New Opportunities for Canadian Freelance Writers

Winnipeg, MB-based publisher Market Zone Productions has launched, or will launch, three new magazines this year, all to be written mostly by freelance writers.

Western Farm Family magazineWESTERN FARM FAMILY was mailed in April to 22,000 farm families in Manitoba.  It is a magazine about the lives of farmwomen and features profiles of women with farm backgrounds.  Topics covered include raising children, finances, and health issues.

Green Builder Canada magazineGREEN BUILDER CANADA will be sent in September to construction contractors, home builders, land developers, architects, engineers, interior designers, and property managers, as well as government agencies and municipal offices.  13,000 copies will be distributed nationally.  It will focus on trends and products geared towards environmentally friendly, sustainable practices in the construction business.  Its debut issue consists of a recap of the annual Canada Green Building Council National Summit and a feature story on one of the “greenest structures” in the country, the Manitoba Hydro building.

GREEN MECHANICAL JOURNAL is scheduled to reach 7,500 Canadian contractors and municipal offices by October.  It also covers green practices, but it is too early in its development for details.
Canadian School Counsellor magazine cover
In addition, the company launched CANADIAN SCHOOL COUNSELLOR and has already increased that magazine’s circulation from 2,700 to 3,500.

Vibe Finally Bites the Dust

Vibe magazineVIBE, the urban-music magazine founded by Quincy Jones, will cease publication effective yesterday, June 30, due to “lack of additional financial investments.”

Danyel Smith, Vibe’s editor-in-chief wrote:

“On behalf the VIBE CONTENT staff (the best in this business), it is with great sadness, and with heads held high, that we leave the building today.  We were assigning and editing a Michael Jackson tribute issue when we got the news.  It’s a tragic week in overall, but as the doors of VIBE Media Group close, on the eve of the magazine’s sixteenth anniversary, it’s a sad day for music, for hip hop in particular, and for the millions of readers and users who have loved and who continue to love the VIBE brand.  We thank you, we have served you with joy, pride and excellence, and we will miss you.”

The magazine has been stumbling along for several years, dropping ad pages 36% since 2005 and with newsstand sales falling 11% in the second half of 2008 from the previous year.  The owner, Wicks Group of Companies, last February cut Vibe’s circulation 25%, reduced its frequency from 12 to 10 issues a year, and slashed salaries 10% to 15% but neither was of any help.

The future of the music magazine genre looks bleak.  BLENDER is gone, ROLLING STONE and SPIN ad pages are down 21% and 26%, respectively.  And, THE SOURCE, XXL, FADER, PASTE – all hanging on by their fingernails.