Masthead News Archives
July 2001
July 31, 2001
de Pencier confirms Key’s in play
TORONTO—Key Publishers chairman Michael de Pencier confirmed today that he has retained the services of brokerage house TD Securities to evaluate market interest in Key Media, owner of such titles as Toronto Life and Fashion. Appetites for Key Media were whetted recently during a very public hostile takeover attempt of equity holder Harrowston Inc., which holds a 48% stake. Corporate raiders Jeffrey Rosenthal and Jack Lawrence were stymied in their $160-million offer for Harrowston by white knight TD Capital, which sidled up to the table in early June with $210 million. During those dramatic events throughout May and June, sources say Key was approached by more than eight corporations and wealthy individuals seeking either to partner with Key Media or purchase it outright. Those offers deserve serious consideration, says de Pencier, and will be explored over the coming few months. He notes, however, that a deal is not necessarily inevitable and that editorial integrity will be protected in any event. “We’re not sort of out there having an auction for the highest bidder,” he says.

July 27, 2001
Double-digit postal hikes feared
OTTAWA—While industry associations warn of double-digit postal fee increases, Canada Post Corp. confirmed today that publication mailing rates will indeed rise. Canada Post spokesman John Caines cited rising gasoline prices as one of the reasons. “Fuel costs are going through the roof,” he says.

July 26, 2001
Magazine “boot camp” under review
TORONTO—Attendance and affordability are but two issues that have sparked a review of the Quebecor CMPA Magazine Publishing Workshop. Originally launched in 1981 and formerly known as the Banff Magazine Publishing Workshop, the so-called boot camp is an intensive 12-day crash course in all aspects of periodical publishing. Impresa Communications consultant D.B. Scott was commissioned by the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association in late-May to collect industry feedback on the program’s current effectiveness. He’s expected to submit his findings by Aug. 31. The program which normally sits in November, has been pushed back to next spring.

July 25, 2001
In 2 Print dies in CMF waiting room
PORT COLBORNE, Ont.—Jean Baird didn’t launch In 2 Print Magazine in 1995 to make money. The quarterly title served as Canada’s only venue solely devoted to ushering young writers into print. It folded in April. After waiting on Canada Magazine Fund officials for nearly six months and mortgaging her home to keep the enterprise afloat, publisher/founder Baird called it quits on April 1 after losing $35,000 in ads and a sponsorship. The last issue was Winter 2000, circulation 18,000. “It’s a horrible loss,” Baird says. “You can’t begin to understand how the kids in this country held on to this magazine.” The processing of project grants to small magazines under the CMF has been notoriously slow. Of 251 applications received by early July, only 20 had been approved. CMF officials could not be reached for comment.

July 24, 2001
Web site spawns printed sister
MISSISSAUGA, Ont.—A glossy new quarterly on the Internet and digital culture is bucking to go bimonthly after four issues and monthly after 10. Digital Journal officially launched on newsstands across Canada last week with a circulation of 13,000. The magazine is an outgrowth of, a Web site launched in 1998 by Janusz Uiberall, owner and editor of both properties. Uiberall emigrated to Canada in 1969 from Krakow, Poland, and served as an assistant to The Honourable Dr. Stanley Haidasz, Canada’s first minister of state for Multiculturalism in 1972. Uiberall’s professional ties are to journalism and communications. “My goal is to create the best publication on Internet culture and the Internet,” he says. Stories in the premiere issue include “Chaos in Napster City,” “The way we pay today” and “Technology to watch.”

July 23, 2001
Advertising decline softens paper demand
VANCOUVER—Pacifica Papers Inc. recently announced that reduced advertising volumes made for sharp declines in demand for Pacifica’s magazine-grade lightweight coated stock in the second quarter (Q2). Pacifica’s paper sales in Q2 were down 2.3% compared to the same period last year.

July 20, 2001
Tough in New York
NEW YORK, N.Y.—Paul Tough, editor of Saturday Night magazine from September 1998 to January 2000, has joined The New York Times Magazine as a staff editor. He started on June 4. According to popular tattle sheet The New York Observer, the Times magazine, edited by Adam Moss, is a popular venue for many a former Harper’s editor, of which Tough is one. “I think there are some magazines that train editors extremely well, and Harper’s is one,” quoth Moss in an Observer article published last March.

July 19, 2001
Maclean’s hires new art director
TORONTO—After nearly four months of feeling out more than 10 candidates, long-time Canadian Business art director Donna Braggins has been hired as Maclean’s new art director, effective August 13. Maclean’s staff were informed of her appointment on Monday. Acting art director Giselle Sabatini resigned last Friday. Replacing Braggins at Canadian Business is associate art director Tim Davin. Maclean’s editor Anthony Wilson-Smith said today that Braggins’ managerial prowess and the finesse she demonstrated when Canadian Business converted from a monthly to fortnightly publishing schedule impressed him. Braggins, he said, will hire two more senior art designers and be responsible for giving Maclean’s a “new look.” Braggins could not be reached for comment.

July 18, 2001
Images, HealthWatch to fold?
TORONTO—Rumour has it that Shoppers Drug Mart’s Images (established 1984, circ 415,000) and HealthWatch (established 1989, circ 443,000)magazines will fold at the end of this calendar year to make way for a new Shoppers title to be produced by Rogers Media. Mitch Dent, vice-president of The Women’s Group at Rogers Media Publishing, said to "expect an announcement in the coming weeks."

