Blue Ant, Keywest bring Outdoor titles under one roof

The new company, Outdoor Group Media, will extend the reach of four regional mags.

According to Terry Sellwood, president of Cottage Life Media at Blue Ant Media, the magazine business these days is simple.

“You can close, keep publishing as-is or form a strategic partnership,” Sellwood tells MiC.

Sellwood’s comments come as Blue Ant Media on Tuesday announced the creation of a new media company in partnership with Vancouver-based Keywest Marketing called Outdoor Group Media.

The complex partnership sees Blue Ant Media selling a 50% stake in its Outdoor Canada magazine to the newly created company, while Keywest sells 50% of its stake in mags BC OutdoorsWestern Sportsman and Outdoor Edge into the new company as well.

Sellwood will sit on Outdoor Group Media’s board of directors, alongside Al Zikovitz, president and CEO of Cottage Life Media and Mark Yelic, president at KeyWest Marketing. Yelic will also act as publisher of the group, leading the day-to-day operations.

Outdoor Group Media will have no fixed office, with the team spread across Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton, Sellwood says.

Sellwood says the new company creates the opportunity for the titles to expand their reach, providing audiences and advertisers access to more national content as well as regional reporting. That mix of national and local is important with hunting and fishing, he says, because of the regional regulatory differences.

Prior to the deal, Outdoor Canada didn’t have the same reach out west, and the Keywest titles didn’t have access to eastern audiences.

Overall, Outdoor Group Media will give advertisers access to a base of 200,000 subscribers and 2.7 million hunting and fishing enthusiasts.

Blue Ant Media first became involved with Keywest Marketing when it sold its magazine Explore to the company and picked up its Cottage title in 2012, says Sellwood.

The move to increase the reach of the outdoor titles comes a week after PostMedia announced it was acquiring Quebecor Media’s 175 Sun Media titles, a move that Paul Godfrey, president and CEO at Postmedia, said gives the company the scale necessary to compete against larger foreign-owned digital companies like Google and Yahoo.