Masthead News Archives
April 2001
April 30, 2001
Masthead Trade Show sold out
MISSISSAUGA-The Masthead Trade Show at Magazines University has sold out its space this year. The show, part of the Mags U 2001 conference at the Old Mill in Toronto, helps publishers and their staff keep up with the latest publishing technology and services. Exhibitors include printers, colour shops, circulation services, publishing software providers, Web services, reprint services and editorial services. The Department of Canadian Heritage will also have a booth. A full list of exhibitors will be posted on shortly, and will also be published in the June issue of Masthead. The trade show runs two days only at Mags U, Monday June 4 and Tuesday June 5.

April 27, 2001
Publishers can apply for levy-free CDs
OTTAWA—Noticed that blank CDs cost a little more since January? Amendments to the federal Copyright Act threw a levy on importers/distributors of blank cassettes and CDs. The money collected is intended to compensate musicians whose works are often subject to unauthorized private copying, says Bruce Stockfish, director general of the copyright policy branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

For publishers who use CDs to archive or sell their own content, there is a way to avoid the levy. The Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC)—a quasi-government agency— will receive applications for exemptions. Contact: CPCC, 150 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 403, Toronto, Ont., M4P 1E8 or e-mail

April 26, 2001
Arts council gets new head
SUDBURY—Eleven-year Ontario Arts Council executive John Brotman was appointed executive director at an OAC board meeting here yesterday. Brotman fills the chair vacated by predecessor Donna Scott, who quit suddenly last December after publicly excoriating the provincial Tories’ penny-pinching policies toward the arts in a Globe and Mail opinion piece.

Brotman, a native of South Africa, came to Canada in 1977 and has long been a booster of the arts having worked with Alberta Culture, the Canada Council and Jeunesses Musicales before joining the OAC’s music office in 1989. In 1999, Donna Scott appointed Brotman director of arts programs.

April 25, 2001
Zikovitz pushing for tax credits
TORONTO—The wheels are beginning to turn on the tax-break train. As previously reported (Archives, Feb. 2, 2001), Ontario Media Development Corporation board member Al Zikovitz will lobby the provincial government to admit magazine publishers to the existing tax credit program. The OMDC administers such a program for creators of books, new media, music, films and television initiatives but not for magazine publishers. Zikovitz will meet this coming Monday with Tim Hudak, Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, to discuss the notion of tax credits. Hudak will then confer with the Ministry of Finance before approval is decided by the Tory cabinet.

What would the credits look like? “The most popular idea would be to ... give us a credit against all the editorial costs, all the expenses to produce editorial [and subtract it from gross taxable income],” says Zikovitz, who is also owner/publisher of Cottage Life and explore magazines.

April 24, 2001
IT publisher changes name
TORONTO—LTI (Laurentian Technomedia Inc.), publisher of such trade magazines as Network World Canada, ComputerWorld Canada and CIO Canada, has changed its name to IT World Canada. “It’s a branding issue,” says IT World Canada chairman and principal Michael Atkins. The new name matches the company’s core Web portal located at U.S-based American publisher IDG maintains its 25% equity stake in IT World Canada.

April 23, 2001
LWA becomes Evaliant
TORONTO—Leading Web Advertisers announced today that it would henceforth be known as Evaliant Media Resources LLC. The name change was prompted by an enlarged business plan which will see the company tracking not only Web advertisements but all electronic media advertising “wherever the technology and industry may develop,” the company said in a released statement.

April 20, 2001
Saturday Night leads list of NMA nominees
TORONTO—Canada’s oldest continuously published magazine thoroughly dominates the list of nominees announced today by the National Magazine Awards Foundation. Saturday Night—the general-interest monthly that converted to a weekend supplement to the National Post last May—received 59 nominations, up from 24 last year.

