTREAL—Transcontinental Media has announced that its own digital TV studio is up and running. The first title to utilize the new platform is the weekly 83,000-paid-circ business tabloid, Les Affaires. The one-room studio is located at Transcon’s Rene-Levesque Boulevard headquarters. Previously, the magazine’s webcasts were outsourced to local webcaster, Pecunia, which helped Transcon build its new in-house facility. Spokesman Jake Brennan said no other titles are currently utilizing the studio.

LesAffaires.com is now broadcasting business newscasts through its website
Pierre Marcoux, vice-president of business publications—and son of company founder Remi Marcoux—said in a statement that the move makes Les Affaires “Canada’s first publication to bypass television and cable platforms and go directly to incorporating video webcasting into its online version. This service expansion is part of Transcontinental’s digital strategy to disseminate its highly-consulted content across multiple platforms, an element of the company’s Evolution 2010 business plan.”

Yves Daoust, general manager of new media, said that the webcasts offer advertisers rich-media opportunities. Transcon, he said, “will continue to accelerate its investment in new media in the months to come.”

Bill Reynolds says long-form journalism marks this year's issues
April 26, 2006
Ryerson offers up another pair of mags
TORONTO-The Ryerson Review of Journalism was envisioned by founding editor Don Obe back in 1983 as “a watchdog on the watchdog.” Well, the dog is back on newsstands with two more issues, unveiled at a boozy gathering last week.




This year's editors. Marco Ursi (Spring issue) and Jacqueline Nunes (Summer issue) thank their respective teams and faculty instructors at last week's launch
Created by final-year students at Ryerson University's School of Journalism (magazine stream), the RRJ is one of the last venues where rigorous media criticism is published on a regular basis. It's the third year that lead instructor Bill Reynolds has quarterbacked RRJ program following an academic leave taken by Lynn Cunningham, who remains on leave.




Highlights of the Spring issue:
Spring 2006
• Profiles of Maclean's editor/publisher Kenneth Whyte and Toronto Star media critic Antonia Zerbisias
• When journalists make the switch to politics
• The role of editorial boards
• The journalistic legacy of legendary sports reporter Scott Young, who died last year at age 87 (He was also the father of famous rocker son, Neil.)
• A critical look at the right-of-center Western Standard
• A critique of Montreal's The Gazette
• The Globe and Mail's flirtation with B.C.
• Writer Douglas Bell's opinion piece, “Narcissus in Chief,” he pops off a few potshots at self-inflating characters such as Evan Solomon, Ken “His Ken-ness” Alexander of The Walrus, and Bill “Call me William” Thorsell. Bell cites Globe and Mail editor Edward Greenspon's “Letter from the Editor” as the “transcendent example” of this unique form of public self-affirmation. Greenspon, writes Bell, is an “onanistic Zeus.”

Summer 2006
Highlights of the Summer issue:
• A five-part look at answers to the question “Is Journalism Dead?” (The parts: circulation declines, the Web threat, credibility issues, celebrity fixation, Church-state blurring.)
• Profile of Globe and Mail columnist John Ibbitson
• Foreign correspondents reflect on Canada
• How Muslims are depicted in the media-specifically, The Toronto Star and the CBC
• A critique of CanWest's daily media fix for the 18- to 34-year-old set-Dose.
• A story about a small-town newspaper war in Barry's Bay, Ont. It's Osprey Media's tabloid Barry's Bay This Week versus broadsheet independent The Eganville Leader.
• A critique of talk radio
• Cinema's “Top Ten Journalism Badasses.” No. 1? Network's Diana Christensen (Faye Dunaway, 1976). Anchorman's Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell, 2004) did not make the list.

April 25, 2006
KRW nominees announced
TORONTO-The Canadian Medical Association Journal is perhaps the most notable nominee in the 2006 running of the Kenneth R. Wilson Awards.

