Masthead News Archives
March 2003

March 31, 2003
The Walrus boasts $5 million in funding
TORONTO-Ever since the demise of the monthly Saturday Night in 2000, Canada has been without a contemplative mainstream national magazine devoted to arts and politics that paid writers well and was unafraid to commit to long-essay formats. That's going to change, says David Berlin. Since resigning as editor of the Literary Review of Canada in December 2001, Berlin has been on a mission to raise funding for Canada's answer to Harper's. He appears to have succeeded. The Chawkers Foundation will provide $1 million per year over the next five years for a magazine tentatively named The Walrus, set to launch in October. The Toronto-based title will publish two issues this year, eight in 2004 and 10 issues each year thereafter. Utilizing various lists, The Walrus plans a paid circ of 25,000 to start and the most robust internship program in Canada. The Chawkers Foundation was launched by Montreal lawyer Charles Alexander to support environment and educational initiatives, but is reforming its mandate to pursue the elevation of public discourse, says the founder's son-and Walrus publisher-Ken Alexander. Berlin will serve as editor. D.B. Scott serves as a consultant on the project. See the April issue of Masthead for more details.

March 27, 2003
Financial Post Magazine to return?
TORONTO-National Post Business editor Anthony Keller responded yesterday to rumours that his magazine may revert to its old moniker-Financial Post Magazine, whose last issue was August 1999. "It's something that we're always thinking about but I don't have anything to announce at this moment," he said. Industry insiders say mock-ups have been completed and that the name change will debut with the June issue which will feature the largest 500 companies in Canada-the well-known FP 500 issue. Rumour also has it that National Post editor and deputy publisher Kenneth Whyte will as soon as today be named publisher of the magazine. While Post publisher Peter Viner confirmed that someone was set to succeed him as publisher of the magazine, he declined to confirm that it was Whyte. Meanwhile, recent budget cuts at the Post resulted in the departure of executive editor Wayne Lilley earlier this month.

March 25, 2003
UMM producing TV show
OTTAWA-Urban Male Magazine, a glossy launched five years ago for males 18 to 34, will extend the brand to television this fall. "It'll be a lifestyle show for guys," says founder Abbis Mahmoud, who adds that production on the 13-episode show has already begun and is being done in house. Toronto-based, CHUM-owned City TV is thought to be airing the show but Mahmoud declined to confirm the identity of the carrier. He also added that UMM magazine may jump from quarterly to bimonthly frequency this fall if advertising momentum continues. The current Winter 2002 issue is 132 pages with about 28 ad pages.

March 21, 2003
Independent publishers merge
CALGARY-Avenue Media Group (Avenue/Avenue West magazines) and Calgary Publishing (Calgary, Mountain Life magazines) announced their merger earlier this month. The amalgamated entity is called RedPoint Media Group and is Alberta's largest independent publisher. Both companies had sizable contract publishing operations as well. "RedPoint Media will represent Calgary and Western Canada well [as an advertising vehicle] amongst the international publishing giants," said Avenue principal Dan Bowman, now president and publisher of RedPoint Media Group.

March 11, 2003
Saturday Night to go monthly?
TORONTO-Rumour has it that Saturday Night will boost frequency from six to 12 issues a year. True? "Not necessarily," says St. Joseph Media group president Greg MacNeil. "Right now the rumour is...vastly overstated." As part of a larger strategic review at St. Joseph Media, Saturday Night/Toronto Life publisher Marina Glogovac has assembled a proposal that may impact Saturday Night's frequency, says MacNeil. While the magazine is not currently profitable, "it's making excellent progress," he adds. St. Joseph revived Saturday Night last April after previous owner, Winnipeg-based CanWest Global Communications, folded the 115-year-old magazine in September 2001. From May 2000 to September 2001, SN had been publishing as a weekly insert to the National Post during which time it's thought to have lost $12 million.

March 07, 2003
Feds cut $10 million from CMF
OTTAWA-From deep in the bowels of federal Finance Minister John Manley's Feb. 18 budget marched forth the polyp of news that Department of Canadian Heritage officials have determined that annual funding to the Canada Magazine Fund will be reduced from $45 million to $35 million for the fiscal year beginning April 2003.
Now in its third year, the CMF's annual distributions have never exceeded $35 million, says Allan Clarke, DCH's director of publishing policy and programming, so in a sense the money wasn't being utilized in the first place.
On the old funding model, the CMF's three components each received a portion of the $45 million as follows: (i) support for editorial, $25 million; (ii) infrastructure development, $15 million; (iii) support for business development at small magazines, $5 million. So, where will the $10 million reduction be felt? Infrastructure-the funding that went to industry associations-which drops to $5 million. Clarke says the new allotments aren't set in stone. In addition to DCH's annual $35-million postal assistance program, Clarke says that the federal government will meet its objective with regard to the Canadian magazine industry, that is, to ensure that Canadians magazines continue telling Canadian stories.

March 04, 2003
Maclean's type face to be honoured
NEW YORK-Canada's national newsmagazine will be featured at an exhibition and in a book after its custom-made font was honoured at an international design competition. The Type Directors Club recently awarded Maclean's one of 15 Certificates of Excellence in Type Design. More than 120 entries from 20 countries were in the running. The award acknowledges the type face Maclean's Text created by Canadian typographer Rod McDonald specifically for the magazine. Outside of Canada, Maclean's Text is known as Laurentian.

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