Monday, September 19, 2005

Murdoch Davis now wears Beaver hat

Perhaps it was summer, perhaps we were not paying attention, perhaps it was Ontario-centricity, but somehow we missed reporting that one of Canada's oldest magazines, The Beaver, has a new Editor.

Murdoch Davis, dumped in April as Publisher of the Winnipeg Free Press, is in the chair for the redesign and relaunch of the venerable Winnipeg-based history magazine. (Its redesign is due to be unveiled with its 85th anniversary issue, due out October 3rd.) His appointment was announced in an early August press release.

If the name is familiar, it may be because Davis was head of Southam News and was a ferocious defender of CanWest Global's decisions to force "national" editorials onto the editorial pages of all of their papers across the country. He was particularly adept, not to say acid, in his letters to the editor on the subject. According to Black Rod, a somewhat reactionary Winnipeg journalists' blog, his sudden departure was unmourned at the Free Press.

The Beaver is the 50,000 circ flagship of Canada's National History Society, which recently launched Kayak, a digest-sized children's history magazine (see earlier item). CNHS is the inheritor of the legacy, archives and endowment of the Hudson's Bay Company, which started the magazine as a house organ. It evolved into a consumer title with an aging but fiercely loyal audience and a near-invisible profile in the business. Deborah Morrison, the President of the Society, also now Publisher, has been attempting to put 10,000 volts through it to liven it up and grow its audience and have some attention paid.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may be a bit biased, since I'm working with Michel (Art Director) and Deb (Publisher), but when you see the new logo, the new cover, and the new layout of this magazine, I think you'll be blown away.

6:32 am  

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