Kenneth R. Wilson was an industrious business writer and industry volunteer. He died in an airplane crash in 1952 at the age of 47. The Canadian Business Press administers the annual KRWs to celebrate excellence in trade journalism
Editor John Hoey is nominated in the Best Editorial category for his “The Editorial Autonomy of CMAJ.” Hoey was fired on Feb. 20 by publisher Graham Morris, ostensibly because Morris said he wanted a “fresh approach” but many suspect that Hoey was sacked precisely for demonstrating editorial autonomy, including critical coverage of Health Minister Tony Clement and the pharmaceutical industry's dispensation practices regarding the “morning after pill,” known as Plan B. The CMAJ also received a nomination in the Best News Coverage category for “Privacy Issues Raised over Plan B: Women Asked for Names, Addresses, Sexual History.”

Marketing leads the way with 19 nominations, followed by CA Magazine (18) and Hotelier (10).

The Top 10 nominees in each category can be found at www.cbp.ca/eventsPages/krw06.asp.

Monday April 24, 2006
Naughty photos send entire run to shredder
TORONTO—It wasn't the most auspicious start to an editorship. Noel Hulsman's first issue of Report of [Small] Business was converted to pulp by Globe and Mail publisher Phillip Crawley for including three “tacky” photos that exhibited “poor taste.”

Noel Hulsman joined the Globe in January, relocating from Vancouver to Toronto to head up Report on [Small] Business
The online edition of Frank magazine broke the story last week but reported that only 5,000 copies had been shredded. In fact, the whole run of more than 200,000 was destroyed. For his part, Hulsman, formerly editor of BC Business, declined comment late last week and deferred to Crawley.

Crawley said there were three pictures accompanying a feature story on a couple and their pornography business. One pic was of the couple, and the other two were of others associated with their business. He preferred not to describe the photos.

Were they engaged in the course of doing their business? “Um, not exactly,” said Crawley, who noted that there was no nudity involved. “I just didn't like what they were representing…I just felt that the pictures were tacky, and I didn't think it was what one would expect to see in a business magazine.” Asked to elaborate further, Crawley replied: “Hmm, I'm not going to go into that.”

Report on [Small] Business magazine jumps to quarterly frequency this year. Just two issues were published last year. The Spring 2005 cover is shown above. Hulsman's first number will be carried in tomorrow's Globe
He said the magazine was brought to him after it was printed but before it was mailed to about 87,000 members of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and inserted in 120,000 copies of The Globe and Mail. “I looked at it and said, 'Sorry, we can't do that.' It's the first of that [magazine's] quarterly [frequency]. We've gone quarterly with it because we think it's a good sector.”

Crawley ordered another press run with the offending photos replaced. The magazine is scheduled to piggyback select copies of The Globe and Mail tomorrow.

“Basically [it was] just an error of judgment in terms of the taste,” he said. “The pictures were just simply inappropriate. They weren't pornographic pictures they were just in poor taste…Basically it's just to do with what I regard as protecting the integrity of the brand.”

It would appear that Crawley was not in the habit of viewing the magazine before it was printed. He is now. “There's a new vetting procedure that's already in place.”

He declined to put a dollar amount on the press run. Asked if $1 per copy would be a fair guess, he replied that “it's nowhere near that.” Even at 60 cents a copy, the press run would cost about $125,000.

“It's an unusual event. We don't do this on a regular basis.”

April 20, 2006
ABC sucked into civil fraud suit
BROOKLYN, N.Y.— More trouble south of the border in the realm of circulation. An angry advertiser has named the Audit Bureau of Circulations in its fraud suit against Manhattan-based Laptop magazine, the owners of which were charged with criminal fraud last year for conspiring to inflate circulation.

Manhattan-based Laptop, owned by Bedford Communications, is still publishing
Newsday.com reported earlier this week that ABC and distributor Inflight Newspapers & Magazines Inc. are implicated in a suit filed here earlier this month by Boston-based software developer Teletype Co., which alleges ABC “‘aided and abetted fraud’ by approving paperwork verifying Laptop’s circulation claims, which federal authorities have said were inflated.” 

In an article published by Newsday yesterday, ABC president Michael Lavery said it was “ridiculous” to suggest that the bureau would participate in a fraudulent scheme that would harm the industry it represents. ABC is a tripartite, non-profit organization representing the interests of advertisers, publishers and media buyers. He added that ABC hasn’t audited Laptop since 2002 and that ABC “has no relationship with Inflight Newspapers & Magazines Inc.” 

