July 31, 2006
Canada Post to publish catalogue
OTTAWAThere’s a new competitor in the race for advertising dollars. Using new segmentation technology, Canada Post is readying a multi-vendor catalogue for distribution this autumn.
At 24 pages, the introductory edition of the cataloguetentatively called Look Book will showcase goods for companies like kitchen retailer Ashton Green, Ben Moss Jewelers and Eddie Bauer.
Merchants can buy two-page spreads through either a flat fee ($59,000) or a cost-per- customer rate, which bills the merchant $56 for every customer the catalogue generates. A hybrid-pricing scheme is also available.
“Our pricing is making sure that we don’t lose money,” says David Coulson, Canada Post’s acting director of retail and catalogue marketing. “We’re not making a ton off of this, but we’re covering our costs in order to try to stimulate the market.
“Our whole intent is to find new consumers who will buy through direct channels direct being mail, phone or online,” he says. The catalogue will also be made available online.
Coulson says six companies have bought space so far, with four or five prospects currently in negotiation. Canada Post plans to release a second catalogue in the spring of 2007 with larger spreads for clients, increasing the size to 100 pages.
The catalogue will be distributed to 500,000 households targeted by SnapShot, Canada Post’s recently developed segmentation software. Still in its testing phase SnapShot uses publicly available statistics to produces data on spending habits within a given postal code.
July 27, 2006
Website lands “sweet” deal with Rogers
TORONTORogers Publishing has put its financial fingers into a website and e-newsletter venture that targets young, “fashion forward” women who want to be in the know.
According to Joanna Track, the site's founder and president, Roger's investment increases their operating budget by roughly one-third, and will help them achieve their expansion plans.
Track says the deal will help develop the website’s readership through “unique advertising campaigns and whatnot within their online (properties)… but also in some of their print publications.”
Titles such as LouLou and Flare would be the best fit for such campaigns, Track says. She also foresees promoting her offshoot newsletter, SweetMama, with Today’s Parent and Chatelaine.
Rogers will also be involved in advising SweetSpot on the technical side of expanding online readership. “All our technology rests on two things: our e-mail system…and our website,” Track says. “Right now both of those are built on small business fundamentals.”
July 26, 2006
West Coast B2B publisher buys auto title
NANAIMO, B.C.Automotive trade publication MDT (Motorsport Dealer and Trade) has been sold and hauled across the country from Quebec to British Columbia. The new owner intends to make it less about product, and more about business owners.
The 4,000-circ magazine now sits on president Joe Perraton’s shelf next to his other titles, Eastern Woodland, The Trowel, Canadian Wall & Ceiling Journal and the newly launched Sheet Metal Journal.
Perraton has already begun tweaking the magazine’s editorial model. He says the previous model relied too heavily on buyer’s guides, which ran in every issue. “We’re going to be doing more dealer-centric editorial,” he says.
This will mean more service articles covering topics such as competing with big chain stores and improving customer service. The buyer’s guide will become an annual item.
Perraton adds, “In the trade (publishing) business, the readership wants advice and trends and a business focus, so we’re going to put that back into the magazine.”
MDT is produced six times a year.
July 25, 2006
OMDC clarifies eligibility for fund
TORONTOThose hoping to get a portion of the OMDC Magazine Fund’s $25,000, take note. The Ontario Media Development Corporation has issued a bulletin clarifying its eligibility requirements.
Previously, the Magazine Fund application guidelines stated a magazine must contain 75% Canadian editorial content to be eligible for funding. The bulletin, issued July 24, states the following:
In addition, the original guidelines stated that a company could only receive funding if 50%of its revenues came from magazines “and related brand extension of the core business.” The bulletin states the following:
Additional information on the OMDC Magazine Fund can be found at the OMDC website. The deadline for applications is August 24.
July 24, 2006
More Montreal-Toronto Shuffling at Transcon
MONTEALAfter six years together, the Toronto-based team of Good Times will be no more.
Good Times was helmed by a three-woman crew consisting of editor Judy Brandow, art director JoAnn McHardy and editorial assistant Kimberly Williams. It has a circulation of approximately 150,000.
