The Red Deer Advocate has a new managing editor.
Josh Aldrich officially takes over the top spot in the editorial department today from longtime managing editor John Stewart, who is retiring at the end of September. Stewart has been in the post for six and a half years and an important member of the Advocate newsroom for more than 36 years.
Aldrich, 32, should be a familiar face to Advocate readers, having spent six combined years in various roles at the paper.
“It is an honour to be given this opportunity to lead a talented group of journalists and editors,” he said. “I have learned much from John and the experienced group we have in the department. My goal is to continue to put out the best product we can on a daily basis to keep our readers across Central Alberta informed of all the news and information that is important in their day-to-day lives.”
As the new managing editor, Aldrich says there will be some changes to the Advocate, but he has no plans to turn the paper on its head.
One of the big adjustments he has already overseen is the re-imagining of the Friday Forward publication.
“We do what we do extremely well,” he said. “With an experienced, dedicated staff, we are the undisputed source for local news in Central Alberta.”
A graduate of the Grant MacEwan College journalism program in 2002, he has had stops as a reporter and editor at the St. Paul Journal, the Meridian Booster in Lloydminster, the Nanaimo Daily News and is now in his second stint at the Advocate.
At each step along the way, he and the papers he has worked for have earned numerous industry awards. It’s a standard at the Advocate that he will strive to continue.
“I’m thrilled that Josh will be leading the news team at the Advocate,” said Advocate publisher Mary Kemmis. “His knowledge of the area and connections to our community will ensure that the Advocate continues to be Central Alberta’s most trusted source of local news and information.”
Despite living all over the province while growing up and as an adult — with a stint in B.C. and one in Ontario thrown in — he has always been drawn back to this region.
“There is not much more I could ask for out of a community than what is afforded here in Red Deer — from its location, to its opportunities and most of all the people,” said Aldrich.
“I got into the business to tell the story of those I am covering and to be a voice for the people. Now, more than ever, it is a banner that is increasingly important for newspapers to carry.”