Canadian Magazine Industry News
17 June 2008,     BURNABY, B.C.
Canada Wide Media acquires Youthink
 Youthink was purchased by Canada Wide Media yesterday.

The largest independent magazine publisher on the West Coast has added a new title to its stable of over 50 magazines. Canada Wide Media announced today the purchase of Youthink magazine for an undisclosed amount.

The monthly is written by high school students, with 90,000 copies distributed to about 400 secondary schools in British Columbia and Alberta. “Youthink has tremendous growth potential,” Canada Wide president Karen Foss said in a release, “and we are extremely proud to add it to our titles and look forward to developing this magazine.”

The magazine, which is also distributed through community centres, libraries, retail outlets, coffee shops and convenience stores, was founded in 1999 by the husband and wife team of Andrew Sloan and Lotte Ewald. Last year, the former teachers expanded the magazine’s reach into Alberta, a move that helped expand sales by about 70%, from around $500,000 in 2006 to $850,000 in 2007.

Youthink co-founders Lotte Ewald and Andrew Sloan.
"We also realized some of the pitfalls of being small magazine,” Sloan says. “There were certain economies of scale we weren’t able to take advantage of as a small company.” So they decided to sell.

After narrowing the list of potential buyers to five, Sloan and Ewald approached Canada Wide in the winter of 2008 about a potential purchase. CEO Peter Legge and senior vice president Heather Parker showed keen interest right from the start, Sloan says, and negotiations went smoothly, with the deal closing yesterday morning.

Sloan will stay on a publisher while Ewald will scale back her editor-in-chief duties to more of an honorary position, allowing managing editor Janine Verreault to step up.

Youthink’s unique, peer-written editorial model has given it an edge over other teen magazines, Sloan says. “I think that a 17 or 16 year old’s opinion of a CD that’s just come out is far more relevant to our reader than a 25 or 30 year old’s opinion.”

— M.U.
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