The Hockey News goes glossy

The bi-weekly puck pub ditched newsprint for readers and advertisers, and is already seeing results.

When the Hockey News hits the stands later this month, it could get two minutes for looking so good.

The venerable publication of puck lovers has, for the first time in its 63-year history, gone completely glossy, and slightly altered its logo.

The changes were for both readers and advertisers, Caroline Andrews, group publisher, Transcontinental Media, tells MiC.

‘There are two reasons we wanted to go to glossy,’ she says. ‘The first reason was it looks much more beautiful and we know readers will appreciate it. The second reason is…a lot of companies were saying, ‘we want to align ourselves with your brand, but we don’t go in newsprint.”

The change is already paying off, despite a 10% increase in ad rates. The Hockey News, which has 26 issues per year, averaged 48 pages per issue last year. The first glossy issue came in at 60 pages and the next one is tracking at 72 pages.

Though details aren’t finalized, there will be an ad campaign later this month to promote the glossy relaunch.

The publication switched to magazine format in 2007, with a glossy cover but newsprint pages. Andrews had wanted to go full glossy at the time but was forced to take smaller steps.

She’s not finished with changes at the magazine. The publication’s mobile app won top prize in its category at the 2010 Canadian Online Publishing Awards in October, and Andrews wants to continue to innovate. Improvements to online and video are next on the plate. A third special issue (there are usually two per year) is also expected before Christmas.