Masthead News Archives
September 2002
September 26, 2002
New mag heats up luxury category
TORONTO-First there was Nuvo. Then came Luxury. Now comes Rich Guy. The title says it all. The new glossy targets super-affluent males and debuted this morning as an insert to 11,000 select copies of The Globe and Mail distributed to posh Toronto addresses. Behind the launch is 26-year-old Bassam Al-Sarraj who, at the age of 14, was playing the stock market and later formed his own courier company (he sold it), then started a computer shop (sold it) and then a Web design studio. He admits to knowing nothing about periodical publishing when he began working on Rich Guy magazine nine months ago. "I'm too stupid to understand this was hard to do," he says. "If I knew then that it was this hard, I would have ran away." There are plans to drop another 11,000 copies of the quarterly in the Vancouver area later this year. Look for more on Rich Guy in the November/December issue of Masthead.

September 24, 2002
Publisher to launch quarterly on dung management
WINNIPEG-Quick, what has a distinctive smell, draws public scrutiny and is a growth industry? Answer: manure. And according to one publisher, the manure management industry is one that will support it's own trade magazine. Issues Ink, a contract publisher serving the agricultural sector (CAAR Communicator, Alberta Seed Guide), says it will launch Manure Matters in December. Roughly 59% of the quarterly's 10,000 circ will be stateside, 40% in Canada and 1% in Mexico. "Manure management has evolved from a business of managing waste to one of managing a resource," says Issues president and Manure Matters publisher Robynne Anderson in a released statement.

September 19, 2002
Lawyer sues over mag distribution on campus
VICTORIA—Lawyer Michael Butterfield is suing the University of Victoria over a distribution dispute. Student Life magazine, launched in 1998, folded shortly after advertisers were informed that the biannual was violating UVic's distribution policy, which prohibits handing out publications on campus. Butterfield thinks he was ousted because he was threatening the advertising dollars of some university publications. Look for more in the October issue of Masthead.

September 17, 2002
Contributions sought for Cormier Award
TORONTO-Jim Cormier was at the top of his magazine game when he died suddenly of a suspected heart attack in 1998. He won many awards and was known kiddingly as Dr. Display, so compelling were his heds and decks. He served as editor of Equinox, Montreal and Canadian magazines and was either a staffer or contributor to many more, including Vista, Canadian Business, Toronto Life, Canadian Living, Saturday Night, Today's Parent, enRoute and Masthead.

"Jim made a lasting mark on our industry," says Lynn Cunningham, director of Ryerson's magazine program. "I hope others will join me in keeping his name and legacy alive." Cunningham is seeking contributions for Ryerson's Jim Cormier Memorial Award, a $1,000 prize handed out annually to a third-year undergrad entering the magazine stream. Candidates will show promise and be in need of financial assistance. (Cormier himself worked in an Alcan factory in Kingston, Ont., to raise money for his tuition at Columbia University's j-school.)

Cheques can be made out to Ryerson University, with reference to the Cormier Award. Send them to Cunningham at Ryerson, 350 Victoria St., Toronto M5B 2K3. Tax receipts will be issued within six weeks.

September 12, 2002
Editors echo circulators' unity call
TORONTO-In an open letter to the Canadian magazine industry released two days ago, board members of the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors urged the professional-development community to work co-operatively to resolve the potentially divisive consequences of more than one national conference. "It is not at this time clear to the board why a second event, in addition to the annual Magazines University conference, is necessary to the industry, or whether the industry can in fact support two such events. The CSME board therefore would urge the interested professional bodies to work together toward a solution beneficial to all." The statement echoes the CMC Circulation Management Association's August call for industry unity. All five parties (the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association, Canadian Business Press, CMC Circulation Management Association of Canada, auditor CCAB and Masthead) have agreed not to speak with the press. (For background, see news item for Aug. 22.)

September 10, 2002
R.O.B. gets new editor
TORONTO—Former Shift editor-in-chief Laas Turnbull has been hired to succeed Doug Goold as editor of The Globe and Mail’s R.O.B Magazine. Staff were informed last Friday that Turnbull was scheduled to start work yesterday, said Report on Business executive editor Colin MacKenzie in an interview last week. MacKenzie oversees the magazine and the eponymous newspaper section (which turns 40 this week). "We knew he was out there," says MacKenzie of his newest hire. "We talked and we fell in love." As for Turnbull, busy with his own magazine and Internet consultancy over the past year, he’s mum on what he has in store for the 18-year-old glossy monthly insert. One thing’s for sure: with readership dipping 21.6% to 1,039,000 over the past year, major changes are likely. Interesting to note that Turnbull’s last job before signing on with R.O.B. was fashioning a new front-end section for what is now his principal rival—National Post Business magazine.

September 06, 2002
Rival aims to bust Canada Post monopoly
VANCOUVER-Chris Wood predicts that Canada Post will be out of the magazine distribution business within 15 years. Wood's Canadian Delivery Service was established in 1988 but has only recently targeted Canada Post's magazine clients. (The Crown corp jacked prices this year by more than triple the inflation rate-6.7%-thus whetting demand for an alternate distribution scheme.) By partnering with Western Canadian daily newspapers' distribution infrastructures, Wood has been delivering such third-party products as Japanese and Korean newspapers, cassettes, calendars and catalogues. After signing a deal for exclusive access to The Toronto Star's distribution grid last month, Wood says he's going after Canada Post's magazine clients with rates about 20% below those of Canada Post. "By mid-September there will be a public statement," Wood says, adding that an info package will be sent to 700 publishers. "There's a big change coming," he says. See the October issue of Masthead for more.

September 03, 2002
Editor fired while on holiday
TORONTO-Canadian Home Publishers has fired Gardening Life editor Michael Totzke, who held the post since October 2000. Totzke declined to comment on his early-August termination as the matter is now in the hands of his lawyer. Totzke had been a long-time employee of Key Media (which holds a 50% stake in Gardening Life) prior to joining the glossy gardening title. He was food editor at Toronto Life from 1997 to 2000. His predecessor, Kate Macdonald, lasted for about a year.

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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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