Media, Darling: Sabrina Maddeaux

Sabrina
Maddeaux is the Managing Editor at
Toronto Standard, where she writes
and edits smart, candid content that sometimes makes people angry. Prior to
that, she was the Style Editor at
Toronto Standard. And before that, she
freelanced for publications such as
Toronto Life, blogTO.com, Sweetspot.ca,
TCHAD Quarterly, Faze Magazine, GlobalNews.ca, and more.

She
attended St. Bonaventure University in New York, where she studied political
science, journalism, and theology, and played NCAA Division I soccer for two
years. She likes things that aren’t boring. And cheese, always cheese.
Photo credit: Becca Lemire

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were
on the horizon?
Actually, I always thought I’d be a lawyer. When I graduated from
university, I got into top law schools like Boston College and Notre Dame — I
even put down a deposit at Boston College and moved there. Two weeks before
classes were supposed to begin, something just didn’t feel right. So I totally
freaked out my parents, got a one-year acceptance deferral, and never looked
back.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
I’d still like to be the editor of an independent publication. There’s
so much more freedom in what you can write and the opinions you can express — I
can’t see myself giving that up anytime soon.
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Live outside whatever your beat is. If you cover fashion by day, be a
political junkie by night. It provides perspective and makes for a more
interesting writer and person.
Also, don’t regurgitate press releases. Think for yourself. Originality
creates value.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? 
The Atlantic, the New York Times, Jezebel, xoJane, The Paris Review, The
New Yorker
, The New Inquiry, Gawker, and a slew of other small independent
pubs. I watch Breaking Bad, Damages, Veep, Mad Men, Dexter, Golden Girls
reruns, and too much TMZ.
Best interview you’ve ever had? Worst?
I’ve always had good interviews, maybe because I think of them as
conversations and not interviews. I’m also really picky about who I interview
because I hate transcribing.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
I think it was Kelly Cutrone who said, “Be everywhere, meet everyone.”
That was my philosophy for a long time, and still is. This industry is all
about networking and you never know when you’ll meet someone that can change
your career.


What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Always eat a good breakfast. Cereal doesn’t count.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Don’t complain about mostly positive coverage (unless there’s a factual
error). And don’t complain about honest reviews and feedback — even when
they’re negative. Also, don’t blacklist lightly. Media talk and we tend to have
each other’s backs when it comes down to it.
Finally, read my publication. If you pitch me an actress for our next
(nonexistent) cover, I can’t take you seriously ever again.
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
I like any PR pro who takes the time to get to know my publication and
me. The agencies and publicists I prefer really get what I do and don’t try to
brainwash me.
I also appreciate PRs who set realistic expectations about their events
and products; it shows they value my time and trust. Don’t lie to me, and I’ll
like you. If I like you, I might just cover that dingy event where one Degrassi
kid shows up (You’ll eventually have one. Everybody does), because I care.
I hate?
Censorship, Internet outages.
I love?
Strong cheeses and John Lithgow.
Reading?
I’m slowly working my way through the Game of Thrones series.
Best place on earth?
St. Bonaventure, NY.
Dinner guest?
I’m a little obsessed with media mogul and feminist icon Jane Pratt
right now. Would love to pick her brain.
Hero?
I think everyone should be his or her own hero.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Is it so five years ago to say Shazam? I’m on a BlackBerry, so my
entire device is so five years ago. I can’t be blamed.
Pool or ocean?
No question: ocean. The smell alone is so relaxing.
Voicemail or email?
Unless someone’s dying… NEVER, EVER voicemail.

Fave 5: Magazines gone bust

We read A LOT of magazines on the fourth floor. Aside from being an integral part of PR, a new magazine arriving at the office calls for a break to check out the latest trends, beauty tips and celebrity gossip. But we also get really, really sad when a magazine announces it’s ceasing publication – it’s like losing a trusted friend. Today, a tribute to five magazines we still miss.

Domino

If you re-pin decor pics on Pinterest, you’ve likely pinned from Domino.
Image source.

We all let out a collective scream when Domino announced its last issue in 2009. There’s a reason why every second living room on Apartment Therapy contains the ever-familiar mint green book, Domino: The Book of Decorating. Every issue contained page after page of beautiful inspiration, chic interiors and refreshing ideas. Type Domino Magazine into Pinterest to see what you missed. 

You can get your fix this month with a special new edition, Domino Quick Fixes, that is currently on newsstands. Their revived Facebook page is also addressing important questions such as “to colour-coordinate or not to colour-coordinate bookshelves?”. Could this be the return? We can only hope. 

Sassy

Yes, that’s Milla Jovovich, circa 1991.
Image source.

The thought that there are girls out there not getting advice on relationships, sex, body image and how to grow up to be a cool chick from Sassy makes us worry about their generation. Founded by Jane Pratt, the magazine offered (as its name suggests), a sassy, sometimes-controversial, feminist voice for young girls. The magazine was published until 1994, which makes us feel a little old, and also wonder if our mothers knew what we were reading. Need a fix? We’re enjoying a lookback with this Sassy Magazine LIVES tumblr. 

Jane

Premiere issue of Jane, with covergirl Drew Barrymore (who Jane claims to have had an affair with).
Image source.

Luckily for 90s girls, Jane magazine stepped in to fill the void left by Sassy, running from 1997 to 2007. Also headed by Jane Pratt, the magazine was said to ‘appeal to women who are irreverent’. If you’re still lamenting these magazines, we’re sure you already know about xoJane.com, where you can go for a daily dose of the irreverent.

Wish

A little bit of everything.
Image source.

Headed by another well-known Jane, the subject matter was tamer but featured lovely pieces covering fashion, beauty, home and food. Running for five years, the magazine was shut down at the end of 2008. We still pull out old issues to check out  20-minute Supper Club, a feature that planned out meals for a week, including wine pairings.  

Blueprint

RIP Blueprint, 2006-2008.
Image source.

Part of the Martha Stewart Living brand, Blueprint was targeted to a younger demographic than Martha Stewart Living, one that enjoyed pretty DIYs, fancy cocktails and decor inspiration for small spaces when you don’t have a manor like Martha’s. We consult our archives when there’s an occasion that calls for a little Martha: first turkey dinner cooked for the extended fam, an inkling to make a wreath that doesn’t look like grandma’s, the desire to plant a herb garden in a windowbox, you know…