Masthead News Archives
May 2003

May 29, 2003
Small magaziners make recommendations
TORONTO-Publishers with circulations under 20,000 and revenues less than $500,000 met here late last week to participate in a "circulation roundtable" with federal officials from the Canada Magazine Fund. The all-day meeting, designed to allow small-magazine publishers to voice concerns regarding newsstand and subscription sales, resulted in a set of recommendations that included: (i) a better, more timely way to monitor newsstand sales, (ii) legislation to ensure rack space, (iii) the sharing of results from specific promotional and renewal campaigns to determine what's most effective, (iv) affordable circ software, and (v) a national promotion campaign based on subject category. The Department of Canadian Heritage will use the feedback to inform decisions they make regarding CMF programs in support of the small-magazine sector.

May 27, 2003
Major shake-up at Marketing
TORONTO-Eleven positions have been eliminated at Marketing Magazine, Rogers Publishing's flagship trade title. "It's very sad," said publisher Richard Elliott, who announced the following layoffs last week: editor Jim McElgunn, art director Christine Ager-Smyth, reports editor/Create editor Laura Medcalf, staff writer Sarah Dobson as well as four sales personnel. Two Web site staffers and production co-ordinator Jessica Jubb were also released to take advantage of efficiencies arising out of Rogers' centralized Web and production facilities. Elliott says Marketing's infrastructure grew significantly in the late '90 but consolidation in the ad industry and reduced advertising expenditures in many sectors make for leaner times. It's conservatively estimated that the 11 eliminated positions will lighten payroll by $400,000. The responsibilities of editorial director/associate publisher Stan Sutter and managing editor Margaret Nearing will include those previously assumed by McElgunn. A new art director will be hired on a contract basis. Elliott says the magazine is investing in readership research and that a redesign is in the works.

May 23, 2003
Magazine introduces loyalty program
TORONTO-Claiming to be a first in Canada, Wedding Essentials magazine has introduced a frequent-advertiser program called Bonus Bucks. The program is a response to "rampant" discounting on ad rates by some wedding publishers, says publisher Brandon Jones. He says advertisers who renew their accounts early from one year to the next will receive 2.5% in Bonus Bucks, which can also be earned through referrals. Because Wedding essentials is published just twice a year, normal frequency discounts do not come into play. Jones says that because he never discounts his ad rates, Bonus Bucks save his advertisers money without favouring one client over another. "With Bonus Bucks, they have to spend it with us. If we just give them a discount, they can spend it anywhere." He adds that by encouraging early renewals the program will prevent bottlenecks that occur as ad-close deadlines approach. Wedding Essentials charges $4,114 for a one-page colour ad that appears in both issues of the 20,000-circ glossy, plus an ancillary pocket planner and wedding organizer.

May 21, 2003
Newspaper columnist joins Maclean's
TORONTO-National Post political affairs columnist Paul Wells has been scooped up by Maclean's. Wells' column, set to debut in the June 2 issue, will occupy the newsweekly's back page-a piece of media real estate that was the haunt of Allan Fotheringham for 27 years before editor Anthony Wilson-Smith canceled the arrangement last December. Wells, who is fluently bilingual, will also contribute to Maclean's French-language sister title L'actualité. A column-writing arrangement that Wells enjoyed with the Canadian edition of Time will not continue, said Wilson-Smith during an interview yesterday.

May 15, 2003
Former editor, art director sue magazine
TORONTO-Two separate lawsuits have been filed against Luxury magazine and its publisher Harold Zadeh (full name Hamid Reza Ebrahimzadeh) and director of marketing Maxiar Mirhosseini. Luxury is an upscale lifestyle quarterly that launched in 2001. In a suit filed April 25, former editor Sara Waxman is seeking repayment of a $138,500 loan to Zadeh (plus $18,122 in accrued interest) and from Mirhosseini, Luxury Media and Future Directory she is seeking $39,535 in back wages. A separate suit launched by former art director Arto Tavukciyan seeks $19,400 for services rendered to the magazine. Andrew Fortis, counsel for Zadeh and Luxury Media, says settlement discussions have taken place regarding Waxman's loan and Tavukciyan's request for payment; Fortis says Luxury Media "denies all claims" regarding Waxman's request for back wages. Mirhosseini could not be reached for comment. None of the plaintiffs' allegations have been proven in court. Luxury Media Inc. has also launched a $2.2 million libel suit against Masthead following a story it published in January 2003 concerning Luxury's putative creditors and its circulation claims. For more on this story see the June issue of Masthead.

May 13, 2003
Armstrong courted for editorship of Ms.
TORONTO-Sally Armstrong, the editor of Homemakers magazine from 1988 to 1999 who published in-depth investigative pieces on women's rights beside traditional features on health and food, was recently offered the post of editor-in-chief of Los Angeles-based feminist quarterly Ms. Magazine. Armstrong says she had to turn the opportunity down due to timing and relocation issues. She will, however, serve as the global editor for the Summer issue. Armstrong will be given the Award for Outstanding Achievement from the National Magazine Award Foundation at it annual awards gala in Toronto on May 31.

May 9, 2003
Tarleton sets up own business
TORONTO-Veteran publishing executive Shelagh Tarleton stepped down from her post as vice-president, advertising, at Multi-Vision Publishing on May 5. She intends to establish her own company to work with clients in the publishing industry, such as Geoffrey Dawe's Kontent Publishing, which produces Inside Entertainment magazine. Tarleton got her start in sales at Weekend Magazine and later joined Michael de Pencier's Toronto Life, eventually rising to the post of CEO of Key Publishers' Where International division. She was later publisher of Key's Fashion magazine and "for one ridiculous year" was publisher of both Fashion and Toronto Life, she told Masthead in a March 2002 interview. All told, she was with Key from 1979 to 1998 before joining National Post Co. magazine division (National Post Business and Saturday Night). She joined MVP roughly 18 months ago, shortly after MVP acquired the rights to publish Saturday Night from CanWest. Tarleton could not be reached for comment.

May 6, 2003
Trade magazine veteran to retire
TORONTO-Known as "Hersh" by colleagues, Herschel Fenik will cap a 40-year career in trade publishing when he retires at the end of this month as vice-president, publishing, at Hollinger's Business Information Group. Fenik began his career at Wadham Publications as assistant editor of Automotive Service in Canada in May 1964. He joined Southam when the company acquired Wadham 1984, at which time Fenik was a vice-president. For the past 20 years, he has overseen magazine group operations at Southam's (now Hollinger's) trade magazine division. He is to be succeeded by Alex Papanou, currently group publisher of the directory division and a former publisher of two of the company's trade titles.

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