Masthead News Archives
February 2002
February 28, 2002
Wholesalers to create “FedEx of periodicals”
TORONTO—Rival magazine wholesalers Metro News Ltd. and Stoney Creek, Ont.-based giant The News Group—which controls nearly 50% of the Canadian market—have agreed to create a shared distribution company called Prologix, to launch April 1. “Call it the FedEx of periodicals,” says newly appointed Prologix president Mitch Massicotte, formerly president and COO of Metro News. Massicotte says the move makes sense in light of diminishing unit sales and persistent declines in sell-through. By pooling their distribution infrastructures (all trucks will be rebranded with the Prologix logo), economies-of-scale savings will improve margins and make capital expenditure (on new sorting technology, for example) more feasible.

February 27, 2002
StatsCan survey almost ready—again
OTTAWA—A source at Statistics Canada says magazine publishers can expect the latest periodical publishing survey to be available by March 8. Or later. The survey has been on the verge of being released since at least last summer. Covering the fiscal year 1998-1999, the survey’s data are increasingly stale. However, thanks to info gleaned annually from Canada Magazine Fund applications, future editions of the survey are expected to be more comprehensive. The survey’s frequency will also change from biennial to annual. Sources say the delays have stemmed from StatsCan staff shortages and priority given to a similar survey covering the book publishing industry.

February 26, 2002
Herbal magazine discontinues print edition
KAWARTHA LAKES, Ont.—Herbs at Home magazine, a national quarterly launched in October 1998, circ 10,000, has ceased publication. Despite repeated efforts, publisher Jen L. Jones says the magazine was unable to attract national ads from the large supplement companies. She also cites increased competition from controlled-circ magalogues produced for health-industry retailers. All is not lost, she says. is currently undergoing a major overhaul and will launch next month; the business model contains elements of advertising and online retailing.

February 25, 2002
Dawe buys magazine from National Post
TORONTO—The National Post Co. has agreed to sell its nascent entertainment magazine to the executive who masterminded its development. Geoffrey Dawe, formerly the Post’s vice-president of marketing and new business development, said today that he has established Content Publishing Ltd. to own and operate the Post’s new glossy devoted to movies, music and television. It’ll distribute as an insert to the National Post. Look for the premiere issue in the paper’s March 23 edition—one day before the Oscar Awards. Joining Dawe as a partner at Content is marketing specialist Michael King.

February 20, 2002
Leupen joins Post, Dawe a titular mystery
TORONTO—Less than two months into his job as general manager of Rogers’ MoneySense magazine, Peter Leupen was poached last month by National Post Co. to serve as the daily’s vice-president of advertising. He took up duties on Feb. 4. The surprise appointment rejigs Geoffrey Dawe’s role at the paper and its magazine properties. Formerly vice-president of marketing and new business development, Dawe's current title is unknown although, according to an internal memo, he will remain the “entrepreneurial” force behind Inside Entertainment, the glossy new celeb title launching next month and based on Global Television’s show of the same name. Neither Dawe nor Leupen could be reached for comment.

February 18, 2002
Deal for Canadian Yachting falls through
MISSISSAUGA—Back in November when Kerrwil Publications agreed in principle to sell its stable of six trade publications and two trade shows to Aurora, Ont.-based CLB Media, Kerrwil decided to exclude its sole consumer title—Canadian Yachting—from the deal. Essentially, Kerrwil wanted a chance to shop the glossy bimonthly around. They found a buyer in former Canadian Yachting publisher Mike Unger. Last month, however, the deal fell through. Kerrwil founder Jack Kerr says his company will hold on to the 26-year-old title.

February 15, 2002
Lola hires first publisher
TORONTO—“Who the fuck is Sharon Salson?” Thus queried an irreverent press release announcing Sharon Salson’s appointment as five-year-old Lola’s first publisher this week. Salson says she’s putting her 15 years of marketing and promotion experience, including related stints at Toronto Life, Telemedia and most recently the Art Gallery of Ontario, into growing the profile, readership and ad revenue of the Toronto visual arts magazine. “I really do believe that the business can grow,” she says. “Lola’s readers are well-educated, worldly, a good consumer target.” Salson is convinced that reader profile will make for a “good news” sell to advertisers and is looking to hire an ad rep to help her out. Salson will also continue to operate her marketing/communications consulting business, Salson Communications.

