Masthead News Archives
December 2001
Notice of holiday break
MastheadOnline news stories will be relaxed for the holiday season, to the extent that there won’t be any. Our daily news service will return with renewed frisk on Jan. 7. Masthead’s bricks-and-mortar operation will maintain normal business hours throughout the holidays.

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December 21, 2001
Postage hikes may be revealed next month
OTTAWA—Given Canada Post’s promise of 60 days’ notice preceding any rate hike, it’s supposed that the much-feared postage increases due to kick in next April will be announced toward the end of next month. The Crown corporation is expected to introduce a series of rate increases effective April 2002, January 2003 and January 2004. Once thought to be as high as 40% for some publications, the looming rate hikes have yet to be determined. A joint committee of Canadian Business Press and Canadian Magazine Publishers Association members was struck in October and has been vigorously lobbying both the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Ministry of Public Works to ensure that any increases are moderate. In a promising development last week, Canada Post president André Ouelette committed to further industry consultation.

December 20, 2001
Today’s Parent founder tomorrow’s real estate developer
TORONTO—After nearly two years of world travel and serving as a consultant to the venture capital industry, Bev Topping will once again draw a regular salary as president of Origin Adult Communities Inc., a Toronto firm that creates and manages high-end retirement communities. She takes the post next month. “I’m very excited about the niche and building the business,” she says. Topping parlayed a $90,000 magazine investment in 1983 into what’s become Today’s Parent Group—a collection of multimedia assets generating revenue in excess of $10 million annually. Maclean Hunter (now Rogers Media) purchased a 49% share in 1992 and the remaining equity in 1998. Origin is a subsidiary of the Beutel Goodman Real Estate Group which manages upwards of $1.6 billion in assets..

December 19, 2001
Annex list sale gives Avid huge lead
MARKHAM, Ont.—Plant & Garden magazine—the No. 3 national gardening title by circulation—has ceased publication with its December issue and rival Avid Media has purchased the sub list. The bimonthly, owned by Annex Publishing and Printing of Tillsonburg, Ont., was established in 1987. Taglined “Canada’s practical gardening magazine,” P&G sported a paid sub list of roughly 58,000, now to be fulfilled by Avid’s sector-leading Canadian Gardening, a seven-times-a-year glossy with current circ stats of 131,000 paid subs and 11,300 single copy sales. The loss of P&G means that Avid’s sole competitor on the national stage is Gardening Life, No. 2 with a paid circ of roughly 84,000 and co-owned by Toronto Life Publishing Co. and Canadian Home Publishers.

December 18, 2001
Student Media Group to declare bankruptcy
TORONTO—Talk about bad timing. Student Media Group president David Sher (Business$ense, Enginuity magazines) was scheduled to meet with investors at 10 a.m. on Sept. 11. The subject: cash injections. The meeting eventually did convene later that day, however “[investors] weren’t in a mood to invest,” Sher recalls, adding that the decision to wind the business down was made in late November. Citing a broad sag in the media sector which may last throughout 2002, 29-year-old Sher says Student Media Group is in the process of declaring bankruptcy.

December 17, 2001
Profit editor named VP
TORONTO—Profit editor and publisher Rick Spence was named vice-president of Rogers Publishing’s news and business group (Maclean’s, Canadian Business, Profit and MoneySense magazines). He will also chair the group’s first-ever board of editors. Spence’s appointment was one of many within the group announced earlier this month. Others included: Peter Leupen, formerly MoneySense director of ad sales, was named a vice-president of the group and general manager of MoneySense (print and Web versions); former Maclean’s marketing director Rachel MacKenzie is now director of marketing for the whole group. It was announced in November that Ted Hart, vice-president of Marketing for the news and business group and a 38-year company veteran, would step down at the end of January 2002.

December 14, 2001
Media magazine appoints new publisher
OTTAWA—Former University of Regina journalism ethics professor Nick Russell will succeed Vancouver Province reporter Wendy McLellan as publisher of Media magazine, the quarterly title belonging to the Canadian Association of Journalists. Russell, who retired from full-time teaching in 1998 after 15 years, now lives in Victoria where he lectures part-time for the University of Victoria on the subject of writing. “Media is a serious and thoughtful magazine,” he says. “It fills a niche.” The CAJ’s publication committee will meet in the new year to discuss possible changes to the magazine. As author of Morals and the Media: Ethics in Canadian Journalism (a revised edition will be released next year), Russell says he’d like to see more ethics coverage in Media. He was appointed to the non-paying position last month.

