Znaimer takes over boomer-gen mag, org

Looks like mighty Moses, who has just acquired CARP, wants to do for fogies what he did for youth with the Citytv machine. At least one media strategist is hopeful that 'we'll have a new MuchMusic phenomenon on our hands.'

With the same vision and flair that transformed a small Toronto TV station into the youth-oriented Citytv juggernaut, Moses Znaimer has been turning his attention to a much older crowd.

Last year, the ideas-spinning mogul acquired classical radio station 96.3. Just before ’08 began, he pulled off what the news media is calling a ‘takeover’ of Canada’s Association for the 50 Plus. CARP is the 400,000-member company that unites and lobbies for relatively affluent boomer-age consumers, and publishes CARP magazine (circulation approximately 190,000) plus e-newsletters and websites including 50plus.com.

The first move of Znaimer’s company, Fifty-Plus.Net International, is expected to be the launch of a fashion/lifestyle magazine for the mature demographic, which may be titled Zoomer. The zippy moniker would be a far cry from the stodgy-sounding CARP, which may be morphed from a glossy magazine to a tabloid newspaper. Former Flare editor Suzanne Boyd (pictured) will head up the new publication. She recently returned to Toronto after the demise of Suede, the Time-Warner magazine aimed at African-American women, which published only four issues.
Will marketers and their media strategists scramble aboard the proven money-maker’s next venture? ‘I was very excited to hear that Moses Znaimer bought CARP,’ PHD Canada portfolio director Brenda Bookbinder tells MiC. ‘It’s great for someone with his background of success and intuition on the pulse of what’s going on to confirm my feeling that the boomers are the great untapped market.

‘With their disposable income at an all-time high, and their sheer numbers, this should be a wake-up call’ to advertisers who are fixated on the 18-34 market, she adds. ‘This target is important and worthwhile. Hopefully, Znaimer can vamp up CARP news to be as hip and exciting as the target he is aiming for – and we’ll have a new MuchMusic phenomenon on our hands.’