Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Archive for the ‘New and Net-worthy’ Category

The Covid Curve

Posted by Scott On May - 22 - 2020


This snap shot graph shows Canadian newsstand sales over the past 13 weeks for some of Canada’s top retailers or magazines.

(Wal Mart, Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, Save-On Foods, and London Drugs).

It clearly shows the roller-coaster ride that magazines have been on since Covid-19 became our new reality.

The good news is that in we now see that all the major chains–with the exception of Loblaws– is showing magazine sales above levels we were at as an industry before the Covid crisis.

Plus, it was announced this week that Chapters/Indigo stores will be re-opening next week.


Micheal Fox purchases Canadian Woodworking

Posted by Scott On February - 26 - 2020

In a press release this week, it was announced that Michael Fox and his company Inspiring Media, has purchased Canadian Woodworking Magazine:

Now in its 21st year, Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement is building for the future with
investment from its new owner – Inspiring Media Inc.

Paul and Linda Fulcher created Sawdust Media Inc. to publish the magazine from their home in Burford,
Ontario, in 1999. Under their care, the brand has grown to become Canada’s #1 DIY resource, with 20,000
print circulation and a website with more than 600,000 monthly page views for home owners actively
involved in maintaining and improving their home and furnishings.

Michael Fox, president of Inspiring Media, is now the publisher of Canadian Woodworking & Home
Improvement. Paul and Linda will continue to be involved in assuring the magazine’s continued success,
with Paul as Director of Sales/Associate Publisher and Linda advising on business matters. Carl Duguay
and Rob Brown continue on as web editor and print editor, respectively.

Paul says: “When Linda and I first took on Canadian Woodworking, we sought out and attended workshops
led by Michael, because he was the leader in the industry – and we have looked up to him ever since. Now
we look forward to working with him to grow the brand.”

Sawdust Media, under the leadership of Michael Fox, is committed to maintaining the company’s high level
of content. Over the coming year there will be new initiatives with an increased emphasis on skill building,
in-depth product reviews, and an expansion of the company’s social media presence.

Michael says: “I’ve watched Paul and Linda grow their publication over the past 20 years, and am truly
excited to now be able to contribute directly to its growing success.”

From a newsstand perspective, Canadian Woodworking has been on a roll.

  • In 2016, newsstand was up 49%, with 5 of 6 issues posting gains
  • In 2017, newsstand was up 21%, with 5 of 6 issues posting gains
  • In 2018, newsstand was up 39%, with of 5 of 6 issues posting gains
  • In 2019, newsstand was up 17%, with 5 of 6 issues posting gains…plus 3 of the issues were Record Breakers for their time slots!

NewsGroup Creates Cool Mag Video

Posted by Scott On November - 7 - 2019

I just received a very cool video from Roma Slaney at the NewsGroup.

Check it out…it makes you feel good about magazines!




Legion Video Nominated

Posted by Scott On October - 4 - 2019

The Legion magazine is proud to announce that it has been nominated as a finalist in the Canadian Online Publishing Awards for its Battle of the Atlantic video.  The Press Release says:

Canvet Publications Ltd. has been named a finalist in the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards for Best Video Content for the Military Moments video Battle of the Atlantic narrated by Alan Doyle.

The video—narrated by Canadian musician and artist Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea—takes us back to Sept. 3, 1939, when a German U-boat torpedoed the ocean liner SS Athenia just hours after Britain had declared war on Germany. The Battle of the Atlantic was Canada’s longest campaign of the Second World War.

Other finalists in this category include Huffington Post Canada, Huffington Post Quebec, Canada’s History Magazine and Hakai Magazine. The 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards take place in Toronto in November.



National Enquirer sold to Wholesaler

Posted by Scott On April - 19 - 2019

USA wholesaler James Cohen will be the new owner of the National Enquirer, Globe and National Examiner, according to a press release.  AMI said it had reached an agreement in principle with Mr. Cohen to sell the titles.

According to a BBC article, “The sale terms were not disclosed but the Washington Post reported a sale price of $100 million.”

The BBC article goes on to say, “The sale of these brands shows their vitality in today’s newsstand marketplace where they continue to generate nearly $30 million in profit annually,” AMI chief executive David Pecker said.

AMI recently acquired the former NewsGroup USA wholesale agencies, as well as Co Mag, the USA’s largest national distributor, who recently had acquired Coast to Coast Newsstand Services in Canada.

McNallay Robinson Top Sellers for September

Posted by Scott On October - 11 - 2018

Three of the top ten best-selling magazines for the month of September at venerable bookseller McNally Robinson are clients.

  1. Prairies North
  2. Canada’s History
  3. Canadian House & Home

Quality Canadian Content Sells!

Word on The Street (Don’t Miss it)

Posted by Scott On September - 24 - 2018

The Word On The Street is back next weekend with two days of provocative readings and conversation! Join us for a special series on Careers in Canadian Magazines. Learn from magazine editors, designers, freelancers, and fundraisers. Whether your goal is to get paid for your writing or to start your own magazine we’ve got experts to walk you through it. Featuring panel discussions on criticism, opinion writing, digital journalism and the interplay between editorial vision and design. Sunday, September 23. 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Habourfront Centre. Funded by the Government of Canada.


Coast to Coast Sold to Comag

Posted by Scott On May - 9 - 2018

In a Press Release this morning, it was announced that Coast to Coast is being sold to Comag, a U.S.-based national distributor, formally owned by Conde Naste & Hearst. has been advised that a Canadian office will be maintained, and some key account services professionals will be kept on board the new merged entity.

