Zoomers create a new vision of aging

Aging with zip: Media innovator Moses Znaimer creates a new way to understand the “50 plus”.

In the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Moses Znaimer defined an entire generation of Canadian youth by launching Citytv, MuchMusic, Space, MusiquePlus, Fashion Television, and a host of other national specialty channels. Now he’s set his sights on the demographic traditionally known as “50 plus” and, true to form, he’s already coined a new name for it.

Meet the Zoomers.

“The population bubble that was the youth market 30 years ago is, today, the market I’ve defined as Zoomers,” says Znaimer. “They were the dominant generation then…they remain the dominant generation now. Zoomers are a growing, vibrant and affluent community. They look at the world with optimism; they are engaged and aspire to enrich their lives and the lives of their communities.”

Statistically, Zoomers encompass both the Baby Boomers (in Canada, ages 44 to 62) and those older. It’s a vast group – 14.5 million, accounting for 44 per cent of the population, and controlling more than 77 per cent of all Canadian wealth.

Znaimer is quickly putting together a suite of media to serve this huge audience.

On December 28, 2007, he completed a complex transaction that enabled him to assume control of Canada’s two dominant media organizations addressing Zoomers – Fifty-Plus.Net International Inc. (TSXV:FPN), owners of this and other web sites and electronic newsletters, and Kemur Publishing, publisher of CARP magazine.

As well, Znaimer became Executive Director of CARP itself. With approximately 350,000 members, CARP is Canada’s largest association for Zoomers.

Znaimer has moved quickly to put all these organizations on a fast growth track. At a press conference in Toronto on February 28, he unveiled his plans and introduced key members of the expanded team.

CARP magazine will be re-branded as Zoomer magazine, starting with the October issue.

• Style and magazine icon Suzanne Boyd, former editor of Flare, has returned to Toronto from New York to take charge of the magazine. She will build upon the already large subscriber base (paid circulation of 190,000 and pass-along readership of 826,000). Zoomer will maintain CARP magazine’s core pillars such as advocacy, health and finance, while expanding into fashion, beauty, home décor, food and wine, and relationships.

• CARP is re-defined as Canada’s association for Zoomers, offering “A new vision of aging for Canada.” In a video played prior to the press conference, Znaimer said that rather than avoid the use of “CARP” as a word, he’d decided to embrace it and have fun with it – and so he unveiled CARP’s new logo, which includes a golden fish.

• CARP adds three new Vice Presidents. Toronto lawyer and human rights activist Susan Eng becomes Vice President, Advocacy. Larry Sheffit, who spent 17 years building up member benefits for CAA, becomes Vice President, Member Benefits. And broadcasting and education executive Ross Mayot is Vice President, Community.

• Znaimer announced a membership development program – March to A Million – that will dramatically increase CARP’s size and influence.