Black Press names new Kootenay/Boundary publisher

Eric Lawson comes to the West Kootenay/Boundary with three decades of community media experience.

Eric Lawson has 30 years of experience in community newspapers as a reporter

Black Press newspapers in the West Kootenay/Boundary have a new publisher. Eric Lawson took over Monday at the helm of the Trail Times, Castlegar News, Rossland News, Nelson Star, West Kootenay Advertiser, Grand Forks Gazette, Creston Valley Advance, Arrow Lakes News, and Boundary Creek Times.

Lawson and his wife Linda have just moved to Nelson from Manitoba, where he was the publisher of the Brandon Sun. He says it’s part of their gradual lifelong journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

“My wife and I were both born in a hospital in St John’s, N.L., that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, and we say we have been trying to get to the Pacific ever since. We have been moving steadily west. For me it is an experience of getting to know the whole country. We have visited BC a number of times and loved it here and looked for an opportunity to move here. When this opportunity came along, all the pieces seemed to fit.”

Lawson has worked in community newspapers for decades.

“My first job when I got out of college was as a reporter and photographer at a community newspaper in Truro, N.S., and I have worked in community media ever since, for 30 years.”

Since then he has worked in the Maritimes, Ontario, and Manitoba as a news editor, sales manager, general manager, and publisher.

“What I like about community newspapers is the connection you have to the communities you live in,” he says. “There is absolutely nothing that will connect you to your community faster than working in community media. Everywhere I have gone I have tried to be involved with the community, and tried to make sure that the newspapers reflected and were committed to the communities they served. I hope I am able to do that here as well. And I enjoy the variety newspapers always give you lots of variety.”

Lawson holds a master of arts from University of Western Ontario and an executive MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ont.

Asked about his views on the role of newspapers in the media world, and the financial challenges they often face, Lawson is optimistic.

“I feel I am working in a vibrant industry. It never crosses my mind that I am not. I have worked with newspapers that were deeply connected to their communities and were successful. It is true we have to think about our online strategy and non-traditional competitors, but it has never crossed my mind that I was working in a failing industry. I don’t mean to be naive I understand there are real challenges in the industry. But I think it is vibrant and has a future.”

Lawson says he’s been active in all the communities he’s lived in. He was president of the Rotary Club in Brandon and involved in the Chamber of Commerce. He was a board member of the YMCA. As dog lovers and the owners of a Siberian Husky, Lawson and his wife have also been involved in supporting animal shelters.

To the people of the West Kootenay, Lawson, interviewed on a sunny 25-C afternoon, says, “Wow, is the weather ever nice! I hope we will be given an opportunity to settle into the community on a personal level and a professional level and give back. I want to jump in with both feet, get to know the communities, get to know the people, and get started.”

Lawson replaces Chuck Bennett, who had been group publisher since 2007.

Just Posted

VIDEO: John Dooley elected Nelson’s mayor

Logtenberg, Anderson, Woodward, Renwick, Morrison and Page elected to council

15 new mayors to take office across the Kootenays

Here’s a look at the highlights from across the Kootenay region in B.C.

Castlegar voters choose Tassone as new mayor

All incumbent councillors also returned

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Most Read