Other magazines receiving multiple nominations include: Toronto Life (24), L’actualité (18), Shift (13), Canadian Geographic (10), Report on Business Magazine (9), Cottage Life (8), Outdoor Canada (8) and President’s Choice (8), Elm Street (6), Chatelaine (5), Maclean’s (5), and Outpost (5).

Double Exposure wits Bob Robertson and Linda Cullen are scheduled to host the 24 annual awards ceremony on June 1 at Toronto’s Royal York Hotel.

April 19, 2001
Magazine ad veteran switching to newspapers
MARKHAM, Ont.—Avid Media’s advertising, sales and marketing vice-president Bill McDonald is set to join Toronto-based Sun Media as director of corporate sales, effective May 7. As such, McDonald will oversee all national and multi-market retail accounts. “It’s an opportunity to learn another part of the media business,” says McDonald, whose last day at Avid will be April 27. Prior to joining Avid in 1999, McDonald was with the Chatelaine group for eight years in various sales capacities.

April 18, 2001
Chatto new editor at Harry
TORONTO—England-born freelance food critic James Chatto is now wearing the editorial pants at Harry, the magalogue produced for men’s clothier Harry Rosen by Hambly & Woolley Inc. Chatto replaced Kate Macdonald about six weeks ago and will continue his various gigs writing about food for Toronto Life, Gardening Life, Food & Drink and Outlook magazines. “I don’t have very much free time,” he says. Chatto has lived in Canada since 1987.

April 17, 2001
Project Censored honours This, Canadian Dimension
ROHNERT PARK, Calif.—Project Censored, a 25-year-old media watchdog group operating out of Sonoma State University based in this city, has acknowledged Toronto-based This Magazine and Winnipeg-based Canadian Dimension magazine for crusading coverage exposing corporate designs to privatize Bolivia’s water supply. The issue was deemed by Project Censored judges to be the most underreported story of 2000.

This Magazine editor Julie Crysler is pleased the issue is attracting attention, adding that “this is a really good example of what [This’s] mandate is.” Staff at Canadian Dimension could not be reached for comment.

April 16, 2001
Web site allows freelancers to resell articles
Humboldt County, Calif.—While not exactly a local story, Canadian technology writers and editors can nevertheless make use of a new clearinghouse-style Web site at

Created by California-based computer technology writer Kevin Savetz, secondrights invites writers to submit summaries of previously published articles. Savetz then verifies their authenticity an offers them up for resale. His commission: 10%.

Articles by noted Canadian tech writer Paul Lima can be purchased for less than $0.20 per word.

April 12, 2001
Maclean’s to recall foreign correspondents
TORONTO—Maclean’s editor Tony Wilson-Smith confirmed today that the magazine’s two foreign bureaux will close.

Correspondents Barry Came (Europe) and Andrew Phillips (Washington) will wind down their tours of duty presently. “We have not set a date for closure as such,” said Wilson-Smith, adding that Came and Phillips have unique personal situations (kids in school, etc.) that make their immediate recall unreasonable. Both correspondents have been asked to stay with the magazine.

April 11, 2001
Nudist title seeks exposure
TORONTO—Going Natural, the quarterly house organ of the Canadian Federation of Naturists, is succeeding in its newsstand penetration plan.

Since launching in 1986, the magazine has had a difficult time at the retail level. “The subject matter of the magazine caused store managers to place it in the so-called ‘adult magazine’ section because it contained nudity,” says publisher and Federation president Stephane Deschenes. That, he says, was patently unfair and inappropriate. Consequently, the newsstand channel was eschewed.

Since joining the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association last year, however, arrangements with understanding retailers are demonstrating that the magazine’s special display needs can be met. A retailer in Hamilton, Ont., carries the current issue; three retailers in Vancouver have agreed to carry the next.

“The nudity on our cover is much less blatant [since the newsstand initiative],” says Deschenes. “We try to avoid shots which emphasize genitalia.”