The suit comes in the wake of several circulation scandals that have rocked the U.S. publishing community last year involving the agent distribution of bulk copies for free or heavily discounted prices but reported as paid. ABC has enacted new rules to catch such cheaters. Teletype’s suit claims that Laptop paid Inflight (which went out of business last year) to take delivery of tens of thousands of copies which were “actually given away free to readers or destroyed,” Newsday.com reported.

April 19, 2006
Experts to converge at 15th annual Mags U
TORONTO—Interested in cures for an ailing publication? How about new trends in circulation sources? Copyright law reform? Effective ad sales techniques? Those are just some of the seminar topics at the industry’s largest annual professional development event. This year’s Magazines University will feature a range of speakers from all sectors of the industry—sales, circulation, production, editorial/design and new media. Stateside speakers include: Paul Rossi, publisher of the North American edition of The Economist; Real Simple publisher Steve Sachs; The Nation’s publisher emeritus Victor S. Navasky. And from Australia, Michael McHugh, CEO of FPC Magazines, will be on hand to speak about something most Canadian publishers never even consider: international publishing opportunities.

Mags U runs from Tuesday June 6 to Friday June 9 and will be held at Toronto’s Old Mill Inn & Spa. Deadline for early bird registration is May 5. For a full list of seminars and events, visit www.magsu.com.

Highlights;

•Diane Francis on “Building and Sustaining Your Editorial Resources.” (Tuesday morning)
• “Editorial Success from a Global Perspective: The Economist.” (Tuesday afternoon)
• Results from Grégoire Gollin’s 2006 National Magazine Readership Survey, commissioned by the federal Department of Canadian Heritage. (Wednesday morning)
• “Grey Matters: Crossing the Ad-Edit Line and Other Burning Issues.” Moderator/editor-about-town Charles Oberdorf presides over execs from Cottage Life, Chatelaine, Canadian Art and Outdoor Canada. (Wednesday afternoon)
• “Check Your Ego at the Door: Masters Critique Your Magazine.” Moderator Terry Sellwood (GM at Cottage Life, explore) keeps tabs on critics D.B. Scott, Canadian Geographic editor Rick Boychuk and St. Joseph Media group publisher Sharon McAuley.(Thursday morning)
• “E-Publishing: Making Your mark,” with Louise M. Clements, vice-president, interactive, with Rogers Publishing. (Thursday afternoon)

April 18, 2006
The Beaver hires new editor
WINNIPEG—A successor to Murdoch Davis has been found to head up editorial operations at The Beaver. The new editor is Doug Whiteway, who has been with the magazine as associate editor since the summer of 1998. 

Doug Whiteway
Whiteway was an arts reporter with the Winnipeg Free Press in the 1980s and has published a series of crime novels under the pseudonym C.C. Benison. His plans for the magazine? “Oh God, I haven’t had two minutes to think about it” he says before rolling into a mock British accent, declaring, “To continue on with the great tradition of The Beaver, blah, blah, blah. Sorry, we’re just trying to get [the] June/July [issue] put away.” 

The good-humoured Whiteway did note that, “I like [The Beaver] because it’s intelligent—it’s not urging you to get six-pack abs, or lose 40 pounds or find a man, or whatever.” 

Murdoch Davis
Murdoch Davis resigned recently to accept the role of editor/publisher at Hollinger International’s 99-year-old Post-Tribune, based in Merrillville, Indiana. He was only at The Beaver’s helm for about eight months. In an e-mail message yesterday, Davis said Hollinger’s offer “was simply too attractive to turn down.” He noted that he’s also serving as an editorial consultant to Hollinger’s Sun-Times News Group. Davis was in The Beaver’s offices yesterday to assist with transition issues.

April 17, 2006
Adbusters restarts suit against broadcasters
VANCOUVER—Kalle Lasn’s struggle for the right to broadcast anti-consumption messages on the public airwaves is back on track.

Lasn's CNN interview. The subject: Adbusters' annual Buy Nothing Day, which has been an annual event around the world since 1992.
Lasn’s activist, not-for-profit Adbusters Media Foundation (including Adbusters magazine, which carries no advertising) has for the past few years tried to air what it calls “uncommercials” on such networks as CBC and CanWest Global. While CNN, for one, has broadcasted the provocative spots, which carry the message that ours is a spiritually vacuous culture of profligate consumption, many other networks have flatly refused. According to Adbusters’ May/June issue, Lasn has a new legal team in place after high-power Toronto-based lawyer Clayton Ruby ran into conflict-of-interest problems with another of his clients, Canwest Global. 

