Canadian Magazine Industry News
11 January 2012,     TORONTO
From magazine to screen: Walrus TV and its website launches
Walrus TV, based on content from the award-winning magazine, is now live, launching to fanfare at High Fidelity HDTV's new digs in Toronto Tuesday evening.

The Walrus Foundation has partnered with High Fidelity to air the programming on its commercial-free eqhd channel, with the content also appearing on the newly launched WalrusTV.ca.

Screenshot from new WalrusTV.ca
Screenshot from new WalrusTV.ca


The website launched with 27 documentaries and original pieces, "and new content will be added frequently" noted the magazine. Some of the programming available now includes:
  • Life After Death, based on a September 2011 cover story about 30 years of Aids;
  • Mosque Makeovers, based on a Walrus article from April 2011;
  • Portraits of the War, driven by Joanne Tod's portraits of fallen Canadian soldiers featured in the July/August 2011 edition;
  • The Meaning of Hockey, based on Stephen Marche's essay in the November 2011 edition, and more.
  • Poetry readings from material in the magazine will also be featured on Walrus TV, along with special broadcasts from Walrus Foundation events.
Walrus TV programming will air in "high rotation" on eqhd, said Walrus co-publisher Shelley Ambrose. No government funding was secured to create Walrus TV, she added.

Because the site is new, a stand-alone advertising rate card for Walrus TV will be formalized down the road, noted Nick Cino, sales director for The Walrus, who forwarded the magazine's standard digital ad rates. "Of course we are engaged with Walrus partners who see the wisdom in engaging with our tribe across our multiple platforms [print, web, television, events], in which case custom sponsorships would be built," noted Cino.

Regarding what High Fidelity stands to gain from the agreement, the Walrus TV website features a tab "which is slowly being populated with clips from upcoming eqhd shows," noted High Fidelity's Andrew Irwin. "We will be using this as a promotional opportunity to highlight some of the great shows one can find on the channel."

Revenues for the four channels of High Fidelity — eqhd, Oasis HD, HIFI and radX — come from subscriber fees alone, he confirmed. "We do intend to develop sponsorship opportunities for interested parties but we will not be carving up our broadcast hours with minute upon minute of [30-second] spots," explained Irwin. "Our viewers have come to love the uncluttered approach we take airing our programs."

To see a Masthead photo gallery from the Walrus TV launch party, click here.

Meanwhile, Blue Ant Media [part owner of magazine publisher Quarto Communications] is buying High Fidelity HDTV, and newspaper/media giant Torstar is buying 25 per cent of Blue Ant.
— Jeff Hayward
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