Masthead News Archives
May 2002
May 30, 2002
Magazine readership remains stable
TORONTO-Readers are spending about 43 minutes over the course of 2.8 sittings with their favourite magazines, says the Print Measurement Bureau, figures that are identical to last year's findings. The annual PMB study, released this morning, is "Canada's largest personal face-to-face survey," says president Steve Ferley. A crew of 250 field agents collect data while interviewing almost 30,000 Canadians. The survey is used by publishers, advertisers and market analysts to evaluate consumer attitudes. It's also cited by rival publishers to secure bragging rights. For that story, check out the July/August issue of Masthead magazine.

Elle Girl brand to launch in Quebec
MONTREAL-The launch last year of Elle Canada by Montreal's Transcontinental Media demonstrated the robustness of the fashion and beauty category; the new title generated an estimated $6.2 million in sales to become Canada's 30th largest magazine. Now, as part of its ongoing joint venture with Hachette Filipacchi Médias-the world's largest magazine publisher and licensor of the Elle brand-Transcon will go after a younger crowd in the same category by launching a French-language edition of Elle Girl in Quebec, says Francine Tremblay, senior vice-president of consumer publications. The 75,000-circ title will premiere Aug. 16.

May 28, 2002
IE:Money changes editor, publisher
MONTREAL-The battle of the personal-finance magazines took an interesting turn earlier this month when industry stalwart IE:Money (owned by Transcontinental Media) decided to move the Toronto-based title to Montreal and install a new editor and publisher. After just four months in the slot, editor Tracy Lemay has been replaced by former enRoute editor Ann Brocklehurst while publisher Sharon McAuley, who remains publisher of Investment Executive and its French counterpart, is replaced by Transcon group publisher Pierre Duhamel. The magazine is also reducing its frequency from eight to six times a year. Rival MoneySense (owned by Rogers Media) launched in 1999 and with a circ of roughly 100,000 paid, almost doubles that of IE:Money, launched in 1996.

May 24, 2002
Bate to sell Frank
OTTAWA-The publisher and owner of Frank magazine wants to sell his muckraking biweekly for $150,000. "I'd like to find someone to take over," says Michael Bate, who founded Frank's Ottawa edition in 1989. (Frank's Maritime edition, based in Halifax, is independently owned and operated.) Long-time assistant editor Steve Collins replaced Bate as editor in March. Another publishing venture is in the works, hints Bate, who authors the magazine's Remedial Media section-a clearinghouse of gossip about reporters and executives at Canada's mainstream press outlets. "I have a book in mind...on media," says the 57-year-old.

Black less picky in tough market
TORONTO-Following the annual meeting of Hollinger Inc. shareholders earlier this week, CEO Conrad Black indicated that he's no longer holding out for a multiple of 10-times earnings as the price for his stable of trade magazines, a figure he deemed a fair valuation one year ago. A prolonged constipation in advertising expenditures have hampered the disposition of Hollinger's magazine assets, which have been in the liquidation pipeline Since the late '90s. Hollinger is selling off its few remaining Canadian media assets to pay down debt and focus on core assets (the Chicago Sun-Times and the London Daily Telegraph). While Black wouldn't confirm that Toronto philanthropist Larry Tanenbaum was in the process of buying the group (see News Archives, May 10, 2002), he did say he expects the magazines will likely have a new owner by November.

May 23, 2002
17 titles vie for National Newsstand Awards
TORONTO-Seventeen magazines from eight publishing houses have made the list of finalists for the first annual National Newsstand Awards. Not on the list is one mystery magazine issue that judges have voted Newsstand Magazine Cover of the Year. It will be unveiled Monday, June 3 at Magazines University, when a special reception will announce all the winners of the new National Newsstand Awards. Winning magazines will receive $3,000 each in credits towards promotional programs at newsstands owned by HDS Retail, a major magazine retailer. The National Newsstand Awards were launched this year to honour single-copy sales success by Canadian magazines. Unlike other "best cover" awards, actual sales figures are taken into consideration by the judges. Sales results are worth 50% of the final score, while aesthetic and design factors count for the other 50%. For the full list of finalists and a look at the covers, click here.

May 21, 2002
Transcon keen on teens?
MONTREAL-While Key Media is busy planning the July launch of Fashion 18 (a 150,000-circ glossy targeting 12- to 17-year-old girls), there are rumours that Transcontinental Media will counter Keys efforts with rival products. Transcon, the second largest magazine publisher in Canada, already jointly publishes Elle Canada and Elle Québec with New York-based Hachette-Filipacchi Magazines. Gossips suggest that the international duo is planning to launch Elle Girl and Elle Filles. Asked if the there was anything to the rumours, Transcontinental Media president André Préfontaine declined to comment during an interview last week.

