Masthead Blogs
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
The Dec/Jan 2015 cover of Canada’s History magazine is set to hit newsstands on November 24th, 2014. The Last Spike cover, designed by James Gillespie, uses an iconic photograph to help sell the package of train stories. The cover quickly communicates the feature story…"radical clarity!"

This issue is being promoted heavily, as this time slot is typically the best each year.
 
Thursday, October 09, 2014
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
Rule #30: If it works, keep doing it.
 
November 1973 

December 1981

 March 1986

 February 1993 

 July 2006
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock

This November, Legion Magazine will publish their 6th SIP.  Now is your chance to help pick the cover. Vote here.
 

 

 
 
 
 

 
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
Just in time for the Christmas gift giving season, Diva’s Guide to Dinner Parties will hit newsstands the first week of November.

Distributed by Coast to Coast Newsstand Services, the title will be on sale nationally in all the top retail chains, and in the U.S. it will be exclusively available at Barnes & Noble. The cover price is $14.99.
 
 
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
EditFish
Jaclyn Law

 

Hello, everyone! It’s been a while, but Editfish is back in action.

I'm kicking off October with a round-up of resources and events, since I keep hearing how much you like these. If you’ve come across something that may be handy to other editors and writers, please share in the comments.

Steven Pinker at the Toronto Reference Library

On the evening of Oct. 24, bestselling author Steven Pinker is talking about his new book, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century, at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram and Bluma Appel Salon. The event is free, but you’ll need to reserve a ticket. (Can’t make it? The library often shoots videos – check the website later.)

INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair

Toronto is getting a brand-new book fair, coming up on Nov. 13 to 16 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The schedule is jam-packed with author appearances, workshops and cultural showcases. Tickets cost a very reasonable $15, with free re-entry; writers’ workshops start at $45 and include admission to the fair.

PWAC Twitter chats

All writers are welcome to take part in a new series of Twitter chats hosted by the Professional Writers Association of Canada. The free chats are planned for the first Thursday of each month at 11 a.m. (starting Oct. 2; follow hashtag #PWACchat). A short podcast or video serves as a starting point for the discussion – this week’s focus is a video by Steve Slaunwhite about copywriting techniques. (Disclosure: I’m the president of PWAC Toronto Chapter.)

Ladies Learning Code

Not just for ladies, this not-for-profit group makes learning to code fun and accessible. Courses are available in several cities across Canada. If you’re looking to build your computer skills (for example, learning HTML or CSS, or how to use Photoshop), check out the schedule.

Hacks/Hackers

I just learned about this from another freelancer, writer/photographer Corbin Smith, at PWAC’s recent Culture Days event about freelancing. Hacks/Hackers is an international grassroots journalism organization with a mission to create a network of hacks (journos) and hackers (technologists) to reboot journalism. It hosts meetups, workshops, demo days and more. Canadian chapters include Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
 
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
Art Director Amy McCleverty has just unveiled her “refreshed” new look for Motorcycle Mojo. The title has been on a roll of late, with the last nine straight issues outselling the same issue from prior year.

 

Here’s what Amy had to say about the re-design:

“We are very excited about our new look, a refresh was overdue! Freelance art director, Gary Davidson got the ball rolling with the new direction. Bold new fonts, big images and more white space give the magazine a fresh, modern look. Motorcycles are our reader’s passion, so we are keeping it fun and the focus on beautiful bikes, amazing travel, and industry news. The cover is very different, with a white bar behind the logo, which we hope will make us stand out from the crowd on the newsstand. It also allows for a sky bar that is legible and room for more photos. The cover lines are bold, and lots of them.”

 
 
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Gadget Blog
Martin Seto
The CRTC will be making some decisions about the digital airwaves very soon about what they will do with online video broadcasting and cable tv pricing models. The current market structure is an industry cartel model where supply economics are used by corporations to corner the market to ensure high profits. This page out of the corporate playbook, is not good for consumers, just look at how this is done in oil and gas markets, diamonds and the 407 toll roads in Toronto.
 
