Canadian Magazine Industry News
15 October 2008,     MONTREAL
Vita a big hit in Quebec
Transcontinental spent months conducting focus groups and surveys to come up with the name Vita, which publisher Francine Tremblay describes as "bubbly, energetic, fresh."

The premiere issue of Vita hit newsstands in Quebec less than a month ago, but those still hunting for the magazine aren’t likely to find it: According to publisher Francine Tremblay, the 75,000 issues intended for single copy sales have already sold out. “I had to stop doing the promotions on radio stations because I was unable to say, ‘You can go and get a copy at your closest newsstand,’” Tremblay says over the phone from Transcontinental Media’s Montreal office.

Vita is Transcontinental’s French-language version of More, which was launched with great success in English Canada in 2007. The concept and formula for the magazine, aimed at women 40 and over, was originally created by the Iowa-based Meredith Corporation.

A smiling Céline Dion appears on the cover of the premiere issue of Vita, which was sold for special debut price of $1.99 (rising to $3.99 for future issues). Though Dion appears on both current Vita and More covers, future front pages will feature separate celebrities, Tremblay says.

(To get a two-hour interview with Dion, Transcontinental had to fly writer Georges-Hébert Germain to Australia, where the singer was celebrating her 40th birthday.)

Subscription sales have also exceeded expectations, Tremblay says, with 64,000 people having already paid $15 to receive eight issues of the magazine in the mail. And though Transcontinental, like many companies, is going “through financial nightmares” trying to sell ads for its other publications, sales for Vita were over budget by about $10,000, Tremblay says.

Transcontinental invested about $2 million in the launch of Vita, Tremblay says. The magazine is edited by Sylvie Poirier and art directed by Chantal Arés, both formerly with Elle Québec.

— M.U.
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