Hello! Canada and Toronto Life received special recognition for single-copy success at the annual News Group conference dinner held in Niagara Falls last night.
With the thundering falls as a splendid backdrop, Hello! Canada associate publisher Peter Willson accepted the award for Canadian Magazine of the Year on behalf of the Rogers Publishing title. The Canadian edition of the Spanish-based magazine franchise launched in 2006 and struggled in the early going. But editorial and cover-price changes, along with hard work, have paid off, and now the magazine is regularly selling 50,000 copies per week on the newsstand, compared to the initial promise of 25,000.
Willson announced that Hello! is increasing its draw by 25% over the next 12 weeks as a test, since he believes the magazine “is leaving money on the table” with a 60% sell-through.
Toronto Life also earned special recognition, having increased sales 41% through The News Group channel in 2007.
The News Group, Canada’s largest mass-market wholesaler, also awarded prizes to Rodale (publisher of Women’s Health, Prevention and other titles) as American Publisher of the Year; to Simon & Schuster as Canadian Book Publisher of the Year; and to American author Greg Iles (True Evil, Third Degree) as Author of the Year
The News Group conference gathered 150 wholesalers, retailers, distributors and publishers to discuss industry issues and trade information on upcoming plans. One hot topic was scan-based trading. Comag Marketing Group, the giant U.S. distributor jointly owned by Condé Nast and Hearst, has updated its position paper on scan-based trading available here.
Glenn Brillinger, VP sales and marketing for The News Group, said the company sold a record number of magazines in 2007. Later, rumours swirled that some conference goers were hitting the local Niagara Falls casino after the awards.