“Rogers Media Unveils New Magazine Content Strategy” reads the press release, in typical vague fashion. The upshot is that Rogers is making severe cuts to its magazine portfolio, moving some online-only, reducing publication frequencies of others (including Maclean’s), and selling off the rest.
Except Hello! Canada, the celeb gossip mag. Nothing’s changing there.
Going out of print (but keeping websites “with new content posted daily”):
- Flare (was 12 issues a year)
- Sportsnet Magazine (was 15 issues a year)
- MoneySense (was 8 issues a year)
- Canadian Business (was 16 issues a year)
- Maclean’s (from weekly to monthly)
- Chatelaine (from monthly to 6x a year)
- Today’s Parent (from monthly to 6x a year)
- All business-to-business publications (including Canadian Grocer and Marketing)
- L’actualité (18 issues a year)
- Châtelaine (French, 12 issues a year)
- LOULOU (French and English, 8 issues a year each)
The changes take effect in January. The notice to subscribers says the French magazines will “cease publication” in December, which means if a buyer isn’t found by then, they’re going to shut down.
The fact that Rogers is openly putting these magazines up for sale suggests that obvious potential buyers are not interested (i.e. TVA Publications). But maybe there’s some deep-pocketed person who would be willing to give L’actualité a second chance.
This news comes the same week Rogers announced the shutdown of shomi, its subscription video-on-demand service. You have to wonder what’s next, and in particular what this might mean for Texture, its bulk magazine subscription app. (Rogers tells the Financial Post that Texture makes a profit.)
No word on how many jobs will be lost as a result of these changes. How many magazines are sold versus shut down will have a big impact on that number.
And colour me pessimistic on the future of magazines that have been turned into digital-only publications. Just about every print publication that has gone online-only in the past has eventually been shut down all together.