Pathways to be inserted into Star, Sun

Canada's recovery magazine Pathways plans a massive push for new subscribers early next spring with a 'showcase issue' of 500,000 copies inserted in home-delivered Sunday editions of The Toronto Star and The Toronto Sun in the Toronto cma.Peter Armstrong, publisher of...

Canada’s recovery magazine Pathways plans a massive push for new subscribers early next spring with a ‘showcase issue’ of 500,000 copies inserted in home-delivered Sunday editions of The Toronto Star and The Toronto Sun in the Toronto cma.

Peter Armstrong, publisher of Pathways and president of Recovery Publications, says there are two reasons for using the two Toronto papers to distribute his magazine.

In an exclusive interview with Strategy, Armstrong said the first reason is to give Pathways a ‘big kickstart’ among those who receive it, and the second is to introduce the full-color glossy to national advertisers.

He says, in the longer term, he wants to convert Pathways’ readership base to all paid subscriptions. A single subscription costs $19.23 including gst.

The March/April showcase issue will go out March 6 in 290,000 copies of The Sunday Star and 210,000 copies of The Sunday Sun, says Armstrong, adding the 500,000 inserts are in addition to its usual 20,000 circulation.

More affluent

Armstrong says research shows the readers of Sunday papers are generally more affluent.

As far as he knows, this is the first time either the Star or the Sun have been used as delivery vehicles for an independent magazine.

He says both papers usually allow only their own products to be carried as inserts, however, he adds since the distribution deal was struck both newspapers have been supportive.

Armstrong says there is only an 8% circulation overlap between the two papers.

As well as the push for new subscribers, Armstrong says Pathways is widening its editorial horizons from an emphasis on recovery from addiction to recovery from a broader range of challenges such as cancer, the death of a child, the loss of a job, divorce, and so on.

Armstrong describes the new, broader editorial content as practical help on ‘how to get unstuck when you’re feeling stuck.’

In the September/October issue of the magazine, there are articles on children and food, men in groups, and a couple who have turned their hobbies into small businesses, for example.

Armstrong says the editorial shift will be much more obvious with the November/December issue. He adds there will also be some ‘modest’ design changes.

Broaden appeal

He says the reason for the change in editorial is to help broaden Pathways’ appeal and put the magazine in the black.

He says there is also some testing going on with Pathways on-line, a mail-order business and books.

Pathways is published six times a year by Oakville, Ont.-based Recovery Publications. It began in 1991.

The company is wholly owned by The Armstrong Trust For Recovery Enterprises, a non-profit trust whose aim is ‘to help reduce the economic, social and human costs of unhealthy dependencies.’

Armstrong says he is not worried about the potential blurring of the editorial lines between Pathways and other consumer magazines which write on the same or similar topics as his publication.

A full-page, four-color ad in the showcase issue costs $36,000.

An acknowledgement on the corporate sponsor recognition page costs $2,500.

Pathways is also offering 24 corporations sponsorship opportunities with the showcase issue and other promotional benefits.

Armstrong says radio and print advertising are planned for next February.