Frank (magazine) - Halifax Edition

Halifax Edition

The idea for Frank can be traced to Halifax-area newspaper publisher David Bentley. Using money he received from the sale of The Daily News, Bentley, along with Lyndon Watkins and Dulcie Conrad, started a bi-weekly "gossip rag" or "scandal magazine" which they gave the name Frank.

The first issue was published in November 1987 and focused on gossip about the private lives of the rich, famous and politically connected in the Maritimes. It was designed to sell the sensational news coverage that mainstream press in the Maritimes was averse to covering and was somewhat of an extension to Bentley's vision for The Daily News during the 1970s and early 1980s.

Bentley followed a successful formula with Frank by feeding the need for sensational gossip among the rich and powerful as well as the average citizen. The publication found its niche in a Canadian media which was traditionally reluctant to pry into the personal lives of politicians and other notables, often covering material found nowhere else. All articles in Frank are published anonymously although some of its contributors have at times been revealed to be reporters working for more mainstream media outlets.

Unusually, the magazine had no real advertising and operated solely from its subscriptions, although it does contain a great deal of satirical "advertising".

Bentley expanded the Frank franchise to include an Ottawa edition in 1989 with the help of former Canadian Press reporter Michael Bate, while continuing with his publication of the Halifax edition. The Halifax edition of Frank gained considerable coverage after scooping local and national media to reveal the charges of sexual assault against former Premier of Nova Scotia and Trudeau-era cabinet minister Gerald Regan. Regan was subsequently acquitted. Local targets of the magazines satire and gossip have frequently included members of the billionaire Sobey, Irving and McCain families, as well as prominent local media personalities and politicians in all three provinces.

Dulcie Conrad sold her share of the Halifax edition of Frank in the mid-1990s to Bentley and Watkins. In September 2000, Bentley and Watkins sold an equity stake in the Maritime edition of Frank to one of the magazine's reporters, Clifford Boutilier.

From 2002 to 2004, David Bentley's daughter Carolyn Wood was the editor/publisher of the Maritime edition.

In 2004, Wood handed control of the magazine to John Williams, previously a Frank staff reporter. No money changed hands.

Williams sold Frank Magazine to Cape Breton-born businessman Douglas Rudderham for an undisclosed sum in November 2010, in order to concentrate efforts on his gay publication, Gaze Magazine. Based in Montreal, Rudderham is also the president and CEO of Pharmacy Wholesale Services, primarily a supplier of diabetic supplies.

In June 2011 conventional media outlets such as CBC and The Chronicle Herald reported that the publication's newsroom underwent a massive shakeup when 4 of its 5 reporters left - 3 having been fired by managing editor Andrew Douglas and 1 resigning. CBC reported that the first reporter to be fired, Mairin Prentiss, occurred after she had questioned a recent column on sexism. The firing of Prentiss apparently triggered Walsh's resignation, which was followed by terminations for Neal Ozano and Jacob Boon who allegedly acted insubordinately.

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Frank (magazine) - Halifax Edition
... The idea for Frank can be traced to Halifax-area newspaper publisher David Bentley ... the Frank franchise to include an Ottawa edition in 1989 with the help of former Canadian Press reporter Michael Bate, while continuing with his publication of the Halifax ... The Halifax edition of Frank gained considerable coverage after scooping local and national media to reveal the charges of sexual assault against former Premier of Nova Scotia and Trudeau-era cabinet ...

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