February 14, 2002
Canadian Lawyer takes $75,000 libel hit
AURORA, Ont.—When a locksmith thought he had smelled marijuana in a Fort Frances judge’s chambers two years ago, various media pounced, including The Globe and Mail, The Canadian Press, Fort Frances Times and CLB Media’s glossy award-winning monthly Canadian Lawyer magazine. Madam Justice Dianne Pettit Baig was not amused. Her lawyer announced two days ago that Canadian Lawyer has “consented to the condemnation of a judgment against it” and agreed to pay the judge $75,000 for damages and costs. CLB Media president Stuart Morrison describes it as an “early exit” from what is an ongoing libel action. He added that Canadian Lawyer was without libel insurance at the time. The magazine now has libel insurance.

February 13, 2002
Kenilworth buys two magazines
RICHMOND HILL, Ont.—Kenilworth Media, based here and co-owner of Signs Canada, has acquired a couple of national bimonthlies from Toronto-based Moorshead Magazines—Pets (circulation 37,000) and Government Purchasing Guide. “Nobody’s lost a job over this,” says Moorshead president Halvor Moorshead. “I’m very glad about that.” Moorshead acquired Pets from the dung heap in 1985, one year after it launched; its paid circ is predominantly to veterinarians who in turn distribute the magazine to clients; pet food manufacturers figure prominently. Kenilworth president Ellen Kral describes Government Purchasing Guide as “a little sleeper,” suggesting the 16,000-circ title, distributed to government managers, has great potential (“the government is the largest purchaser of anything in the country”). Both titles will be redesigned. Moorshead now becomes a two-title house: genealogy titles Family Chronicle and History (annual revenues exceed $1 million).The deal, which closed Jan. 31, was brokered by Vancouver-based Watershed Partners.

February 12, 2002
Key Media sale eschewed “conglomeritis”
TORONTO—When Key Media founder Michael de Pencier sold his periodical publishing company to St. Joseph Corp. yesterday, he sold it to a company with a track record for retaining both the workers and the names of the companies it acquires. Rumoured to be vying for Key were publicly traded behemoths Transcontinental Media, BellGlobemedia and Torstar Corp. “Was there a better company to sell to?” mused de Pencier in a memo announcing the sale to Key staffers yesterday. “I don’t think so. With some very big corporations our titles and personnel might have got lost in ‘conglomeritis.’” Key Media has 250 employees working out of offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. In the memo, de Pencier notes that “Key Media will carry on as a separate company.” More intimate details will appear in the next issue of Masthead.

February 11, 2002
St. Joseph bid, culture clinches Key Media
TORONTO—In the end it was a solid offer and a similar corporate culture that convinced Michael de Pencier to release Key Media to St. Joseph Corporation, says Key executive chairman William Duron. The deal, signed this morning, makes St. Joseph Canada’s third-largest magazine company with annual sales of about $65 million. St. Joseph is Canada’s largest privately owned printer, founded by octogenarian Gaetano Gagliano in the 1950s when he installed a printing press in his basement and printed wedding invitations for Toronto’s bustling Italian community. “I feel happy,” says Greg MacNeil, president of Multi-Vision Publishing, a $20-million division of St. Joe (Saturday Night, Elm Street and Shift). MacNeil, a key negotiator on the deal, has been appointed group president of St. Joseph’s tumescent media division. While he would not disclose the acquisition price, MacNeil says it was less than $50 million, a figure speculated by Masthead. He plans to spend the next 30 days at Key getting to know the operation on a more intimate basis. A physical merge of operations could be more than a year away, he says. Key Media publishes such titles as Toronto Life, Fashion, Quill&Quire and WeddingBells.

