David Brown went to the University of Guelph to study Landscape Architecture but quit the program after a year and a half; he just couldn’t get into the soil science stuff. He switched to become a history major because sure why not, that’ll get me a job.
After graduating with his history degree he did a year of journalism at Durham College in Oshawa. Soon after graduation, he was given a job at a leading Canadian human resources publication where he wrote a great deal about strategic people management (very interesting) and pension plans (not very interesting).
He joined Marketing magazine in 2005. As news editor, he had a front row seat for the digital transformation of the industry—there for the first Marketing stories about Facebook, Twitter and Second Life (remember that?). While overseeing all daily online news coverage, he managed major editorial products for the print magazine (remember print?), oversaw the Marketing and Media Innovation Awards for five years while still covering major news stories across the industry including the Cannes Lions seven times. He was eventually promoted to executive editor, responsible for all day-to-day editorial output for the magazine.
David left Marketing in late 2014 to explore the fast-growing world of content marketing, while remaining a regular columnist and contributor to Marketing until its closure in late 2016. A day after the sale of Marketing was announced people started talking to him about starting something new to cover the industry. And cut to… The Message.
Chris Powell was fired from his first journalism job. And his second.
He finally found his foothold as a sports reporter—first at the independently owned Orangeville Citizen, and then at the Thomson-owned Orangeville Banner. He spent a decade covering everything from Junior C hockey and Junior A lacrosse to high school basketball and volleyball, with the occasional detour into city council and cheque presentations (it was a community newspaper, after all).
While the job involved minimal exposure to “The Bigs,” Chris did once anger Milwaukee Brewers’ slugger Kevin Reimer to the point that he stormed out of an interview.
Chris finally made his way to Toronto. After spending the next two years working at a machine shop, his career was revived when he was invited to work for Marketing magazine.
It was here that his career finally found purpose, taking shape under the guidance of editors Stan Sutter and Jim McElgunn, both of whom were pivotal in shaping his writing and reporting abilities. Covering the media industry like a sportswriter, he became a regular nominee (and occasional winner) at the Canadian Business Press’ annual Kenneth R. Wilson Awards, finally arriving at a writing style that blended the personal with the observational.
A pop culture junkie who can effortlessly recall prime time TV line-ups dating back decades (but not where he left his keys), Chris is entranced by marketing’s blend of art and commerce. When not writing for The Message, he can often be found hanging out watching movies with his wife and teenage son, or listening to obscure rock music made by bands that have barely mastered three chords and possess considerable antipathy towards “The Man.”
Jess MacDermot left the University of Wales with a degree in English and Drama; the University of St Andrews with a Masters in English and her stage work for The Great Wallendo (a magic act which paid for her education despite being of strictly limited competence, aspiration and production values) with the ability to maintain a rictus grin whilst being sawn in half—a skill which continues to serve her well in business meetings.
Jess joined UK B2B publishers Centaur Media in the early 1990s, publishing various titles in the marketing, advertising and design space including Design Week and Creative Review, and coming through the transition from print to online media with her sanity relatively intact. She joined global brand consultancy Contagious in 2011 working for four years as global commercial director, before joining Haymarket in 2015 where she led the development of Campaign in the UK, before taking on a global role for the brand in 2020.
She’s still trying to get her head around poutine and navigating the PATH. On the plus side, she thanks the nation of Canada for the invention of chocolate glazed Timbits on a near daily basis.