Canadian Magazine Industry News
20 September 2011,     OTTAWA
Canadian Geographic teams up with St. Joseph Communications
Canadian Geographic has agreed to let St. Joseph Communications handle its printing, circulation, marketing and production, a move that will help Canadian Geographic focus on content creation on multiple platforms, said its publisher.

André Préfontaine, executive director of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and president and publisher of Canadian Geographic Enterprises, told Masthead Tuesday the five-year agreement with St. Joseph is "a wonderful opportunity for us to reorganize our operation more along content creation ... I think we're just like any other publisher looking at digital media and wondering how do we take the turn.

"Our long-term view of this is we have to evolve into content creators that can publish on multiple platforms. This move will accelerate this process."

While production was done in-house previously, no employees will be lost with the changes; however, there will be some reassignment of positions, said Préfontaine. "Essentially there is no impact on staff," he said. He added the agreement with St. Joseph is not a cost-cutting measure, but is "wise cost-management."

Printing was previously handled by Dollco in Ottawa, noted the publisher. He added the editorial and art teams remain intact, while the sales team "will remain independent" and be moved to a building in Toronto that was secured through the agreement with St. Joseph, he explained.

The production and circulation staff will stay in Ottawa, he added. He didn't elaborate about their new roles, but said no re-training was necessary. "They already are familiar with their new tasks," he said. "None of our staff will move to St. Joseph's."

He said of the benefits of dealing with St. Joseph, "They offer some capabilities that are fairly unique to a publisher such as ours ... I'm talking really about circulation management," he said. "St. Joseph's has a very, very competent team. For us to be able to take advantage of the expertise and the know-how that's there ... is something that really over time I anticipate will make a difference for us."

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Canadian Geographic,” said Tony Gagliano, executive chairman and chief executive officer of St. Joseph Communications. “Bringing together capabilities from our media and print platforms, we are providing a unique publishing solution to one of Canada’s most iconic brands.”

As of Oct. 1, St. Joseph Media's Toronto office will oversee production, circulation and consumer marketing of both Canadian Geographic and Canadian Geographic Travel, working with Canadian Geographic Enterprises’ Ottawa team. Beginning with the November issue of Canadian Geographic Travel, St. Joseph Print will oversee printing, bindery and distribution of Canadian Geographic, Canadian Geographic Travel, Géographica, and various Canadian Geographic special interest publications, according to St. Joseph.

The deal with Canadian Geographic follows another win: St. Joseph recently acquired the contract to publish and print Glow magazine for Shoppers Drug Mart.

There won't be any immediate changes to content or the look of Canadian Geographic, said Préfontaine. "Over time maybe, but not in the short term," he said. "The formula works, there's no big rush to change it. However we know the way publishing is [headed], we need to prepare ourselves.

"The future is upon us."
— Jeff Hayward
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