Canadian Magazine Industry News
5 June 2009,     TORONTO
Notes from MagNet: The big guys talk about the future
The five most powerful men in Canadian publishing John Clinton, senior VP and general manager of consumer publications, Transcontinental; Douglas Knight, president, St. Joseph Media; Jocelyn Poirier, president, TVA Publications; Brian Segal, president, Rogers Publishing; and Larry Thomas, VP and publisher, Reader’s Digest Canada offered their views on "The Future of Publishing" on Thursday afternoon at a well-attended MagNet session. They all said the word "content" a lot. Knight cited a lot of statistics really quickly. Segal talked the most. Not one of them wore a tie. Here are some of the most interesting quotes we jotted down:

Larry Thomas
Larry Thomas:


"Going forward [at Reader's Digest], our vision is to have multi-platform communities that are served by branded content. We're no longer looking at ourselves, per se, as a magazine company. We have brands, we have content, and the content comes in many forms."

 Doug Knight
Douglas Knight:


"The top 10 U.S. websites take 69% of all online revenues...Amongst Canadian web users, only 5% of page views are for Canadian-owned sites...Canadian Living magazine [the top Canadian magazine online] gets 1/100th of a second of time spent by a Web user a day, in terms of average usage...What does all this tell us? The Web is not a way for mass distribution of magazines or extending your audience. It doesn't mean you shouldn't play on the Web, but you have to understand it. It is not about shoving a magazine down a wire and it is not about dramatically expanding your audience."

"Mass media is dead...Fragmentation is our strength as a medium. [Magazines] look like specialty television and specialty television looks like us."

 John Clinton
John Clinton:


"The consumer is in control; they're dictating everything. And there's not a lot we can do about that except deliver."

"Advertisers don't care how content is delivered. They want stuff that's measurable, affordable, timely, that reflects the brand, and a medium that allows them to tell their story."

"Some of the brands that died this year deserved to die. They didn't fulfill their roles."

 Jocelyn Poirier
Jocelyn Poirier:

"We have to go from being magazine publishers to being brand innovators."

Brian Segal:

"We have to change and reshape our business models but not our principles. We cannot hide behind shifts in media usage to say that editorial doesn't matter. We have give readers what they what and the best judges of that are editors."

 Brian Segal
"We're going to have to charge fewer subscribers more money...We can't keep giving our content away online."

"We need to transform the Print Measurement Bureau to the Audience Measurement Bureau."

"I think the future is still about launching new magazines. We've got lots of opportunities."
— M.U.
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