Monday, June 10, 2013

Frank magazine will be back from the grave in October

Marc Weisblott on o.Canada

Ottawa edition of legendary publication is returning online after a five-year hiatus.

What better way could there to end an historic week in the grand history of Canadian politics, media and scandal than the announced return of a national edition of Frank?

None. There is no better way.

Michael Bate, who helmed the Ottawa-based “satirical press” from 1989 through 2003 — when it underwent an ill-advised makeover after an ownership change — and online and print between 2005 and 2008, revealed his revival plans on Friday.

Frank will officially relaunch as a digital publication on Oct. 1 with a metered paywall — in a blog format described as similar to Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish — with a subscription price between $10-15 per month.

Remedial Media, Braunnose, Top 100 Wankers, Daily Drivel, Cliche-o-Matic, Foto Funnies, Low Definition Television, Elmer the Safety Elephant and the familiar cartoons of Charles Jaffe will be among the features revived by a seasoned cast of contributors, many of whom continue to remain anonymous.

“Wish we were back now, but there will be plenty of wankers and over-refreshed fart catchers to write about come the fall,” explained Bate.

“The mood in Ottawa is reminiscent of Byron Muldoon’s last days in the bunker. Same zeitgeist as in the early 1990s.”

Bate, who suspended operations in October 2008, threw old Frank fans a bone back in February when a memoir of his battles with Mike Duffy was published in the Toronto Star.

The beleaguered senator sued Frank for $600,000 for libel and defamation after the magazine reported that the then-CTV host lied about his stay at a weight-reduction clinic — a case that was settled out-of-court for $30,000.

Duffy reportedly accused Ottawa Citizen reporter Glen McGregor, formerly one of the generally unknown staffers for the magazine, of bringing the story of his improper living expense claims to light as retribution for that lawsuit.

Frank was originally spun off from a regionally-focused Halifax publication of the same name which launched in 1987 and has continued in print along with a subscription-based online version.

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