CMPA communications manager John Degen, not himself a practising naturist (“The world has enough problems,” he says), notes that Going Natural is drawing the most hits at the CMPA’s

April 10, 2001
Maclean’s Y2K rev exceeds $42.3 million
MISSISSAUGA—For the sixth year in a row, Maclean’s magazine has emerged as Canada’s largest magazine, according to Masthead’s annual magazine ranking.

Turning in a strong second-place finish—and illustrating the overall health of the women’s-interest category last year—is Chatelaine at $39.6 million—a 16.8% improvement on it’s third-place showing in 1999.

Watch for the complete Top 35 list in the May issue of Masthead.

April 09, 2001
Editors trade booze for brains
TORONTO—Maxim magazine (U.S./Canadian edition) editor-in-chief Keith Blanchard has accepted an invitation to speak at the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors’ annual dinner and awards ceremony in Toronto on June 4.

According to CSME treasurer Ian Portsmouth, Blanchard stipulated that his engagement fee shall take the form of one case of Canadian whiskey, deliverable to his father in New York. “I don’t know if you’re allowed to mail whiskey, so we’ll have to look into that,” noted Portsmouth.

Blanchard, an American, was editor and creative director at the plucky boobs-and-gadgets journal before taking over as editor-in-chief last June. “Maxim is now a strongly entrenched American brand, selling more than most of its competitors combined on the newsstand,” said Blanchard in a released statement last year. “It is the editorial and design teams who have been responsible for this meteoric rise and for creating an upscale readership that is the despair of our rivals.”

Maxim launched stateside in April 1997; current guaranteed rate base is 2.25 million. Owned by the U.K.’s Dennis Publishing, Maxim also has foreign editions in France, Greece, Holland, Italy, South Africa and Spain.

April 06, 2001
Second snoop after CMF files
OTTAWA—First it was a journalist. Now a publisher has filed an Access to Information request seeking disclosure of the more than 500 application forms submitted to Canada Magazine Fund officials. (See news archives, Jan. 5.)

A federal source confirmed today that a publisher whose identity is protected under the Privacy Act submitted a Jan. 3 request to see all 515 applications and related paperwork filed under the editorial component of the CMF. The original request, filed last Nov. 23 by a journalist, will be satisfied just as soon as the requestor pays the massive photocopying fee, said to exceed $1000.

April 05, 2001
Star implies magazine linked to Hells Angels
TORONTO—A front-page story in last Saturday’s Toronto Star suggesting that a Burlington, Ont.-based magazine is an intelligence-gathering unit of the Hells Angels is bunkum, says the publisher.

“The Toronto Star reported that we are spying on the police for the Hells Angels,” says The Rider’s Mag owner/publisher Alex J.R. MacRae, denying the claim and criticizing the Star for not calling him. Toronto Star reporter Peter Edwards confirmed that no attempt was made to contact MacRae and deferred questions concerning the magazine’s alleged link to the Hells Angels to the paper’s complaints department. “[C]all the ombud,” he said. The ombud could not be reached for comment.

At issue are pictures of police officers that MacRae snapped and posted to The Rider’s Mag Web site ( MacRae admits to publishing the photos but is quick to add that “I don’t go out looking for [police]. They come to me [typically at public motorcycle shows].” He likens the police shutter bugs to a form of harassment. Turnabout is fair play, he figures. MacRae says he is not a member of Hells Angels and that the magazine relies solely on advertising for financial support.

The Rider’s Mag is a monthly standard-sized newsprint title with roughly 20,000 copies distributed throughout southwestern Ontario. It caters specifically to “narley” Harley-Davidson riders. It launched two years ago.

April 04, 2001
Paring begins at Maclean’s bureaux?
TORONTO—A source close to Maclean’s claims that the magazine’s London-based Europe correspondent Barry Came was informed two days ago that he was being recalled and that, further, the magazine will vacate its Washington bureau premises—an office it shares with The Canadian Press and The Globe and Mail in the National Press Building; the source said that Washington correspondent Andrew Phillips will remain in Washington but at a different location.

