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119: Mags 2022: Publishing Magazines with Greg Davis of Melanistic Magazine

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

It’s been just about a year since I released my last magazine miniseries. In 2021, I taught the course ‘Magazine Production and Publishing’ at Toronto Metropolitan University twice; once in the spring term and once in the summer. During each of these course offerings, our class hosted three guests each for a total of six guests who spoke about the business of magazines, the design of magazines and the production of magazines. I recorded these live conversations in our virtual classroom and I later produce them as podcast episodes. If you’re interested in hearing them, they are episodes 055, 056, 057 and 063, 064, 065.

I had the distinct pleasure of teaching this course again in spring 2022 and we hosted three brand new guests to chat about their experiences in the magazine world. First up is Greg Davis, Publisher of Melanistic Magazine based in Edmonton, Alberta. Next is Lonelle Selbo, Publisher and Designer of LIFE AU LAIT magazine in Prince Edward County, Ontario. Lastly we will chat with Steph Beveridge, Account Manager at Hemlock Printers in Vancouver, British Columbia. From one side of the country to the other and back again, virtual teaching space afforded us the opportunity to chat with individuals across three provinces… and the connection I’m just realizing exists between them is that at one time each lived and worked in Toronto.

Let’s dive into this first conversation with Greg Davis of Melanistic Magazine, an urban lifestyle publication focussing on issues important to the Black community in Edmonton and beyond. In this talk, he describes how communicating a consistent and authentic voice that speaks to the nature of the magazine is what’s most important (versus trying to please everyone). Greg explains what a publisher of a magazine is responsible for, describes typical and creative revenue models for both small and large publications, as well as why he believes the magazine industry is stronger now than it was before the pandemic.

p.s. My good friend coincidentally happens to be on the cover of the most recent issue! What are the chances?! Go Gail!

About Our Guest:

Once described by a good friend of mine as a Jamaican who skipped through Toronto and got lost in Japan. My name is Greg Davis, sort of recently moved to Edmonton and publisher of Melanistic Magazine. Adventure Travel, exploration, driving, and cooking are my main ways to unwind. Most of which I got into during my 10 years in Japan. Japan is also where I got into the magazine world and have been in the media business for over 15 years now. I began my journey in the world of media at Outdoor Japan Magazine (OJ) were our motto of living life freshly squeezed. From there I moved to Outpost Magazine in Toronto and in 2015 made the jump to Edmonton as Sales and Marketing manager for WHERE Edmonton Magazine. These three publications taught to find my passion, make my passion into a business and to make sure my work builds a community. All of these lessons have come together in the forming of my own title Melanistic Magazine.

Music: How It Is by Ketsa, licensed with permission from the Independent Music Licensing Collective -

Talk Paper Scissors Theme Music: Retro Quirky Upbeat Funk by Lewis Sound Production via Audio Jungle

Boat Origami Photo: Boat Origami Photo by Alex on Unsplash

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