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Behind the Scenes: The Executives Behind On the Danforth

A few words from the ladies behind OTD’s Spring 2014 issue

On the Danforth is right around the corner! In anticipation for this year’s magazine releases, we spoke to the Publisher, as well as the Editor-in-Chief and the Sales Director behind the spring issue about their roles in the magazine.

Megan Drysdale, Publisher 2014
As Publisher, I am responsible for getting two issues of On the Danforth into the hands of the Danforth community. Rather than create the content or design, I stay behind the scenes to manage and tie all of the departments together. My foremost job is to create the schedule and budget for both issues and ensure we stick to them when we go to print. Since OTD changes mastheads every year, we all start from scratch. Working out a schedule and budget for the entire production with limited details from previous years makes for a difficult, yet fun, challenge. I also oversee the production of OTD by making sure all of the teams (editorial, creative, sales, production, online) get their work done and communicate with each other. Publishing is an interconnected process: we all work together towards one common goal, and I stand in the middle (along with my associate publisher) to mediate the discussions and ensure everyone is on the same page. Trying to work harmoniously with two separate crews and their respective departments isn’t always an easy task, but it’s amazing to see every piece slowly coming together into something really exciting.

“From behind the scenes, I handle the “big picture”: making sure there’s no overlap in content between the issues, that the content is well-suited to our Danforth-based readers and is representative of who we are, that our finances are balanced, that our production and print schedules are on track, that any disputes and problems are resolved, and that every part fits into the finished product. My job is to see that we put out the best magazine possible—a publication we can all be proud of, and one that our readers will enjoy!

Allie Chenoweth, Editor-in-Chief, Spring 2014 Issue
Hello OTD readers, thanks for swinging by!
“When I was asked to describe what I do in my day-to-day role as EIC, the honest answer would be this: I talk to people and ask them to make things happen, and then they do. If it weren’t for them, there wouldn’t be a magazine.
“When I was selected for the job back in October, the whole thing seemed very daunting: how do I make a magazine that best represents what OTD readers would be interested in seven months from now? How can I ensure that it’s interesting, innovative, and timely? It’s hard to get yourself in a spring fever state-of-mind when you’re strolling along leaf-pile lined sidewalks. But from the very beginning. I set out my two basic parameters for the type of magazine I wanted to create: including more long-form articles, and keeping it relevant to all of our readers by writing for a broader audience, not just the demographic we personally identify with. Thankfully, editing each section of OTD Spring ‘14 is one of five lovely ladies who have gone above and beyond my initial expectations: Stephanie Thompson for Food & Drink; Kathleen Gray for City; Meagan Gillmore for Features; Katie Yantzi for Arts & Culture; and Alexandra Davies for Lifestyle. They’ve each brought with them their own personal brand of ambition, sensibility, and good taste, and have shaped their sections accordingly.
“Keeping this issue’s production a well-oiled machine is Managing Editor Bradley Myles. Through the sheer force of his own detail-oriented and hard-working nature, Brad makes everyone’s job easier and never lets anything fall through the cracks. It’s like having a genie-in-a-bottle, but instead of wishes he grants open-access production schedules and entire sets of revised documents for the Art department—all things that are truly nothing short of magic.
“Some days, the job means dealing with the incredibly minute decisions. I kid you not, heated debates have been sparked over whether or not to capitalize “the” when referring to our own masthead. Bless our Copy Chief, Hanna Felske, for putting up with me and reading through my midnight e-mails where I obsess over the need for “East End” to be capitalized, or desperately try to find a better word for “eccentric”.
“Then there are other times when big decisions need to be made and all eyes turn to me: who do you want on your team? What pitches will you green light or shut out? When does a piece need revision or rearranging, or when is an endeavour simply unsalvageable? Having Executive Editor Nicolas Brehmer in my corner has been invaluable—he is never afraid to say when we can do better, or propose alternate solutions to any given problem. The two most frequent phrases I hear from Nick are “What can I do to help?” and “Everything’s going to be okay!”
“Here’s to the next 10 years of On the Danforth and future Centennial College Publishing students! I hope they enjoy making this magazine as much as I have.

Alicia Kolenda, Sales Director, 2014
We want to create new opportunities for businesses in the Danforth area to showcase who they are and what they do. We hope to establish new connections by creating a dialogue between readers who live in the community and advertisers. Advertising with On the Danforth is a great opportunity to display what this area has to offer to people all over East Toronto. Canvassing the Danforth, we’ve found a place rich with community and history. It has been so amazing to meet the people who work and live in this area: they have only good things to say about their home.

Look out for part two of this series when we talk to the team behind the summer issue!

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