For a fairly small media community we Torontonians aren’t very nice to each other. Case in point is this recent article by DB Scott on his Canadian Magazines blog. Scott reports that the Walrus is losing staff again.
Last week, Tom Fennell, the deputy editor, quit. This was followed by the resignation of Bernard Schiff, the publisher and also chair of the Walrus Foundation; he was followed out the door by most of the rest of the board (it’s not clear how many or if the board quit en bloc) including Sandy Houston, who represents the Metcalfe Foundation (which funds the Walrus’s internship program). The board resignation was confirmed to the staff yesterday.
Scott’s article was quite fair but does raise some troubling questions about the survivability of the Walrus. Commenters were a little less even handed. A slew of anonymous comments critiqued the leadership of current Walrus Managing Editor/Publisher Ken Alexander. All of this Ken Alexander sniping ended in this rather cryptic note:
[NOTE TO READERS] Two anonymous comments, no doubt heartfelt and apparently written by people who are in a position to know about The Walrus from the inside, have been received. They are views of the behaviour of the editor, Ken Alexander. What they say about him is so libellous, however, that they cannot be published. We considered editing them, but couldn’t find a way to do so and keep any sense. We wanted to acknowledge their receipt, however.