Wednesday, March 18, 2009
These are for the ladies
With the death of Wish and ad carnage for the most of the category’s leading titles, the wave of large-circulation women’s service magazine launches that began in 2001 with Transcontinental Media’s debut of Elle Canada seems to have finally crashed, though not before Reader’s Digest Canada jumped onto the waning surf with Best Health, a 100,000+ circulation book launched in March 2008.

Anecdotal evidence suggests the launch has been largely successful (newsstand sell-through for the premiere issue, for example, was 41.4%, according to Coast to Coast Newsstand Services Partnership) but without any audited circulation, PMB or LNA numbers to go by, it’s difficult to gauge the title’s market strength at this stage. (Reader’s Digest Canada publisher Larry Thomas did not respond to an interview request for this story.)

The women’s service category’s last hurrah (at least for now) came in September of last year, when Transcontinental capitalized on the success of More by creating a French-language version of the book called Vita.

These are for the guys

The men’s general interest category has not been particularly fruitful for Canadian publishers in the past but that’s certainly not for lack of trying. Last year was no exception: A group of former Driven magazine staffers sped away in December 2007 to launch the masculine Sharp in April, while Bassett Publishing Inc. premiered Argyle, a manly lifestyle book aimed at the “executive demographic,” back in February.

Green is out
The trend toward “green”-themed launches curbed in 2008, with only a couple of explicitly environmentalist titles (Edible Vancouver, Good Life Living Green) debuting in the period.

Green is in
At least five publishers seemed to feel there weren’t enough magazines for rich people and decided to serve the well endowed (and the advertisers who love them) with a glut of new “luxury” magazines: Argyle, Millionaire Blueprints Vancouver, Montecristo, Indulge and Upscale Living.

Hot off the marks
Canadians got not one but two running magazines within the course of a few months last year. iRun publisher Mark Suttcliffe tells us that business for his controlled-circ title is going “better than expectations” while Canadian Running has picked up a wicked pace on newsstands, moving an average of almost 20,000 single copies per issue.

End of the race
Age is sometimes a sign of a magazine’s strength, but 2008 saw the demise of no less than 13 titles past their 20th birthdays, including Frank, Magazine PME, Time Canada and Masthead.

On the upside

Based on our current numbers, the b-to-b sector narrowly avoided title shrinkage in 2008, with the 10 new magazines outnumbering the nine closures.

On the downside
2008 was the calm before the storm. Though our current tracking of 29 closures will expand as we learn about stops missed, the number of 2009 deaths will surely surpass it: We’re already tracking 22 closures for this year, with another 10 publications M.I.A.

Tally 2008:
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
2008 Tally At A Glance

Total launches
: 74**
Total closures: 30
Missing in action: 7
Consumer launches: 58
Trade launches: 10
Farm launches: 1
Association launches: 2
Consumer closures: 21
Trade closures: 9
Custom launches*: 4
Custom closures*: 4

*Not included in totals.
**Number has been updated since inital publication of Tally.

2008 Tally By Numbers

# of French-language launches: 7
# of launches a luxury focus: 5
# of launches with a political focus: 1 (Perspectives)
# of launches with a frequency of 10x/year of more: 8
# of launches with a quarterly frequency: 30
# of launches with primarily paid circulation models: 13
# of launches that did not survive their first year: 5
# of closures that survived ten years or longer: 12
# of closures that survived less than five years: 13
# of launches with the word "Canadian" in the title: 4
# of launches with the word "Pussy" in the title: 1 (The Moose & Pussy)

Past Tally Round-up

Year      Total Launches     Total Closures
2008      74**                        29
2007      75**                        28
2006      82                           24
2005      93                           33
2004      139                         34
2003      101                         47
2002      83                           50
2001      69                           43
2000      81                           60
1999      122                         64
1998      116                         55

