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

Campbell River Search and Rescue to be called in to search for Kelly McLoed

If you come across a groundsearch team tomorrow, listen to them.

North Island candidates chime in on Indigenous rights

Should we adopt the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People into Canadian law?

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

RCMP members search shore along Stories Beach

Ground search not thought to be related to Oct. 16 homicide: RCMP

Gold River student designing snake habitat

Daniel Kornylo hopes invention will prevent pet snakes from getting injured

VIDEO: First all-female spacewalk team makes history

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir did work on International Space Station’s power grid

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read