 
I have empathy for the CRTC as an instrument of public policy to ensure Canadian content and consumer protection is caught in middle of these market forces. The latest noise from the CRTC hearings, is in my opinion a witch hunt to get Neflix out of the Canadian market based on the Canadian content rules for broadcasters. When the cartel says Canadian jobs are at risk, the CRTC should ask them how much of their staff has been out sourced in the call centre, IT and accounting departments.

But is Netflix a broadcaster or a digital video entertainment subscription service that has no advertising or programming schedule, just on demand video downloads. So if Netflix is banned in Canada what will happen? The cartel will launch their own service, just like they did when they banned TIVO, a TV recording hardware device that was popular in the USA, but was packaged as a hardware upgrade for cable subscribers in Canada.

Now what are the implications for publishers that produce video channels of their content online will they be included in this new definition of broadcaster. Will these publishers be banned too or better yet regulated? If you have a YouTube channel will that be included too?  How about the CRTC try and ban Adult content digital channels instead, it will be a losing battle. Whatever happen to FREE TRADE, I guess this does not apply if the cartel’s profits are threatened.

I was one of the early cable chord cutters and I now get 20+ stations through an antennae as I did not want to pay $100 a month for cable TV anymore. I got a customer friendly internet service from TekSavvy for $40/mo for 300 GB and then got Netflix for $10/mo. I use a free Chrome browser plug-in that hids my identity (Hola Unblocker) on the internet and now I can now stream the USA version to my computer TV plus other stations like CBS, ABC, Fox and Hulu. Who needs to watch conventional cable TV anymore, except for live sports programming. I would like to buy a subscription to a sports channel, but I have to buy stations that I do not want, so I do not buy it. So I hope you will allow me to buy such a subscription when you make your final decision.

 
I believe that the Newton Law of physics applies here as for every action there is a corresponding opposite action and in this case the choices in underground economy of the internet will flourish instead. If you ban Netflix, there is already a service that is for free called Popcorn Time an open source project that looks and feels like Netflix that people can go to based in Europe. If the CRTC believes in freedom as a core value you will not succumb to the lobby efforts of the cartel in Canada, who btw are all saying the same thing in a concerted effort to control markets. Be aware that when somebody tries to control the internet the open source software community will step in and help out with some new code to share to circumvent that.

Now, if the CRTC can  look at the interesting pricing models for smartphones that are inflated in telco contracts, instead of being distracted with Netflix who provides great value to the 4 million+ Canadian households that use the service. I still can’t figure out how you can get a Apple iTouch for $200 but an iPhone costs $650 and all you get extra is the phone, now if you can stop this practice I will be impressed. The internet is a place where freedom and democracy flourishes as consumers can vote with their wallet as the internet has no geographic boundaries that can be controlled.

Yours Sincerely,

Thursday, September 18, 2014
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
The 2014 Hunting Annuals (SIPS) from Outdoor Canada and Ontario Out of Doors are on newsstands now.  Both covers are interesting, and each has taken a radically different approach to the cover design.

Outdoor Canada has produced a classic SIP. The mother brand is clearly identified in the upper left corner.  The word HUNTING played out loudly.  SPECIAL ISSUE in the traditional “sky bar” space at the top can’t be missed. The “celebrity” cover boy is a Giant Buck.   The main sell line in the classic position upper left, and is handled beautifully tucking in behind the left ear, with a blue “starburst” tucked under the right ear.  Lots of hooks with great benefit-oriented sell lines.

 

Ontario Out of Doors has opted for the “less is more” approach. The mother brand is handled nicely at the top right.  The word HUNTING is about as large and powerful as it could possibly be, with the word Annual in script layered nicely. This approach uses a montage of images, both predators and prey, that evoke the feeling of actually being out in the field.

Both covers are powerful in their own way.

Which cover do you like best and/or think will sell best?  Cast your Vote here.  We will report back later in the year as sales firm up.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
The September 2014 issue of Chatelaine features a “tumble” cover, according to Sarmistha Roy, the magazines consumer marketing manager.  

On one side, a fabulous food cover, flip it over and on the other side is a gorgeous beauty cover. It’s great to see such creativity and attention to detail on both these covers.

Tip of the cap to the entire team for what looks like a very hot issue.

