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For many, the word “beaver” doesn’t necessarily conjure up thoughts of Canadian historical chronicles. This is partly why the Winnipeg-based history magazine, The Beaver, announced on Monday, Jan. 11 that it will change its name this coming April. Though the title wasn’t a racy innuendo when the magazine was founded in 1920, it’s now cited as a subscription turn-off for many readers, especially women under the age of 45.

Deborah Morrison, president and CEO of Canada`s National History Society, which publishes the soon-to-be-called Canada’s History, noticed that web traffic for the site averaged eight seconds. “And I have a feeling that might be because a lot of people going to the site weren’t exactly looking for Canadian history content,” she said.

The magazine’s furry moniker spans 90 years and has approximately 150,000 readers, but between inappropriate jabs and spam filter debacles, publishers felt that it was time to employ some pest removal. Market research illustrated that emphasizing online content would require some industrious rebranding. Publications’ web images are beginning to factor more prominently into how a magazine is packaged, and whether they can successfully cross-promote with other services and brands. This sharp-toothed rodent has built one too many dams and the price it will pay is being skinned online.

So though sex sells, it doesn’t appear to sell history.

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About the author

Adriana Rolston was the Director of Circulation and Advertising for the Summer 2010 issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

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