A changing “ethos” at The Walrus

A new look, a trimmed staff and renewed fundraising efforts are just a few of the major changes at The Walrus magazine under new editor and co-publisher John Macfarlane.

In “A new ethos for the still-endangered Walrus,” Globe and Mail reporter James Adams takes a look at the Walrus under its new editor and examines some of the changes taking place at the ambitious Canadian general interest mag.

Changes at the mag include:

  • cosmetic redesign, including new logo, new fonts, room for coverlines in the skybar
  • no more crossword and brainteasers in the back of the book
  • no more mini book reviews
  • Field Notes section changed to Miscellany
  • cover art will relate directly to editorial content
  • two senior editors cut from the ranks
  • arts and literature editor eliminated
  • contributing editors cut from mag’s masthead list
  • new director of development hired

In addition, the Walrus will now run profiles. Under Alexander the magazine did not publish profiles, in part because its charitable status requires that eighty per cent of content be “educational.” Macfarlane “rejects the notion that personality pieces aren’t educational” and says profiles will now be a part of the mix.

Content-wise, Macfarlane told the Globe that “the magazine will be far more internally driven. More ideas are going to be generated around the story conference table” rather than from freelancers pitching ideas. And the mag hopes to draw in more female writers.

Adams also spoke with former Walrus editor, Ken Alexander, recently, and wrote,Exit interview: Ken Alexander.