 
 

Thursday, August 21, 2014
Gadget Blog
Martin Seto
Web publishing technologies have been very disruptive to newspaper business models by creating numerous challenges for the industry. It started with the drop in advertising revenue through free classified ad sites for jobs and products like Monster.com, Craig’s List, EBay and Kijiji. Players in the news industry have seen a TV station become an online news publisher, newspapers providing online video like TV, magazine publishers now publishing daily with video and tech companies producing news sites.

This has created a hyper-competitive online media landscape during this digital transformation of the media industry. I predict that we will see consolidation in the industry as the market can only support so many players in the Canadian market, as digital adoption starts to level out. We are already seeing some of those signs now in the marketplace.

The demise of print that has been predicted has not unfolded. I guess tech gurus can be wrong too or make exaggerated predictions to get headlines as "News" as a medium is as strong as ever according to this Newspapers Canada 2014 report (below). It shows that 86% of Canadians read a newspaper in print or digital every week, which has stayed the same over the past two years. How news is consumed today through traditional media like TV, radio and print methods has changed. Today 30% read news digitally with 50% of digital consumption via a tablet or smartphone, that means 70% still prefer print. 

According to NADbank in their 2013 report cumulative weekly newspaper audience is growing slightly (5.4% overall growth since 2009) with print staying about the same (0.2% decline since 2009) with growth attributed to digital. Cross platform usage saw 76% of website readers also read a printed edition of a newspaper. NADBank predicts that tablets will be the preferred everyday digital device long-term.

 
In the same report from Newspapers Canada they look at ad effectiveness vs. other media to demonstrate that newspapers still work as part of the media plan. Historically, this is why newspaper advertising was so effective and it looks like it is still true today. The effectiveness of the internet versus other media suggest that digital has one of the lowest levels of engagement. The numbers suggest that digital perhaps is now losing its luster as it matures with consumers and perhaps their share of people's time has peaked.

What the newspaper industry has yet to determine is how to monetize digital eyeballs after giving it away for free for so long. The newspaper pay wall that has been used the past two years with a 10 article free sample is now the new norm for some newspapers. The ad marketplace for digital is a buyer’s market with an oversupply scenario that generates low CPMs and ROI for publishers.

Newspapers Canada produces an annual conference INK+BEYOND that takes a look at issues and challenges facing newspapers, and showcases the latest innovations used by newspapers around the world. This event was in Charlottetown, PEI, on May 28-30 in 2014 and in 2015 it will be held in Toronto. I put together a roundtable of vendors that were pitching their wares at the event this year to share in a Part 2 of Tech Notes this summer. The vendors fall primarily in three general categories content creation, content production and ad sales support.
 
INK+BEYOND 2014  Vendor Roundtable
 
 
Affinity Express
Product: Advertising and media solutions
As the SMB marketing supply chain company, Affinity Express is the leading white label creative and production partner for companies that serve the marketing and advertising needs of SMBs. Its services are offered to tens of millions of companies under the guise of some of the most well-known media, internet and retail brands.
Affinity offers SMBs custom print, digital marketing and advertising services—including print ads, logos, websites, video ads and more—without adding fixed costs. Grow your digital ad business, using Affinity to create and traffic the ads. Drive new profitable revenue and improve advertiser loyalty with Affinity Express.
Website: www.affinityexpress.com
Kelly Glass: kellyg@affinityexpress.com, (847) 930-3205
 

 
BBM Analytics
Product: Newspaper Ad Tracking Service
In the increasingly competitive newspaper landscape, get a better understanding of who is advertising and your share of voice. BBM Analytics’ newspaper ad tracking services provides you with comprehensive and timely competitive intelligence at your fingertips. All advertising activity is tracked in daily newspapers in 7 key markets across Canada. The online database is easy to access and quickly identifies strategy, volume, messaging and placement of existing advertisers and more importantly who is not advertising. Contact us to find out how to use the service for new business development, smarter negotiations/selling or as value add for clients.
Website: www.bbmanalytics.ca
Michael Abraham, mabraham@bbmanalytics.ca,  416 847 2054
 

 
Business Wire       
Product: Commercial news distribution           
Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is the global leader in press release distribution and regulatory disclosure. Investor relations, public relations, public policy and marketing professionals rely on Business Wire to accurately distribute market-moving news and multimedia, host online newsrooms and IR websites, build content marketing platforms, generate social engagements and provide audience analysis that improves interaction with specified target markets.
 
