Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rogers Stops the Presses on 4 Magazines, Cuts Back Others Due to Print Revenue Drop

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rogers Stops the Presses on 4 Magazines, Cuts Back Others Due to Print Revenue Drop

Article excerpt

Rogers Media retrenches its magazine business

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TORONTO - Rogers Media announced Friday a sweeping overhaul of its magazines -- with Flare, Sportsnet, MoneySense and Canadian Business becoming online-only publications -- in response to declines in subscribers and print advertising revenue.

Other changes to take effect in January will see Maclean's, Chatelaine and Today's Parent cut the number of print editions that they publish. Maclean's, the national current affairs magazine founded more than a century ago, will go from weekly to monthly issues, while Chatelaine and Today's Parent will now be published six times a year.

"What we've seen is over the past five years a gradual dwindling of the subscriber business across most of our titles," Steve Maich, senior vice-president of digital content and publishing at Rogers Media, said in an interview.

"There are certainly exceptions. But the bigger issue is our ability to monetize those audiences through advertising. The magazine business held up relative to the newspaper business quite well for a long time, but in recent years what we've found is the advertising dedicated to Canadian magazines has started to drop off quite rapidly."

For instance, print advertising revenue for Rogers Media plunged more than 30 per cent this year compared to last, Maich said.

The Toronto-based media giant, a subsidiary of Rogers Communications, is also looking to sell all of its business-to-business magazines as well as its French publications. Maich said the company is already in active discussions with potential buyers and hopes to close those sales by the end of the year.

Maich could not say how many positions will be lost, but added the cuts won't be significant.

"There will be some job loss, particularly related to people whose jobs are overwhelmingly focused on print today," he said.

"But our decisions that we're announcing today are really not primarily focused on reducing our labour force. We're in the quality content business. We are already operating very efficiently and we think there's a big opportunity to deliver more digital content to our audiences."

Rogers Media said its subscribers can request full refunds on their accounts. …

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