Media company continues to inform a national audience of 6.5 million readers about the global pandemic from a local perspective
TORONTO, April 9, 2020 /CNW/ - Media Central Corporation Inc. (CSE: FLYY, FSE: 3AT) ("MediaCentral" or the "Company") continues to inform their 6.5 million readers with the latest information on COVID-19, across its wholly owned properties NOW Magazine, and the Georgia Straight.
The editorial teams for NOW and the Straight have pivoted from previously planned editorial to focus on stories that are relevant to the current situation brought on by the global pandemic. From news and health updates, to home workouts and new recipes to try, to the economic impact COVID-19 has had on local communities, to featuring local home and fashion tips like how to create your own mask, MediaCentral is aiming to provide readers with the best information in the country.
In Vancouver, the Straight has maintained its editorial commitment to entertainment, arts and culture while dramatically increasing coverage of other areas experiencing transformative changes during the pandemic including health, education, eSports, and technology. This week's cover story looks at how some millennials are trying to make the markets work in their favour during a precarious time.
"The COVID-19 story has had an impact on virtually all aspects of life in Canada. It's a public health crisis, but it's also transformed the economy, arts and culture, education, and the lives of parents with young children, not to mention older Canadians," said editor Charlie Smith. "For the Straight, it's been all hands-on deck to report on this pandemic in a way that connects to our readers."
Toronto's NOW Magazine has also ramped up reporting on COVID-19. A live blog covering the latest news on COVID-19 is updated seven to 12 times daily sharing the news that matters most to residents in the GTA. The publication has also launched a podcast about life in the time of coronavirus hosted by senior film writer Norman Wilner. The podcast releases new episodes every Tuesday and Friday and is available on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Upcoming guests include the UN's Leilani Farha and Schitt's Creek actor Emily Hampshire. The cover story this week focuses on to how to stay healthy in self-isolation - a package of stories that mixes first-person stories and guides around mental health, body positivity, online therapy, fitness and sex.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted reality as we know it, with entire nations going into isolation. It's the right thing to do, but we're all feeling a little cut off from one another," said editor Kevin Richie. "That's why we've launched NOW What, our new podcast, to share stories of how Torontonians are coping with this new reality. Our writers will also offer recommendations for what to watch, read and listen to while you're in self-isolation."
From February 1st to April 8th, 100 per cent of the top five performing articles on NOW have been COVID-19 related. Further the online platform for NOW has seen a 48% spike in users during the month of March, with over a million people turning to nowtoronto.com for information and entertainment.
As part of MediaCentral's strategic plan to digitize its publications, the company had already planned on increasing the frequency of digital content, investing in new verticals such as eSports, and launching new channels of content distribution such as podcasts and upgraded newsletters.
"We are an extremely forward-thinking and nimble team. Because of this, we have been able to expedite our plans to integrate our brands' content, develop new editorial streams and push omnichannel content distribution. This has proven valuable to both our readers and our advertising partners as we have seen significant growth across our digital footprint," said Brian Kalish, CEO of MediaCentral. "We are extremely mindful of providing the right mix of informative content around COVID-19 with more entertaining content that provides our readers relief while in isolation at home."
In March, NOW Magazine and the Straight released their first integrated national cover story on COVID-19. This integration will continue and is all part of MediaCentral's larger strategy to consolidate, digitize and monetize the 100 urban publications across North America.
About Vancouver Free Press Corp.,
Vancouver Free Press Corp., owns and operates Georgia Straight and straight.com. Established in 1967 as the news, lifestyle, and entertainment weekly in Vancouver, the Georgia Straight has been an integral part of the active urban West Coast lifestyle for over 50 years. Reaching over 56 million annual readers, every Thursday in print, and every day at straight.com, Georgia Straight delivers an award-winning editorial package of features, articles, and reviews. Regular coverage includes news, tech, arts, music, fashion, travel, health, cannabis, and food, plus Vancouver's most comprehensive listings of entertainment activities and special events. Vancouver Free Press Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Central Corporation Inc. (CSE: FLYY, FSE: 3AT).
About NOW Central Communications Inc.
NOW Central owns and operates NOW Magazine and nowtoronto.com. Since 1981 NOW has been Toronto's news and entertainment voice, published in print every Thursday, and daily at nowtoronto.com. Reaching over 25 million annual readers, NOW has been a leading publication, defining and pioneering the independent and alternative voice for more than 38 years. NOW Central Communications Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Central Corporation Inc. (CSE: FLYY, FSE: 3AT).
About Media Central Corporation Inc.
Media Central Corporation Inc. (CSE: FLYY, FSE: 3AT) is an alternative media company situated to acquire and develop high-quality publishing assets starting with the recent acquisition of Vancouver Free Press Corp., the purchase of NOW Communications Inc. and the launch of digital cannabis platform CannCentral.com. MediaCentral is consolidating and digitally monetizing the over 100 million coveted and premium consumers of the approximately 100 alternative urban publications across North America, creating the most powerful audience of influencers.
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SOURCE Media Central Corporation Inc.
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