Canadian Publishing Industry News
28 December 2010,     TORONTO
Year end Q&A: St. Joseph Media
With a redesign at Toronto Life, a new editor at FASHION and numerous other changes, St. Joseph Media and its magazines had a big year in 2010. Members of its staff weigh in on the year in publishing and what will help them succeed in 2011.

Masthead: What has been the most exciting moment for Canadian magazine publishing in 2010?

St. Joseph Media senior vice president and group publisher Lilia Lozinski: One of the most exciting moments in magazine publishing, Canadian or otherwise, was the launch of the iPad and tablet this year. This new device made publishers, editors, art directors, web producers etc. take stock of our current print and online content and engage in discussions about how the face of our content might change based on the delivery system - print, online and now iPad. The future is extremely exciting and full of possibilities and opportunities. 
On another note, after the downturn of the economy starting in the fall of 2008, it was very exciting to see the re-bound of the fashion and beauty category in 2010. Confidence returned and fashion magazines as a category showed significant increases over 2009. Needless to say, we are very grateful to our advertising partners. FASHION Magazine had its biggest summer and winter issues ever.

Canadian Family editor in chief Jennifer Reynolds: Wow, big question. I've been fascinated with all of the online magazines that have launched this year like The Kit, Aggremag and Covet Garden to name a few. These examples are all very different from each other but I love that they all have a clear vision and smart execution. Now that a lot of online lifestyle content is being created by journalists who have made the move from print to online (think Ceri Marsh and Laura Keogh with their, I think the online content will be smarter, more creative and use words and pictures together in much more innovative ways. In a nutshell: they will bring some of the best things about magazines into the online world.  

Toronto Life, FASHION, Where, Quill & Quire and Ottawa Magazine executive producer, digital Gary Campbell: It seemed that 2010 was the year when our industry began taking the digital landscape seriously. By all counts, 2010 was a successful year for Toronto Life: the magazine redesigned in July 2010 and the web site’s monthly online audience has grown to 450,000. 

The 2010 National Magazine Awards finally added online categories and I was proud to see bring home two wins in the Gold category. At the second year of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards, pure web players like Torontoist and OpenFile competed shoulder-to-shoulder with the traditional magazine brands. This represents an exciting evolution in Canadian media that we should all welcome.

It was also exciting to see some really innovative new Canadian web magazines join the fray that questioned how we define “magazine” and “web.” With The Kit or Covet Garden or even my own venture, Aggregation, we saw exciting new publications that looked at the current media landscape and proposed completely new ways to interact with stories and art and advertisers and readers. I’m looking forward to seeing more of these experiments in 2011.

St. Joseph Media marketing and communications manager Karen Cleveland
While it was more of a pervasive moment than it was a moment, the most exciting point of 2010 was the return of consumer confidence – spending. It had a ripple effect through every single stakeholder in our titles, from advertisers, right through to readers.

MH: What is your mantra for success going into 2011?

LL: Moving into 2011, it is important to stay true to our vision. With all the exciting developments in digital, it is easy to get swept up in experimentation that is not strategic. Clarity of vision is essential.  We take pride in our teams’ credibility, creativity and commitment to continuously raising the bar on the content we deliver to ensure reader/user engagement. We also take pride in our collaborative approach with our advertising partners.

JR: To authentically connect with our audience through all of our Canadian Family channels—the magazine, website, blog, Twitter and Facebook. Every day Canadian families seek well-researched information, creative inspiration and fresh ideas and we want to be one of the top sources for them.

GC: In 2011, I think our definition for “success” will change. We need to move away from trading print dollars for online pennies, and that’ll involve a lot of radical and innovative thinking. It will involve investment and risk, and successful companies will have a high tolerance for both. Brands can no longer afford to let inertia be their guide.

KC: Going into 2011, the marketing mantra will be to hold on to the fastidious lessons of 2010. In a year when the market demanded everyone to do more with less, I’ve marveled at how tightly a ship can be run.

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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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Lorene Shyba says:
Full of terrific information, Thanks!...
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