Lower Mainland Publishing president Alvin Brouwer has announced that Matt Blair has been named publisher of the Delta Optimist, effective this week.
Originally from Abbotsford, Blair comes from a newspaper family and has spent his entire career in the industry in a variety of positions. He started at the Peace Arch News before moving on to the Burnaby News Leader and was most recently production manager at the Tri-City News.
“I’m delighted to have Matt take over the helm of the Optimist and I know he’ll do an outstanding job,” Brouwer said. “He’s one of the most creative people I’ve met in our industry and I look forward to him using that creativity here at the Optimist to benefit both our readers and advertisers.”
A winner of dozens of newspaper industry awards, Blair is very much looking forward to the challenge ahead of him. He said one of the reasons he accepted the position is because of the small town feel of South Delta’s two communities and how engaged citizens are with their local newspaper.
“I grew up in Abbotsford when it was still a small town and I’m excited to see that here in South Delta,” said Blair, who was raised on a farm. “The Optimist plays a vital role in keeping people connected and I relish the opportunity to enhance those relationships.”
Dave Hamilton, long-time general manager of the Optimist, will soon be retiring, but has agreed to stay on for the next couple of months to help Blair transition into his new role.
“Dave has been an integral part of the success of the Optimist for many years and we all wish him well as he embarks on a new chapter in his life,” Brouwer said. “Dave’s leadership and his upbeat attitude have served as an inspiration for us all and his community involvement has been second to none.”