Adbusters has a paid circulation of about 120,000, two-thirds of which is in the U.S., the magazine says.
The new legal team girding for an epic free-speech battle “against Canada’s biggest media barons” is the Vancouver-based firm Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP. Leading the effort is Craig Jones, a young lawyer who was arrested as a student at the infamous APEC “pepper-spray” protest here in 1997, the magazine notes. Also on the team is University of British Columbia law professor Joel Bakan, author of the book The Corporation, and screenwriter of the documentary of the same name. Says Jones: “The case will determine whether Canadians have any constitutional rights to access the most powerful communications medium of our age. It will decide whether the custodians of that public resource—the government and the corporations it licenses to broadcast, have any obligation to allow smaller voices, dissenting voices, to be heard on the airwaves. We say they do have that obligation, and we’re going to prove it in court.”

Get a taste of Adbusters’ uncommericals at www.adbusters.org/videos.

April 13, 2006
Nascent city mags prep for battle
EDMONTON—The Edmonton Journal has long dominated the city’s print advertising market, but a couple of soon-to-be launched city lifestyle glossies are looking for their piece of the pie.

Captive Media title to launch May 1. It’ll go eye-to-eye with Odvod’s Avenue. Who’ll blink first?

Avenue magazine, the thick, perfect-bound, controlled-circ lifestyle glossy for Calgarians published by RedPoint Media, will sprout an Edmonton edition this coming August. RedPoint has partnered with marketer and business associate Orville Chubb to create Odvod Publishing, which will publish the Edmonton version. “It’s a joint venture,” says Chubb of his arrangement with RedPoint. Why Edmonton? Other than the daily Journal, “there is no lifestyle vehicle [in the city] available to advertisers,” he says. There will be very little shared content between the Calgary and Edmonton editions, he adds. One area where content sharing would make sense, however, is the upcoming provincial Conservative Party leadership race. Edmonton’s Avenue will publish bimonthly and have a controlled circ of 30,000.

Beating Chubb to Edmonton’s streets, however, will be Edmonton Life — the first consumer launch from Captive Media, formerly known as Vogel Publishing, which has focused primarily on television listings titles such as Satellite Orbit and Satellite Direct, though it does hold an equity stake in Vancouver’s Modern Dog. Captive Media president Raymond Merhej says Edmonton Life represents a branching out from Vogel’s old stomping grounds. Edmonton Life will be published monthly, have a circ of 30,000 and launch May 1. 

Torstar launches a bimonthly business mag targeting 15,000 businesses in the Waterloo/Guelph area. Cover price: $4.95
April 12, 2006
Torstar launches another magazine
KITCHENER, Ont.—The Record, a daily newspaper under Torstar’s City Media Group banner, has launched a business magazine called Rex. The standard-size glossy mailed to 15,000 registered businesses in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph through Canada Post late last month, says Barry Reid, City Media’s director of advertising. Frequency is bimonthly. Rex joins two other recent City Media launches: Ruby (a glossy lifestyle bimonthly for Hamiltonians launched by the daily Hamilton Spectator) and Grand (a lifestyle bimonthly for residents of the Grand River valley, in southwestern Ontario.) Torstar rival Osprey Media Group has also been investing in various publications (see News Archives, August 26, 2004). 

Seems newspaper publishers see a future in ink-on-paper magazines.

The birth of a superhero: Outdoor Canada's Fisherman will enforce conservation rules...and seek revenge against those who turned him into a man-fish.
April 11, 2006
Fishing magazine creates superhero
TORONTO—When a lone angler happens across some armed polluters dumping biohazardous waste into a lake, he is promptly overpowered and tossed into the slop and left for dead. Little do his attempted murderers know, he would soon be transformed into Fisherman—a hideous yet oddly appealing fish-like biped with a dorsal fin on the crown of his head, a baitcaster reel strapped to his right wrist and a crayfish claw for a left hand.  He’s got a six- or is that an eight-pack abdomen, bulging pecs, athletic legs, webbed feet, body scales and fish lips. Oh, and Speedo bathing trunks sporting a Canadian maple leaf. “Resigned to his fate, our hero pledges his life to battling the foes of conservation, helping the friends of fishing and seeking revenge,” reads the last panel of his introduction in this month’s issue of Outdoor Canada. 

