Home > Comings and goings > News I missed: death, politics and transfers

News I missed: death, politics and transfers

October 21, 2011

While I was away, I missed writing about the deaths of a couple prominent B.C. newspaper folk. Unfortunately it wasn’t all good stuff.

Black Press VP Jim Ainsley died last week at the age of 64 from complications linked to lung cancer.

From Black Press:

Ainsley moved to Abbotsford in the early 1980s and began working for Hacker Press [1] – a predecessor to Black Press. Later that decade, he became more involved in the human resources side, including union negotiations, labour issues and capital projects.

“Jim was known as gruff with a big heart, but at the end of the day he was a very level-headed guy who could bring parties together and find common ground,” said Bruce Tennant, Ainsley’s co-worker and friend.


[1] I love that there was a middle-of-the-road pre-Internet newspaper group called Hacker Press.

And last month Peace Arch News publisher Linda Klitch died suddenly after surgery to remove a benign tumor on her pancreas. Klitch—who was a longtime publisher of Kamloops This Week in the 90s— had been a board member of the B.C.-Yukon Community Newspaper Association.

From Kamloops This Week:

“We have lost a very loving women who will be sadly missed,” said KTW publisher Kelly Hall.

“Linda Hooton was a very compassionate lady who convinced me to climb into the newspaper industry back in the early 1990s. Linda’s commitment to our community and the people of our community was very evident each day she lived in Kamloops.


In less sad news, Nanaimo Daily News reporter Derek Spalding took a job at the Victoria Times-Colonist. Before he left, he wrote his last arts column, urging readers to attend a rap show in Nanaimo. Yep.

Also, Lake Cowichan Gazette editor Tyler Clarke has announced his departure. He’s moving onto a job at the Prince Albert Daily Herald [2] [3], a paper notable for its extraordinary high turnover rate (you may remember it as the paper that claimed it was in Alberta in its job posting). Maybe Tyler will help fix that. Anyways, his last Lake Cowichan comment is here. Of note, he answers the pressing question: “Why the hell would anybody move to Prince Albert?”

Why, then, am I leaving?

There are a number of reasons, including but not limited to the following: A desire to report on a larger centre; to work within a newsroom greater than one person; Saskatchewan housing prices 1/4 those of the Cowichan Lake area; much greater job availability for my partner (Tabatha); a general interest in returning to the prairies.

I guess that about covers it.


Tyler will be missed, if only because he penned one of the better ledes this year. “Fondly referred to as Pretty Boy, and not-so-fondly known as Stinky and a more expletive-filled nick-name, a well-known Youbou elk has been killed.”

[2] Prince Albert was the third most violent city in Canada last year. For a reporter, I guess that’s a good thing. For a reporter’s spouse, maybe not so much.

[3] Three of the top nine most violent cities in the country have “Prince” in their name. So yeah…

Finally, George Affleck, general manager of the B.C./Yukon Community Newspaper Association, is running for city council in Vancouver as a NPA candidate. George is currently president and CEO of Curve Communications, a Vancouver PR firm.

From the bio on his website:

Before launching his career in marketing, George worked as a journalist at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and reported for community newspapers across BC. His book “Paper Trails,” a history of newspapers in British Columbia was published in 1998. George’s work as a reporter has provided him with a healthy respect for government accountability and a desire to listen before taking action—convictions which he intends to bring to City Hall.


  1. Mark Hamilton
    November 8, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I missed the news about Jim, which is too bad. I worked with him for a number of years (yes, we really were called Hacker Press, but that may have been offset when we went from Hacker to Trinity). The description of gruff but level-headed fits well. He was also a good guy to hang with, thanks to a great sense of humour.

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