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

Trail officially launches Community Safety Task Force

Terms of Reference (mandates) for both the new groups are available on the city’s website

Last of southern Selkirk caribou relocated to Revelstoke area

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

Nelson police warn of counterfeit money in city

The department says it has received multiple reports of fake Canadian and U.S. cash

Support for Blanket Warming Station at KBRH

Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital is currently undergoing a $19+ million Emergency Department reno

Trail and area artists eligible for arts training grant

Grant to support learning for visual and performance artists

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Prince George could get province’s second BC Cannabis Store

The first brick-and-mortar government retail location opened in Kamloops on Oct. 17

B.C. chowdery caught up in ‘rat-in-soup’ scandal to close

Crab Park Chowdery will be shutting down Jan. 20

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

Vancouver councillors unanimously approve motion declaring climate emergency

Vancouver joins cities like Los Angeles and London

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Winter weather advisory issued for East Kootenay

Up to 5cm of snow expected by the end of the weekend and up to 15cm over the next week

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Most Read