“We are continually looking for ways to reinforce the conservation message without being too preachy and we’re looking for new ways to catch people’s attention,” says editor Patrick Walsh. “We thought this would be a kind of fun way to do it without being too earnest. And because we also get a lot of kids reading the magazine, we thought it would be a good way to get parents and kids talking about these issues.” 

Starting in 2007, Fisherman will have a regular spot in Journal, the magazine’s front-of-book section, says Walsh. 

In the same issue, Outdoor Canada had a bit of April fools’ fun when it “reported” a new regulation allowing “the use of trained chimps to flush pheasants on P.E.I. hunting preserves. The League of Organized Flushers requested the regulation based on the success primates have had working the guinea fowl coveys in Tanzania. It comes into effect April 1.” 

April 10, 2006
Charitable organization launches arts magazine
TORONTO—Magazine publishers who’ve pined for registered-charity status will slap their foreheads when they hear this one.

New quarterly for visual arts crowd
This is the story of one woman’s impassioned quest to support the arts via book publishing and exhibitions; she sailed through the charity-registration process and then introduced a magazine. Moral: launch the magazine after you get charity status. 

So it is with Magenta magazine. About 50,000 copies were distributed last week to Toronto-area Globe and Mail residential subscribers. Magenta is a quarterly published by Magenta Publishing for the Arts, which received registered-charity status on March 15, 2005. 

The force behind Magenta is MaryAnn Camilleri, who returned to Canada in 2004 after working for 10 years in the busy world of art publishing in New York City. “Portfolio magazines have always been a favourite of mine,” she writes in a note to readers. “The sad truth is that there are so few venues around to showcase some of the amazing talent that’s out there.” 

From the left: Clare Vander Meersch, MaryAnn Camilleri, Vanessa Wyse and Doug Wallace. (Source: Magenta)
That’s where Magenta comes in—Camilleri’s charitable arts foundation. “We want to be the new vehicle for visual communication in Canada for art enthusiasts of all types.” 

Camilleri says the next issue, due out in June, will have a national circulation of 100,000 and possibly some newsstand presence. The Globe and Mail is a sponsor; the debut issue carries an extraordinary signed proud-sponsor message from Globe publisher Phillip Crawley, complete with his mugshot. It’s not clear what role advertising will play in the mag; there’s little of it—the Globe has the OBC while Clarity Digital Management has the IFC. Asked if Magenta would accept advertising from Nike, for example, she said, “No, because that’s a Globe client and I would refer it to the Globe.” How about Nikon? “Nikon is technically a cross-over client for the Globe so…the Globe and I would work with the client together.” She stressed that Magenta’s role is to promote talent, not make money. 

The editor of Magenta is Camilleri’s longtime friend Doug Wallace, who is also deputy editor at Wish and executive editor at Gardening Life; both titles are published by St. Joseph Media. Camilleri has recruited some Globe moonlighters, as well. Magenta’s art director Vanessa Wyse and photo director Clare Vander Meersch are associate art director and director of photography, respectively, at the Globe’s Report on Business magazine. 

April 6, 2006
Ontario gets new culture minister
TORONTO—Ontario Minister for Education Gerard Kennedy’s decision to resign and join the federal Liberal party leadership race has resulted in a cabinet shuffle, and a new minister who overees the province’s policy on magazines.

Caroline DiCocco
The shuffle, announced yesterday, means the new Minister of Culture is Caroline DiCocco, the MPP for Sarnia-Lambton since 1999 and the Premier’s Parliamentary Assistant. She replaces Madeleine Meilleur, who is now Minister of Community and Social Services, and Minister Responsible for Ontarians with Disabilities, and remains Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs.

According to a government backgrounder, DiCocco was awarded a knighthood (Cavalieri) from Italy in 2002.

