‘It’s ex­hil­a­rat­ing’

The Guardian’s top boss rel­ishes rough and tum­ble news­pa­per in­dus­try

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - HOT ONLINE - BY JIM DAY jday@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/GuardianJimDay

Nancy John­son, the new top boss at The Guardian, sim­ply stum­bled into the news­pa­per busi­ness.

In 1995, as a sin­gle mother of two, John­son started an im­pres­sive climb up the ranks af­ter land­ing work as a re­cep­tion­ist at the Vul­can Ad­vo­cate, a small com­mu­nity news­pa­per in south­ern Al­berta.

She blazed a path to pub­lisher, first work­ing as ac­coun­tant and later as busi­ness man­ager. She also sold ad­ver­tis­ing on her way up the lad­der.

She was se­nior group pub­lisher for a dozen of Sun Me­dia’s news­pa­pers for six years be­fore join­ing TC Me­dia in 2014 as di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions in Saskatchewan.

On Dec. 1, she took over as TC Me­dia’s di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions for the Mar­itimes.

Re­plac­ing Don Bran­der, who re­tired in late Novem­ber af­ter 44 years in the in­dus­try, John­son will be over­see­ing 12 week­lies and five dailies, in­clud­ing The Guardian and the Sum­mer­side-based Jour­nal Pi­o­neer.

John­son, 55, has been at the helm of many news­pa­pers dur­ing a rocky pe­riod for the me­dia in­dus­try but has not been fazed by all the chal­lenges.

“I fell in love with it in­stan­ta­neously,’’ she says of her in­tro­duc­tion to the busi­ness more than 20 years ago.

“I quickly be­came ad­dicted to the pace, the chaos. To me, it’s ex­hil­a­rat­ing.’’

Based in Syd­ney, N.S., John­son plans to spend about one week a month work­ing in P.E.I.

She sees a strong fu­ture for The Guardian, not­ing more peo­ple are read­ing this pa­per to­day ei­ther in print or on­line than five years ago.

And while she notes the news­pa­per in­dus­try is evolv­ing, no ma­jor changes are planned for The Guardian.

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,’’ she says.

“We look for­ward to serv­ing this great com­mu­nity for years and years and years to come.’’

HEATHER TAWEEL/THE GUARDIAN

TC Me­dia, the owner of The Guardian, re­cently pro­moted Nancy John­son to di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions for the Mar­itimes. She is in charge of five dailies, in­clud­ing The Guardian and the Jour­nal Pi­o­neer, as well as 12 week­lies.

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