January 27, 2004
Canadian magazines win U.S. Utnes
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. Three Canadian magazines were among the winners of the 15th annual Utne Independent Press awards in the U.S. Toronto-based literary journal Brick snagged an Utne for best essays. Ascent, a national quarterly about yoga out of Montreal, won best spiritual coverage. Also, Buddhist-inspired Shambhala Sun from Halifax won a readers choice award for spiritual coverage. Founded in 1984, Utne is an alternative newsmagazine based in Minneapolis.
January 22, 2004
Magazine wholesaler charged in murder conspiracy
PETERBOROUGH, Ont.Well-known magazine wholesaler Alex Petraitis says he was not aware of any plot to kill his wife, says a report published today in The Peterborough Examiner. The Canadian Mass Media Inc. (CMMI) president and Metro News Ltd. principal was arrested and charged last weekend with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Paul Benjamin of Benjamin News in Montreal took over as president of Toronto-based CMMI after the arrest. Petraitis was denied bail and has been remanded in custody until his next hearing on Feb. 4, says Ontario Provincial Police Const. Brad Filman of the Peterborough OPP. Three others were also charged: Sandy Rinella, 40, of Toronto, Kerrie Anderson, 39, of Alcona, Ont. and Gregory Clarke, 37, of Innisfil, Ont. It was through another criminal investigation that the alleged murder plot was uncovered, which led to the arrests.
January 15, 2004
St. Joseph Media plucks Rogers Editor
TORONTOGlow, the 500,000 controlled-circ bimonthly produced by Rogers Media in partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart, has lost founding editor Jane Francisco to rival St. Joseph Media. Prior to Glow's 2002 launch, Francisco was marketing director at St. Joseph's Fashion magazine. She's scheduled to return to St. Joseph early February as editor of a secretive start-up to be announced in March. "I have agreed to say absolutely nothing," Francisco said when asked about the project. While it's a coming home of sorts for Francisco, might it also be payback? In 2001, Rogers Media poached the Shoppers account away from St. Joseph, which at the time was producing Images and Healthwatch for the 865-store chain. Images and Healthwatch were discontinued to make way for Glow.
January 13, 2004
PMB rule change "smoked" Elm Street
TORONTOIf there is a single reason St. Joseph Media decided to suspend publication of Elm Street, it is this: the magazine suffered a staggering 40% drop in ad revenue following a change, in 2001, in the way readership is measured. According to Leading National Advertisers (Canada), Elm Street's run-of-press ad rev for 2000 was $12.4 million. Two years later, one year after the rule change, the glossy, eight-times-a-year women's general interest title took in just $7.4 million. "In 2002 we got smoked," says St. Joseph Media president Greg MacNeil, referring to the change in the methodology used by the Print Measurement Bureau to gauge magazine readership. With the old through-the-book method, Elm Street fared well against the industry's top women's titles; in 2000 it had a readership of 710,000 versus Chatelaine's 1.8 million. With PMB's switch to "recent reading," which incorporates logo recognition, that ratio became 1 million to 4.8 million. In 2002, Elm Street spun off The Look, a twice-a-year fashion title that boosted to quarterly frequency last year to match newcomer Fashion Quarterly. The Look will continue publishing.
January 8, 2004
RedPoint acquires national wine title
CALGARYRedPoint Media has acquired Wine Access magazine from Toronto's Warwick Publishing Group. The deal closed Jan. 1 and includes the Canadian Wine Awards and Canadian Brewing Awards. Wine Access, a nine-times-a-year glossy launched in 1991, has a mainly controlled circulation of "just under 12,000," says Donald House, RedPoint's vice-president of marketing and the new publisher of Wine Access. "It's our first step into the national forum," he said, adding that RedPoint will perform an in-house redesign of the title to debut with the April issue. RedPoint also publishes Avenue and Calgary magazines. House says he first approached Warwick in 2002. Serious negotiations began last June. It's a title he thought was underdistributed and underpromoted. "There's a ton of growth in the category," he said, referring to Canada's wine industry.
January 6, 2004
Luxury owes General Printers
Whitby, Ont.General Printers' lawyer Ian Johncox said in an interview today that the printer has yet to be paid in full for printing 25,000 copies of Luxury magazine in 2002. A lawsuit filed here with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Feb. 8, 2003 by General Printers against Luxury Magazine for an unpaid printing bill was decided on March 27, 2003. A default judgment was delivered against Future Directory Inc, which then published Luxury, because the publisher filed neither a defense nor an intent to defend itself against General Printers' statement of claim. That claim stated that General Printers agreed to print 25,000 copies at $2.90 per copy in March 2002 and that the printer had obtained a credit agreement with Luxury officer Hamid Zadeh. Two cheques for almost $25,000 apiece bounced in May and July of 2002, the suit claimed. The amount requested is $92,422.10, plus interest and legal costs. Zadeh could not be reached for comment.
January 1, 2004
Trade press to boost Ottawa profile
TORONTOA Canadian Business Press initiative commencing this month will attempt to place trade magazines on the radar of federal politicians. The move comes after most trade titles were deemed ineligible for Canada Magazine Fund funding and lost millions of funding dollars due to their controlled-circulation status. The awareness campaign will appear in the pages of The Hill Times, a weekly publication that circulates among 11,000 federal politicians and bureaucrats. According to a letter sent to members earlier this month, "the CBP board members have chosen to support the launch of a hard-hitting advertising program promoting Canadian business, professional and farm publications," and invites member titles to participate by purchasing ads of their own at a cost of about $2,100. Ads would feature headlines such as "Canadian B2B publications are vital to the preservation of Canada's business culture," as well as a cover of the advertised magazine and mug shots of both a reader (endorsing the magazine's usefulness) and the editor (explaining the value of the title). At the bottom of the half-page ad will be the CBP logo and the message: "The Power to Influence."
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