Canadian Magazine Industry News
22 September 2010,     TORONTO
Turnbull to inject change at Eye Weekly
When Star Media Group president John Cruickshank called Laas Turnbull and asked him to join Eye Weekly as publisher and editor he jumped at the chance. “I have always wanted to work with John Cruickshank and with Torstar,” says Turnbull. “I have modeled my career after his. Also, it was an interesting opportunity, there aren’t many publisher/editor positions in Canada.”

Eye Weekly's September 23 cover
Eye Weekly's September 23 cover

Still, joining the Toronto weekly might have raised a few eyebrows in the industry, but Turnbull, who most recently worked as executive vice president at Brunico Communications says Torstar’s commitment to change at Eye Weekly made it a very appealing offer. “Cruickshank wanted someone to come in and make changes at the brand,” says Turnbull. “Working as both editor and publisher makes it easier for changes to happen quickly.”

Turnbull says the plan is to evolve each layer of the weekly, not just the editorial and release a re-designed publication next spring. “We need to look at everything — distribution, circulation — because it is just not as effective as it needs to be,” he says. “It's not just where we drop the product but what it looks like, the paper stock. Everything feeds off each other.”

Describing the weekly as a place where there is “room for everyone to grow,” Turnbull has already made some significant hires in his short time at Eye Weekly with plans for many more additions to the team in the near future.

As he says he did during his time as editor at Shift magazine, Turnbull wants to make Eye Weekly the place all of Canada’s young publishing talent want to work. “We are never going to have huge budgets here but I don’t think it matters if we have the right people,” he says. “We want to create an environment where every young writer and editor in Canada will want to work here,” he says. “Where people will want to be in the environment.”

Eye Weekly is published weekly by Torstar and distributed to over 2,600 locations in Toronto.

— Val Maloney
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