Murray Skinner to Receive SNA’s Distinguished Dean S. Lesher Award

“In a world where pundits regularly predict doom and gloom for the newspaper industry, Murray Skinner exudes optimism that community media will be the leading force in news and information for many years to come. As Torstar president Rob Prichard states so well, ‘Murray has the magical quality of making everyone he touches perform and feel better, creating a culture of optimism and achievement.'”

Joe Anderson, Vice President & Regional Publisher, Metroland NorthMedia Group

Murray Skinner
Murray Skinner

With his exemplary contributions to the newspaper industry in Canada, Murray Skinner, just-retired President of Metroland Media Group Ltd., perfectly defines the distinction behind the Dean S. Lesher Award. The 2008 SNA nominating committee is honored to pass the torch to such an inspirational individual.

During Murray’s remarkable 33-year career, Metroland has transformed into a true multi-media organization and has grown to become the leading community media company in Canada. Through his tireless passion and promotion of community media, Murray has driven home the incredible value of community journalism and leadership and redefined the modern community newspaper industry. With that said, under his leadership, Metroland newspapers have won more local, regional, provincial, national and North American awards for excellence than ever before.

“Although we had many very qualified nominations for this year’s award, one stood out above the rest,” said Betsy Wilson, chair of the Dean Lesher Award Committee and publisher of Journal Register Company’s Montgomery Newspapers. “Murray Skinner is a true pioneer in our industry. Among other tremendous accomplishments, the development of the quality distribution program at Metroland has become the gold standard that advertisers request and many other newspapers emulate. Murray has been very generous in sharing his expertise and success formulas with newspaper companies throughout North America. I am very pleased to have had the honor of informing Murray Skinner that he is this years recipient of this very prestigious award. No one is more deserving.”

In May of this year, Murray was awarded Honorary Lifetime Membership in the Canadian Community Newspapers Association, the association’s highest honor. John Hinds, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Community Newspapers Association writes, “So great are Murray’s contributions, in fact, that a new award has been created in his honour. There is no award like this in our Association. Naming it after Murray is a fitting tribute to a true newspaper man who has contributed so significantly to our industry over a lifetime of leadership.” It only follows suit that he also be recognized with SNA’s highest achievement award.

SNA will proudly present the Dean S. Lesher Award to Murray at the SNA Awards Luncheon held during the 2008 Fall Publishers’ and Advertsing Directors’ Conference, taking place October 7-10 in Minneapolis, MN.

If you would like to share in the congratulations of our distinguished award winner, please visit the SNA forums and join the applause.

The Dean S. Lesher Award has recognized outstanding leadership in the suburban and community newspaper industry since 1982, when the award was first bestowed upon its namesake, Dean S. Lesher. Murray Skinner is the 27th recipient of SNA’s distinguished award whose past winners (PDF) encompass a prominent group of newspaper men and women.