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.
Hello There. Thanks for stopping at my picture. I’m now going to switch to third person as is the custom with all great biographies.
Libby Begg has been working in the Canadian media industry since she was eighteen years old. As an intern at Flare Magazine, she had the illustrious jobs of coffee runner, taxi chit procurement manager and clothing protection agent, working closely with local dry cleaners.
After graduating from Queens University, she took her first paid position as an overnight writer for the now-defunct Canada AM. She maintains its demise is unrelated to her having worked there.
After a year and a half living like a vampire as an overnight writer, Libby made the move to ZenithOptimedia, where she continued to live like a vampire as a media planner on emerging brands L’Oreal, Pfizer and Nestle. Despite the continued lack of sleep, Libby got to work closely with former ZenithOptimedia president Sunni Boot, who continues to inspire her on the daily.
Libby’s final career tour stop (until now) was at Rogers Media. She joined the sales team that launched Hello! magazine. She then moved to key account management, where she used her vampire media planning skills to integrate cross platform campaigns for some of Rogers’ largest advertisers. Libby also had three babies during this time, and wishes to thank her bosses for putting up with her mood swings. After a couple of years off, Libby returned to Rogers as publisher of Marketing Magazine, Canadian Grocer and CARD. Rogers no longer owns any of these brands, and Libby feels it’s important to note again, that this is unrelated to her working there.
Libby is beyond excited to be working with her old colleagues David Brown and Chris Powell at the The Message. Mostly because they really seem to think she can pull this off. What can she/I say? It’s nice to have someone believe in her/me.
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.”