Yep, it’s official: I will be taking over as Dish editor for Vue Weekly.
I have been more involved with Vue’s Dish section this year, writing feature stories in addition to my usual biweekly wine column. After the former Dish editor left, I casually inquired about the position. Sadly, the publishing industry is a tough game these days and there was no way I could afford to leave my day job to pursue a full-time writing career, fun as it would be. After a couple months with no word on a replacement, I ran into Vue’s managing editor at the Fringe and he asked if I’d be interested in doing the gig part-time. Long story short, we figured out how to make it work for everyone, and so here I am.
Vue is going through some major staff changes right now and I’d be lying if I said that didn’t make me a bit nervous. (In addition to the impending departure of the managing editor, the publisher’s sales & marketing manager is also leaving shortly, and they are also in the process of hiring a new staff writer and web editor.) Newspaper publishing isn’t exactly a booming industry these days, and the challenges of keeping a free alt-weekly afloat are pretty huge. The dance between ads and editorial content is forever a battle, and as much as Vue would love to run a paper sans ads, that’s simply an impossibility.
But I really don’t get the same feeling that I had at the end of my tenure writing for SEE Magazine, when it became very obvious very quickly that the paper was a sinking ship. (Yeah, I jumped off that ship – I sure wasn’t the captain, and wasn’t about to go down with it.) There will be changes, sure, but that might actually breathe some fresh perspectives into Vue. (Not that it’s stale – the editors of the other sections have their shit down. But there’s definitely room to improve Vue’s presence in the Edmonton community and its relationships with local businesses and organizations – not to mention beefing up the website.)
For my part, I will definitely do my very best to keep the Dish section interesting, relevant, and exciting. I’m also open to ideas, so if you’ve got a suggestion on a topic to cover, please feel free to contact me: mel [at] vueweekly [dot] com
Onwards, to the future!