April 5, 2006
Foreign mags elude Ontario trash cops
TORONTO—The rule is: if you make a product or use packaging that ends up in Ontario’s popular Blue Box bin, you are obligated to pay a recycling levy. Most of the province’s publishers don’t mind—they just wonder why foreign publishers are getting a free ride.

Ontario's Blue Box receives an estimated 90,000 tonnes of magazines per year. We don't know what proportion foreign mags represent of that total. Why? They won't say.
Now in its fourth year, Stewardship Ontario, which is an administrative arm of the Waste Diversion Act (2002), increased rates a whopping 72%, from 0.862 cents per kilogram of waste last year to 1.479 cents per kilogram in 2006.* 

Why? The law requires that 50% of recycling costs must be recovered by the industry; shortfalls are rolled into subsequent years. It’s been suggested by Magazines Canada that the steep increase is being driven, in part, by foreign magazines that are not paying their portion of Blue Box tonnage. The question is: who’s on the hook: distributors or wholesalers of foreign magazines sold in Ontario? 

At first, the province pursued the distributors, who convinced the levy collectors that they failed to meet Ontario residency requirements. “As such,” said Gordon Day, director of technical services for Stewardship Ontario in a recent e-mail, “we brought our efforts and results back to [the wholesalers] last fall and indicated then that we see no other option but to designate the wholesaler. We have notified them of their need to meet the terms of obligation for 2006, which also includes the fees due for previous program years (2003, 2004 and 2005).  (The Rules state that once obligated, a steward is responsible to pay fees back to the beginning of the program.)” 

We’re not paying, say wholesalers. Represented by Ray Argyle, executive director of the Periodical Marketers of Canada, the wholesalers say that the distributors are actually the first importers of the titles, and they’ve got proof. In an interview yesterday, Argyle said that last week the PMC  “provided Stewardship Ontario with documentation in the form of Customs statements demonstrating that periodicals distributed by our members from the U.S. are imported by the Canadian subsidiaries of the U.S. national distributors. And our judgment is that, in accordance with the regulations, they are the first importers and they would be responsible for the levy.” 

Stay tuned for more ping-ponging. 

* Exempt are trade magazine publishers and those publishers generating less than $2 million per year in revenue in Ontario or under 15 tonnes of magazines in Ontario (including ridealong material). 

Stewards’ Deadlines for 2006  Deadline
File Steward’s Report: March 31, 2006
First payment due (25% of 2006 Obligation): April 28, 2006
Second payment due (25% of 2006 Obligation): June 30, 2006
Third payment due (25% of 2006 Obligation): September 30, 2006
Fourth payment due (25% of 2006 Obligation): December 1, 2006
For more info: www.stewardshipontario.ca 

April 3, 2006
Quarterly targets francophone jocks
STE-ANNE-des-PLAINES, Que.—With strong advertising support from Reebok, a three-man magazine team has launched a paid-circ glossy for the amateur sports crowd.  

The premier issue featured a pull-out poster of Sidney Crosby
Sports Juniors is a French-language title that launched last month with a circulation of 5,000; a full-page colour ad goes for $2,000. Cover price is $4.95 and a one-year sub is $16.95. 

Gary Coutlée and Patrick Loselle are partners in Grafitech—a photography business serving the amateur sports community. They thought a magazine would be a nice complement to their existing operation. Alain Harvey, formerly an editor at crime-news magazine Code 911, came aboard as co-publisher and editor-in-chief. 

“Reebok has been a big partner in our first [issue],” says Coutlée. noting that editorial coverage of specific products produced by the sports manufacturer (a mouth guard and ice skates) resulted in the ad support. He said the second issue may contain editorial on CCM, another sports brand owned by Reebok, which in turn will result in more ad support. So, the magazine offers editorial in return for advertising support? “Exactly,” said Coutlée. 

Publishers Patrick Loselle, Gary Coutlée and Alain Harvey at the launch party
Sports Juniors also has a marketing agreement with popular sports bar chain La Cage aux Sports, which will help promote the magazine. Coutlée says the circ model will be single-copy paid with a plan to reach 15,000 copies sooner rather than later. Benjamin News distributes the magazine to about 750 Quebec kiosks. 

Sports covered include hockey, soccer, snowboarding, kayaking and football. The first issue contained a souvenir poster of rookie NHL hockey pro Sidney Crosby.  

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