Rogers sells flagship magazines Maclean’s, Chatelaine in deal with St. Joseph

In November Rogers Media sold its MoneySense personal finance website

The publisher of Toronto Life, Weddingbells and Fashion Magazine will acquire the last of Rogers Media’s consumer-oriented print and digital publications in a deal that seems at odds with the prevailing pessimism about traditional media.

Seven print and digital titles — including Maclean’s and the French and English versions of Chatelaine — will move from Rogers Media to St. Joseph Communications, a privately owned printing and publishing company based in Toronto.

READ MORE: Netflix doesn’t want to pay into Canadian Media Fund

Tony Gagliano, the executive chairman and CEO of St. Joseph Communications, said he sees untapped opportunities with consumers and advertisers by adding the Rogers titles.

“What we have done — I think what we’re good at — is finding new revenue opportunities, where sometimes traditional advertising has fallen by the wayside,” Gagliano said Wednesday in an interview.

Its Toronto Life, he said, has had double-digit revenue growth “and more than that in profitability growth” for the last two years.

In part, that growth was fuelled by more special events and through a membership benefit program, he said.

“Because of that, the brand becomes very important to them. The more important the brand comes the stronger revenue opportunities we have, the stronger profitability opportunities we have,” Gagliano said.

“Data is very important to us as well,” he said. “That a new model … that is very different from a traditional advertising model.”

By analyzing the interests and behaviours of readers and audiences — a technique used by search engine and social media companies — traditional publishers and broadcasters are offering advertisers more targeted access to consumers.

By adding the Rogers titles to its own, St. Joseph will add data about a number of important market segments such as fashion and beauty, parenting, and current affairs.

St. Joseph’s deal with Rogers Media includes Today’s Parent and Hello! Canada, as well as the digital publications Flare and Canadian Business, which no longer have print editions, and a custom content business.

Gagliano also said he thinks there’s been too much emphasis on digital media over printed magazines, books and catalogues, which have the advantage of providing a selection of portable content without extensive internet searching.

“I think it’s going to come back in favour of print in time when people see the benefits of it,” he said. “I think there’s obviously room for both.”

The companies said Wednesday that St. Joseph will offer jobs to all current employees of Rogers Media Publishing. They account for about 125 full-time positions within Rogers Media, which has about 2,650 full-time employees overall

The transaction comes a year after Apple Computer Inc. acquired the Texture magazine app and service from Next Issue Media LLC, a partnership formed years earlier by Rogers Media, Time Inc., Hearst and Conde Nast.

In November, Rogers Media sold its MoneySense personal finance website to Ratehub, a Toronto-based company that owns an online comparison site for financial products

That was followed by months of unconfirmed reports that the media arm of Rogers Communications Inc. had been negotiating with various groups to sell its remaining consumer publications.

As with the other divestitures, financial terms of the Rogers-St. Joseph deal weren’t disclosed.

Rogers Media’s exit from magazine publishing comes as its parent — one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies — repositions its media business, which includes the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team, the Sportsnet specialty TV channel as well as radio and local TV stations.

“It was a difficult decision, but one we believe is right as we accelerate our strategic vision and reposition our media business for the future,” Rick Brace, president of Rogers Media, said in a statement.

“We are extremely proud of these iconic magazine brands and all the employees who have delivered high-quality content for decades and helped shape Canadian culture and conversation.”

David Paddon, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Kenney talks pipelines with Trudeau after election win, calls it cordial

Almost a year ago Kenney dismissed Trudeau as a dilettante and a lightweight

ELECTION DAY: Lacombe-Ponoka heads to the polls

Voters came out to the Lacombe Memorial Centre to pick the next MLA of Lacombe-Ponoka

Avalanche hot at the right time, cruise past Flames into second round

Avalanche onto second round with a 5-1 win over the Calgary Flames in Game 5

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

Most Read