**Number has been updated since inital publication of Tally.

Tally 2008:
Monday, March 16, 2009
What follows are the criteria we use to identify launches and closures.
  • Launches and closures are listed alphabetically by name; subject, unless self expanatory; owner/publisher; and city.
  • Only standalone magazines with bonafide editorial content are counted as launches.
  • Not included are annuals; magazines bound into other titles; newspaper sections, inserts/unbound supplements touted as magazines; and magazines that have relaunched under a new name, unless the magazine had ceased publishing for over a year.
  • Magazines produced for corporations to promote their products or services—custom publications—are listed in the Tally but are not added to the total numbers of launches and closures.
  • English and French editions of the same launch count as one, except in cases where the editorial content is significantly different.
  • Unless found, magazines listed as M.I.A. will be counted as closures next year.
Tally 2008:
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
  • 2point0/university life/Ben McPhee/Ottawa**
  • Argyle/luxury for men/Bassett Publishing Inc./Toronto***
  • Arabella/art, architecture, design, food/Debra and Brian Usher/Toronto
  • Á Vos Pinceaux/decorative arts/TVA Publications/Montreal
  • Best Health/wellness for women/Reader’s Digest Canada Ltd./Toronto
  • Blush Magazine/modern mothers/Teldon Publishing Inc./ Richmond, B.C.
  • Canadian Architecture & Design/Mike Dunphy/Creemore, Ont.
  • Canadian Real Estate/Key Media International Publishing/Toronto
  • Canadian Running/Gripped Publishing Inc./Toronto
  • Canadian Teen Girl/girl power/MIR Communcations/Toronto
  • CochraneConnects/regional lifestyle/Frog Inc Publishing & Marketing/Airdrie, Ab.
  • Cottage Central/Renzo Rosati/Haliburton, Ont.
  • Country Roads, Discovering Hastings County/PenWord Communications Inc./Stirling, Ont.***
  • Croqué/food/Urbacom/Quebec City
  • Discovering Family History/genealogy/Moorshead Magazines Ltd./Toronto
  • Don Diva (Canadian edition)/hip hop lifestyle/Tiffany Chiles/Toronto
  • Dressed To Kill Magazine/fashion/Patrick de Grâce/Montreal
  • Edible Vancouver/local food/Debbra Mikaelsen/Vancouver
  • Éditions Zones Hockey/minor league hockey/ Antologik Communication Visuelle/Châteauguay, Que.
  • Escarpment Views/Niagara regional lifestyle/Mike Davis and Gloria Hildebrandt/Halton Hills, Ont.
  • Etobicoke Life/Stokes Media/Etobicoke, Ont.
  • Evoke/youth lifestyle/Evoke Magazine Incorporated/Toronto
  • Fortyfour/for youth by youth/Design44/Vancouver
  • Génération d'Idées/Groupe Génération d'idées/Verdun, QC
  • Go-55 Plus/senior lifestyle/Communications Solutions/Winnipeg
  • Good Life Living Green/luxury environmentalism/Fusion Publishing Inc./Vancouver
  • Health, Mind, Body and Soul/holistic health/Winnipeg Free Press/Winnipeg
  • Heart Business Journal for Women/EKG Marketing Inc./London, Ont.
  • Hearts of the Country/rural Canadian women/Cindy McKay/Winnipeg
  • Indulge/luxury lifestyle/Winnipeg Free Press/Winnipeg
  • International Architecture & Design/GLP Group/Toronto
  • iRun/running in Canada/Mark Sutcliffe/Ottawa
  • Kidzine/activities for young ones/Sharon Foster/Brampton, Ont.
  • Lake Simcoe Living/Johanna Powell/Barrie, Ont.
  • Lifestyle British Columbia/Web Impact/Toronto
  • Living Healthy in Atlantic Canada/Saltscapes/Bedford, N.S.
  • Luminosus/careers for students/Julene Chung/Toronto
  • Mercado News/bilingual Spanish and English general interest/RPC Group Marketing & Communications/Toronto
  • Millionaire Blueprints Vancouver/high-end luxury/Terry Nixon/Vancouver
  • Montecristo/upper class lifestyle/Pasquale Cusano/Vancouver
  • The Moose & Pussy/literary sex/Jeff Blackman, Kate Maxfield, Jeremy Hanson, Rachael Simpson/Ottawa
  • More of Our Canada/chicken soup for the Canadian soul/Reader’s Digest Canada/Montreal
  • Nature Sauvage/wilderness/Vélo Québéc Éditions/Montreal
  • New Car/Trader Corporation/Toronto
  • North of McKnight Community Connection/Marshall Stevenson/Calgary*
  • Perspectives/free market economics/Fraser Institute, TVA Publications/Montreal
  • Propel Magazine/new media/David Cree/Edmonton**
  • Retreats/cottage shelter/Metroland Media Group/Haliburton Ont.
  • Scrum Magazine/Ontario rugby/Elaine Wiltshire//Toronto
  • Seven/Christian men/Promise Keepers of Canada, Christian Week/Burlington, Ont. and Winnipeg
  • Sharp/men’s lifestyle/Contempo Media Inc./Toronto
  • Sideroads of Haliburton/Metroland Media Group/Haliburton, Ont.*
  • Snap! Magazine/arts and culture/Shayl Prisk/Montreal
  • Suburban Life/Formula Media Group/Oakville, Ont.*
  • Up Here Business/business in northern Canada/Up Here Publishing Ltd./Yellowknife
  • Upscale Living/luxury lifestyle/Trader Corporation/Winnipeg
  • Vita/for women over 40/Transcontinental Media/Montreal
  • Windsor Sports/Dave Hunter/Windsor, Ont.
  • Wordscapes/teen literary/Ripple Effect Arts & Literature Society/Vancouver
  • Zink Canada/high fashion/Sherrif J. Ishak/Montreal
  • Ground: Landscape Architect Quarterly/Ontario Association of Landscape Architects/Toronto
  • Dandyhorse/city cycling/Toronto Cyclists Union/Toronto
  • Bois & Cie/woodworking/Éditions C. R. Inc./Victoriaville, Que.*
  • Canadian Biomass/Annex Publishing/Simcoe, Ont.
  • Canadian Journal of Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics/Andrew John Publishing Inc./Dundas, Ont.
  • Canadian Lawyer Associates/young lawyers/CLB Media Inc./Aurora, Ont.*
  • Canadian School Counsellor/high school guidance/Trevor Shirtliff/Winnipeg
  • Carwash and Convenience Store/Winnipeg
  • Greenhouse World/greenhouse operations/Baum Publications Ltd./Vancouver
  • Ignite/corporate planning/Debbie van der beek/Oakville, Ont.
  • Imagine/Quebec engineer lifestyle/Auto Journal Inc./Lachine, Que.
  • Magazine/global mining/InfoMine Inc./Vancouver
  • Toronto Dental Life/Dolce Magazine Publishing Inc./Vaughan, Ont.
  • Goats Across Canada/Kevin Vander Linden/Vancouver
  • Aeroplan Arrivals/Redwood Custom Communications/Toronto
  • Audi Magazine/Contempo Media Inc./Toronto
  • Donato/fashion/John Donato/Toronto
  • Inspired Thinking/Wellington West Capital corporate philosophy/Studio Publications/Winnipeg
*Publication has since been closed or suspended.
**Publication has since gone M.I.A.
***Title added after initial publication of Tally.

