How do you get to be a magazine editor?

May 23 1959

How do you get to be a magazine editor?

May 23 1959

How do you get to be a magazine editor?


The other day a bright-eyed highschool student turned up and asked what he’d have to do to become a magazine editor. We said we weren’t quite sure. “Aren't there any new editors on Maclean’s?” he pressed. We told him there are a couple of fairly new ones, Preview editor Peter Gzowski and copy editor Hal Tennant, and a brandnew one, west - coast editor Ray Gardner.

“How did they make it?” the eager teenager demanded. Well, they made it in different ways, but they all started young and on newspapers.

Peter Gzowski (you can find out how to pronounce his name on page twenty-four) was born in Toronto. At seventeen he enrolled at the University of Toronto. Six years later, when he left without a degree, he had sampled three courses—philosophy, political science, general arts — and, between courses, had been a reporter and ad salesman for the Timmins Press, editor of the Kapuskasing Weekly, co-founder and co-editor of the South Shore (of Lake Simcoe) Holiday. He’d also been editor of the U. of T. paper, the Varsity; and the year he did best scholastically he hurried to lectures from a 1a.m.-to-9-a.m. job as police reporter for the Toronto Telegram. From university, he went to the Moose Jaw Times-Herald, then to the Chatham Daily News, where he was city editor. From Chatham, he came to Maclean’s. He’s married to a girl from Manitoba and they have a six-month-old son. Peter’s own age: twenty-four.

Hal Tennant was born in Vernon, B.C., with two ambitions— to play a horn and be a journalist. When he was in grade seven, editing a class paper used to interfere a bit with his trumpet practice, but journalism and trumpeting both helped him through the University of British Columbia, where he got his BA (philosophy) in 1951. During his first two summer vacations from UBC he toiled by day

in a fish cannery and by night blew a hot horn in a dance combo. After his second year at UBC his funds ran low and he spent part of a year off working for the Chilliwack Progress. His bankroll fat-

tened, he returned to college and

picked up a spare-time job editing

three Vancouver suburban papers. He contributed UBC items to the Vancouver Sun, which kept him in spending money, and for three of his four years at UBC wrote a

humor column for UBC’s news-

paper, the Ubyssey. Hal, now thirty-one, had four years on the Vancouver Sun as a reporter and

deskman and nearly five years with the Imperial Oil Review before

joining Maclean’s. He has a wife

and four sons and, instead of play-

ing the horn, he devotes his eve-

nings to writing humor pieces that

appear in Maclean's and elsewhere.

Ray Gardner, born in Victoria

thirty-nine years ago, was a sports writer at the age of seventeen. Ten

years later as news editor of the

Vancouver Sun he won the first

Kemsley Empire Journalists’ Schol-

arship—a year’s traveling scholar-

ship in the United Kingdom and Europe. Ray has touched most

bases in the newspaper business—

sports columnist, sports editor, reporter, feature writer, copy-reader,

slotman, telegraph editor, news

editor, city editor, managing editor.

He has worked on three Vancou-

ver papers, the Sun, the Province

and the News Herald, which is

no longer published. He has also done stints on the Toronto Star

and the now-defunct Edmonton

Bulletin. As a freelance, he wrote

thirty full-length articles and many

shorter pieces for Maclean’s. He

and his wife have one son and live

on top of one of the highest hills

in Greater Vancouver. Ray collects

books by and about Jack London.

Kay Gardner collects children’s

books illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

How do you become a magazine

editor? Well, we still aren't quite sure. ★