The Driftwood has a new publisher.
Nancy Johnson, who has 25 years of experience as a publisher and director of operations within the Canadian newspaper industry, joined Driftwood Gulf Islands Media on Dec. 1.
Johnson’s past positions with major media companies have seen her based in Prince George, B.C., Brandon, Man., Sydney, N.S, Charlottetown, P.E.I., Moose Jaw, Sask. and High River, Alta. She was vice-president of Manitoba operations for Glacier Media’s prairie newspaper group, director of Saskatchewan operations and then Maritime operations for TC Media, and Sun Media’s senior group publisher for southern Alberta.
Johnson was thrilled to volunteer in the World Association of Newspapers Middle East Brain Trust initiative in 2018 and 2019, where she mentored two media organizations in Jordan over an 18-month period.
She said she is very excited to be joining the Driftwood team and becoming a part of the Salt Spring Island community, and looks forward to the island being her “forever home.”
“I’m stoked to be living and working in a small community again, because the best people live in them. I grew up in a village of 125 in southern Alberta and, although I have managed daily publications, the bulk of my career has been spent in small towns across the country.”
Johnson sees the role of community media and the Driftwood, specifically, as being 100 per cent about the local: “Local, relevant stories and photos on issues that matter and providing exceptional advertising services to our business community and helping them to thrive and grow.”
She looks forward to living on the west coast for the first time.
“I’m totally fascinated by the ocean views and forest air and can’t wait to spend time exploring this beautiful island and getting to know its people.”
Johnson has two grown children, Alex and Lucas, and is grandmother to two-year-old Felix.
She is also smitten with all things Italian and travels to a small village in southern Italy called Praiano twice a year.
Johnson replaces Amber Ogilvie, who has been the company’s publisher for the past nine years. Ogilvie is retiring after working for 35 years in the newspaper industry, the first 26 with Sun Media.
Ogilvie has published dozens of daily and weekly newspapers across Canada. She held executive positions with both Sun Media and TorStar. Ogilvie returned west to launch Vancouver 24 Hours, the daily commuter paper launched jointly by Sun Media and Jimmy Pattison in 2005, where she held the position of publisher and CEO.
Ogilvie said she has worked with talented people across the country.
“In my career, I had the opportunity to work with the very best in the newspaper industry. I am proud to say that I have worked both for and with the most talented, respected and interesting newspaper people. There are too many to mention but they do include greats like Doug Creighton, Paul Godfrey, John Honderich and Tony Richards. I feel extremely lucky to have worked for Tony Richards and with the dedicated and talented Driftwood team. I will miss the daily interaction with the staff and the community.”
Ogilvie and her partner Paul Zolob own Salt Spring Communication Station, the authorized Telus dealership, and she will remain on Salt Spring Island.