Canadian Magazine Industry News
21 January 2010,     TORONTO
Industry reacts to Canada Periodical Fund details
The magnitude of the changes that the Canada Periodical Fund brings to the magazine industry are enormous, says Rogers senior vice president, circulation and development Michael Fox. Not so much for large companies such has Rogers, who he says have been planning for the change since the program was announced last year, but for those under the 5,000 circulation cap who will lose funding completely.

BlackFlash, a photography and new media magazine with a circulation below 5,000, will lose $27,000 this year when the CMF and PAP shut down at the end of March, says managing editor John Shelling. “We are taking steps to react to the loss of funding,” he says. “We had one employee leave and we’re not re-posting the job. We are going to be understaffed now but we’re going to keep going.” Shelling says the magazine is going to try and hit the 5,000 limit and hopes to reach it within the next couple years.

On the other end of the spectrum, the one glaring exemption from the $1.5 million cap is farm publications. Fox says that rule brings light to government bias to the sector. “At least there is transparency that there is a favouritism of public policy towards farm publications,” he says. “There is a certain irony that farm publications are the most profitable overall.”

Fox says Rogers is concerned that the program is implemented and runs smoothly now that preliminary details have been announced. “We are concerned that it get implemented smoothly and efficiently so there are not small and medium size companies that get hurt,” he says. “There is such little time between the announcement and the time that it takes effect. We hope that everything else runs more quickly than the year it took to get to this point.”

— Val Maloney
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