February 8, 2002
Jobless Rye grad bags Rolling Stone award
TORONTO—Remember that cover story on Naomi Klein in the Ryerson Review of Journalism last spring? Rolling Stone magazine does, and two days ago it awarded writer Lara Hertel US$2,500 for penning it—the best student feature produced in North America last academic year. The annual Rolling Stone College Journalism Awards were established in 1975. “Her piece just stood out. It had attitude,” says Rolling Stone’s Kerry Smith. As for Hertel, native of Harrow, Ont., near Windsor, she says the cash is much needed. Since graduating from Ryerson University’s four-year magazine program last year, she’s been unable to land a job—a situation likely to change in a hurry now. Look for the award notice in the March 14 edition of Rolling Stone.

February 07, 2002
Today’s GrandParent suspends publication
TORONTO—Shoppers Drug Mart has terminated its subscription to Rogers Publishing’s glossy quarterly Today’s GrandParent magazine. Consequently, the magazine has suspended publication. Its final issue appeared last month. Since its launch in 1998, the drug-and-toiletries retailer had been purchasing 180,000 copies per issue and distributing them throughout its national grid of 865 stores. With Shoppers launching a new title next month in partnership with Rogers, a degree of overlap was perceived, says Today’s Parent Group publisher Chris Emery. Unless a new distribution system presents itself or new advertisers step forward, the title will remain on ice.

February 06, 2002
Sales veteran grows “legs throughout the world”
MONTREAL—John McGown has come a long way from his days as a hotshot sales rep with Maclean’s in the late 1970s. During the past two decades he’s grown McGown Intermac into Canada’s largest independent rep house, selling ad space for such publications as enRoute, Time (Canada), Food & Drink, FiftyPlus, Canadian Nurse, as well as 14 U.S. newspapers. He recently gained Canadian representation of Sports Illustrated. Sales last year were $14.5 million. Earlier this week, Dallas-based Publicitas North America, a division of Switzerland’s PublicGroupe, acquired a 70% stake in McGown Intermac. McGown retains a 30% interest. An agreement in principle was reached this past summer. What message does this send to magazine publishers? “Now you have legs throughout the world,” McGown says of his newly-allied rep house.

February 05, 2002
Post to launch glossy celeb mag
TORONTO—Inside Entertainment, a weeknight Global Television show covering movies, music and television from a Canadian perspective, is set to extend to a glossy magazine format in time for this year’s Oscar Awards on March 24. Geoffrey Dawe, National Post Co.’s vice-president of marketing and new business development, says 300,000 copies of Inside Entertainment will piggyback the March 23 edition of the National Post; another 50,000 copies will be for sale at selected video retailers. Seven issues will be produced this year before converting to a monthly schedule in 2003.

February 04, 2002
St. Joe to print Cottage Life
TORONTO—Quarto Communications, publisher of glossy bimonthly Cottage Life and seven-times-a-year explore, has signed a three-year, $3-million printing contract with Concord, Ont.-based St. Joseph Printing, the largest privately owned printer in Canada. Quarto’s former printer was Transcontinental Printing’s RBW plant in Owen Sound, Ont. “We did not have a problem with [RBW’s] service,” says Quarto general manager Terry Sellwood.

February 01, 2002
Postal hikes said to kick in April 15
OTTAWA—Details are beginning to emerge regarding the much-anticipated postal hikes—though the details aren’t coming from Canada Post. Canadian Community Newspapers Association executive director Serge Lavoie says Canada Post officials have informed him that publications mail customers will receive details concerning the rate hikes by Feb. 15 for an effective date of April 15. Canada Post could not be reached for comment.

More hires at Saturday Night
TORONTO—Multi-Vision editor Dré Dee (Rev, Pursuit) has been appointed associate editor at sister title Saturday Night. Dee will oversee the front section of the 114-year-old magazine, currently prepping for an April relaunch. Also, typography designer Paul Sych, of the design agency Faith, has been hired as launch art director. Editor-in-chief Matthew Church says Sych is creating templates as well as a new Saturday Night logo.

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