Masthead News Archives
August 2004
August 31, 2004
Postie jumps to Report on Business mag
TORONTO—Former National Post managing editor Mark Stevenson, who resigned earlier this month after being assigned editor of National Post Business magazine, will now replace Maryam Sanati as deputy editor at NPB’s archrival Report on Business magazine. The glossy monthly insert to The Globe and Mail with a circulation of roughly 297,000 found itself in need of a new deputy when Sanati left to head up The Globe’s new weekly newspaper section, set to debut Sept. 10, says ROB editor Laas Turnbull. Also, ROB art director Marcello Biagioni was let go in mid-July. Succeeding him is associate art director Domenic Macri, whose old position will not be filled. Assistant editor Jennifer Hardenne, who is leaving Toronto, will be succeeded by former Shift associate publisher Kevin Siu, who'll become associate editor.

August 26, 2004
Osprey strengthens mag division with Vines deal
ST. CATHARINES, Ont.—Publicly-traded Osprey Media Group, based in Markham, Ont., has acquired its first national magazine in Vines, a bimonthly glossy on wine and food launched in 1998 and based here. The deal closed two days ago, says Vines publisher/founder Walter Sendzik. “The deal came to us [in February],” he says, “and looking at Osprey and meeting with the owner, Michael Sifton, it’s very clear to me that they are a community-oriented organization that respects community publishing.” Sendzik says he’ll remain publisher and become associate publisher of Niagara magazine, a 50,000-circ glossy set to launch next month.
In May 2003, Osprey acquired Kingston Publications, owner of the quarterly Kingston Life and various annual titles. That deal, the company said at the time, constituted the “first step in the formation of a family of magazine products designed to serve specialized markets in the communities currently comprising the Osprey newspaper network across Ontario.” Osprey says its 21 daily and 32 weekly newspapers reach about 1.3 million Ontario households, the largest of which is the The Standard in St. Catharines. Other dailies include those located in Belleville, Cornwall, Kingston, Peterborough, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and Timmins. Osprey was created in 2001 after acquiring a cluster of newspapers from Conrad Black’s Hollinger Inc. for roughly $250 million in two separate transactions.

August 24, 2004
Avid exec assumes key Transcon post
TORONTO—Terri DeRose, Avid Media’s vice-president, circulation consumer marketing, has been named vice-president, consumer marketing, at Transcontinental Media, the country’s largest consumer magazine publisher. While the appointment became official just last week, rumours that the veteran DeRose was in line for it have been floating around since Transcontinental released Brian Master in June, just after it acquired Avid for an estimated $12 million. Avid published four magazines (Canadian Gardening, Canadian Home Workshop, Canadian Home & Country and Outdoor Canada), all based on a paid-circ model. Perhaps DeRose’s greatest feat while at Avid was helping to convert Century Home magazine, with a paid-circ file of less than 20,000, to Canadian Home & Country, which now boasts more than 100,000 paying readers and which some regard as the crown jewel of the Avid family for its future advertising and circulation prospects.

August 19, 2004
Ross replaces Church as editor of Saturday Night
TORONTO—Matthew Church has been relieved of his duties as editor of Canada’s oldest general-interest magazine. He was offered another editorship within the company but declined. He produced 19 issues of Saturday Night since joining the thrice-reincarnated title in January 2002. The Canadian Society of Magazine Editors named Church’s Saturday Night best magazine in the 150,000-plus circulation category for the year 2003. It was announced today that he’ll be succeeded by 55-year-old magazine veteran Gary Stephen Ross, who appears to have been coaxed out of semi-retirement by long-time friend and business associate John Macfarlane, Toronto Life’s editor and vice-president, strategic development, at St. Joseph Media. Ross has been a senior editor at Toronto Life since 1993 and worked as a senior editor at Robert Fulford’s Saturday Night from 1980 to 1987; prior to that held the same post at Weekend Magazine during Macfarlane’s editorship. Ross, who lives near White Rock, B.C., will remain based there but spend roughly half his time in Toronto. The fact that a national magazine will be edited by a West Coast editor “is probably a first,” says St. Joseph Media group president Greg MacNeil, who is also the magazine’s interim publisher. Former Saturday Night publisher Marina Glogovac resigned last month, citing a “respectful” conflict with upper management regarding the direction of the magazine, and other things.

Avid’s editorial VP resigns
MARKHAM, Ont.—After a decade of service with Avid Media, and less than two months after Avid was acquired by Transcontinental Media, senior vice-president, editorial, Tom Hopkins announced yesterday that he’s resigning from his post effective Sept. 3. “It’s been 10 intense years at Avid. I’m very proud of the improvements the magazines have made under my watch,” he said in a released statement. “But it’s time to let others take over and continue the evolution of the magazines with the new company. Between their terrific staffs and Transcontinental, I know the magazines are in good hands.” The resignation means Hopkins will also have to resign from the board of the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association, where he chaired the public affairs committee. He’ll continue to volunteer with the CMPA. His immediate plan is to travel to China next month where his daughter teaches English. “I’m going to be open to whatever presents itself…I suspect I’ll wander back to into that world [of magazines] at some point,” he said during a brief interview yesterday. Hopkins worked with Maclean’s, the Globe and Mail and Telemedia prior to joining Avid in 1994.