Founded in 1961, Business Wire is a trusted source for news organizations, journalists, investment professionals and regulatory authorities, delivering news directly into editorial systems and leading online news sources via its multi-patented simultaneous NX Network. Business Wire has 32 offices worldwide to securely meet the varying needs of communications professionals and news consumers.
Website: www.businesswire.ca
Matthew Allinson, matthew.allinson@businesswire.com, (206) 405-4000
 

 
Fundata Canada
Product: Canadian Investment Funds database
In all areas of our business, from raw financial data feeds to hosted web solutions, our goal is to develop strong, long term client relationships and to become a trusted business partner for our clients. Fundata offers a variety of products and services that solve problems in a number of industries and businesses. Whether custom or white labeled, Fundata’s team of professionals can customized either solution to client specifications. The information we provide currently reaches over 80,000 financial advisors, millions of investors, and scores of institutions every day through our network of newspapers, web and corporate clients across North America.
Website: www.fundata.com
Brooke Biscoe, brooke.biscoe@fundata.com, (416) 445-7445
 

 
Libercus
Product: Cloud-based publishing CMS for media companies
Libercus is an efficient, economical and comprehensive cloud-based news publishing CMS designed for today’s digital and print media realties. Print, web, mobile, video, social media and e-Editions are published from one streamlined, modern platform. Journalists, editors, and production personnel work in Libercus. Libercus streamlines costs, uncertainty and vendor bloat impeding media companies in an era requiring innovation and speed.
 

Libercus is a single system, user interface and database. Browser-based and cloud-architected, Libercus is not a legacy CMS with multiple products, databases, and interfaces. It eliminates significant infrastructure and software expense. Content is delivered to multiple channels efficiently. Libercus delivers workflow flexibility and is cost effective in terms of total cost of ownership.
Website: www.libercus.com
Steve Lett,  steve.lett@libercus.com, (847) 274-0490
 
 
 
Metro Creative Graphics, Inc.
Product: Creative & Ad Development Solutions for Publishers
Metro Creative Graphics, Inc. helps today's media companies expand ad revenue by providing advertising, creative and editorial solutions for optimizing their print, online, mobile and social products. With an unparalleled dedication to providing the finest resources available for ready-to-use images, spec ads, sales ideas, stock-quality photos, logos/trademarks, auto manufacturer photos, marketing/sales materials, copyright-free editorial features, fully-templated print and online sections, and groundbreaking digital ad development tools -- including the new Metro interactive Ad Designer (MiAD) Mobile App for sales reps -- Metro services the creative and sales needs of today’s media companies.
Website: metrocreativeconnection.com
Jennifer Steiner, jsteiner@metro-email.com, (800) 223-1600
 

 
Myles Mellor Theme Crosswords
Product: Crosswords and puzzles         
Myles Mellor crosswords offers all types of crosswords, easy, medium, Sunday size and very large. You can also order sudokus, word searches, cryptograms, diagramless crosswords and anagrams (a form of jumble). Currently servicing over 90 community newspapers with syndicated content, Myles' service is personal and economical. The company also offers interactive crosswords, sudokus and word searches that can be solved online. Myles also writes theme crosswords for advertisers, a proven money-maker for newspapers using this service. 
Website: www.themecrosswords.com 
Myles Mellor, themecrosswords@gmail.com, (818) 890-8065
 

 
NEWSCYCLE Solutions
Product: Content, advertising, circulation and audience engagement
NEWSCYCLE Solutions - which was formed by the combination of DTI, SAXOTECH, MediaSpan, and the Atex AdBase business - delivers the most complete range of software solutions for the global news media industry, including news content management, advertising, circulation, audience, and analytics. NEWSCYCLE Solutions is a trusted technology partner serving more than 750 media companies with 8,000 properties across more than 30 countries on 6 continents. The company is headquartered in Bloomington, MN and has U.S. offices in Florida, Michigan and Utah; with international offices in Canada, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Website: www.newscyclesolutions.com
Rob Dumas, rdumas@mediaspangroup.com, (734) 887-4400
 