The magazine is another card being shuffled in Transcontinental Media’s deck of properties. In June, it shifted production of two of its largest titles, Canadian Living and Homemakers, to Toronto. They now fall under group publisher Jacqueline Howe’s purview.
July 20, 2006
Globe mag editor leaves church for state
TORONTOLaas Turnbull is leaving Report on Business Magazine, signaling his swan song as a magazine editor.
“For the past couple of years I’ve known I’d want to be involved in the business side of publishing,” Turnbull says.
He will be overseeing titles in the company’s marketing and entertainment groups including Strategy, Playback and Media in Canada, as well as the electronic products and industry events associated with those brands.
“I’ve always imagined my life being lived in chapters,” Turnbull says. “I always knew that before I turned 40, I want to change career paths and not be an editor… this is about stretching myself and putting myself in a position where I’m not entirely sure if I’m going to succeed.
“I think it’s good be a little bit scared once in a while.”
Brunico president and executive publisher Jim Shenkman, who plans to step away from the day-to-day operations of the company, says Turnbull’s experience at the Globe will serve the company well.
Turnbull begins his new job on August 28.
CMA accepts panel recommendations
OTTAWAAfter being dogged by claims of editorial interference, the Canadian Medical Association has accepted the recommendations made by the panel charged with reviewing the governance of its medical journal.
The CMAJ Governance Review Panel submitted 25 recommendations in total. Citing precedent from the World Association of Medical Editors, it recommended the editor be the sole authority on the Journal’s editorial content.
The report also offered protocols that would keep the CMA informed of potentially controversial articles while allowing them no control over their inclusion in the Journal.
The report also provided guidelines for the hiring and firing of editors. “We’ve got a new process whereby I think we’ll be able to resolve problems or just not renew contracts,” says CMA president Dr. Ruth Collins-Nakai. “That didn’t exist for us previously.”
The CMA fell under international scrutiny in February when it fired the Journal’s editor John Hoey and deputy editor Anne Marie Todkill. It was alleged the association took issue with an article that was critical of how some pharmacists distributed the so-called morning after pill.
Hoey’s replacement is currently being sought, and Nakai says flexibility to the CMA’s editorial wishes is not a consideration in the hiring process, though she says there is a balance that must be struck between editorial independence and responsibility to the association.
When asked if the recommendations dealt with that balance to her satisfaction, Nakai said, “It’s a step in the right direction.”
The eight-person panel convened in March and reported its findings last week. In a press release, the association said it has asked “senior staff to move forward with a plan to implement the panel recommendations.”
In addition to emphasizing the importance of editorial autonomy, the report recommended the Journal become directly owned and managed by the CMA. Previously, the Journal was operated by the association’s for-profit branch, CMA Holdings, though Nakai says the Journal was never meant to be a for-profit publication.
July 19, 2006
New how-to books target small mags
TORONTOA new Magazines Canada book series set to launch in the fall will offer aid to small magazine publishers looking to improve the cornerstone elements of their businesses.
“The handbooks are all designed for professionals working in the field of small magazines,” says Claire Pfeiffer, small magazines project and membership manager at Magazines Canada. “But they will likely be very effective tools for start-up publishers and students as well.”
The books were produced with funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage, and are the result of collaboration between big industry players. Editors and contributors include Derek Webster (Maisonneuve), John Thomson (Canadian Geographic), Deborah Morrison (The Beaver) and D.B. Scott (Impresa Communications).
Each book will be between 80 and 120 pages and sell for $25 to Magazines Canada members, or $40 to non-members (with the exception of Small Magazine Business, a double volume available for $35/$50). School pricing will also be available.
Details will be available on the Magazines Canada’s website
Mailing rate hikes announced
OTTAWACanada Post has announced its publication mail rate increases for 2007.
The new rates, which will take effect January 15, 2007, are mostly in keeping with Canada Post’s prediction that increases would remain near the rate of inflation.
While exact percentage changes vary between weight and presort categories, most categories will see an increase between $0.01 and $0.04.