August 17, 2004
Cassidy released from Avid
MARKHAM, Ont.—The first layoff at Avid Media following its acquisition by Transcontinental Media in June for an estimated $12 million is Carina Cassidy, vice-president of advertising sales. Cassidy was let go in July. Meanwhile, Brian Master, Transcontinental Media’s vice-president of consumer marketing, was also released shortly after the Avid deal. Rumours persist that Master will be succeeded by industry veteran Terri DeRose, Avid’s vice-president, circulation and consumer marketing, but DeRose said late last week that she “hasn’t finalized anything at this point in time.”

August 12, 2004
National Post Business editor resigns
TORONTO—Less than two months after succeeding Tony Keller as editor of National Post Business, Mark Stevenson suddenly quit earlier this week. He moved to the magazine in late June; he was formerly managing editor at the National Post. A successor has not been named. National Post editor Matthew Fraser could not be reached for comment.

Gazette editor to join Reader’s Digest
MONTREAL—After a five-month search, Reader’s Digest Magazines Canada announced earlier this week that Peter Stockland, editor-in-chief of the The Gazette in Montreal, has been hired as editor-in-chief and vice-president of Reader’s Digest. “A key belief I’ve formed during my career in journalism is that readers must come first, whether they’re readers of a daily newspaper or a monthly magazine,” Stockland said in a released statement. He leaves the Gazette at the end of this month and will join the magazine mid-September. He succeeds Murray Lewis, who held the post for six years before resigning last March to focus entirely on start-up sister title Our Canada.

August 10, 2004
Gotch gutted, Disticor buys assets
AJAX, Ont.—Disticor Magazine Distribution Services, based here, has acquired the North American distribution business of Gordon & Gotch Periodicals, which until recently was the largest direct-to-retail reshipper of periodicals in Canada. The deal, which involves almost 1,000 titles going into as many retail locations, closed last Thursday. Last month Gotch, owned by an aged collection of executives from the magazine wholesaler community, sold the rights to distribute hundreds of foreign titles to rival LMPI, a sister company to HDS Retail (see News Archives, July 13). Disticor president Mark Lafranier says Gotch’s operations will be relocated to Disticor’s Ajax location and form a larger backbone of the company’s direct-to-retail operation, formerly known as Doormouse but soon to sail under the name Direct Magazine Distribution Services. The Doormouse name and operation will remain but will be grafted onto DMDS, Lafranier says. The exclusive specialty-supplier contract that Gotch enjoyed with Chapters/Indigo will transfer to DMDS, Lafranier says. Ramifications and industry reaction will appear in the September issue of Masthead.

August 5, 2004
St. Joseph launches “4-in-1” shopping mag
TORONTO—The weather wasn’t co-operating yesterday but that didn’t dampen the spirits of St. Joseph Media’s Style Group at the media launch of its new shopping title, Wish. Staffers and members of the press gathered at a small downtown restaurant called, appropriately, Wish. The 164-page glossy is positioned as a four-in-one magazine—food, décor, fashion, and beauty—for the budget-conscious, time-starved “all-in-one-derwoman,” said vice-president and group publisher Giorgina Bigioni. Wish recognizes the increasing “democratization of luxury,” she added, noting there was a time when everyone sported Polo ponies on their chest and now they show off bargains they found at Winners. She also cited stats that women control 80% of household spending. St. Joseph has unleashed an aggressive marketing campaign to promote the new paid title including magazine, newspaper, billboard and bus ads as well as television commercials and closed-caption sponsorships. The publication hit newsstands yesterday with a special launch price of $2. St. Joseph will publish four issues this year and eight in 2005. See Masthead’s September issue for more on Wish and other soon-to-be-released Canadian shopping titles.

August 4, 2004
We’re interested in global markets: B.C. publishers
VANCOUVER—A report on the province’s magazine exports commissioned by the British Columbia Association of Magazine Publishers finds that 86% of publishers who responded to a survey agree that BCAMP should develop “international networks” and “secure funding for export development initiatives.” The report, called “Outward Bound? An exploratory study of magazine exports,” was conducted by Turner-Riggs Workspace and released last month. It recommends that in addition to well-known grants and subsidies, publishers can utilize two other federal programs: (i) the Western Economic Diversification program, which provides up to $20,000 per year toward the hiring of a recent graduate versed in international trade issues, and (ii) the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Trade Routes program, which offers project assistance, trade advice and strategic information for cultural exporters. The report notes that while Canadian book and film exports have jumped 80% and 172% respectively between 1996 and 2002, newspaper and magazine exports have grown just 21% over the same period.

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