December 13, 2001
Church to edit Saturday Night
TORONTO—Matthew Church has been named editor-in-chief of Saturday Night magazine. “It’s incredibly exciting and an amazing opportunity,” said Church, 42, in a brief interview today. Church was most recently an editor with Toronto-based custom publisher Redwood Custom Communications. In the last 15 years he has served variously as editor of enRoute, London Magazine, Business Life and associate editor at Canadian Business magazine. He has named long-time Saturday Night contributors Daniel Sanger and Jay Teitel as his senior editors.

December 12, 2001
Sher’s Student Media Group ceases operation
TORONTO—Things looked very rosy for David Sher’s Student Media Group in April 2000. As publisher of Business$ense magazine—a quarterly aimed at business students—Sher managed to secure $1 million from Bay Street investors. The following November he launched Enginuity, a quarterly targeting computer science and engineering students. Last week, on Dec. 6, he announced that his company was ceasing operations immediately. In an e-mail to clients, Sher stated that while “the company was doing great right up until Sept. 11” it “does not have a sufficient financial buffer to support it through the expected lengthy downturn in the media sector.” Sher could not be reached for comment.

December 11, 2001
Kerr to retire in 2002
MISSISSAUGA, Ont.—Following the recent surgical removal of an abdominal aneurysm, 84-year-old Kerrwil Publications founder Jack Kerr figured it’s time to retire. “My stomach looks like Afghanistan,” he joked. He’ll officially retire in the new year. Kerr launched Electrical Business magazine in 1964, and later grew Kerrwil Publications to a seven-title-strong publisher. Last month, Kerr reached a deal to sell his magazines to Canada Law Book Inc. (See News Archives, Nov. 16, 2001).

December 10, 2001
Deadline for NMA entries approaches
TORONTO—Contenders have less than a month to prepare their entries for the 25th annual National Magazine Awards. Finalists will be announced in April with the awards presentation to follow on May 31 at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto. Deadline for entries is Jan. 7. Visit www.nmaf.net for more info.

December 7, 2001
Editor resigns from prestigious literary journal
TORONTO—Literary Review of Canada editor David Berlin resigned from his post late last month after three years at the helm. The LRC was founded in 1991 and publishes 10 times per year. He is replaced by managing editor Lewis DeSoto. Publishers Denis Deneau and Helen Walsh could not be reached for comment. Berlin cited his conflicting vision with the magazine’s governing board as the reason for his departure.

December 6, 2001
Canadian Business gets woman publisher
TORONTO—For the first time since launching 73 years ago, Canadian Business has appointed a woman publisher. Rogers Media promoted from within by selecting former MoneySense publisher Deb Rosser to succeed Bob Livingstone, who has been appointed president and CEO of the Canadian Information Productivity Awards Ltd. CIPA is a 50-50 venture between Rogers and Ernst & Young.

Clarification
The news item posted on Dec. 5 may have misled readers to believe that quicken.ca was closing. It is not; it's merely changing its name to MoneySense.ca.

December 05, 2001
Rogers reverses Internet strategy, sacks 25
TORONTO—Generic money-sucking Web portals such as excite.ca, wiredrat.com and quicken.ca which serve as gateways to brand name print and broadcast assets belonging to Rogers Media will close by month’s end. In a company memo, Rogers Publishing and Online Services CEO Brian Segal announced to staff yesterday that the Web division known as Rogers iMedia would also be eliminated along with 25 positions, including president Tim Root’s. The memo states that the company intends to “grow our Web business by continuing to integrate Web properties with their traditional print and broadcast brands...” Thus, financial services site quicken.ca becomes moneysense.ca, tied closely to MoneySense magazine. Segal has laid off 48 workers in the past two weeks, and has declined repeated invitations to explain his rationale. Root’s is the fourth executive departure from Rogers Publishing and Online Services in the past six weeks. Root deferred comment to Segal, who did not return calls.

December 04, 2001
Publisher to become restaurateur
TORONTO—After 25 years in publishing, Cheryl Weaver figures she’s ready for a career change. She leaves Rogers Publishing at the end of this week as publisher of Today’s Grandparent. She has purchased a live-in bistro in Milford, Ont., about 160 km. east of Toronto, near Picton, on a arm of the Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario. “I always wanted a little place in the country,” she says of her new digs.

December 03, 2001
Rogers Publishing’s finance exec leaves
TORONTO—Marilyn Noges, vice-president of finance at Rogers Publishing, resigned at the end of last month. She joined Maclean Hunter as a financial analyst in 1982 and worked in both the cable and publishing divisions. She was appointed VP in March 1999. While entertaining thoughts of a second career, Noges—a mother of two—says she’ll spend this month with family. “I’m going to take some time and evaluate my options,” she says.

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