Cottage Life has enjoyed success as a service and lifestyle magazine for Canadian cottage owners. But that success is mostly regional: 77% of its subscribers live in Ontario. In 2014, in an attempt to expand its readership, Cottage Life Media launched Cottage Life West, a new regional version with some shared and some original content. This new edition—not quite a distinct title—was a focused attempt to appeal to readers in Western Canada. But Cottage Life learned that its editorial approach doesn’t easily translate to Western readers, and catering to those readers from Toronto presents a unique set of hurdles. This is a story of a Toronto publisher gunning for a national readership and butting up against the challenges of regionalism. This report examines how a regional magazine attempts to grow into a national one, with an analysis of the editorial strategy and recommendations for other Ontario-based content publishers.
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