Canadian Magazine Industry News
16 August 2011,     TORONTO
HighwaySTAR magazine hits road with final edition
HighwaySTAR magazine has rolled out its last issue this month.

The monthly B2B magazine, published by Newcom, was launched in 1999 as a way "to celebrate what was good about truck-driving life", wrote editor-at-large, Rolf Lockwood, in the final August 2011 edition.

HighwaySTAR Aug. 2011 edition
HighwaySTAR Aug. 2011 final edition

Lockwood noted in an editorial that the magazine never quite recovered from the recession, and that "our existence essentially depended on a driver shortage" and the related driver recruitment advertising.

"There's certainly still a need for drivers," said publisher Joe Glionna of the drop in recruitment ads. "Driving recruitment has not picked up anywhere near where it used to be. It has picked up over the last 12 months, but not anywhere close to where it was pre-recession."

He also noted the competitive pricing of the ads made it difficult to make any margins, and there were editions with just two pages of recruitment ads last year.

Newcom plans to fill the hole left by HighwayStar's departure with existing sister magazine Today's Trucking. Glionna said the editorial content of Today's Trucking "will not change too much" in lieu of HighwaySTAR, but he added there might be an extra owner/operator column or some summer content covering truck festivals in future. "But we will not get away from the business aspect of Today's Trucking and head towards a lifestyle aspect of HighwaySTAR. That's a clear distinction that's not going to change."

The circulation of HighwaySTAR was 36,500, which Glionna said will be completely absorbed by Today's Trucking, raising that publication's reach to 65,000. In addition to its existing mailed circulation, Today's Trucking will now be available for free at truck stops, highway restaurants, parts counters, heavy-duty repair shops and heavy-duty truck and trailer dealerships across Canada. Subscription to the magazine remains free.
— Jeff Hayward
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Wow, Torstar really seems to be on a mission to bankrupt one magazine after another....
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