Long-time publisher Colin Bruce to retire March 31
Colin Bruce will be stepping down from his post as publisher and general manager of The Chronicle-Journal, the newspaper company announced today.
His retirement is effective March 31.
The announcement was made to staff Monday morning.
The departure marks the end of one of The Chronicle-Journal’s longest tenures for a publisher, and calls time on a career in newspapers that began 44 years ago as a copy boy in the newsroom of The Belleville Intelligencer in Belleville, Ont.
Bruce moved through the ranks as a journalist, eventually becoming managing editor of The Cornwall Standard-Freeholder and The Sarnia Observer. At age 39, he was one of the youngest publishers ever appointed by the Thomson Corporation and oversaw the operation of newspapers in Kirkland Lake and Orillia before moving to the Lakehead.
“The crowning achievement of my career was moving to Thunder Bay,” Bruce says. “The Chronicle and our staff were held in very special regard by the owners and it was considered a privilege to be offered this position."
While the newspaper kept its focus on reporting on the community, it was sometimes not seen as a partner or friend to the community, he recalls upon his arrival in June 1994.
“What I remember most of my career at The Chronicle was our success in making the newspaper relevant to our community and making it a strong neighbour,” he says. “We never passed up the opportunity to say ‘yes’ and help someone. I don’t believe there is a charity in the city which we haven’t touched.”
Personally active in the community, Bruce can look back fondly on 20 years of service with the United Way, where he was both president and campaign chair, service with Rotary, and his time as chairman of the board of governors of Lakehead University.
“I have always thought the newspaper should help its community be the best it can be,” he says. “We looked for every opportunity to help make this happen.”
Joanne Kembel, executive director of the United Way, says it was an honour to work with him.
“Colin has been a valued board member of the United Way since 1995,” she says. “In this role he has been very insightful, a visionary for the future of the organization and an exemplary volunteer. He led the organization as the president for two years as well as chairing our annual fundraising campaign for a year. At all times his commitment was strong, evident to everyone he worked with and inspiring for other volunteers.”
Bruce will be staying in Thunder Bay with his wife Grace and their adult sons, Jonathan and David.
Chronicle-Journal managing editor Julio Gomes has known Bruce since he arrived 20 years ago, and has spent the last six years working with him at the management level.
“What is clear with Colin is that he has two passions: helping to make this newspaper the best it can be and helping to make this community a great place to live and work,” Gomes says.
Clint Harris, The Chronicle-Journal’s vice-president of operations and director of sales and marketing, will succeed Bruce.
Harris has similarly risen through the ranks to build a professional foundation for his new role. He is an active member of the community, serving on several boards and organizations, including the hospital foundation and the Community Auditorium.
Harris also serves on the national marketing committee of the Canadian Newspaper Association.