John Macfarlane, editor and co-publisher of The Walrus, announced he will retire at the end of 2014. 

By Tamara Baluja, Associate Editor

John Macfarlane, editor and co-publisher of The Walrus, has announced he will retire at the end of 2014.

Macfarlane joined The Walrus in July 2008.

“More than five years ago, I came on board as interim editor for six months, and suddenly it’s five years later,” Macfarlane said in a press release. “The world of journalism has changed in the last five years, and although I’ve enjoyed every minute here the time has come, as the Walrus said, for a new kind of editor—an editor of all Walrus platforms. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and decided the timing is right—for me and for the organization.”

His replacement has not been named. Co-publisher Shelley Ambrose said Macfarlane’s advance notice will give The Walrus Foundation time to transition to a new leadership.   

 “John was a godsend when he arrived, and will be greatly missed,” said Ambrose, who is also the executive director of the foundation. “We are truly grateful to John for all he has done for the magazine and for the organization—his enthusiasm, experience, expertise, dedication, and professionalism brought much needed stability to the magazine and allowed the foundation to flourish.”

Macfarlane has had a long career and held several major senior management positions, including editor of Toronto Life, managing director of features at CTV, editor-in-chief of the Financial Times of Canada, executive editor at Maclean’s and publisher of Saturday Night magazine. In 2007, he received the outstanding achievement award from the National Magazine Awards Foundation.


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Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.