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Publisher Round Up Q1 2013: AOL, Rogers Yahoo, Microsoft, Postmedia, Transcontinental

There has been a lot of movement in the last three months as we look back at the digital landscape across Canada for the first quarter for 2013. Advertising agencies have been racing to fill vacant holes as there has flood of Creative Directors shifting from one agency to another such as here and here.

Let’s drill down on some of the bigger publishers in the digital game and recap what they’ve been up to:

AOLAOL Canada – there was a time when we all associated AOL with those CDs (remember those things) that we’d get from RBC in hopes we’d sign up for the America Online Service?  Well that was then, and since that time AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong has made a number of significant acquisitions that have turned AOL back into a darling on Wall Street. Here in Canada, Graham “The Turn Around King” Moysey has assembled a stellar team that have created and executed a value proposition through the various AOL properties they continue to “unleash” on the market. He’s been able to execute on such a strong level HQ has even given him global role.   AOL Canada also launched their video network, which of course they will hire more talent.

Bell Media – video is hot as publishers look for new ways to engage with their audiences, Bell Media is looking to do just that with its new online series.

CBC –  announced a Branded Entertainment Initiative which should give their bottom line a much needed boost.

Rogers – announced a major initiative with Walmart where the two entities have partnered to launch a multi-platform magazine,   CEO, Nadir Mohamed announced he will step down next year, but it looks like he will be walking away with a BIG pay day.

Postmedia – is looking for growth through strategic partnerships.

Microsoft-AdvertisingMicrosoft Canada – has been pretty quiet in the past but over the last six months has been investing heavily in their offering and expanding their team here in Toronto. They have been pull off the acquisition of Skype without any major bumps and have shown that the market has confidence in their direction moving forward. Their effort is starting to pay off as they getting more brands to shift their advertising budgets towards 100% digital.  At the same time, team the Microsoft Advertising Canada team knows how to have fun and take part in events such as UFC 158.


TC Media (division of Transcontinental) – Ted Markle was appointed the new President of TC Media.


Yahoo Canada

Yahoo Canada – NO CLUE, we have reached out to their PR contact over two weeks ago with the simple question of “Who is heading up Yahoo Canada” – they have not responded (should n’t the PR person assigned to the account know who their main points of contact are). So perhaps we should go with the various rumours and water cooler discussions that have been had. If that’s the case then Michele  Protti is out, as he was part of Ross Levinsohn’s inner team and well that didn’t work out for Ross.  We’ve also heard that there is no single leader for Yahoo Canada instead of have split the Canadian team into silos. Again, this is not confirmed.  They have also made a few made a few acquisitions (including paying $30M to acquire Summly – founded by a 17 year old) and created an integration with file sharing service Dropbox (but that’s not really what advertisers or brands need to hear about).  We do  know that they are still losing staff.

Yellow Media – CEO Marc Tellier stepped down, which was a surprise to many in the industry.

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