Masthead News Archives
November 2003
November 27, 2003
CLB acquires Stitches, enters medical sector
NEWMARKET, Ont.-Stitches, the Punch-inspired glossy devoted to supplying the medical profession with monthly doses of humour, has been sold to Aurora-based CLB Media. The acquisition, which closed last Friday, brings CLB Media's number of titles to 19. CLB has made no secret of its objective to have 25 titles by the end of next year and 50 by 2014. Stitches has a controlled circ of 40,000 and was founded in 1990 by Dr. John Cocker. Estimated ad revenue based on 600 pages per year is $1.4 million. Publisher Peter Cocker (son of John), editor Simon Hally and two other staffers will remain with the title and move into CLB's expanded offices in nearby Aurora. Cocker says CLB offers "more resources and expertise" to grow the title which, he says, has been "underutilized" by advertisers.

November 25, 2003
Ontario pumps $225k into three start-ups
TORONTO—At a cocktail party thrown late last week, an agency of the provincial government announced that it had selected three magazine concepts that will each receive $75,000 in grow dough. The Ontario Media Development Corporation's Volume One program was announced in June. Of the 30 applicants, seven were invited to present their plans to the judges—Hollinger B2B executive Todd Latham, Ryerson's Charles Oberdorf and Transcontinental's Sharon McAuley. The winning three were: Boating Industry Canada (a trade title for owners/operators, published by Kerrwil Publications with a circ of about 3,500); The Peer Review (targeting Canada's 80,000 grad students, published by Jeremy Nelson; editor Felix Vikhman); and 2 Magazine (for couples 25 to 34, target circ of 100,000, publisher Diane Hall, formerly of Weddingbells; editor Neil Morton, previously editor of Shift). The three titles must all launch by next September but all plan to launch by March or sooner. McAuley described the final judging phase as a "close heat." The winners, she said, presented "a very clear path" to reaching readers, had realistic revenue projections and "strong editorial directions."

November 20, 2003
New mag for Maple Leafs fans
TORONTO—A joint venture between Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and St. Joseph Media will result in a fan club and magazine to be launched February 2004. "We are going to administer the club and publish the magazine," says St. Joseph Media group president Greg MacNeil. Look for a direct-mail membership drive in this Sunday's Toronto Sun and future issues of St. Joseph titles, including Toronto Life. For $28, members will receive a collection of goods including the thrice-annual magazine (an online contest will be held to name it), the Maple Leafs Year Book and Media Guide, a Leafs t-shirt and chances to attend home games. "The way I look at it is this: the Leafs are the strongest sports brand in Canada. We live in the centre of the hockey universe, and we've put together a very excellent price-value package for consumers... I think the response will be very high," MacNeil says, estimating circ could exceed 100,000 after "a few years." MacNeil approached MLSE earlier this year and by mid-2003 had a long-term deal approved. "As the oldest Leafs fan in the city and as someone who plays hockey twice a week, needless to say this one to me is a beauty. I love it."

November 18, 2003
Lucky-like publication for Canadians
TORONTO—Rogers Publishing has announced that it will launch a paid-circ publication for young women shoppers aged 18 to 35. The new title is a response to the success of Lucky ("The magazine about shopping"), published in the U.S. by Conde Nast. Part magazine, part catalogue, Lucky has received "magazine of the year" honours by Ad Age magazine and warnings from the American Society of Magazine Editors for straddling the ad-edit divide. While the name was not revealed, Rogers says the title will debut next summer and produce three issues in 2004 and eight issues in 2005. There will be French and English editions. Circulation figures were not disclosed.

November 13, 2003
Layoffs, reduced frequency at Maclean's
TORONTO—It was announced at a staff meeting yesterday that Canada's weekly newsmagazine has laid off three editorial employees, one of them rumoured to be a section editor. "I will confirm to you that there were departures this week. Beyond that, I don't consider it appropriate to offer specifics," said Maclean's editor Anthony Wilson-Smith in an e-mail this morning. The weekly's publishing schedule for 2004 will also be adjusted, confirms publisher Paul Jones, noting that every long weekend from Easter to Thanksgiving—there are five of them—the magazine "will not publish on the short week...We think that those double issues will have high newsstand appeal," he says, assuring that "there will not be one agate line less of journalism content."
These developments come on the heels of a difficult third quarter during which the magazine's run-of-press ad sales plunged 18% to $5.7 million, according to Leading National Advertisers (Canada). ROP ad revenue generated by the largest magazines in the news and business category declined by 8.7% in Q3 compared to the same period last year, reports LNA. In the past 28 months, Maclean's has laid off at least 14 employees, 13 of whom worked in the editorial department. Maclean's has been a unionized shop since the 1980s. Gary Cwitco, a national rep with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, finds the cuts troubling. "I think it's distressing that Canada's foremost newsmagazine continues to downgrade its employees. The magazine requires, in our view, a full-time staff to produce a high-quality magazine that deserves the name Maclean's." Cwitco confirms that the laid off employees are: section editor Tom Fennell and associate editors Amy Cameron and Susan McClelland.

November 11, 2003
CSME board announced at luncheon
TORONTO—The Canadian Society of Magazine Editors' first monthly luncheon of the 2003-2004 season was held last Thursday at Ryerson University's Oakham House. Reader's Digest editor-in-chief Murray Lewis returns for a third year as CSME's president; Hilary Bain (editor-in-chief of Chirp, ChickaDEE and Owl) is vice-president while Douglas Thomson (editor of Canadian Home Workshop) comes aboard as treasurer. Canadian Gardening editor Aldona Satterthwaite returns as a board member, as does Canadian Geographic editor Rick Boychuk. The two other new board members are Fashion managing editor Doug Wallace and Strategy staff writer Samson Okalow. Paula Grove succeeds Okalow as the CSME's administrator.
The luncheon's main attraction was a panel of editors from Toro, The Walrus, Fashion Quarterly and City Dog discussing the drama and challenge of starting up a magazine. The event was well attended by roughly 90 magaziners. Look for details in the January issue of Masthead.

November 6, 2003
Top 10 CMF recipients got $3.9 million
OTTAWA—Officials at the federal Canada Magazine Fund have released a list of 482 magazines and the amounts they received under the CMF's support-for-editorial component for fiscal 2002-2003. This is the last year that the SEC component will disburse $25 million, as it has done for the previous two funding cycles. Recent cuts announced in July (see News Archive, July 10) reduced the component's value to $10 million. Of the 482 magazines, 38 received more than $100,000; 18 received more than $200,000; and six received more than $300,000. Funding is based on a formula; the more a magazine spends on editorial, the more funding it receives. The top-10 recipients were: Maclean's ($1.0 million), 7 Jours ($460,073), Canadian Living ($373,414), Chatelaine ($352,002), Canadian Business ($338, 361), Toronto Life ($314,913), L'actualité ($275,375), The Canadian Medical Association Journal ($259,982), The Medical Post ($257,193) and Fashion ($250,758).

November 4, 2003
Building a better ad file
TORONTO—The technical standards committee of Magazines Canada in co-operation with Toronto's Ryerson University has undertaken a new initiative called Build a Better Ad File. The day-long course scheduled for Dec. 5 will feature speakers and lab instructors with tips on pre-flighting, the latest software, industry-standard PDF/X1-a files and best practices for file construction. Register before Nov. 15 and pay $75, or $125 thereafter. Contact:

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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!...