 
News-Net
Product: Ad management  & Digital Production Software
News-Net provides first-class software solutions, programming, integration and development to over 1,800 newspapers throughout North America. A trusted supplier to the publishing industry since its inception over 30 years ago, News-Net develops affordable cost-cutting and leading-edge technologies for Ad Management, CRM, Production Workflow, Pagination,Tearsheets and more. We offer complete services from consultation, installation, configuration, set-up & user training. News- Net has the right combination of professionals and expertise for delivering quality integrated solutions on time and in budget)
Website:  www.news-net.ca
Khymn Glover, khymn@news-net.ca, (905) 844-0524
 

 
Newspaper Toolbox
Product: Revenue-generating tools and ideas           
With over 700 subscriber clients in Canada, the USA, New-Zealand and Australia, Newspaper Toolbox is the premier sales building tool available to the newspaper industry today. Created by a professional team with more than 25 years of experience in the media industry, Newspaper Toolbox offers a wealth of ready-to-sell share pages, an online sales calendar, ready-to-sell concepts, reader contest concepts, special section packages, an extensive editorial library, money making ideas and a whole lot more. In essence, it is the best idea generator for revenues in small and medium size newspaper markets. With a brand new website, extensive archives and the launch of new services such as EZ Contest and EZ Newzsite, Newspaper Toolbox is helping publishers follow the money trail.           
Website: www.newspapertoolbox.com
Candide Grégoire, candide@newspapertoolbox.com, (877) 444-4034
 

 
Newzware/ICANON
Product: Publishing software and service solutions
Newzware Business System Software - The greatest performance value in the new media industry. Circulation, Display & Classified Advertising, Financial, Editorial and Ad Production tools are deployed separately or integrated as a complete publishing business environment. ICANON Services insure a legacy of performance with unequaled personal customer support. Stable ownership since 1990, innovative solutions that keep pace with technology demands and cost effective ownership including free license upgrades make Newzware the smartest decision you can make. Installation can be either premise based or hosted as a cloud resource in our secure datacenters. Your unique product deserves the flexibility of Newzware.
Website: www.newzware.com
Gary Markle, gmarkle@icanon.com, (215) 822-5519
 

 
PressReader
Product: Digital distribution and publishing solutions
PressReader, a Vancouver-based company, is the global leader in multi-channel, cross-platform content distribution and monetisation, and the chosen partner of more than 4,000 publishers from over 100 countries.
 
PressReader connects local, national and international newspaper and magazine publishers with readers around the globe and across all platforms including web, iOS, Android, Android for Amazon, Windows 8 and BlackBerry 10. It offers the world’s most engaging reading experience to millions of readers and can be found in thousands of libraries, hotels, airlines, corporate and government offices, and aboard cruise ships worldwide, providing publishers with new revenue opportunities and increased global circulation.
 
PressReader Technology, a fully customizable digital publishing solution, helps publishers of all sizes and media types digitise and monetise their content on all devices and platforms. This award-winning solution offers an enhanced digital edition experience with its intelligent multimedia features and functionality.
Website: about.pressreader.com 
Nikolay Malyarov, publishing@pressreader.com, (604) 278-4604
 

 
Research and Analysis of Media
Product: Media Research for Advertisers
In today’s competitive marketplace, advertisers demand solutions that provide quick and accurate results regardless of media choice.  Knowing what your customers think is exceptionally valuable. Our role at RAM is to help you understand how the market and your audience connects with your brand.
At RAM we provide unique and strategic solutions with relevant insights to help increase our clients’ revenue, grow their audience and give them a clear understanding of the markets in which they operate, be it local, regional or national. Everybody Wins.
Website: www.rampanel.com
Ryan Busch, ryan.busch@rampanel.com, (904) 206 2160 

Most Recent Blog Comment
Mara says:
Great list, Jaclyn! Pinker is sold out, but his interview with Anna Maria Tremonti is on the CBC we...
Tipline
Firings, hirings, imminent closures, new launches, fallings-out, alliances—provide the lead in the space below and we’ll get to the bottom of it. While discretion is assured, our Tipline is anonymous.