Monday, January 12, 2004


No it's not a traffic report about gridlock in Podunk. But rather a news story about the closure of a Canadian Magazine.

From the CBC:
Elm Street magazine ends 7-year run
Last Updated Sat, 10 Jan 2004 21:33:53
TORONTO - Blaming changes in government funding and the methods used to set industry advertising rates, the publisher of Elm Street says it is shutting down the magazine.

St. Joseph Media made the announcement Friday, saying also it will increase the frequency of another magazine it publishes Saturday Night.

Published six times a year by St. Joseph Media, Elm Street was on Canadian newsstands for seven years.

It aimed to reach a "highly educated, urban, affluent" and mostly female audience with a mix of fashion, food, and home design, the company said.

In a statement, St. Joseph Media said the magazine was hurt by changes to how the Print Measurement Bureau measures readership. PMB surveys help publications set advertising rates.

The company also said it lost funding when the federally-run Canadian Magazine Fund ended its financial support of Elm Street.

All Elm Street employees will be absorbed in other areas of the company, St. Joseph Media said.

Elm Street The Look, an offshoot magazine, will continue publishing four issues a year instead of two.

Saturday Night, distributed through the National Post newspaper, will increase to 10 issues a year, from its previous six. St. Joseph Media bought the 116-year-old Saturday Night from CanWest Global Communications two years ago.

Written by CBC News Online staff

Apparently the magazine could not reach it's target group of educated, rich, working women. One can only guess the reason for the lack of connect between the target and the targeted. Having only browsed through the magazine a few times (when I purchased it as a gift for someone else, thank you very much) it seemed to try to be too many things under one cover. Part Atlantic, part People and part Martha Stewart Living. Suspect that most folks just wanted their celebrity stuff in one dedicated magazine, their heavy thinking material in another. Also never a good sign when you depend on government funding for survival, once you start counting on the handouts for your daily reason to exist; indeed your days are numbered.

Most of the writers from Elm Street will probably find a kind hearted editor (yeah sure like they exist huh) at a few other publications. I see Saturday Night will expand it's run, given out free with the National Post it has a ready built audience. And the Walrus launched a couple of months ago, it seems to be more of what Elm Street might have wanted to be without the celeb stuff and other diversions.

However, it's always a little bit sad when a journal for free expression can't make it.

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