Canadian Magazine Industry News
11 March 2009,     TORONTO
National Magazine Awards: The show must go on
Rogers Publishing Inc. is expected to pull its $5,000 sponsorship of the National Magazine Awards for 2009 and the company's CEO, Brian Segal, has urged the NMAF board to cancel this year's gala.

Last week, Segal sent an e-mail—CC'ed to Transcontinental Media senior vice president of consumer magazines John Clinton and St. Joseph Media president Doug Knight—telling the board that Rogers would not be contributing $5,000 in sponsorship for this year's event and urging the 2009 event "not be held," because "no money for any activities outside of producing magazines."

'We're not doing anything of the sort," NMAF board president Patrick Walsh told MastheadOnline in an interview yesterday. "What would the summer be without the National Magazine Awards gala? We gotta have it."

The annual event will take place on June 5 in Toronto, as scheduled. "We’re tracking to still have it at the Carlu," said Walsh, who daylights as editor of Outdoor Canada. Moving the venue would be a "worst case scenario," he added.

The NMAF had expected sponsorship to be down for this year's event, Walsh said, and is exploring alternative fundraising options, including auctions. "We're on our third budget," Walsh said. Entries—which included submissions from Rogers—were "pretty much flat," but more titles submitted work this year than the previous one.

Ticket prices for this year's event will be "significantly lower" than last year's tag of $175, Walsh said, to "make sure the place is full."

Brian Segal did not respond to our requests for comment.

(Credit where its due: This story was broken on the Canadian Magazines blog and followed up in today's Globe and Mail.)
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