A mag for CFL lovers

DAVE 'CRASH' CAMERON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 1:33 PM ET

Improvise. Adapt on the go. Huddle up. Make adjustments.

That's what happens on the field in the CFL.

It's what's happening in the CanMedia office as the Edmonton publishing outfit tries to march the Official CFL Magazine down the field.

The team huddled up after the premiere issue and adapted a game plan for issue No. 2, scheduled to hit the streets on Aug. 10.

"Compared to the other magazines we put out we've gotten like 20, 30 40 times the input from the readers," said CanMedia's Rodney Dietzman.

"And we've already made some adjustments to our second issue just from the feedback we've got from them."

The main message?

"I think what we're hearing is that they love CFL, the 'C' in CFL. They love Canada and the Canadian thing," said Dietzman."And that's neat. We'll run with that as we move forward."

"Coming out of the chute (in issue No. 1) we had an NFL section," said CanMedia's Curtis Stewart.

"And that's one thing we had a lot of comments on. 'If we wanted an NFL magazine, we'd buy an NFL magazine.' So we scrapped that."

"Response to the first issue was tremendous," said veteran journalist Murray Greig, contributing editor for the Official CFL Magazine. "I've had correspondence from every province and it's been overwhelmingly positive.

''CFL fans have a deep sense of pride about the league and a real appreciation of its history."

TRUMP CARD: Sometimes you just need to break that open-field run or make that clutch catch to get a little momentum.

"We're a little slower than what we would have liked. We have about 6,000 subscribers," said Stewart. "We were hoping to get a little closer to 8,000, 10,000, so we're a little shy. But not that far off. We're working on some things that may get us moving to that."

One of which is a website.

"We're partnering with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. What they've done is taken it on as a class project, broken it down into three different groups with each group creating a website. Then they are going to do a presentation and we're going to pick a winner," Stewart said.

The announcement goes at the Shaw Theatre at NAIT this Thursday.

"So we feel a little bit like Donald Trump in reverse," Stewart chuckled. " 'You're hired!' "

IRONY IN ACTION: Beat writers, including a few from the Sun Media chain, report on the teams, while columnists include former players turned TV analysts Glen Suitor, Darren Flutie and Matt Dunigan.

It's no small task for an Edmonton group to capture national attention. But, hey, the Eskimos have done it.

"CanMedia deserves a lot of credit for turning the dream of an all-CFL magazine into a reality," said Greig.

"It's kind of ironic that we have to make a conscious effort not to overemphasize the West or Edmonton - particularily in light of Toronto's dominance of Canadian sports media.

"But that's the nature of the game. We're a national magazine, so it's imperative we maintain a national audience."


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