May 17, 2002
Shuffle creates $75-million publishing powerhouse
MONTREAL-In a $34-million deal announced yesterday, Quebecor Media will sell its 23-title consumer magazine division Publicor to sister division TVA Group, a unit of Quebecor Inc. acquired last year along with its $5.4 billion purchase of Group Videotron, Quebec's largest cable TV operator. In addition to a television network, TVA also publishes six magazines (including 7 Jours, Star Inc., Le Lundi) representing 45% of Quebec's entire newsstand and subscription sales. TVA's publishing division will boast more than 30 titles (including special annuals), at least 14 of which are monitored by PMB. "This transaction will help TVA further strengthen its leadership role in Quebec's magazine industry," said president and CEO Raynald Brière in a released statement. An additional $6 million could be added to the deal if financial forecasts are met. The deal is set to close around May 17. Publicor has reported sales of $25 million; TVA magazines generate a reported $50 million. Combined, TVA's magazine publishing operation will be the third largest in all of Canada (Rogers Publishing is first, Transcontinental Media is second, St. Joseph Media is fourth.)

May 14, 2002
Rights commission slaps Alberta newsmagazine
EDMONTON-A "gratuitous" quote from an unnamed source contained at the end of a 334-word news article in Alberta Report (now known as The Report) was indicative of discrimination against Jewish people. In a decision signed late last month, the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission stated that while the magazine was not found to have intentionally discriminated against Jews, a reasonable person would conclude that the article reinforced existing prejudices. The article, published in October 1997, dealt with a failed land-development scheme planned for Canmore, Alberta, involving an American businessman (Flanzbaum) and a local builder (Schickendanz). The problem, wrote the commission, was with the article's closing quote from an unnamed source: "'North American commercial real estate is dominated by firms that often happen to be Jewish-owned (e.g., Oshawa and Canmore Development). The retail sector is much the same. Like cliques everywhere, some of these people tend to deal with each other, and Mr. Schickendanz is an outsider.'" The Jewish Defence League of Canada was a complainant in the case. Report editor Link Byfield could not be reached for comment.

May 10, 2002
Tanenbaum may add Hollinger mags to publishing assets
TORONTO-If financier Larry Tanenbaum ends up acquiring Hollinger Inc.'s stable of 30-plus trade magazines-a deal he is reported to be considering-it won't be his only publishing operation. Tanenbaum, chairman and CEO of Toronto-based investment and holding company Kilmer Van Nostrand, has an interest in New York-based PSP Sports, publisher of game-day magazines and souvenir programs distributed at sporting events across the U.S. PSP also operates a custom-publishing division. Tanenbaum, ranked last year as the 36th richest Canadian by Canadian Business magazine (with an estimated net worth upwards of $800 million), also holds a 25% interest in MLG Holdings Inc., which in turn holds significant equity stakes in the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and the Air Canada Centre. He could not be reached for comment.

May 07, 2002
Mischievous feminists to deliver keynote
TORONTO-Live, from New York, the publishers of Bust magazine will appear as this year's International Speakers at Magazines University on June 3 in Toronto. Mags U is Canada's largest annual convention of magazine professionals. Debbie Stoller and Laurie Henzel will share tales of their publishing ups and downs. Bust, now a quarterly glossy with a circ of 100,000, began in 1993 as a stapled, photocopied zine devoted to subverting the mass media's portrayal of women as weak and vacuous materialists hungering for off-the-shelf lifestyles. "We try to tell the truth about women's lives and don't hold anything back," says Stoller. "We'll talk about sex as easily as we'll talk about knitting." Indeed, Bust stands by its endorsement of Hitachi Corp.'s "Magic Wand" as the best mass-produced vibrator ever devised by the modern military-industrial complex. To learn more about Bust-a magazine that straddles the line between vehicle for female empowerment and cheeky pop culture observer-check out the June issue of Masthead. For Mags U info, click on the Mags U button.

May 02, 2002
Major debate on newsstand issues
TORONTO-The CMC Newsstand Crossfire session at Mags University promises to deliver something rare: all the major stakeholders in the newsstand industry in one room to talk about the ever-changing newsstand landscape.
The rare lineup, scheduled the afternoon of June 4, includes senior management from leading publishers (Rogers Media, Avid Media and Dennis Publishing, publishers of Maxim), distributors (CMPA, Curtis Circulation and Coast to Coast), wholesalers (Newsgroup Canada, Benjamin News and Metro News) and retailers (Indigo, Loblaws and HDS Retail). The session will examine developments and challenges on the Canadian newsstand scene and beyond. Leading North American distributor Curtis Circulation and senior management from worldwide newsstand success Maxim will bring a worldwide perspective to the discussion.
CMC president Wayne Leek comments, "We felt it was time to bring all the players together and take the pulse of the industry. It doesn't happen often and it should be very interesting". For registration information, click on the Mags University button on this page.

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Jaded says:
Wow, Torstar really seems to be on a mission to bankrupt one magazine after another....
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Lorene Shyba says:
Full of terrific information, Thanks!...