Elsewhere on this blog (the previous entry), Andrew Potter comments that contributors to this blog seem to be more concerned with changes at This Magazine “while ignoring some serious layoffs at Maclean’s.” In an effort to rectify this situation I give you an update on the human resources goings on at Canada’s national magazine.
June 15: Word leaks (to me, at least) courtesy of magazine industry insider DB Scott’s blog, that Publisher/Editor-in-Chief/Poobah Ken Whyte has culled his senior staff, terminating or laying off Executive Editors Michael Benedict and Bob Levin and Art Director Donna Braggins, along with a number of other senior staff (according to the June 16 Globe and Mail, at least 11). Sorry but that Globe article is subscriber only.
July 5: Masthead Online, the trade rag of the magazine industry, reports several new staff at Maclean’s: Former Globe staffers Mark Stevenson and Dianne de Fenoyl.
Here’s the item in full:
July 7, 2005
Ken Whyte rebuilds team at Maclean’s
TORONTO—Yesterday, Maclean’s announced the appointment of two senior editorial staff members, who will join the newsweekly next month. Two Globe and Mail staffers, national editor Mark Stevenson and Review editor Dianne de Fenoyl, have reunited with Maclean’s publisher and editor-in-chief Ken Whyte. Former National Post managing editor, Stevenson worked for several years under Whyte as national editor of the National Post and deputy editor of the weekly Saturday Night. Stevenson’s new role as editor of Maclean’s will see him share daily operations responsibilities with Whyte. De Fenoyl, Maclean’s new assistant managing editor, also worked under Whyte while she was a former executive editor of Saturday Night and Life editor of the National Post.
July 11: A casual peek at the Masthead job boards today and I discover a posting for art director at Maclean’s. Hm. Not very forward thinking, to let Braggins go without a plan. Must have been unbearable for at least one of them.
For an insightful view of the effect of the layoffs I recommend DB Scott’s post of mid-June. My immediate reaction was shock at the idea that a national newsmagazine would trim it’s research and fact-checking staff. But I have to admit, that although I was surprised at the number of layoffs and certainly departures of this order (Benedict and Braggins) raise eyebrows, it’s hardly surprising that Whyte would clean house.
I do have one concern though, and it’s rooted in my dubious opinion of the publisher/editor-in-chief combo that seems to be gaining in popularity in Canadian magazines. Where are the checks and balances in this food chain? That’s a lot of faith the brass at Rogers are putting in Whyte to give him carte blanche to clean house so soon after joining the magazine. Whatever, I’m just a junkie for this kind of stuff. Does anybody else care? As long as Paul Wells is safe…