Canadian Magazine Industry News
9 September 2008,     WINNIPEG
Grandmotherhood inspires Winnipeg publisher to launch two titles

In late August, Winnipeg-based Communications Solutions launched two new publications: Go-55 Plus, a biannual magazine aimed at younger seniors (ages 55 to 70), and Family TLC, an annual intended for families with young children. Cheryl Saper, who also works as a print broker, is the key person behind the launches and the ideas for both titles came out of her personal experience: A seniors magazine appealed to Saper because she is nearly 55 herself, while the family magazine idea came about because she is now a grandmother.

Go-55 Plus is a glossy, 6" x 9", 48-page publication. To get the magazine in people’s hands, Saper is distributing about 15,000 copies at seniors events in Winnipeg, such as Seniors and Elders Day and the Red Hat Ladies Convention.

"The response to Go-55 Plus has been overwhelming," she says.  "We are going to increase our spring/summer print run by 5,000 copies."

Family TLC, Saper says, is for parents between 25 and 40 who are well -educated and earning good incomes. The initial issue covered topics such as birthday party alternatives, music lessons, debt management and ultrasounds for pregnant moms. The rate for a full-page, four-colour ad in each publication is $1,000.

Saper is relatively new to the magazine business. Two years ago, she was  approached by a print broker customer with the concept of starting a bridal magazine. At first she dismissed the idea, but her mind changed because one of her sons was getting married and she came across a bridal magazine out of Toronto.

"All the bridal magazines were from Toronto and Vancouver," she says. "I saw that there was an opportunity for a local magazine."

After Saper’s first annual, Magic Moments Wedding Guide, was published, an advertiser suggested that she publish a travel magazine for Manitoba.The only Manitoba travel magazines on the market are government publications, she notes.  Travel Bug is another yearly publication from Communications Solutions.

Saper plans to expand her Magic Moments Wedding Guide to Toronto next year and Calgary the year after.

— Myron Love
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