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NFL Picks Obscure Canadian Publisher for New Magazine

Dauphin Media who?
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Yesterday, when the National Football League announced that it would be launching a new monthly publication titled NFL Magazine, its choice of publishing partner—Dauphin Media Group—came off as odd. Mainly because no one seemed to have heard of Dauphin Media Group.

The NFL’s press release simply stated that Dauphin has “offices in New York City” and is “coming soon to Los Angeles.” As it turns out, Dauphin is an obscure Canadian publishing firm based in Toronto (it's in the process of relocating to Los Angeles), according to the New York Post. And the company appears to have had a shaky track record with its past publications.

Dauphin's website only lists two magazines—Holmes Magazine and Canadian Architecture & Design—in addition to a “New Project Coming Soon.” But neither of the actual magazines is still being published.

Holmes Magazine, which was launched under a licensing deal with HGTV personality Mike Holmes, stopped publication several weeks ago due to a dispute over the reporting of distribution figures and royalties, a spokeswoman for the Holmes Group told the Post. (A Dauphin exec commented in a statement, “It was always the Holmes Group’s intention to transition the magazine to their control.”) The Holmes Group is now on the hunt for a new publisher, and according to the Post, the dispute could wind up in court.

Dauphin also told the Post that it had been planning to launch two new publications—a men’s general interest title and a shelter magazine—in the coming year, but didn’t give further details.

Despite how peculiar the choice of Dauphin may seem, NFL vp of media strategy and development Kevin LaForce defended the partnership, telling the Post, “It’s a small shop out of Canada. We did our diligence and we feel comfortable they can execute.” He added that, under their licensing deal, Dauphin will pay a fee and share ad revenue with the NFL. The magazine’s first issue debuts next month.