I’ve developed an aversion to checking D.B. Scott’s Canadian Magazines blog. Not because the items aren’t timely, relevant, sometimes even charmingly quirky (like the link to the Cheese or Font?game that appeared a few months ago). It’s just that these days scanning the site is what it must have been like to read the daily reports of dead and wounded the papers ran during world wars.
The latter-day version is news like 900 layoffs at Rogers, a major shakeup at Transcontinental or—the one that really hit me this week—the whacking of the most recent Chatelaine editor, Maryam Sanati, after a year and a half in the top spot. She was the third person to cycle through the role since Rona Maynard’s departure in late 2004, and the longest survivor: Kim Pittaway lasted nine months, Sara Angel, 13. Bets are now being placed on the longevity of Sanati’s successor, Jane Francisco, late of Style at Home (although not that late—she only arrived in June).
Chatelaine isn’t the only book churning through editors, but it’s currently the most extreme example in the big-circ consumer category. Each time this happens, there’s a ripple effect: less-senior editors are canned, the art department shaken up, loyal freelancers replaced by “fresh voices.” It makes me glad I opted for teaching over the mag trade during the early ’90s recession. It’s too brutal out there.