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Meet Matt Blair, new publisher of the North Shore News

North Vancouver resident brings 20 years' newspaper industry experience to top job
casey-and-matt-blair web
Matt Blair, with wife Casey, takes over the day-to-day operations of the North Shore News as publisher, effective Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021.

The North Shore News has a new leader at the helm.

Matt Blair joins the News this week as publisher. 

Blair has nearly 20 years in the newspaper industry, including time in classifieds, sales and production. He was most recently the publisher of the Delta Optimist and is a current board member for the B.C. & Yukon Community News Media Association.

He succeeds Peter Kvarnstrom, who held the top job for seven years but whose tenure stretches back 31 years to when News founder Peter Speck brought him onboard as sales manager. Under Kvarnstrom’s leadership, the News was named the Canadian Community Newspaper Association’s “Newspaper of the Year,” in 2019, and won gold for overall excellence at the 2017, 2018 and 2019 BCYCNA Ma Murray Awards. Kvarnstrom will continue in his executive role with the News’ parent company, Glacier Media, overseeing Glacier’s community media group, which includes print and digital news media across Western Canada.

“Matt is uniquely suited for the role as publisher with his strong commitment to publishing in print and online, kind and caring demeanour, and his strong connection to the community we both call home,” Kvarnstrom said. “I couldn’t be happier to have Matt take over the day-to-day operations of one of our most successful newspaper operations.”

Blair, who moved from Kitsilano to North Vancouver 11 years ago to marry his wife, Casey – longtime manager at North Shore Girl (North Shore Ski & Board) – said he is strongly rooted to the North Shore by his passion for the ocean and mountains. “You’ll find me bagging peaks in the summer, strapped into a kiteboard at Ambleside on stormy days, and exploring our backcountry on a split board in the winter,” he said.

Blair brings to his post a commitment that local news matters.

“The vast majority of the news you see in your newsfeed or on TV is broken by newspaper reporters at a community level,” he said. “We play an important role in keeping the community informed and making sure that our governments are held accountable to their constituents. In addition, we foster community, showcase arts and sports, and celebrate those who contribute to the amazing place that we all call home.”

Have a comment or question for the new publisher? Reach Matt Blair directly by email.