Canadian Magazine Industry News
4 May 2009,     MARKHAM, ONT.
Fit Parent finds early success with agencies
[This story has been updated.]

For the first time in his publishing career, publishing entrepreneur Craig Knight has created a magazine that has immediately attracted attention and dollars from ad agencies representing big spenders like Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Toyota, and Starbucks. Fit Parent, a new bimonthly title launched by Knight this spring, blends traditional parenting-magazine coverage of topics such as family dynamics, family finances, education and food with more broadly focused health and lifestyle stories about style, travel, home and entertainment.

A subscription to Fit Parent costs $12.
In 2000, Knight, then known as Craig Vasiloff, co-founded Razor, a now-defunct men’s lifestyle publication that was distributed throughout North America. “With Razor it took a couple of years before we could prove the vitality of the magazine and the viability of the content in order get into partnership with any of the big agencies,” Knight says. “With Fit Parent and the themes we’re covering, we’re already attracting the big guys with only one issue out the gate.”

Along with the content, which is mostly aimed at women 25-45, Fit Parent’s free circulation model is also attractive to advertisers: about 150,000 copies of the magazine are dropped off at various retail and organizational outlets nationally, with about 90,000 of those distributed through pharmacies in 450 Loblaw stores.

Knight, a father of three teenagers, considers the newsstand a “dead-end” for new magazines. “[As a free magazine], we don’t have to worry about sell-through, we don’t have to worry about printing any wastage,” Knight says. The drop-off model also separates the 64-page, perfect-bound Fit Parent from the herd of magazines on the racks, Knight says. 

The gross rate for a full-page ad in Fit Parent is $14,000.

Rose Reisman, the author of several cookbooks and a mother of four children, is the magazine’s editor-in-chief.

[Update] Parenting has been one of Canada's hottest categories in recent years. Rogers Publishing Ltd. grew revenues for Today's Parent by 41% from 2003 to 2007, while St. Joseph Media's Canadian Family earned about $3.5 in 2007, according to Masthead's annual ranking of Canada's top 50 magazines.

ParentsCanada, a quarterly (soon-to-be bimonthly) magazine launched by Toronto-based Family Communications Inc. in 2007, earned over a million dollars in revenue in its first year. Earlier this year, meanwhile, Teldon Publishing launched a biannual national parenting mag called Blush.

Asked for her thoughts on Fit Parent, Jane Bradley, publisher of ParentCanada magazine said, "We welcome the new rival. Increased competition makes us all sit up a little straighter... Any time there's a launch of a new magazine in your category, it shines a light on it and that's great."

Still, Bradley has questions about where Fit Parent will fit in the existing market.

"I'm not sure what they're going to fulfill that the existing parenting magazine aren't doing. That's for them to figure out."

To compete with the three major players, Bradley added, Fit Parent will need to get its circulation audited and its readership measured by PMB.

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— M.U.
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