If true, this development would amount to a loss for Multi-Vision Publishing (MVP), the long-time publisher of the two Shoppers quarterlies that are distributed at 865 Shoppers locations across Canada. Using data from Leading National Advertisers Canada, Masthead estimates Images alone raked in $2.8 million in ad revenue last year. MVP president Greg MacNeil said "there is some truth to the rumour that there will be changes to those products in 2002," suggesting further questions be directed to Shoppers Drug Mart. Calls today to Shoppers Drug Mart were not returned.

July 17, 2001
enRoute selects new editor
MONTREAL—Senior editor Arjun Basu has been chosen to succeed Ann Brocklehurst as editor of enRoute, Air Canada’s bilingual inflight title published by Spafax Canada. Basu, 34, joined the magazine in 1996 as a copy editor. He was promoted from features editor to senior editor this spring. When Brocklehurst resigned in April, Basu became interim editor. “I suppose it was my trial,” he said yesterday.

July 16, 2001
Fetish book replaces swingers magazine
PETERBOROUGH, Ont.—Touch magazine publisher and founder Liz Lewis says she has suspended publication of her gritty bimonthly magazine for swingers in order to devote all resources to Whiplash, an upscale new quarterly she launched this spring catering to the fetish scene. Touch launched in 1997 but newsstand circulation had been falling in recent years. A once-brisk classifieds business has dwindled due to Internet competitors, Lewis said, noting that Touch’s March/April 2001 issue was the last.

July 13, 2001
Conference on cultural media
TORONTO—The Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) will throw a get-acquainted session for cultural media executives from film, television, magazines and digital content producers in Toronto on Sept. 5. It’s called Six Degrees of Integration. The OMDC was created last February and handed a $30-million budget over the next five years to fertilize cultural media via partnerships and promotional initiatives. To register, contact:

July 11, 2001
CSME loses its head
TORONTO—Woman magazine publisher/editor Elizabeth Scott resigned yesterday as president of the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors. Her two-year term began in June 2000. “It was physically a matter of not enough hours in the day,” Scott said in an interview this afternoon. She cited a heavier workload at Woman, including ongoing plans to enhance distribution and convert from a quarterly to bimonthly frequency. Scott says she’ll meet with the CSME board next week to arrange an exit strategy.

July 10, 2001
Editor quits to pursue MBA
MISSISSAUGA, Ont.—Pamela Cottrell, founding editor of women’s extreme fitness magazine Oxygen, confirmed yesterday that she’ll resign as of Aug. 2. She was four years in the slot. “I’m going to do my MBA,” she said. The one-year program at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., begins next month. She received her offer of admission in April. The single 34-year-old mother of none hinted that her upcoming schooling was preparation for a future magazine launch. “I have to make sure [the concept] is viable and fliable,” she said.

July 09, 2001
Dragün shuts, publisher to live with aunt
TORONTO—Dragün publisher Jimm Tran has ceased publishing his glossy alternative lifestyle quarterly catering to gay Asians. Launched back in June 1999, Dragün’s fifth issue (Summer/Fall 2000) was the last. Citing “personal” and workload issues as reasons for the closure, 26-year-old Tran said he’ll be heading off to live with his aunt in Paris for a year. During an interview last week, Tran declined to reveal the manner in which he’d be dealing subscription refunds.

July 06, 2001
Recipients of CMF largesse revealed
OTTAWA—At $1.36 million, Maclean’s magazine leads the pack of who got what under the Canada Magazine Fund’s editorial component. The complete list was revealed this morning by the Department of Canadian Heritage. Click HERE to find out who got what share of the $25 million in editorial funding dispensed for 2000-2001.

July 05, 2001
Canada’s newest ethnic magazine
RICHMOND, B.C.—A national quarterly aimed at the 18-35 Asian Canadian market has emerged to solve the riddle of this perilous niche littered with failures. Banana began life as a Web site ( last year, generating roughly 1,000 free subs before launching in print last month with a circulation of 10,000. Founder/editor Mark Simon says a TV extension called Fusion will air this September on the local Shaw Cable network. For more on Banana, check out the next issue of Masthead magazine.

July 04, 2001
The Boomer goes belly up
TORONTO—There just wasn’t enough advertiser interest to continue publishing The Boomer, says publisher and National Post personal finance columnist Jonathan Chevreau. “There will not be a fifth issue.” Launched in October 1999 and initially distributed with the National Post, The Boomer (formerly known as The Wealthy Boomer) will maintain its lively Web site at Chevreau stressed that The Boomer refused to pursue government subsidies on principle, although it’s unclear whether the magazine would have been eligible for funding.

July 03, 2001
Canadian Tire title out of gas
WELLAND, Ont.—AutoRoute, the 200,000-circ quarterly for Canadian Tire AutoClub members that ceased publishing last July, is still on the hoist. “It’s not dead but it’s not being published. It’s on hold,” says AutoClub manager Carole Tompkins. AutoRoute was published by Toronto-based Morris Marketing and Media Services. Annual ad revenue was a healthy $1 million, says publisher Rod Morris.

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Wow, Torstar really seems to be on a mission to bankrupt one magazine after another....
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