Tally 2008:
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
  • Acreage Life/Western Producer Publications/Saskatoon
  • Apple/health/Calgary Health Region/Calgary
  • Dream House/Dream House Publications 2007 Inc./Vancouver
  • Eastern Woods & Waters/hunting and fishing/Land and Sea Events Ltd./Bedford, N.S.
  • Filles Clin d’oeil/TVA Publications/Outremont, Que.
  • Frank/political and media gossip/Michael Bate/Ottawa
  • Gardening Life/St. Joseph Media/Toronto
  • Go @ Home/TV listings/Torstar/Hamilton
  • Inspirations/home décor/Les Éditions Gesca/Montreal
  • Jouvence Magazine/beauty/Spa Media Inc./Kirkland, Que.
  • Kids Creations/Patrick Thomas/Montreal
  • La Technologue/Ordre des Technologues Professionels du Quebec/Montreal
  • Le Magazine Carguide/Formula Media Group/Oakville, Ont.
  • Locus Suspectus/contemporary arts/Jolene Pozniak.Edmonton
  • North of McKnight Community Connection/Marshall Stevenson/Calgary*
  • Ricardo (English edition)/cooking/Les Éditions Gesca/Montreal
  • Sideroads of Haliburton/lifestyle/Metroland Media Group/Haliburton, Ont.*
  • The Compleat Mother/parenting/Angela van Son/Calgary
  • The Seniors Choice/Pinnacle Systems Ltd./Kelowna/B.C.
  • Time Canada/newsweekly/Time Canada/Toronto
  • Time Style & Design/fashion, décor/Time Canada/Toronto
  • Wish/shopping/St. Joseph Media/Toronto
  • Canadian Diamonds/Up Here Publishing Ltd./Yellowknife
  • Far North Oil & Gas/Up Here Publishing Ltd./Yellowknife
  • Magazine PME/small business/Transcontinental Media Inc./Montreal
  • Masthead/Canadian magazine industry/North Island Publishing Ltd./Mississauga, Ont.
  • National Review of Medicine/NRM Publications Inc./Montreal
  • Quebec Tuning/Auto Journal Inc./Lachine, Que.**
  • Simcoe Business/Osprey Media Group/Barrie, Ont.
  • Vision D'Affaires/Regroupement des Centres-Villes/Quebec City
  • York Region Business Times/Metroland Media Group/Newmarket, Ont.
Missing In Action
  • 2point0/university life/Ben McPhee/Ottawa*
  • Bobbi/lad mag for girls/UMM Inc./Ottawa
  • Books In Canada/The Canadian Review of Books Ltd./Toronto
  • HFX Entertainment Guide/TV listings/Transcontinental Media/Halifax
  • L'Opportuniste/Stéphane Brown/St-Marie-de-Beauce, Que.
  • Philatélie Québec/Les Editions D.D.R. Inc./Sherbrooke, Que.
  • Propel Magazine/new media/David Cree/Edmonton*
  • NHL PowerPlay/Paton Publishing/Toronto**
  • Québec Vacation Guide/Société des Attractions Touristiques du Québec/Quebec
  • Show/Extra/Spafax Canada/Montreal
  • Ukula/Toronto
*Publication was also launched in 2008.
**Publication has been integrated into a sister title.

Tally 2008:
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Tally 2008
Our annual round-up of magazine launches and closures, now in blog form.
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From Edmonton says:
I heard about propel magazine but never ever saw a copy of it. It must be done....
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