However, mailings over 500 g will, predictably, see the biggest increase with rates going up by as much as $0.07 for some national distribution guide (NDG) presorts, a 4.5% increase.
Biz publisher to buy high life mag
CALGARYA deal is in the works to give a Toronto-grown luxury lifestyle magazine a bigger financial foundation thanks to an international company based in Calgary. Metamedia Capital Corp., which publishes Greek business title Metohos and has offices in Greece and Australia, has entered into a letter of intent with Privilege Media Group, publishers of Privilege Magazine, to acquire all of PMG’s assets.
According to a press release issued yesterday, Metamedia “will issue an aggregate of 1,075,000 common shares in the capital of the Corporation…at a deemed value of $1.00 per Common Share for a total consideration of $1,075,000.”
Tom Vachliotis, who will remain publisher of Privilege if the deal goes through, says he never expected his magazine to succeed as quickly as it did. Founded only last year, it went from a quarterly to 10 issues per year, ad sales $30,000 to $150,000 and a staff of three to 15. Special travel and fashion supplements are planned for the coming months, and Vachliotis is seeking distribution outside Canada.
“But with success comes challenges,” Vachliotis says. “The decision was that we need some pockets, we need some vision and we need a partner that understands the publishing industry.”
Alexis Kostis, Metamedia’s president and publisher of Metohos, approached Vachliotis, who says “we kind of went into a corner, spoke a little bit of Greek and that was it.”
Of Privilege, Kostis says, “They appear to have a good market segment and have developed a good client base. Tom is a veteran in the industry.”
The two publishers are seeking a quick resolution to the acquisition. Kostis says the timing of the deal will depend on the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange, but he does not foresee the process going beyond the autumn months.
According to its publisher’s sworn statement, Privilege has a circulation of 80,000, mostly non-paid copies.
July 17, 2006
Fitness editor moving on
MISSISSAUGA, Ont.Oxygen’s in-demand editor-in-chief has quit her position to consider new career opportunities.
After nine years working at Bob Kennedy’s Canusa Products Inc., which also publishes Muscle Mag, Maximum Fitness and American Curves, Brown said she felt as though her career advancement had reached a plateau. “It’s just a great career move for me right now and it’s a great time in my life to do this.”
In addition to editing Oxygen, she is a spokesperson for Slim Quick weight loss supplements, has a weekly radio fitness segment on Flow 93.5 FM and does television appearances as a health and fitness expert. She also published a book in January called A Woman’s Guide to Rapid Weight Loss and has been asked to consult on new magazine launches.
“There’s lots of things on the horizon,” Brown said. While she won’t specify what companies are courting her, she’ll have no shortage of work while deciding which offer to take. She says her current media obligations are beginning to require more and more time.
“I could continue and stay at what I’m doing,” she said, “or I could look for some adventure somewhere else.”
Brown’s last day will be August 9.
July 13, 2006
Survey tracks ad stress, loyalty
TORONTOA recently published survey conducted by the National Advertising Benevolent Society recorded the top stresses for advertising professionals across six industry sectors, including publishing. It also revealed how many of them would leave the industry given the chance.
Time was the biggest worry16% of those employed in publishing’s ad sector said not having enough time to get work done was the biggest limiting factor in job success. Insufficient budgets ranked second with 11%.
Despite the time stress, however, the majority of publishing’s ad pros are loyal to their field. When asked if they would stay or leave the industry if offered a job with equal pay and prospects, 61% said they would stay.
The study was published in the July 3 issue of Marketing as part of the NABS Monitor, a planned annual project that will, according to the article, “help NABS develop a better understanding of issues in the workplace and identify areas where it can better serve the industry.”
The Society is a charitable organization serving Canada’s ad industry. According to its website, it offers “assistance to advertising, media and related industry professionals, who may need help due to illness, injury, unemployment or financial difficulties.”
Four hundred fifty two people took part in the survey. Participants were grouped into six categories: radio; television; publishing, online, outdoor, design/production; client side; ad agencies/media sales; and promotions, event marketing and PR.
The study also asked what ad professionals liked most about the industry. The people and relationships ranked number one with publishing folk at 40%, followed by the creative nature of the job (29%) and job variety (11%).