While Maclean’s editor Anthony Wilson-Smith acknowledged that a state of “fairly profound editorial changes” was in progress, he is “not going to comment on anything until I’ve spoken with the individuals involved.”

Meanwhile, Wilson-Smith confirmed that the hunt is on for a new art director—a “hugely important” position in Maclean’s reinvention strategy. Acting art director Giselle Sabatini has been holding fort since Nick Burnett resigned from the post last September after 20 years in the slot.

April 03, 2001
CMPA plans mobile newsstands
CALGARY—In a bid to raise the profile of Canadian magazines, the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association is planning to rent a fleet of six trucks countrywide, each one specially decorated to promote and sell national and provincially indigenous titles.

The announcement was made by CMPA president Mark Jamison during a panel discussion at Magazine Sessions 2001 in Calgary last weekend. The promotion is part of the CMPA’s $8-million circulation/promotion plan, the funding for which will come from the Canada Magazine Fund.

The direct-to-consumer approach will effectively bypass the foreign monopoly at the retail level, said Jamison, referring to the fact that foreign titles occupy 80% of newsstand space.

April 02, 2001
Publishing seers collect in Alberta
CALGARY—A panel discussion on the future of magazine publishing in Canada moderated by Peter C. Newman was one of many highlights this past weekend at Magazine Sessions 2001—a day-long conference organized by the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association. A comprehensive conference report will appear in the May issue of Masthead magazine.

Following is the list of panelists and a selection of their remarks:

• Bruce Creighton, president of the country’s largest collection of business-to-business magazines (the 31-title-strong Southam Magazine and Information Group), said he was “nervous but optimistic” regarding the future. He described the Internet as “a great threat and a tremendous opportunity” — a threat to small publishers who can’t afford to compete, and an opportunity to those who learn to disseminate content digitally. Creighton said his group will unveil a commercial online database his month.

• Jackie Flanagan, publisher/executive editor of Alberta Views, said that while bulging newsstands indicate a healthy medium, the bulk of those magazines are from another country. “It seems we care more about what happens in New York than in our own country,” she said, adding that serious, thought-provoking Canadian magazines are conspicuously absent from newsstands that appear swamped with the equivalent of intellectual “candy.”

• Rob Handlovsky, president of RightsMarket Inc., said his online publishing software is designed to create revenue for publishers and writers, noting that the world market for online content is expected to hit $275 billion by 2003. Using viral marketing techniques, Handlovsky adds the software can also increase Web site traffic.

• Ruth Kelly, publisher/editor of Alberta Venture, predicted a continuation of the M&A (mergers and acquisitions)trend, higher magazine-staff stress levels as a result of multi-tasking and a huge wave of immigration due to Canada’s aging population. Just as in the past, new publishers with half-baked ideas will fail while agile, well-informed publishers will succeed.

• Tara Rajan, manager of the federal Department of Canadian Heritage’s periodical publishing policy and acting manager of the Canada Magazine Fund (CMF), spoke of the “remarkable collaborative relationship” that has existed between DCH and Canadian publishers since the mid-1990s—when publishers and the feds were prompted to respond to the Sports Illustrated split-run fiasco. In order to ensure continued federal subsidies (CMF), Rajan said she’ll “have to tell a strong story” as to how CMF monies have benefited Canadian readers. “As story tellers,” she said to the assembly, “you’ll have to tell me a story.”

• Kathy Shapka, vice-president, media director with media-planning firm Palmer Jarvis DDB of Edmonton, said magazines were “an old medium in need of new ideas.” Market fragmentation will continue as new magazines target new interests, attracting advertising from national, more generic titles. Shapka added that e-zines targeting desirable niches may emerge as advertising competitors to print magazines.

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Wow, Torstar really seems to be on a mission to bankrupt one magazine after another....
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