Rogers Media Inc. has shuffled the senior ranks of its leading business and finance magazines in an effort to cut costs and focus increasingly on a core audience of senior business leaders.
Duncan Hood will be the new editor-in-chief at MoneySense, and also assumes a new role as director of personal finance for Rogers Publishing. He will be responsible for expanding personal finance coverage across all of the company’s brands, including in magazines such as Chatelaine and Today’s Parent.
Filling Mr. Hood’s former role as editor-in-chief at Canadian Business is deputy editor James Cowan, who joined the magazine nearly five years ago. Jonathan Chevreau leaves the editor-in-chief’s job at MoneySense, but will stay with the magazine as editor-at-large, focusing more on writing and speaking.
The changes announced Wednesday in an internal memo from Steve Maich, senior vice-president and general manager of publishing at Rogers, also eliminated three jobs at Canadian Business. The Globe and Mail confirmed through a spokesperson that the people affected were managing editor Conan Tobias, senior writer Matthew McClearn and online editor Trevor Melanson.
“Frankly, it was primarily about cost savings,” Mr. Maich said of the job losses, noting in an interview that both magazines have “been performing quite well.”
But Mr. Maich also hopes the leadership changes will help the magazines take advantage of new opportunities with readers. The shift at Canadian Business won’t be radical, but after listening to subscribers and market research, the division is betting its “opportunity to win” is in speaking more directly to executives and entrepreneurs. “It’s a matter of what you choose to emphasize.”
The planned expansion of personal finance coverage, led by Mr. Hood, could reach outside magazines to the company’s broadcast properties, which include 52 radio stations and the City and Omni television networks.
In November, Rogers slashed 94 jobs in its media division. The publishing arm has no plans for further layoffs, Mr. Maich said, but the landscape for print publications is “changing extraordinarily fast” as digital strategies evolve and advertising revenue continues to decline.
“The challenges that both these publications face are the same challenges that we’re seeing across the entire media industry, which is a challenge with advertising revenue,” he said.
Last fall, the publishing arm of Rogers, which also includes titles such as Maclean’s, FLARE and Sportsnet Magazine, made a major bet to attract more readers in launching Next Issue Canada, led by former publishing head Ken Whyte. The digital subscription service bundles tablet access to more than 100 magazines – including Canadian Business and MoneySense, as well as U.S. powerhouses like The New Yorker and Sports Illustrated – for between $9.99 and $14.99 a month.