July 12, 2006
Post prints Spacing story without permission
TORONTOA major national daily newspaper recently printed a story it originally found posted on a Toronto magazine’s blog. Though the writer was given a byline, the paper did not ask permission to run the story.
Micallef’s article originally appeared on Spacing magazine’s website as part of its Spacing Wire weblog on June 28.
Spacing publisher Matthew Blackett said both he and the author were offended that the article
“appeared as part of the Post’s editorial package like it were agreed upon. It’s just wrong.”
Micallef, who coincidentally freelances for The Globe and Mail, received no payment initially, and was not contacted in any way.
Rob Roberts, the Post editor who decided to print the piece, said he originally planned for Spacing to be attributed at the top of the article. By the time it got to print, he said, “it had a National Post credit” and the words “The full version of this article appeared on spacing.ca/wire/ yesterday” were at the bottom.
Roberts said “I think I was making a mistake anyway… but by the time it hit the paper, that mistake had been compounded.”
The issue raises questions about whether blog entries are fair game as news sources, to be replicated freely as is often done online. Spacing’s blog and website are marked as being under copyright.
After Spacing contacted the Post with its grievances, an apology was printed on page A2 of the Post on July 6. Roberts said Micallef will be paid for the article.
July 11, 2006
Mags West, Western Magazine Awards wrap up
VANCOUVERWith a record number of 669 entriesa 15% increase from last yearand a doubling of the Gold Award winner’s take to a cool grand, the glittering Western Magazine Awards capped a two-day magazine fest on the west coast last Friday.
Other titles winning the provincial sweepstakes were Vancouver for Best B.C./Yukon Magazine; BlackFlash for Best Saskatchewan Magazine; and Border Crossings for Best Manitoba Magazine. Trade Magazine of the Year (a category sponsored by Masthead) went to Enterprise, edited by Roberta Staley and published by the Credit Union Central of British Columbia.
Stephen Osborne, founder and editor of Vancouver-based Geist, was this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. The full list of award winners can be found at www.westernmagazineawards.com.
July 10, 2006
TIME switches to virtual proofs
NEW YORK-Four of Time Inc.’s largest titles are no longer sending hard proofs to printers, and they’re asking their army of advertisers to follow suit.
Under the new system, converted magazines only send digital proofs to printers, who then use SWOP (specifications web offset publications)-compliant technology to maintain formatting and colour consistency throughout the printing process.
Time Inc. is also asking advertisers to make the switch to virtual, SWOP-compliant proofs. This way, Lam says, ads need only be submitted in digital form, which can be done online. In order to accommodate Time’s many advertisers, the company has built a web-portal (accessed through www.direct2time.com), which currently has 300 subscribers.
This system does away with most of the traditional advertising package (hard contract proofs and burned CDs) ad clients must send to publishers. Lam says the company is even trying to digitize insertion orders to rid itself of excess “analogue components.”
Lam says smaller advertisers have been reluctant to make the switch, which requires an investment in technology. However, all of the “large advertisers have been very welcoming of the technology, and in fact they are implementing the virtual proofing technology on their own.
“They’re beginning to see the that if we endorse a standard, which we all do, it makes their workflow efficient as well.”
July 6, 2006
Former Transcon boss now Society publisher
OTTAWA-After taking “a little time to think” about his next career move, ex-Transcontinental Media president André Préfontaine has landed at the head of a long-standing Canadian magazine institution.
Gisele Jacob, president of CGE’s parent Royal Canadian Geographic Society, said in a press release that the Society was “pleased” that Prefontaine would be taking over. “This is a very exciting moment in our history,” she said, “and I am confident that Canadian Geographic will continue to build on its many strengths.”
Prefontaine has worked with the Society for the past sixteen months, helping it acquire Key Publishers’ 50% ownership of CGE. The deal, set to close on the same day Prefontaine begins at CGE, will end a 12-year partnership between Key Publishers and the Society.
According to the release, former Canadian Geographic publisher John Thomson, whom Prefontaine is replacing, will leave the company to join Key Publishers in their “development of geographical discovery centres and related technologies.” Thomson will also serve as vice-chair of Key’s Green Living group, which publishes an environmental and eco-lifestyle magazine.
