After two decades with Northern News Services (NNSL), Mike Bryant is stepping down as managing editor of the publishing company.
Bryant told Cabin Radio “it’s just time for a change” and he wants to spend more time with his two young children. He has accepted a project management position at Yellowknife’s Polar Tech recreational vehicle dealership.
“I’m torn, obviously. This has been my life’s work for many years,” Bryant said of the decision. He feels ready for a new chapter with a better work-life balance.
“It’s really difficult to make family and news reporting fit on the same page,” he said, noting – with the rise of social media – news demands have become faster and more challenging.
“There’s long hours, there’s things … that could happen at any time,” he said. “As managing editor, you need to be involved with that, and you need to get involved immediately.”
Bryant said he started at NNSL as a summer student in 1999. He came back for another summer the following year and started working at NNSL full-time in 2001.
The company publishes almost all of the territory’s newspapers, including two editions a week in Yellowknife and one each dedicated to Hay River and Inuvik.
Looking back at his years with the publishing company, Bryant said he is most proud of the features he has written. He singled out articles about bush pilots like Chuck McAvoy, who disappeared in 1964, and Bob Gauchie, who was stranded on a remote lake for 58 days in 1967.
Those stories provided a connection to people who had “lived the North and had a special connection to the North that can only happen by being involved in strictly northern industries,” he explained.
Bryant also has fond memories of writing his Yellowknifer newspaper column, Fishin’ Technician. Over the years the column found him fishing with Jack Layton, Gord Downie, and anyone who was willing to join him to “do something fun and zany.”
Bryant has worked with dozens, if not hundreds of reporters, editors, and other contributors to NNSL’s newspapers.
“I think you could go around to many major institutions in the city and find people who used to work here,” he said.
Now, Bryant said he wishes NNSL “all the best.”
“It’s been the best years of my life working here, I’ve had a good run, and it’s time for someone else to take the helm.”