A new art director and online editor, a cheaper, more reader-friendly format and a relaunched website are among the recent changes at Cycle Canada magazine.
The turnaround there comes after a brutal financial year for parent company LC Media, which publishes CC, its French-language sister Moto Journal and six other vehicle-related publications.
In Nov. 2007, the Brossard, Que.-based company was forced to file for creditor protection and rumours circulated that CC would be shut down. The motorcycle enthusiast title, however, managed to survive this near-death experience. With a much-improved 2008 budget, editor Costa Mouzouris is hoping to recoup some of the readers and advertisers who gave up on the title last year.
A key move, he believes, was rehiring full-time art director Chris Knowles. Knowles, who left CC in the summer of 2005, is the former editor of Photo Life and Snow Goer and an experienced, accomplished motorcyclist (he’s won two Canadian Pro 125GP and two Pro 250 GP championships).
“He makes my job so much easier,” says Mouzouris, who describes Knowles’ layouts as “fresh, uncluttered and logical.”
New to the staff is online editor and magazine columnist Uwe Wachtendorf, who is charged with running the revamped website. The position makes sense for someone who first caught Mouzouris’ attention as a frequent commentator on CC’s Web forum.
“He was highly critical of the editorial change I when I took over the helm [in July 2005],” Mouzouris writes in his June 2008 editorial. “Now this would usually cause a riff between strangers, but Uwe didn’t just rant about his displeasure, he eloquently pointed out what he saw as flaws and offered sensible suggestions.”
Mouzouris and Wachtendorf met at the Toronto motorcyle show in 2006, where the editor suggested the possibility of working at CC to his critic. After “long and tedious” negotiations, Wachtendorf was finally hired this year.
Other changes to the magazine include a reversion to a smaller 8 x 10.75" format, design changes and a shifting of time-sensitive editorial content, such as race results and news, to the Web, freeing up more print space for features on events and personalities.
“Up to the end of last summer, just two people were putting together the entire magazine,” Mouzouris said. “Content should improve drastically within the next few issues.”
- "Cycle Canada lives on despite LC Media's finanical probelms" [MastheadOnline archives, see Nov. 19]