The last time Kirk LaPointe worked at a newspaper, the B.C. economy was tucked snugly into the middle of the pack among provinces.
Even the one-time jolt of the Winter Olympics couldn’t expand real GDP more than 3% in 2010, according to Statistics Canada data.
LaPointe’s return to the newspaper industry to serve as Business in Vancouver Media Group’s vice-president of audience and business development comes when those fortunes are changing.
The Conference Board of Canada forecasts Vancouver will be the top economic performer among cities with 3.4% growth in 2015 while B.C. will be the strongest province with 3.1% growth.
Business news won’t be as bleak on the West Coast as in other parts of the country.
“And Vancouver is so central to the British Columbian economy, and the British Columbian economy is now increasingly central to the Canadian economy; it’s the best of the best places to be,” said LaPointe, who joined Business in Vancouver October 13.
In his new job, the former managing editor of the Vancouver Sun will be identifying and pursuing new markets for BIV’s newspaper and magazines.
“It’s a bit of a different role,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to working with the group to develop some ideas for growth and opportunities to reach new audiences, so it’s quite exciting to come back into newspapering.”
LaPointe will also write a column for the paper, and he said the job extends to “ensuring that the rigour and the quality of all of the content that BIV produces remain strong.”
Meanwhile, one of his other goals is to strike the right balance between the digital and print sides of the business.
“Where some organizations have found themselves wanting has been when they put all their chips in one,” he said. “This is a vibrant newspaper still, and there’s no reason why the newspaper can’t grow.”
After leaving the Sun in 2010, LaPointe served as CBC ombudsman, was the publisher and editor-in-chief at Self-Counsel Press and an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.
It wasn’t until last year’s municipal elections, when he ran against incumbent Mayor Gregor Robertson, that the veteran journalist entered the public sphere.
He’s continuing that later this month when his daily Our City three-hour show launches on Roundhouse Radio.
“It’s going to be a busy but challenging time,” LaPointe said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
A word from our publisher
I want to introduce you to Kirk LaPointe.
Not just because it’s the polite thing for a publisher to do, but because Business in Vancouver Media Group in general and its flagship Business in Vancouver newspaper in particular are excited about his decision to join our daily local business news team.
As Business in Vancouver Media Group’s vice-president, audience and business development, Kirk will bring a lot to Business in Vancouver’s print and online pages and will add a wealth of experience and media insight to what we believe is already the best local business information source in B.C.
Experience and insight are resources you can’t have too much of during what is an unprecedented transformational time for news media everywhere.
Kirk’s experience as a journalist in print and broadcasting, his depth as a manager and editor and his vision on media ethics, standards and the future of our industry will be invaluable assets for Business in Vancouver and will ensure we continue to grow and develop as your main source of local business intelligence.
President and publisher,
Business in Vancouver Media Group