Masthead News Archives
August 2003
August 29, 2003
Ontario publishers eligible for tax credit
TORONTO—Magazine publishers who produce ancillary Web sites, CD-ROMs, games and e-learning tools can apply for the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit. Under the scheme, 20% of labour, marketing and distribution costs associated with such ancillary products can be applied as a credit against taxes owed. The products must have the primary purpose of educating, informing or entertaining and must incorporate two of the following three media: text, sound, images. If the products are mostly promotional in nature, forget it. Companies with sales in excess of $20 million are not eligible. For more information visit

August 26, 2003
New kinky title to launch in October
WATROUS, Sask.—First-time magazine publisher April Schellenberg is whipping out a new fetish title in October. Leash, a 2,500-circ black-and-white bimonthly, will join Whiplash as the only two national fetish magazines in Canada. "[Leash] is an outlet for artisans, in the kinky realm, to get published...[because] they have trouble getting their stuff in print," says Schellenberg, who has been "fetish" for 10 years. She wants to focus on amateur artists with specializations that include electricity, rope bondage and leather. "I want articles [on subjects] that people are afraid of talking about." Content in the premiere issue includes the history of stilettos, the closing of a bath house in Calgary and a first-person account of working as an escort. Leash will be available in 240 fetish and sex shops across Canada for $9.95.

August 22, 2003
Publishing misadventure leads to Asian magazine's demise
VANCOUVERDue to internal business problems, Vancouver, B.C.-based Asian lifestyle magazine Banana folded this summer. "It was bad choices in business partners that caused the demise of Banana," says founding editor Mark Simon, who was threatened with a lawsuit when he tried to fire one of his partners. The 10,000-circ quarterly launched in June 2001 and published five issues. Banana is not alone. Other failed magazines that catered to Asian-Canadians include ChineseWorld, Typhoon and the Chinese editions of Maclean's, Toronto Life and enRoute. Simon, who lost $240,000, says he's "finding [his] sanity and contemplating several new business ideas, including another magazine."

August 19, 2003
Back to school
TORONTO—Ryerson University's Continuing Education Magazine Publishing program is encouraging those interested in sharpening their magazine skills to register early for fall courses. Enrollment was up 65% last fall over the previous fall season and many courses were filled to capacity. Courses available this fall include subjects covering fact-checking, production, interviewing, writing, editing, design, QuarkXPress and the business of magazine publishing. Interview night will be held on August 21 from 4:30-7pm in Ryerson's Jorgenson Hall. For information contact

August 14, 2003
Transcon closes personal finance title
MONTREAL—Transcontinental Media's IE:Money has ceased publication. The title was established in 1996 and had a circulation of 135,000, the majority of which was paid. "We don't make a decision like this because the market is not good this year," said publisher Pierre Duhamel, noting that the sector has been soft for some time. IE:Money's run-of-press ad revenue for the first five months of this year declined 59% to $287,554 compared to the same period last year, according to Leading National Advertisers Canada. Duhamel said subscribers will receive a refund but seemed to hint that a new magazine may be in the offing. "We are looking at a new proposition," he said. Category rival MoneySense, launched by Rogers Media in 1999 with $7 million in backing, claims to have turned a profit in the first half of this year.

August 11, 2003
National distributor acquires specialty operation
AJAX, Ont.-Disticor Magazine Distribution Services has purchased Peterborough, Ont.-based Marginal Distribution. The deal closes Sept. 1. As its name suggests, Marginal specializes in the Canadian distribution of books and magazines from smaller, alternative and independent publishers from Canada and around the world. Marginal will move into Disticor's Ajax, Ont.-based offices and will begin processing orders from that location beginning September.

August 8, 2003
Former editor/publisher remembered
TORONTO-A full scholarship in perpetuity has been established to honour the late David Tafler, editor and publisher of Kemur Publishing's 50Plus magazine. Tafler died suddenly last December (see Masthead, February 2003). Kemur along with insurance company Lombard Canada, friends and family have created a full scholarship that will be awarded to a Ryerson University School of Journalism student (magazine stream) in his or her graduating year.

August 6, 2003
Itchy canine witnesses boozey Frank sale
OTTAWA-Frank, the freebooting, satirical biweekly founded in 1989 by Michael Bate, will relaunch this October with new ownership, Toronto headquarters, improved design and Bay Street exposés. Bate will continue to write for the magazine from its Ottawa office. Frank was put up for sale last year with an asking price of $150,000. A group of Toronto investors headed by former Globe and Mail business columnist Fabrice Taylor (who takes over as editor/publisher) has reportedly stepped forward with about $500,000 to buy the title and grow the franchise. Bate declined to say how much he received. "I certainly got my price," he said. The deal was clinched in May, he added, in a run-down mansion belonging to one of the investors in Toronto's sniffy Bridle Path neighbourhood, just a few doors away from Conrad Black's abode. There Bate met with Taylor and a clutch of secret investors to discuss terms. The evening was punctuated with much liquor and the host's dog's habit of pulling itself along the floor by its front legs in repeated bids to address a case of posterior pruritus, Bate said. Details of the new arrangement will be reported in Frank's next issue.

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Jaded says:
Wow, Torstar really seems to be on a mission to bankrupt one magazine after another....
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Lorene Shyba says:
Full of terrific information, Thanks!...