Check back with Masthead Online for further details as they develop.
More ad dollars for military mags
TORONTOAfter years of reduced military spending and public apathy towards the Canadian Forces, magazines that rely on defence industry advertisers expect bigger things in the months to come.
“Only publishers that had a strong interest in the industry and had more than just defence going on were able to survive the bad period,” says Peter Kitchen, editor of Canadian Defence Review. “The Liberal government just let the Canadian military’s equipment rust out to the point where they really needed to replace almost everything all at the same time.”
Now that Canada’s military is back in the news and spending is once again on Ottawa’s agenda, defence titles are starting to see a steady increase in interest from big advertisers.
Kitchen says he’s seen ad revenues increase by 50% since the Liberals announced increased military spending prior to the last federal election. Since then, the Canadian Forces have increased their role in Afghanistan and gotten press for their efforts to purchase new heavy-duty aircraft.
A one-time, 4-colour ad in Canadian Defence Review costs more than $5,000.
In addition to politically influential readers, Review and its competitors vie for ads from big international companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
“It’s very much a global business,” Kitchen says. “We get business from all over the world. Our editors and advertising people go all over the world to find out what’s going on in the industry”
Smaller circulation titles such as Vanguard and FrontLine Defence have not yet seen the big ad increase the 10,000+ circ Review has experienced. But FrontLine Defence editor Gordon Bennett says he expects to see “a significant difference once the government actually starts spending money, not just talking about it.”
July 5, 2006
Conference focuses on selling the sexes
TORONTOThe upcoming Gender Marketing conference offers advertising insights on men and women to the publishing and online media sectors. The conference organizers, Toronto-based Open Dialogue, say the event will “help marketers and advertisers interpret market research data correctly, avoid disastrous generalizations and explore the emotional and physical responses that are common in all of us.”
The conference, fully entitled Gender Marketing: How to Identify the Most Lucrative Categories for Targeting Men and Women, will run September 20 and 21, 2006 at Toronto’s Old Mill Inn. Seminars will explore issues such as gender-specific packaging, gender-neutral products and reaching men and women online.
Keynote speakers will include Dan Hill, president of Minnesota-based Sensory Logic, and Rick Seireeni, president of The Brand Architect Group in Los Angeles. They will discuss how to use emotions to market across the gender gap and outline a case study on Japanese gender marketing respectively.
Registration can be done online at the conference’s website. Early bird registration costs $1299 plus GST and closes July 26.
July 4, 2006
Canada’s magazines slow-growing: study
NEW YORK-PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has released a global media study tracking 14 areas of media development. The five-year outlook for Canada and its magazine industry is one of limited growth.
According to the study, the magazine industry is not only the slowest growing media segment in Canada, but of the five regions studied Canada’s is the slowest growing magazine industry overall. Rising postal costs and slowing economic growth are cited as the limiting factors, though the study also predicts a rise in newsstand sales starting in 2008.
Canada’s sports and video game sectors are predicted to show the most development by the end of the decade with 24.2% and 12.5% growth respectively.
PwC used mostly “confidential and proprietary sources” to assemble the 900+ page document that also tracks growth in the television, film, newspaper publishing and recorded music industries among others.
The regions studied included Canada, the United States, Latin America (6 countries), Asia Pacific (14 countries), and Europe (25 nations including the Middle East and Africa).
Here are some other relevant excerpts from the report:
• The magazine publishing market in Canada ”will climb from $1.3 billion in 2005 to $1.4 billion in 2010.”
• “There were 82 new launches in 2005, the smallest total since 2001.”
• “Canadian magazines constitute only about 15% of shelf space at newsstands.”
• “Circulation spending rebounded in 2005 with a 0.9% increase following five years of decline.”
• “We expect circulation spending to reverse course and decline during 2006 and 2007. Beginning in 2008 however, with higher postal costs having been absorbed, subscription prices will moderate and circulation spending will begin to trend up…By 2010, circulation spending will total $545 million.”