Announced in a letter to shareholders on June 9, Media Central CEO Brian Kalish has stated they will shift Now Magazine and the Georgia Straight’s focus away from the arts coverage.
“We have re-focused editorial categories at NOW Magazine and the Straight to ensure we’re capturing our readers requirements around new markets, e.g., eliminating a focus on venues and arts and instead driving a focus on health, education, finance and esports.”
Media Central acquired a cash-strapped NOW Magazine for $2M in November 2019, and in February 2020, acquired Vancouver’s Georgia Straight, which has been operating for 53 years.
While both publications have a long history of reporting on local arts events happening in Toronto and Vancouver, Media Central is looking to shift editorial focus towards newer, more lucrative growth areas which are closely aligned with marketing and sales.
“We have implemented a new omnichannel approach to publishing, one that merges: Editorial with Marketing and Sales. This is a fundamental change in how the legacy titles we purchased had been operating for the past 40 to 50 years.”
The company has responded to the decline in advertising revenue due to COVID-19 crisis by cutting monthly costs by $300,000. Kalish stated they plan to maintain more than half the cuts after advertising returns to normal.
The company has recently beta-launched ecentralsports.com, a new digital platform covering e-sports and e-gaming.