Canadian Magazine Industry News
21 September 2009,     TORONTO
Win for both sides say Quarto, Transcontinental execs
The sale of Canadian Home Workshop and Outdoor Canada from Transcontinental to Quarto Communications Limited that we reported on last week is good news for both sides, say executives for the two companies. Al Zikovitz, president of Quarto Communications Ltd., is “delighted” by the purchase and says it will be a great addition to his company’s existing brands, explore and Cottage Life.

Canadian Home Workshop, Outdoor Canada
Canadian Home Workshop, Outdoor Canada

Pierre Marcoux, senior vice president, business and consumer solutions group, Transcontinental says all magazines involved will be given a better chance to shine because of the deal. “I think it is keeping two brands alive because they will be better able to flourish in Quarto’s environment because there is a better fit than there was here where we want to focus on our core brands,” he says.

Zikovitz agrees, saying the magazines will be given a better shot at Quarto because of how the company views its books. “I think that is a big difference between Transcontinental and ourselves,” he says. “We look at the titles as brands, not just magazines and we want to expand those brands.” These expansions include future shows for Outdoor Canada and a continuation of the Home Workshop show next March.
Al Zikovitz, president, Quarto Communications
Al Zikovitz, president, Quarto Communications

Affected editorial staff will be moving from Trancontinental’s Yonge and Sheppard area offices down to the St. Patrick Street Quarto building and start work there on Sept. 28, says Zikovitz. Additional office space has been rented at Queen and St. Patrick for the Quarto sales and show team.

While the purchase price of the magazines was not revealed, Zikovitz says Masthead’s estimated revenue for the two magazines of $6.4 million is not too far off. It’s a number he expects it to grow within a few years.

The new magazines will be bundled with Quarto’s existing titles for marketing and advertising purposes, a concept Zikovitz is excited about. “Everyone is marketing for the female audience at Transcontinental, Rogers, St. Joseph Media,” he says. “There is a big market out there for men. Looking at the numbers with our books — we reach over three million people with our two existing magazines and there were 2.5 million men in that group. That’s a phenomenal audience.”

Quarto will continue to use Transcontinental’s RBW printing plant in Owen Sound, Ont. for the new titles because of a long-term contract.

As for future plans for the new magazines, Zikovitz says he can’t wait to meet with the new staff and discuss them. “Those are things we’ll have to sit down and discuss,” he says. “If the total team is behind it then we’ll sit down and do it. I think these magazines have a great future. Some people wonder if magazines have a strong future and sometimes they don’t. But if you turn around and make them a strong brand people will turn around and automatically go to that brand for information. Sometimes they go to the magazine, sometimes they go to the website and sometimes they go to the show to get that information they need.”

— V.M.
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