The Press Release is below:

Joint Announcement
May 9, 2018
Coast to Coast Newsstand Services Partnership (CTC) and Comag Marketing Group Canada Inc. (CMGC), today announced an agreement whereby CMGC would purchase the assets of CTC effective January 1, 2019.

Jay Felts, President of CMGC, stated “the CMG team is excited and looking forward to enhancing and growing its services and offerings across Canadian Publishers and Retailers. The consolidation of these two companies will help offset the effect of declining sales and will ensure that Canadian publishers continue to be well represented on the newsstands”.

Dan Shapiro, Managing Director of CTC, expressed his sincere thanks to all the great CTC associates that have worked so diligently over the years to make CTC the leading National Distributor for Canadian publications. “I’m disappointed that CTC will not be carrying on after January 1, 2019, but am gratified that our clients will continue to receive expert quality service through CMGC. Continuous sales declines throughout our entire eco system put the sustainability of CTC in jeopardy.”

Glenn Morgan, President of CTC, will continue in his current role after the acquisition, which will help to ensure a smooth transition for CTC clients. Glenn is looking forward to working with CMGC and making this change successful.
Coast to Coast is a partnership owned by Rogers Communications and the major Canadian Magazine wholesalers.
Comag Marketing Group Canada Inc. is a major National Distributor representing approximately 50% of US publishing volume in Canada. CMGC Inc is owned by The Jim Pattison Group.

For more information contact Dan Shapiro: or Jay Felts:

Covers as Social Media Tool

Posted by Scott On February - 28 - 2018

This article was forwarded to me by a client, and I thought it noteworthy.  It came from Free Port Press.

The editor of New York magazine is of course right, but keep in mind, the newsstand has never been a significant piece of New York’s rate base story.  So he has the luxury of being provocative and a bit cavalier about the newsstand.  With that said, the cover certainly has multiple purposes these days, that’s for sure.

The magazine cover – once a key element in making a title stand out on the newsstand – has evolved to a new purpose.

“The cover is no longer really to sell magazines on the newsstand,” explains Adam Moss, EIC of New York Magazine.

“As newsstands have become so much less important to all of us, the cover has a different function. It is basically the brand statement of what we make,” Moss says in an interview with Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni. “It declares what we think is important or interesting; it declares our voice. Also, it’s an amazing document for the purposes of social media. Social media takes your cover and distributes it all over the place and it becomes an advertisement for the magazine that’s actually more important than it was originally meant to be when it was to stimulate newsstand sales.”

Coming from Moss, the longest-serving editor-in-chief of New York Magazine, this statement has a particular resonance. What it tells us two things:

  1. He is keenly aware of the changes in the industry and the impact of social media; and
  2. He is not lamenting those changes but rather embracing them and the new opportunities they bring.

He is, as Husni reminds us, a charter member in the “Print Proud, Digital Smart” club, understanding the true role of print in the changing media landscape. Moss balances print with digital in the spirit of a true leader.

“By hiring good people who know things that you don’t know,” he tells Husni. “And then you learn from them and try to help them think about things in a certain way, but essentially you let them do their jobs. As everything gets more complicated, the role of an editor is to hire specialists and let them do their thing.”

When we talk about the changing role of the magazine cover, that “thing” is relying less on eyeballs at the newsstand and more about showcasing the brand and making the cover image socially irresistible.

“Social media takes your cover and distributes it all over the place and it becomes an advertisement for the magazine that’s actually more important than it was originally meant to be when it was to stimulate newsstand sales,” Moss continues.

He’s careful to not speak in terms of “good” or “bad” regarding the changes in the magazine industry; rather he takes a balanced approach.

“I try not to think in those terms [of good or bad], because everything is both,” he explains. “Things change; there’s no fighting the things that change. And you just have to adjust to them and think of them as opportunities and not as problems. And I think basically most of the changes have been, not all, but most, have been for the better.”

Designing covers in the new magazine market means understanding the significant change that’s taken place. Of course, consulting the newsstand experts on your team is always a positive; just be sure you’re talking to the social side as well. Exceptional cover design is a collaborative endeavor and one of the most visible parts of the magazine industry.

The New York Magazine is one title that continues to get it very, very right.



Let the Mocking Begin

Posted by Scott On October - 19 - 2017

It was just a matter of time until some clever art director would do a mocking/mock cover like this one.

The Harvey Weinstein revelations have been very damning of Hollywood culture.


About Me

Scott Bullock is a veteran circulation expert with over 38 years experience in both Canada and the United States. He has worked on trade titles such as Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal and Small Press in the USA. In consumer magazines, Scott was the Circulation Director for D Magazine (the city magazine of Dallas, Texas), and in Canada he was the Circulation Director for Toronto Life, Fashion, and Canadian Art. From 2000 to 2004, Scott was a partner at Coast to Coast Newsstand Services. Scott has also held the post of VP Sales & Marketing, for CDS Global, Canada. Currently, CoversSell.Com is Scott’s circulation consultancy. Active clients include: Fly Fusion, Canadian Geographic, Canadian House & Home, Canada’s History, Canadian Real Estate Wealth, Canadian Woodworking, Canadian Cycling, Canadian Running, Canadian Scrapbooker, Legion, Harrowsmith, SkyNews, and SuperTrax.



    Activate the Flickrss plugin to see the image thumbnails!